Hundreds of human rights supporters to take part in rides across the country to raise money for children in Gaza
- Hundreds of human rights campaigners to participate in rides across the UK in show of solidarity with the Palestinian people
- Now in its 6th year, The Big Ride for Palestine 2020 will raise money for Middle East Children’s Alliance which works with children who have been traumatised by living under military occupation
- Campaigners are seeking to highlight human rights abuses suffered by Palestinian people, especially those living in the besieged Gaza strip
- In Birmingham cyclists will assemble outside the Council House, Victoria Square from 9:30 am leaving to cycle around Birmingham for 36 miles.
Hundreds of human rights campaigners from across the UK are set to take part in The Big Ride for Palestine 2020, an annual event combining a love of cycling with passion and solidarity with the Palestinian people. Last year’s event saw hundreds take part in the rides organised in Manchester and London.
Although similar numbers are expected to participate again this year, the 2020 event will be structured differently due to coronavirus restrictions. Dozens of small scale rides taking place all over the UK, with participants given two options. They can choose to complete a ‘Big Solidarity’ ride of 36 or 44 miles between Monday 27th July and Sunday 2nd August. The distances represent the length of the military fence between Gaza with Israel and the military fence between Gaza, Israel and Egypt respectively.
Alternatively, riders can complete the ‘Big Ride’ challenge which involves cycling 440 miles in the 6 weeks from July 20th to August 30th. Organisers intend this distance to symbolise the length of the Separation Wall built by Israel in the West Bank, which the United Nations Security Council and the International Criminal Court consider to be illegal. In line with this, The Big Ride 2020 intends to bring attention to Israel’s plans to annex large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank, a move that would be in breach of international law.
This year’s event is also raising money for the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA); a charity that specialises in working with children who have been traumatised by living under a military occupation. Since 2015, The Big Ride has raised nearly £170,000 for sports equipment used in the healing and rehabilitation of children, a project run in partnership with MECA. This year, they are partnering to raise funds for the construction of a secure playground for Khuza’a Village in Gaza.
The event is supported by a number of campaigning organisations including Palestine Solidarity Campaign, War on Want, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Campaign Against Arms Trade. It has also been endorsed by Ambassador Husam Zomlot, Head of Palestinian Mission to the UK.
Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “The Big Ride is a truly fantastic way of raising awareness of the human rights abuses suffered by Palestinians by combining cycling with solidarity. PSC is a proud supporter of this innovative initiative and we encourage anyone who is able to get involved this year.”
Owen Cooper, an organiser of The Big Ride said: “Participating in The Big Ride enables a whole range of conversations to take place with friends, family and our wider community. This year, we are focusing on making annexation a live issue on the current political agenda. That’s why we’re asking riders and supporters to contact their MP and place pressure on the UK Government to take effective measures, including the use of sanctions when a country we trade with is breaking international law.”
Sign-ups are still open for The Big Ride 2020, more information can be found here.
Notes to Editors:
- The Big Ride for Palestine: https://www.thebigride4palestine.com/
- Middle East Children’s Alliance: https://www.mecaforpeace.org/
- Life in the Gaza strip: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20415675
- Key figures from the 2014 assault on Gaza: https://www.ochaopt.org/content/key-figures-2014-hostilities