The main aim of this event is to raise awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people due to the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, which is denying peace and security to all the people of the region.
The ride will start in London (probably Trafalgar Square) on either 7th or 14th August 2004. It is intended that the start will coincide with a big rally for Palestine, to be organised with the support of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, The Friends of Al-Aqsa and other pro-Palestinian groups. As much media coverage as possible will be arranged at the start, with high profile supporters in attendance.
The cyclists will ride to Paris where they will be joined by other cyclists from Northern Europe. The ride will proceed through Switzerland, then Italy, where riders from Scandinavia and Spain will join, and on through Greece, where the ferry will be taken from Piraeus into Haifa. All the cyclists will then ride together via Bethlehem, into Jerusalem.
So far, around 25 cyclists are confirmed to start in London, and many others have asked to join en route through Europe. We have also received enquiries from cyclists in the USA and Australia who are interested in organising a tour in these countries to link up with ours in Europe, and then riding into Jerusalem together, thus making it a global event. There could also be many more cyclists who wish to take part in the ride for one day only in their area. We hope that at least 200 cyclists will ride into Jerusalem on 28th September 2004 — the date to coincide with the 4th anniversary of the start of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
We will organise media events at each major town or city, to publicise the occupation and Israel’s violation of International Law and UN Resolutions.
These events will be arranged with the assistance of the local Palestine Solidarity group or equivalent, and the aim is that local personalities and politicians will attend to support us, and a high level of publicity will be arranged at each event – from local (and national) newspapers, television and radio.
Altwire Ltd (altwire.co.uk) is an independent production company which has agreed to handle the media and publicity for the ride, and they
intend to make a film of the whole event, which will be pitched to Channel 4 to screen at a later date.
We have been offered a London comedy club to stage a comedy benefit night in the spring of 2004 to promote the bike ride and raise funds.
To date, the organisations assisting and supporting the event are:
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The Friends of Al-Aqsa
The International Solidarity Movement
Al-Awda Right of Return Coalition
The Muslim Association of Great Britain
Jews for Justice for Palestinians
The Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem
Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)
The Annur Youth Association in Bethlehem.
We are trying to raise funds to help finance the event, to help meet the costs of organisation/publicity, food, youth hostel accommodation for overnight stops, and return flights home. It will be possible for each cyclist to raise individual sponsorship, but additional sponsorship and charitable donations would help those unable to meet the full costs and therefore enable more cyclists to take part. The sponsor will receive widespread publicity from the event throughout the UK and Europe.
The Peace Cycle has the potential to become a massive display of solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for independence. We hope that every individual and organisation who wants to see a just and peaceful settlement in the Middle East will help and support this event by circulating details of it as widely as possible.
End the Cycle of Violence
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The Peace Cycle is organised on a voluntary basis and all proceeds from the event will be donated towards humanitarian aid in Palestine. The Peace Cycle is non-political and embraces all religions and cultures. For more information contact Laura Littlejohn at ThePeaceCycle@aol.com.