The Master's article for
Share International magazine, January/February 2008
A call to the media
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, 12 January 2008
For many years men have awaited, impatiently to be sure,
evidence that Maitreya does in truth exist, and carries out His work among
us. Why this doubt should for so long persist is, perhaps, difficult to
understand, given the vast transformations of our world which have clearly
taken place, each one foretold by Maitreya, and made available to the
public and world media. What prevents the acceptance – even as a
hypothesis – that such a welcome event has indeed transpired?
The media of the world know every facet of this information,
however little they inform the public of its nature. Many of its representatives
have met Maitreya, have heard Him speak, and yet stay silent themselves.
Why should this be so? What inhibits the public announcement
of this welcome news? In the main the problem is fear: fear of ridicule,
fear of disbelief; fear of loss, of their status or jobs; fear that they
are somehow beguiled, that they did not see what they saw or hear what
they heard. It is easier to set their experiences aside and to leave it
to Maitreya Himself – if He does indeed exist – to come forward
and show the world His factual Presence.
This view, logical enough to those who thus wait silently,
shows little understanding of the Laws which govern the appearance of
a Teacher of Maitreya’s stature.
Many worthy Teachers come into our lives, do their work,
and cause few ripples on the surface of men’s thought and action.
They seldom need forerunners to prepare their way. Maitreya, however,
is the World Teacher, Head of Hierarchy, and intends to serve as such
for the next world cycle. His impact on humanity cannot be comprehended.
His coming is a truly momentous happening, which must be prepared for
beforehand, and adequately explained to men of every station.
The world’s media are ideally placed to acquaint men with the true
happenings of our time. They are looked to for information, and often
guidance, by millions of people thirsty for the truth, for knowledge and
hope. It behoves the men and women of the media, men and women of goodwill,
to acquaint themselves with this information, where necessary,
and to serve the public by its serious introduction. Then will they see
Maitreya openly, ready to show us all how to set to rights the world.
(Read more articles by the Master)
Questions & Answers -
Q. Some scientists say that planting
trees to combat climate change is a waste of time, since
most forests don’t have an overall effect on global
temperature; and those farthest from the equator could
actually be making global warming worse. Whenever I travel
by plane I choose to make a contribution to a tree planting
project to offset carbon emissions. Is this all a waste
of time? Could you please comment on this?
A. My information is that this ‘scientific’ assertion
is simply not true. Equatorial forests do indeed have the
greatest absorption factor of carbon, but forests everywhere
have at least a 30 per cent absorption factor of carbon
dioxide which they exchange with a similar percentage of
Q. I read in one of your books that nuclear
fusion is safe and will produce unlimited energy. How
close are scientists to doing this on a big enough scale
so that all the world will benefit?
A. There are several approaches to nuclear fusion and some
progress has been made by isolated scientists to develop
this process. However there is one simple way which has
not yet been discovered: using a simple isotope of water,
everywhere available. If the will were there, and if a
fraction of the billions spent on nuclear fission reactors
were directed to the task, it would not be long until nuclear
fusion became everywhere available. The continuing presence
of the nuclear bomb makes politicians and scientists continue
their misguided use of atomic fission. They fear to fall
behind in a nuclear ‘race’.
Q. How many years will it be before science
manages to produce energy from the sun?
A. The Space Brothers in association with our Hierarchy
are working now on preparations for the Technology of Light,
as Maitreya calls it. It presupposes a world at peace,
with war a thing of the past, abandoned for ever. Only
then would it be safe to install such powerful forces which
could be misused. A guess would be 10-20 years, probably
Q. I don’t know what my carbon
footprint is. How do I find out?
A. You cannot, with any accuracy. You can only try to simplify
your demands on life.
Q. Is recycling waste really helpful
incombating climate change? Some experts
say it takes more energy to recycle than to just incinerate.
A. The aim of recycling is to economize on the use of basic
resources so on almost every occasion it is the way least
destructive of the planet’s good.
Q. Is it worth doing all these little
things like not using too much water, turning off lights,
using special light bulbs and so on, or is that just
a way of avoiding tackling the big problem?
A. The real problem is global and has to be tackled from
a global agreement to reduce drastically our demands on
the world’s resources. Developed nations, in particular,
will have to simplify their way of life. This could be
difficult to do for many people. To start in the ways you
suggest is a very good way to train oneself from day to
day. Look on these measures as good training for the future.
Q. More and more elections seem to be
contested in various parts of the world. (1) Is this
an indication that many elections are rigged? (2) Is
it also indicative of the failure of politics as we know
it to answer people’s real needs? (3) Has adverserial-style
party politics had its day?
A. (1) Yes, and in major countries which take the greatest
exception to ‘rigging’ in developing nations.
(2) Yes. (3) Yes. The people want to see their needs being
met above all.
Q. Why aren’t we all out on the
streets all the time? I mean all people who can get out
and march. There’s so much that appalls us in the
news every single day. I live in a comfortable western
country where there is very little (read ‘almost
none’) popular protest; people seem to expect the
authorities to solve all problems. I’ve written
to politicians to ask for more action on their part;
one replied that there’s no point to demonstrations.
A relatively small number of members of Transmission
Meditation groups here do join demonstrations.
A. Politicians certainly do not like demonstrations. They
like to think that they are ‘in control’. People
need to sense their power which will only happen if they
do demonstrate enough.
Q. Many people hold The Gospel
of Peace of Jesus Christ by the disciple John
to be a very inspirational and valuable book. It is
said to be a fragment of manuscripts in Aramaic from
the library of the Vatican, dating back to the 1st
century AD. The complete text is now published under
the title The Gospel of the Essenes.
(1) When was it written, and (2) could you comment
on the healing practices The Gospel of Peace describes
(like fasting, eating raw ‘living’ foods
and colon cleansing) and say whether they can be profitably
put to use today?
A. (1) 2nd century AD. (2) These have been largely incorporated
into modern health regimes and practices.
Q. There is a lot of pollution about.
Is using homoeopathic remedies, like “Air Pollution” tablets
good unless you take too much medicine? Could you end
up causing the symptoms, if you over-use the remedy?
A. I would certainly recommend homoeopathic remedies for
the effects of pollution. A basic rule in homoeopathy is
that if taking a remedy is too prolonged it can produce
the symptoms it is trying to cure. So it requires proper
timing and common sense.
Q. What does the Master Morya mean when
he talks of “seeing without looking” and “hearing
without listening” in the Agni Yoga book Hierarchy?
A. It means the use of the intuition, the developing of
the inner psychic sense.
Q. In the Agni Yoga book Hierarchy the
Master Morya says that in the era of Satya Yug people
should attempt to give their attention to a number of
different tasks or different directions simultaneously.
This should be done without weakening the energy of the
thought. A focus on only one thing at a time is characteristic
of ‘Kali Yug’ (a dark period), according
to the Master Morya. Could you comment on this please?
A. It is perfectly possible and of value to concentrate
clearly and accurately on more than one thought, activity
or problem at the same time. It requires an ability to
concentrate the mind very accurately without being pulled
by random thoughts. When this clarity of thinking is achieved
it can then be enlarged to include another, and another,
and another level of thought, which are simultaneously
addressed. It is obviously of great benefit and saving
of time for people who have much to do.
(More questions and answers)
Letters to the editor
Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared at Benjamin Creme’s lectures and Transmission Meditations. They also appear, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. Some of these recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the experiences are authenticated by Benjamin Creme’s Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, they draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance to, for example, smoking or drinking. Many times the Masters act as saving ‘angels’ in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. They use a ‘familiar’, a thoughtform, who seems totally real, and through whom the Master’s thoughts can be expressed: They can appear as a man, a woman, a child, at will. Occasionally They use the ‘blueprint’ of a real person, but in most cases the ‘familiar’ is an entirely new creation. The following letters are examples of this means of communication by the Masters. Please note: In the absence of any indication to the contrary, the editors will assume that your name may be printed. Unless requested otherwise, some of these letters may be reproduced on the Share-International.org website. Only initials, town and country will be used.
On 20 November 2007, while out on a walk at the ocean,
I noticed a sand drawing on the beach. It had a style similar to
what we’ve come to think of as crop circles. It was comprised
of three circles, each circle being about 10-15 feet wide. I was
struck by the precision of it – the markings were very exact,
which is hard to create in sand. Also the symmetry of it seemed perfect
to my untrained eye. It also had a magnetic quality to it, where
I felt as if I were drawn into meditation by simply looking at it.
In all my years of visiting the ocean I have never seen
anything of this quality before. Can you comment?
M.A. S., San Francisco, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the circles are a sign, manifested
by Maitreya. In the esoteric teachings Maitreya is often written as \
. It is a signature, therefore.)
“Out of the mouths of babes”
Strolling through the park with my four-month-old daughter
we were approached by an unusual young boy. He wore a casual sweatshirt
and pants, and had a set of keys around his neck. Suddenly he said: “Let
me see this little viola.” I was struck in disbelief, because
how could he know that in the baby stroller I had a little girl,
and even more that I call her my “little viola” (like
the flower)! He gently touched her on the cheek and said something
like: “I don’t have very clean hands so I won’t
touch her too much.” Then he said that he loves little children,
that he had a sister but couldn’t remember how much older she
is. All the time he avoided talking about himself, and quickly shifted
the conversation onto the baby. “What is her name?” he
asked. “Aurora”, was my answer, he repeated it quietly – Aurora.
When I asked him about his name he replied: “Egon,” and
told me he was eight years old. Then he asked more about Aurora and
was amused by the fact that she was only four months old. After that
he politely excused himself and said he didn’t want to bother
us any more so we could go about our business.
For some reason I cannot forget this beautiful brown-eyed
boy. Was the boy a Master?
M.E., Osijek, Croatia.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that ‘Egon’ was the
Two letters from the same person:
Say it with roses
On 4 August 2007 our southern California Reappearance group
sponsored a public presentation at a hotel in Santa Monica. The evening
featured a video of one of Benjamin Creme’s recent talks in
Japan followed by a panel question-and-answer session. Two ‘occurrences’ keep
coming to mind and I would be interested if I am remembering them
for good reason.
(1) I was standing inside the meeting room near the book
table when I noticed a petite older woman wearing a white sweater and
carrying a small bouquet of red roses and rose buds. Then I got distracted
by something else and forgot about her. Later, my wife said the lady
was accompanied by a younger man. Just after I had seen her they had
approached my wife and the younger man had asked: ‘Is it okay
if my mother puts her flowers on the table up front?” The table
he referred to was where the panellists would later be seated. My wife
said yes and thanked her for bringing the flowers. (The group did not
have any flowers prepared for the stage.)
During the question-and-answer session I, as a panellist,
noticed the small bouquet of roses in the middle of the white tablecloth.
I thought of the lady and how special the flowers looked. They were
not in a vase, but simply laid flat on the table. Earlier when I had
first seen the lady with the flowers it seemed unusual, yet when seeing
the flowers on the table, they were perfect. It was almost like a gift
for the evening.
Were the nice lady and the man she was with anyone special?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘nice lady’ was
the Master Jesus. The ‘younger man’ was Maitreya.)
(2) Two other people in attendance were a young girl
accompanied by a woman who I assumed to be her mother. The girl looked
to be around eight years old. I seldom see children at these sorts
of events, so when a young girl showed up it was quite noticeable.
During the evening one of my co-panellists commented how sweet the
little girl was.
At one point I saw the girl sitting on a couch in the hotel
lobby writing on one of the pieces of paper that had been distributed
for people to write their questions for the panellists. During the
intermission audience members submitted their questions for the four
panellists to choose which ones they wanted to answer. We could tell
by the handwriting the questions from the little girl and they were
very simple but straightforward. As far as I remember they were as
follows: Why do people hurt other people? Why do people kill animals?
Why are we hurting the environment? I’m not sure just how I answered
them, but I did see the girl listening intently from the audience.
I noticed the mother smiled a lot during the session and I was struck
by how such a young girl was able to sit through a long evening and
pay attention the whole time.
Were the little girl and the woman just interested people,
or were they special visitors?
M. E., Los Angeles, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘little girl’ was
the Master Jesus and her ‘mother’ was Maitreya.)
Statue at Medjugorje weeps oil
I would like to ask about a phenomenon on the towering
bronze metal statue of Christ, located in a field not far from the
church of Medjugorje, Bosnia, where I went in July 2007. A transparent
liquid which looks like oil flows from the right knee of the statue;
pilgrims come to collect the oil in either a piece of cloth or handkerchief.
Some people have doubts about the authenticity of the phenomenon.
(1) Is the occurrence a “miracle” manifested by a Master?
(2). Has the Blessed Virgin also appeared to Muslims, given that Mostar
is only about 30 kilometres away? (3) Is the Master who was the Madonna
still appearing at Medjugorje today? Or is it another Master? (4) What
is the real meaning of these phenomena at Medjugorje?
J-C. L., Rittershoffen, France
(Benjamin Creme’s Master answers: (1) Yes. (2) Yes. (3) Yes, the
Master Who was the Madonna, and the Master Jesus. (4) To draw the attention
of the world to the reality of the Masters.
An extraordinary event happened in summer 2007 during our
stay in Wiltshire, UK, where we came to visit crop circles.
We were surprised to meet Ruben again, a man we met in
2005 at the Silent Cafe, Cherhill. At the time, we wrote to Share
International to ask who this man was. Benjamin Creme’s
answer was that he was Maitreya [as a familiar].
On 29 July 2007 around 6pm we were walking with people
attending the Glastonbury Symposium on crop circles. Suddenly a man
came to hug us in a very cheerful mood, as though we were old, dear
friends: it was Ruben. We did not recognize him immediately and had
to look at his badge on his chest. He was with a very gentle lady called
Helen. After the meditation was a lecture. Then we saw them again and
they invited us to join them for a meal in a restaurant. We did not
speak about the fact that the first time he was Maitreya, but we asked
ourselves all the time whether this time again he was Maitreya. We
experienced a deep joy in their company and it seemed so natural that
he knew a lot about us.
We met Ruben and Helen again, unexpectedly, at the Silent
Cafe on 1 August 2007 around 3pm. Ruben and Helen were with an extraordinarily
impressive elderly sweet lady with white hair, called Nonie. Again
it was like a reunion of old friends and we had the same questions,
that we kept for ourselves.
Could this be that Ruben, like in 2005, was Maitreya? Who
were the two ladies who were with him?
C. S. and N. W., Lausanne, Switzerland.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that ‘Ruben’ was
a familiar of Maitreya, ‘Nonie’ was the Master Jesus, and ‘Helen’ was
a disciple of the Master Jesus.)
Above ‘Ruben’ with C. S., at the Glastonbury Symposium
on Crop Circles, 29 July 2007. Below with N.W.
Left to right: Noëlle, ‘Ruben’, ‘Nonie’ and ‘Helen’ at
the Silent Circle Cafe, 1 August 2007
European Conference Questions and Answers
by Benjamin Creme
Extract from an edited
version of the Question and Answer session with Benjamin Creme from
the European Transmission Meditation Conference 2007, held at Kerkrade,
the Netherlands, in September 2007.
Q. Is it because the media have difficulty relating
our information to the facts that they do nothing? Is
it a lack of facts or evidence or what?
A. It is a fact that Nelson Mandela, after 27 years incarceration,
was suddenly released and became the President of the new
South Africa. It is a fact and the prediction about it was published
International [September 1988].
When I held a press conference, speaking to a group of
nearly a hundred journalists, on 14 May 1982 in Los Angeles,
I gave the whole story and these journalists were very mixed. Some
were complete fundamentalists in their own way. Some were totally against
it, but many of them were open. They clapped several times about the
need for sharing and justice in the world – hardheaded journalists
who never clap for anybody. They clapped this story of mine, this simple
story, and at the end I talked about journalists coming
to London and going through the motions of looking for Maitreya, and
that He would come forward to them if they did that.
The BBC had linked this press conference with a programme
which was broadcast at the same time. They were there on
the spot in London where I said Maitreya was living. When the American
media asked the BBC what they were doing about it, the British media
said: “Nothing.” The
Americans said: “But why not? It is a fantastic story.” The
BBC said: “We know it is a fantastic story but we are waiting
for more tangible evidence.” The “more tangible evidence” they
could only get by doing what I asked them to do: come to
London and go through the motions of looking for Maitreya in the Asian
If these journalists had been men of clout who, having
seen Maitreya would believe, they would speak to their
colleagues and say: “Yes, it is true. The story is true. I met
him. He is extraordinary.” Maitreya
said that would have been enough in 1982. The media want
the information put in their lap. We put the information in their lap,
but that is not enough. They want to see Maitreya and as soon
as He raises His head above the parapet they will act.
There are many journalists who met Maitreya at the Conference
which He held in April 1990 in London. There were about
40 really important journalists present. They know it as well as I
do. They will not take the responsibility of doing anything about it
because their jobs are at stake. They have wives and family responsibilities.
It is not easy. It was not easy for John the Baptist, either.
Service – a compilation
We present a selection of quotations
on the theme of service – from Maitreya (Messages
from Maitreya the Christ, and Maitreya’s
Teachings – The Laws of Life), Benjamin
Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks),
and Benjamin Creme’s writings.
When you see Me, you will understand the
reasons for your presence in the world.
You are here, My friends, to serve the Plan of God.
You are here, each of you, from love of your brothers.
You are here, too, to learn, to expand your knowledge of
that Plan and to progress along the Path.
That is the truth of your existence at this time.
Take heed, then, of this opportunity which I present to
you: to share with Me in My work of succour, to ease My
burden, to unfold the God within you and to lead your brothers
to the Light. (Maitreya, from Message No. 94)
A new world is in the making and requires
the involvement of all: all have a part to play. (Benjamin
Creme’s Master, from ‘The Voice of Maitreya’)
Be prepared to take hold of the future with
both hands and fashion a world of beauty. Eschew despair
and create with joy and love, knowing that the future stands
ready for your embrace. (Benjamin Creme’s Master,
from ‘The path to the future’)
As soon as a degree of contact with the soul
is made, the person begins to desire to serve the world
in some way. The purpose of the soul is to serve; that
is why it comes into incarnation. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s
Mission Volume Three)
My aim is to make known My Presence in the
world at the earliest possible moment, and so begin My
Work in the full light of day.
This will mean strenuous work by those who now accept that
I am among you.
Make known to all that I am here, and pave smooth My path.
My plan is to release into the world a certain Teaching,
which will show men that there exists a new approach to
living, a new way forward into the future time.
May you be among the first to recognize Me, and through
you I may work.
Take upon yourselves this task.
There is none higher which you could do in this life. Commit
yourself to this work and serve your brothers.
I am desirous that the world should know of My Presence,
should quickly accept Me, and, hopefully, follow My lead.
I am sure that you will not fail Me.
I am certain that you will not reject this privilege, this
gift of service; but will willingly take it upon your shoulders,
to ease the burden of My Task. My Blessings are upon you
all. (Maitreya, from Message No. 5)
One cannot place service too high as a path
to gain spiritual enlightenment, because enlightenment
itself is awakening to the role of service. The Masters
call Their work the Great Service, and as we evolve to
eventual Masterhood we come to realize that throughout
cosmos there is really only one great law governing the
whole activity of what we call divinity – that is
service. God comes into incarnation, creates the manifested
universe, and the units of God, of which we are the reflection,
come into incarnation specifically to serve. There is no
other motive. It is to serve the Plan, which itself is
service. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s
Mission Volume One)
Service is getting down to it, doing the
everyday jobs in a rhythm that you can sustain, which will
engage your energy, strength and concentration, but not
to the point of totally overtaxing it. That is finding
the right rhythm – getting the maximum out of yourself
with some conservation of energy.
To have a reasonable rhythm you have to recognize priorities
and learn to choose between even major priorities. Nobody
can do everything. You have to choose that which is the
most valuable to the Plan, to the task at hand, and do
that as the number one priority. At the same time you have
the responsibilities of life. It is not in talking to the
media or sitting in Transmission Meditation that you take
initiation. It is in life, and only in life, that you undergo
the transformations in character, the purification of both
motive and bodies which allow you to take initiation. We
are responsible for our duties – the human responsibilities
of family life, professional life and so on. All of that
has to be met as fully as we can. At the same time we have
the duty of service.
The problem for the disciple is that he is in the world,
and yet, in a sense, he is not of the world. He has to
maintain this double relationship: both feet totally in
life, relating with everything and everyone that comes
his way, learning to cope with all of that and at the same
time maintaining an isolation, an inner sense of himself
as a disciple, in the midst of that maelstrom. For a disciple,
life is more difficult than for everyone else. Imagine
a great river in flood. Where the water goes between the
supports of a bridge, it is unhindered, meets no obstacle.
When it hits the supports, these take the full weight of
the flood. The disciple is the support of the bridge and
necessarily takes the impact, the strains and stresses
of life itself. It is not easy to be a disciple. You have
to find a balance. Nobody can tell you. You have to do
it in your own way, from your common sense. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s
Mission Volume Two)
Clearly, many hands will be needed in the
creation of the new society. Many are the tasks to be performed.
Many are the adjustments which must be made. All who wish
to serve will hear the call to service ringing in their
hearts and from the heart will they respond. The united
voice of the people of all lands calling for justice and
sharing will set up an invocation which nothing can resist.
Thus will the world be transformed. Thus, gradually, will
the new forms be created, the new relationships forged,
a new and happier era dawn for humanity under the guidance
of the Christ and the Masters. (Benjamin Creme’s
Master, from ‘A new era dawns’)
Service is the lever of the evolutionary
path. Through service we learn to identify with that which
we serve, and so a shift occurs in our centre of focus.
It shifts from the personal, the selfish, to the impersonal,
the unselfish. And, in doing that, we identify more and
more with more and more. The way is through service. That
is why it was instituted by the Christ in Palestine, as
a lever for the evolutionary process, because, as we begin
to serve, we become more and more decentralized, we identify
with more and more, until we can identify with everything
that is. And when we can identify with everything that
is, we are everything that is. We are God. We
release our Divinity. (Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance
of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom)
There comes a time in the history of each
nation when its soul quality begins to manifest itself
more powerfully and to give rise to the appearance of major
figures in the realms of art or science, politics or religion.
When this happens, we see the emergence of influential
men and women who give colour and coherence to a nation’s
endeavours. Deeply creative, they inspire those around
them with their vision, and help to create the culture
of their time. They are the disciples and initiates who
articulate for others the genius of their nation.
At the present time, we await the arrival of such powerful
figures on the world’s stage. Trained by the senior
members of the Esoteric Hierarchy, there now exists a group
of spiritually oriented men and women equipped to deal
effectively with the problems of the time. When the call
sounds forth, which soon it will, they will take up the
work for which they have been prepared: the reconstruction
of our planetary life along entirely new lines.
Working in all fields, this group of dedicated disciples
will show the way for humanity to follow. Coming as they
do from many nations, they will be able to focus and channel
the aspirations of all people for a world of peace and
justice. They are, for the most part, unknown at present,
but soon their names and work will bring a light to men’s
eyes, inspiring them with hope and expectation of a better
future. They work today unseen but are ready to put their
gifts and training at the service of the race. They will
be known for their altruistic love and wise judgement;
for their sense of duty and dedication to their task. Trained
by Masters, they will reflect something of Their detachment
and knowledge, bringing a new rhythm and order into our
chaotic world. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The
emergence of great servers’)
of the time
Demands grow for investigation of UFOs
UFOs are one of the most popular subjects for Freedom of
Information requests. Demand was so high when the French national space
agency released its own UFO files in March 2007 that the website crashed.
Now, a massive public response is expected when the British Ministry
of Defence opens its archive of 7,000 UFO reports to the public in spring
Previously highly classified, the files almost never saw the light of
day, as David Clarke, a lecture in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University
and author of Flying Saucerers: A Social History of UFOlogy,
discovered. After lodging hundreds of Freedom of Information requests,
he was told by the MOD that it was considering destroying the files because
they were contaminated with asbestos pollution. Fortunately the government
department instigated a £3 million project to scan the files before
they were destroyed.
The UK’s decision could lead the US government – long under
pressure to open its UFO files – to follow suit. In November 2007
a panel of former high-ranking government, aviation and military officials
from seven countries convened at the National Press Club in Washington,
DC, to demand that the US government set up a new probe into UFO sightings.
The former military pilots on the panel had seen some strange things
in the sky during their flying careers, and most of the other panellists
had witnessed a UFO or investigated sightings. A panellist from the British
Defence Ministry noted that 5 per cent of UFO reports still have no official
explanation – these being the ones that should be looked into.
Among the panellists were former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, who
claims to have seen a delta-shaped craft with enormous lights float silently
over Phoenix in 1997. “It’s a question of who are you going
to believe: your lying eyes or the government?” asked former US
Federal Aviation Administration investigator John Callahan, who accuses
the CIA of trying to cover up the 1987 Alaska sighting of a huge lighted
ball four times the size of a jumbo jet. The USA, however, scrapped its
series of systematic UFO studies, Project Blue Book, in 1970. Since then,
according to the US Air Force website, “nothing has occurred that
would support a resumption of UFO investigations”.
The latest to join the UFO debate is Japan’s top government spokesman,
chief cabinet secretary Nobutaka Machimura. “Personally, I absolutely
believe they exist,” he said at a press conference on 19 December
2007. How else does one account, he added, for phenomena such as the
Peruvian desert Nazca Lines – a vast ancient drawing in the desert,
which can only fully be appreciated from the air.
His remarks – just after his government had announced that it had
no official knowledge of alien craft – took the Japanese administration
by surprise. “The government has not confirmed the existence of ‘unidentified
flying objects believed to have flown from outside the Earth’,” it
said in response to a question from lawmaker Ryuji Yamane of the opposition
Democratic Party. Ryuji Yamane argues that the government should try
to confirm what UFOs are, as many people have said they have witnessed
Three days after Machimura’s comments, Japanese Minister for Education
and Science Kisaburo Tokai became the third member of the Cabinet to
make public his views on UFOs, saying he hoped that aliens exist.
Public response on the internet to this debate indicates that most people
would prefer their governments to be open about the obvious existence
of spacecraft seen in skies throughout the world. (Source: The Observer,
UK; CityNews.ca; AFP, France; Japannewsreview.com; Yomiuri Shimbun,
Recent reports of UFO activity
Cyprus – In November 2007 a local newspaper
received numerous accounts from readers of UFO activity over the Mediterranean
An object observed for two minutes over Kyrenia by a witness who described
it as being “an oblong shape, like a rugby ball on its end and
was glowing very bright orange. It came inland from the coast near a
village called Catalkoy, in small but rapid zigzags then stopped and
hovered for approximately 30 seconds before making a smooth ascent at
45 degrees up to the east towards a very bright star. It then disappeared.
A friend had sighted a similar event at the same spot a month previously.” The
newspaper said that the reports were just the “latest in a series
of incidents of unidentified objects in our skies”. (Source: The
Famagusta Gazette, Cyprus)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that these sightings were genuine;
the spacecraft were from Mars; the “very bright star” was in fact
UK – With its own archive of UFO reports
due to be opened to the public in Spring 2008, the British Ministry of
Defence responded in August 2007 to a Freedom of Information request
with details of 52 UFO sightings in Sussex, England, between 1998 and
Since then, more were sighted in the area just before Christmas 2007,
and a number have already been reported to local media in the New Year,
including the following account of a UFO flying over the Sussex Downs
near Lancing, West Sussex. Michelle Huggett was astounded to see an object
moving very rapidly from east to west. “It was moving very fast
east to west but then just suddenly stopping. There was absolutely no
noise at all. It was spooky.” (Source: theargus.co.uk)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the spacecraft was from Venus.)
USA –Unusual lights in the sky just after
midnight on 31 December 2007, were witnessed by dozens in San Diego,
California. Ryan Keegan said that he and his wife Rachael and a group
of their friends, “saw four orange lights in a square and right
behind there were three orange lights in a triangle. There was no sound,
no flashing lights, no vapour trail, just solid lights.” Four more
lights appeared in the sky a few minutes later, travelled east to west,
then disappeared. (Source: signsonSanDiego.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms these to be authentic sightings
of spacecraft from the planet Mars.)
Meanwhile, in Stephenville, Texas, dozens of people – including
a pilot, a policeman and local businessmen – reported seeing lights
in the sky on the evening of 8 January, 2008. Some witnesses reported
fighter jets chasing the craft. (Source: Telegraph TV, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this was an authentic sighting
of spacecraft from the planet Mars. It was, indeed, chased by fighter
our own correspondents
excerpts from articles and interviews
Water is key: a better future for Africa
Interview with Gil Garcetti
by McNair Ezzard
Gil Garcetti served as district attorney for the County
of Los Angeles from 1992-2000. While photography had been an interest
of his for over 35 years, it wasn’t until the failure of his
re-election bid in 2000 that he decided to pursue it full-time. He
now receives wide acclaim for his work and has had four books of photography
published and held exhibitions at, among others, the National Building
Museum in Washington, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, and most
recently the UCLA Fowler Museum, Los Angeles. In 2003, American
Photo magazine named Garcetti one of four master photographers
in the US. He is also President of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.
Garcetti’s latest book, Water is Key: A Better Future
for Africa is the result of several trips to West Africa.
As with two of his other books, Iron: Erecting the Walt Disney
Concert Hall and Dance in Cuba, Garcetti
is continuing his effort to raise public awareness about people who
seldom receive, but could often benefit from, the world’s attention. Water
is Key is about the plight of people in West Africa who have
long lived without safe water. Garcetti’s photographs depict
the hardships, optimism and economic successes of a people who have
not only survived, but have thrived when they gain access to safe water.
McNair Ezzard interviewed Gil Garcetti for Share International.
Share International: How did your latest book project
Gil Garcetti: I had just left office in December 2000 as district attorney.
My wife was already scheduled to go to West Africa with the Hilton Foundation,
who have been funding safe water projects in West Africa for a number
of years. I tagged along with a camera, and that was my first exposure
to the issue of safe water. I saw all the various problems – the
poverty, the disease, the low income, but also the beauty, the hope there.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with these photographs, but
after 9/11, I decided I had to try and do something worthwhile with my
These are primarily Muslim countries. We need to be seen as caring for
others, including Muslims. I decided that not only is it the right and
moral thing to do, but the politically right thing to do. That’s
when I went to the Hilton Foundation and asked if they were interested
in underwriting the book and providing it free of charge to NGOs [non-governmental
organizations] working in West Africa.
SI: How exactly is your book intended to help?
GG: In two respects. Firstly, the Hilton Foundation is providing the
NGOs with free copies of the book. It’s expected that the NGOs
in turn will use the book to raise money for their work in West Africa
on safe water. Secondly, I have volunteered to work with any NGO, at
any event, and make a pitch for them to people, groups, and businesses
to give money to the NGOs. If they want to use any of my artwork, then
at least 50 per cent of the proceeds from the artwork go to that NGO.
SI: Do you personally make any money off the book?
SI: What was one of the surprising things you learned
when first going to West Africa?
GG: It was learning that over 70 per cent of the people in these countries
don’t have safe water. There is plenty of water in West Africa,
but it is all underground. These countries, which are among the poorest
in the world (Niger being the poorest), simply do not have the money
or expertise to bring safe water to their people.
SI: Which countries have you visited in West Africa?
GG: Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast and Niger.
SI: I understand you’ve met with the President
of Mali. What did he say regarding your work?
GG: He said it was the most important thing that I could be doing. If
there were just one thing that he could do for his people in Mali, it
would be to give them safe water because “everything good flows
from safe water”. That’s a direct quote. But he simply doesn’t
have the money. His country is one of the poorest in the world.
SI: Why is water such a major issue?
GC: It is one of the necessities of life. You can see what happens when
there is dirty, unclean, unsanitary water. And water is scarce. The
beauty about the water situation in West Africa is that there is plenty
of it and it is replenishable. These are not wells that are going to
be dug and then go dry in a few years.
SI: How have people traditionally got their water in
GG: At watering holes, lakes and streams. They also dig ‘traditional’ wells
where they can access water that is not too deep, maybe 30 to 40 feet,
but they get contaminated very quickly, because people don’t cover
the water or the well. They permit animals to defecate near the well,
and that pollution seeps into the water table.
SI: What ill effects do people suffer?
GG: There is generally poor health; people suffer from stomach problems
and babies die from diarrhea. Guinea worm is a parasite that enters
the body through contaminated water. It grows as a very long worm that
is incredibly debilitating. There is also river blindness. Virtually
every ailment you can imagine comes from the bad water.
SI: What are some of the other repercussions for villages
when there is little or no access to safe water?
GG: Girls don’t go to school because they have to fetch water,
agriculture is greatly diminished, and husbands have to leave home to
find work in other cities or countries.
SI: Why do women and girls serve in the role of fetching
water? Is it their traditional role?
GG: Yes. That’s exactly it. Men will fetch water for their animals.
SI: Would you describe a typical day in the life of
a woman before they have access to a well?
GG: They will start sometimes at five o’clock in the morning on
their trek to get water. It may take several hours before they return
with it, depending on how far they have to go. If necessary, they make
two trips. They also have all the chores that women usually have – trying
to keep the compound clean, washing the clothes, etc. But so much of
their time is spent on simply going for water and then trying to filter
it. It’s not atypical that women and girls will spend four, five,
six hours a day on this alone.
SI: What is the man’s role?
GG: Agriculture primarily. They also build the huts and maybe the schools,
and the storage for grain.
SI: I’ve heard you speak about a borehole well.
What is the difference between that and a traditional well?
GG: A traditional well consists of digging a relatively shallow hole
and spreading a little concrete around the rim. A borehole well is constructed
by using a rig to drill for water, then bringing the water up in an encapsulated
fashion: the pipe is capped, a pump installed, and a huge concrete pad
laid out with a concrete wall around the circumference to keep animals
away. The people are then trained to maintain the pump.
SI: After a new borehole well is constructed, how does
life change for the women?
GG: It’s a phenomenon that I would never have expected. Women suddenly
realize they’ve got plenty of time, which they use to focus on
the family, on their children and on the betterment of the village. They
start demanding schools and healthcare. They are empowered.
The women themselves often become the microcredit entrepreneurs of the
village. I’ve seen incredible successes that benefit the entire
village in terms of schools and in terms of a higher standard of living.
They bring money to the village that they never had before: to provide
medical services, to buy grain supplies for droughts and other emergencies.
It gives everyone a different sense of their own worth.
SI: How does the microcredit process work in West Africa?
GG: Various organizations with the funds go into villages where safe
water is being brought in, and offer the villagers microcredit loans – 50,
75, 100 dollars. It’s invariably the women who take up the offer
to start small businesses. They have to pay the money back, but they
have a phenomenal success rate in terms of the money being paid back.
Over 95 per cent of the loans in West Africa get paid back fully within
a year-and-a-half. The people really begin to prosper much more than
before they had safe water. [End of excerpt]
“Walking my talk”
Interview with Dianne Lang, Samaritan extraordinary
by Gill Fry
Born in South Africa, Dianne Lang worked as a psychologist
before making a life-changing decision in 2000 to help improve HIV
and AIDS healthcare and education in her country. In her recently published
book Saving Mandela’s Children she recounts
her extraordinary story: starting from scratch to hold workshops and
train carers in the economically-deprived township of Middleburg; rescuing
abandoned children and forming a children’s home; and battling
with the local authorities for the rights of those children.
The Dianne Lang Children’s Home offers support and shelter
for neglected children, many with HIV and AIDS. It receives no government
funding and faces a constant struggle to continue, relying mainly on
private donations, especially sent from the UK. At the same time as
winning prestigious awards for her work Dianne has faced on-going threats
to remain silent on exposing corruption in the failing childcare system.
In December 2006 she was forced to flee to the UK under threat of her
Gill Fry interviewed her for Share International.
Share International: What was it like growing up in
Dianne Lang: I was born and bred in a part of South Africa called the
Transkei so I was brought up in a tribal system: I have one foot in a
very African world and one in a very white world. I can step into the
western world but I also have a deep understanding of African tribal
culture: the first language I spoke was Xhosa, not English. My parents
were business traders and I was the sixth generation born in Africa.
We were the only whites around, everybody else was black.
The Transkei was self-governing since 1964 so, as a self-governing tribal
system, we were not affected by apartheid South Africa. When you live
under tribal rule the headman and the paramount chief are the authority.
Your parents don’t punish you if you are out of line. They send
you to the headman and you have to explain your bad behaviour to him
and he decides your punishment. It was very different and I only saw
apartheid after moving to South Africa as an adult. I was horrified by
it: about the separateness, because I hadn’t seen it before.
SI: What was it like to see the ending of Apartheid?
DL: When we had this new South Africa I was really happy because now
we had what we wanted. I was filled with hope for this democratic,
free South Africa. South Africans all had something to do with the
drawing up of the constitution before Nelson Mandela was made President.
We worked to make sure that everyone was going to have their rights.
I attended many conferences, thrashed out ideas, looked at the Declaration
of Human Rights. I believe our Constitution is the best in the world.
We looked at the Childcare Act and the Criminal Procedures Act. So much
legislation was changed to make a fair situation for all concerned. The
Constitutional Court became the highest court in the land and all lower
courts would have to abide by the spirit of the Constitution making sure
that people weren’t imprisoned for no reason. Everybody, even including
those who had been quite racist prior to the ANC taking over, felt hopeful
because of the Constitution. In the elections, when we all voted together,
it was truly the most peaceful day. And in June 1995 when the Springboks
won the rugby all of South Africa rejoiced because it epitomized a togetherness
of a nation that had been through absolute hell. People felt joyous and
hopeful for this beautiful country and for the things we were going to
do. We would be different from the rest of Africa.
SI: So what happened after the new start for South
DL: When Mr Mbeki became President I started looking at this country
and wondered where is it going. We have a huge AIDS situation with people
dying like flies and a minister of health who won’t give us any
medicine. Mbeki was saying that HIV didn’t cause AIDS, that it’s
caused by poverty. The minister of health tells us we can cure ourselves
with lemon juice, beetroot and garlic; that the medication is worse than
the disease itself; and now our witch doctors are saying ‘rape
a baby and you will be cured of AIDS’.
Now there are no jobs, and everyone, including white people are standing
on the streets holding out their hand begging for food. If you are white
and male you cannot get a job because of ‘affirmative action’,
which has been wrongly implemented. Now it is only the previously disadvantaged
people getting jobs. What is happening in government is that, due to
affirmative action, people who are not qualified have positions of power.
There is a huge brain drain out of the country with whites and educated
blacks leaving in droves.
SI: How did you get involved in HIV/AIDS education?
DL: I was flying back from Edinburgh and thinking: “I don’t
want to go home.” I had a panic attack and realized I’d had
the most wonderful time and didn’t want to go back to that feeling
of looking over my shoulder to check if I was going to be beaten, robbed,
stabbed or shot.
Then I thought: I can’t do anything about the unemployment or crime,
but I can do something about HIV and AIDS. Within two weeks of landing,
my friend and I put together an AIDS awareness workshop to counteract
what the government was telling people on posters, that “HIV and
AIDS = death”. I thought: HIV and AIDS doesn’t lead to death,
you can live quite a long time with it.
We started AIDS workshops in Port Elizabeth. Then I realized there were
already quite a lot of NGOs there and I needed to go where the poverty
was the worst, where nobody would go – and I found a place called
Middleburg, in the Eastern Cape. I was using my own money; getting no
help from anybody.
My dream was to put a home-based carer on every street in every township
in the area and within two years I had a qualified home carer on every
street in that area, fully equipped to look after people so they didn’t
have to die alone and afraid. I also trained a group of people to teach
HIV and AIDS awareness through drama, going from school to school teaching
children. I trained peer groups in the school to be buddies to AIDS kids
who were orphaned, and I trained the trainers to train other trainers.
SI: How did you begin looking after abandoned children?
DL: I bought a little house in Middleburg for the HIV trainers and the
support groups to come to, and because HIV was still a bad word to
use, we called it Dianne’s Friends Group. I stayed there one
night when there was a knock at the door. I opened it and there were
three little children there.
In her book Dianne recalls how a man who works with
street children was standing on the doorstep saying: “I have
found these three children in a chicken run and I can’t look
after them because one is a baby and the other two are girls. Can you
take them please?” And before I could say anything he was gone … and
looking up at me were these three little children … I opened
the door wider and said: “Ghena” (come in). In the light
of the passage, I was appalled by what I saw. One girl had a nasty
burn from a fire on her leg, and did not know her name or how old she
was. She was dressed in rags with no shoes on her feet and was shivering
from the cold. She said she could not remember how long she had been
in the chicken run but that sometimes people would throw food at her … The
other little girl told me that her name was Blou (blue) and that the
little boy was her brother. He did not have a name so she called him
Boetie (brother).” The children had not eaten for two days, when
they had had a little bread; both girls had been raped many times;
all three children had scabies and lice; and all were malnourished
and extremely traumatized. Dianne fed and bathed the children, dressed
them in her clothes and tucked them up in her bed for the night. Without
planning it the children’s home was born.
SI: How many children are there now and how did others
come to you?
DL: We have 42 children: the youngest is a baby of two and the oldest
is 17. A lot of the children I got as tiny babies. They were either left
on my doorstep still with their umbilical cord attached, or I found them.
I would walk through the streets in the middle of the night and look
under cardboard boxes or at the rubbish dump outside town. The children
have a name for the rubbish dump: they call it ‘the restaurant’.
In Dianne’s book she describes visiting ‘the
restaurant’ for the first time:
“There were children living in old broken cars, making fires
to keep themselves warm, and scratching through rubbish looking for
something to eat … There were about 20 children between the
ages of 3 and 16, all living alone and without any adults. Most of
them were sniffing glue from empty milk cartons. They told me it kept
them from feeling cold and hungry. All of a sudden I heard a baby crying
from inside one of the old cars.” An older boy brought her the
screaming baby and explained how the baby was crawling along the road
from the brickworks and the children had been looking after him. He
was covered in a dirty towel, and had the “biggest mop of unruly
black hair”. Dianne picked him up and asked the children if she
could look after him.
Dianne continues: I would go there at night: look, call out, be quiet
and listen. If I heard a sound I would follow it and find babies. Like
Anele who is four now: I found him in the street under a piece of cardboard
with not only his umbilical cord but the placenta still attached to him.
There I was, in the middle of the night, thinking: “now how do
I actually cut this thing?”
SI: How many abandoned children are there in South
DL: We have 2.8 million orphans that are not being taken care of, that
are on the street. [End of excerpt]
of the people
Join the march for peace
On 15 March 2008 peace marches will take place around
the world in an event called ‘The World Against War’. It
will mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq which was preceded
by the largest co-ordinated demonstrations the world has seen – 12.5
million people in over 80 countries marching to oppose the invasion
of Iraq. The 2008 marches were planned at the World Against War International
Peace Conference in London in December 2007, which was attended by
over 1,200 delegates from the peace movement across the world. Representatives
from 26 countries addressed the conference and discussed future strategies.
The organizers of World Against War are asking for participants
from all backgrounds and political persuasions to join in this huge
display of people power and call for, according to US-based anti-war
group ANSWER: “The creation of a powerful grassroots movement
[which] is key to ending the war in Iraq and changing an overall political
direction that threatens widening disaster.”
A massive turn-out is expected on this global day of protest,
with marches taking place around the world “from Washington to
Beirut, from Sydney to Seoul”, according to British organizers
Stop the War Coalition. “We aim to show our rulers that the
overwhelming majority here and around the world want to see an end
to these immoral, irresponsible and frightening wars.”
The Iraq war is now the United States’ second-longest war in
its history and has claimed the lives of 4,000 American soldiers and
over 1 million Iraqis.
While many of the organizers are calling for a withdrawal
of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and against a future invasion of
Iran, demonstrators are also using 15 March as an opportunity to call
for an end to all war and demand peace and justice in the world.
Benjamin Creme’s Master calls the growing people power movement “the
most important political event of our time”. In His article ‘The
voice of Maitreya’ He says: “Add your voice to that gathering
clamour for peace and justice and become aware of your place in history.
A new world is in the making and requires the involvement of all: all
have a part to play in this great undertaking; none should feel too
young or too old to voice aloud their aspirations. Soon, Maitreya,
Himself, will focus this demand for a new way of living, adding His
insight and experience to the cry from men for justice and peace.”
Many Share International co-workers around the world will
be marching with banners calling for sharing as the only way to justice
(For more information: www.stopwar.org, www.theworldagainstwar.org)
Protest to highlight crisis in Gaza
An emergency protest to end the siege on the occupied
Palestinian territory of Gaza took place on 12 January 2008 outside
the UK’s Prime Ministerial residence, in Downing Street, London.
It was organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign as part of
their International Campaign.
The siege of Gaza began in June 2006 when the Israeli army
closed all the border crossings, cutting supplies of food and medicine.
Since Hamas won the Palestinian elections in January 2006 with 60 per
cent of the vote, the USA and European Union (EU) have suspended all
direct aid to the Palestinians, classing Hamas, who refuse to recognize
the state of Israel, as terrorists even though they were democratically
On 19 September 2007, the Israeli government declared Gaza
a ‘hostile entity’, and on 28 October 2007, cut fuel shipments
to Gaza’s only power plant from 360,000 litres a day to 213,000
litres – almost a 30 per cent reduction, according to Naharu
al-Hismawy, the director of Gaza’s main fuel distribution centre.
Israel controls the provision of all the fuel and two-thirds of Gaza’s
electricity, and on 3 January 2008, the Israeli High Court of Justice
rejected an appeal by human rights groups for an injunction against
fuel cuts to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli High Court have been asked
several times to restore the amount of fuel to pre-28 October levels.
They have been presented with an affidavit from Hassan Khalaf, the
general manager of Shjifa Hospital in Gaza City, who described severe
electricity cuts of up to 12 hours a day, causing breakdowns in medical
The World Food Programme reported that only 41 per cent
of Gaza’s food demand is being covered, causing hunger and malnutrition.
210,000 people have access to drinking water for only 1-2 hours a day
and essential medical treatment inside Israel is being denied to Palestinians.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: “These sanctions are collective
punishment against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and without
a doubt will lead to a further deterioration of our situation.”
Sources in Israel say that the army are preparing for further
military action inside Gaza, causing untold misery to its citizens.
The escalation of military action by Israel, and the sanctions by the
USA and European Union, are systematically attempting to overturn the
results of the last Palestinian parliamentary election, declared free
and fair by the international community. (Source: www.endgazasiege.net; Jerusalem
Post, Israel; Associated Press, The New York Times, USA)
Global demonstrations to halt climate change damage
Hundreds and thousands of people across the globe took
to the streets to demand action on climate change during
the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia,
from 3-14 December 2007. Demonstrations took place in 86 countries
on 8 December, the ‘Global
Day of Action’, with protesters demanding urgent action from
world leaders to do more to prevent the destabilization
of the Earth’s
Below is a selection of the many events that took place
on that day:
Austria – A ‘lights out for five minutes’ was organized,
with people switching off electricity at 8pm. The action was well publicized
in the media and had a measurable effect on the Austrian power grid.
Belgium – In Brussels, 4,000 people demonstrated, and, as in
many other cities around the world, braved heavy rain to make their point.
Bolivia – The Campaign for Quality of Life (lidema) organized
a sustained campaign in 10 cities between October and December 2007, which
included educational workshops, reading material, marches and tree plantings.
Bulgaria – A film screening and a ‘climate performance
art’ show were held in Sofia to highlight the issue.
Canada – Thirty events took place, including 3,000 marching
in Toronto and 600 in Vancouver, among others.
China – Around 1,000 students from 24 universities joined in
protest, with a unified message: “One kilowatt saving, our future cooling.”
Costa Rica – In Santa Ana, students made a visit to President
Oscar Arias to deliver letters from children from 40 primary schools. They
returned to take part in a ‘Climate walk’, handing out leaflets
to local residents about the issue.
Greece – Six thousand marched in Athens, where they had suffered
catastrophic forest fires earlier in the year.
India – Over 1,000 people marched in Delhi, 400 in Bhopal, and
hundreds of other events across the country. In Bangalore over a thousand ‘Greenpeace
India’ volunteers used placards to spell out messages such as “climate
change knows no boundaries” in the stands on the first day of the India-Pakistan
cricket match, watched by millions. “I volunteered for this activity
with Greenpeace because it’s my world to save. I don’t need to
be a superhero and teaming up with others I will do what I can to collectively
make a difference,” said Shams, a student who held a placard with the
message “Climate Change is World Emergency”.
Philippines – In Quezon City, hundreds of students, bikers,
runners, volunteers and supporters took part in a Renewable Energy Parade.
Senegal – 500 marched in Dakar.
Sweden – Over a thousand people marched in Stockholm. Some people
dressed up in animal costumes – a polar bear or a homeless orangutan
sitting at a bus stop – to highlight the plight of endangered species
threatened by climate change.
Thailand – Thousands were involved in protests, and at Chatuchak
weekend market, one of the world’s biggest weekend markets, there was
a ‘Climate Clinic’ where solar energy was demonstrated and people
calculated their carbon dioxide emissions.
Turkey – Hundreds marched in many cities, with protesters co-ordinating
the setting-off of alarm clocks at 12pm as a ‘wake-up call’ on
Uganda – 2,000 people took to the streets of the capital Kampala.
UK – Over 10,000 demonstraters in London, UK, marched to the
US Embassy in protest at President Bush’s reluctance to agree to emissions
targets. They were joined by a ‘mass cycle’ of around 300 cyclists,
and listened to speeches by politicians and activists. Although the event took
place in pouring rain and driving wind, the march remained cheerful and upbeat.
A letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling for a tougher climate change
bill was delivered to No 10 Downing Street.
USA – From coast to coast demonstrators demanded that state
Representatives sign the Safe Climate Act, with farmers protesting alongside
environmental activists for energy efficiency legislation and protection for
their way of life. Displays of local portraits and messages made local feelings
clear. Michigan protesters displayed huge banners on the shores of Lake Erie
to draw attention to the shrinking of the Great Lakes, and in New York ‘Step
It Up’ protesters braved hurricane-force winds to deliver hundreds of
letters to Congress calling for radical action to cut US energy use. And in
30 locations, from Massachusetts Alaska, the ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ event
saw demonstrators jumping into freezing waters to demand “Keep Winter
Cold”. “We want our elected leaders – the congressmen, senators
and the president – to realize that global warming is a serious problem
that needs their leadership,” said organizer Roger Shamel. (Sources: The
Independent, UK; greenpeace.org; globalclimatecampaign.org; campaigncc.org;