On the 23rd of May, I joined other cyclists and Mombasa youth in showing solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Palestine. Palestine has experienced great injustices for over 70 years. From ethnic cleansing, to limitation of rights and freedom, violence and the fear experienced by the People of Palestine is disheartening.

young people protesting in Mombasa #Freepalestine

Some of the young people from Mombasa that joined the #FreePalestine solidarity ride on 23rd May 2021.

“How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?”  ― Bertrand Russell

I feel a little sick every time I watch what is happening to the Palestinians. I cannot imagine how it is like for them to experience such trauma every day, and have been for the past 70 years.

Surely, in 2021, why is Palestine not free?

A protestor waving the Palestinian flag from a car window

Hamza Mohamed, a young man from Mombasa waves the Palestinian flag during the ride.

 

The solidarity ride came after two peaceful protests that I was part of that were interrupted violently by the police in the same week. We, Kenyans, have the right to protest,picket and assemble guaranteed in Chapter Four of the Bill of Rights, Constitution of Kenya. Therefore the police dispersing us with teargas even though they had been notified of the protest was a violation to our rights as Kenyans and also makes me wonder, who is the police trying to protect? It is definitely not us the citizens.

cyclists riding to show solidarity for the people of Palestine

Cyclists waving the Palestinian flag as they ride across Mombasa Town

The people of Palestine are asking for one thing only – FREEDOM. Freedom to live in their land, to do business, to live in peace. They want their humanity and dignity, that have been deprived for over 70 years. And I know, there are self proclaimed devil’s advocates who would like to make excuses for the genocide in Palestine. One thing remains true, that the burden of oppression is heavier on the Palestinians. This is not a conflict, this is a crime against humanity.

#FreePalestine ride in Mombasa

Cyclists riding across Mombasa Town

So No, we will not debate about human rights, save that for another subject. Human dignity is non-negotiable. Regardless of religion, race, sexuality or social status, you should feel free and dignified. And that is just the bare minimum.

Young women in Mombasa at the #FreePalestine protest

Young women from Mombasa at the #FreePalestine solidarity ride

We all have a role to play in the liberation of the people of Palestine. It could be as simple as educating yourself on the history and present of the crisis. Learn the truth, and honor it. Here are other ways you can show your solidarity at no cost, and may I add, with minimal effort and resources too;

  • Amplify the voices of the Palestinians by engaging with the #FreePalestine content online. Like, Comment and Tag. Let us keep talking about Palestine
  • Support organizations working directly with the Palestinians. Conduct your due diligence to ensure that you are donating to a reputable group
  • Show up for protests
  • Support protestors by contributing resources like placards or skills such as photography, organizing, legal information
  • Boycott Israeli products
  • Speak about this and share with your family, employers and friends.
#FreePalestine protestor waving flag in Mombasa, Kenya

Husny Mohammed waves the Palestinian flag during the ride

Join us this coming Sunday 13th as we take to the streets of Mombasa with our bicycles, motorcycles, cars and skating shoes to create awareness and show solidarity.

Before I sign off here is a little photo dump from the ride.

Cyclists during the #FreePalestine solidarity ride in Mombasa

Young women during the #FreePalestine solidarity ride in Mombasa

Yassin during the #FreePalestine solidarity ride in MombasaCyclists riding in Mombasa #FreePalestine

‘We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.’ – Nelson Mandela

Cyclist during the #FreePalestine solidarity ride in Mombasa

   #FREEPALESTINE

You can find real time updates on the next #FreePalestine solidarity activities happening in Mombasa from my Instagram in the next few days. You can purchase #FreePalestine tshirts at Ksh 500 or $5 . All proceeds go to Gaza through Artictic Hope Organization. The fundraiser and activities are organised by young people in Mombasa. Make your order or donate through MPESA – 0702 868 986 or Paypal – mwevyn@gmail.com

Photography by Haytham Issa

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