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40k for 40 Days

February 5:
Day 20

40k for 40 days

February 5: Day 20


A lot done, a whole lot more to do, but it's moments like these I feel the need to celebrate, deliberate, and even commemorate. Remembering why I am doing this in the first place, who I have in mind while moving, and where I get my motivations to continue.

My first 40K this day were fuelled by frustration and anger at the injustices that I have not just witnessed but that I know are persisting today. It is strong fuel, and I felt it was needed at this moment, 40K flew by on this icy winter's morning, as I crosses some borders in the countryside of Madrid and its neighboring provinces and borders in my mind too.

After getting halfway (both on today's cycle and the 40-day challenge), sharing, releasing, and somehow processing, my next 40K (and maybe 20 days to come) may be harder, more uphill, but hopefully fuelled by more pro-social, and beneficial mental states like gratitude, love, and compassion, knowing I have agency and freedoms that I don't take for granted and I'm not alone in my fight for justice, just as MLK and so many more, who also knew they were not alone and not only fuelled by the anger of injustice and unfairness.

MLK asked a famous question during one of his famous speeches to motivate and inspire the masses. He asked, "Where do we go from here, chaos or community?"

Well, 800k gone, and another to come. It's a community that I aspire to connect with and be motivated by and not continued chaos.

It's roughly the same distance (800 kilometers) as the apartheid wall that wraps around the umbilical cord of Palestine and jeopardizes our global opportunity for peace. For me, there is no sitting on the fence on this one as I've seen, felt, and heard of its devastation since its erecting, back in 2004, and no, it's not a fence. It's just wrong, whatever way I look at it, and it needs to come down, plain and simple; it's not an international border. It's a war crime and needs to be called out as such, as it fits every such definition of war crime and crime against humanity. It's a land and water grab of colossal proportion, and I'm tired of hearing anyone defending it and using security as a pretext. If I want to build a fence in my garden because I feel unsafe, all well and good, but this is deep inside someone else's garden and 11 meters tall in places and violent. It divides Palestine from Palestine, families from one another, and their land, and it creates the worst living example of apartheid That I have ever seen. That is not how to create peace; that's how to aggravate and sustain injustice.

Closing my eyes and ears, and mouth after seeing this progress for 2 decades is not an option.

"End with apartheid freedom for all, tear down the checkpoints, and tear down this wall."

It's said and recognized that Martin Luther King was a powerhouse for his time and beyond. He is one of the greatest intellectuals in American history—a man of substance and action. He understood how to bridge the depravities of poverty to the wealth of nations and the struggle for freedom to the core of creating a "beloved community."

What would MLK say and do about the apartheid in Palestine today that had lasted for far, far too long? I reckon he'd say the very same thing (maybe in a more articulate and flavorsome way), "end with apartheid freedom for all, tear down the checkpoints and break down his wall, Palestine the nation, soon to be free, when the rest of the world, just give them back, their key.

I dedicate this halfway point to all living through injustice, oppression, illegal occupation, and enforced segregation wherever it might be in the world and to those who speak out and act out against, in solidarity and in peace.


Shane O'Connor



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