"I'd cover the whole world in a day..."
I'm doing a challenge that as far as I know has not been done before to help RAMFEL, because things are really bad for migrants right now.
- THE CAUSE -
Asylum seekers, migrants and refugees have been utterly demonised by both politicians and the press lately. There is a clear bias towards migrants of all kinds, a dehumanising that means that politicians can treat the deaths of migrants crossing the Mediterranean as you might treat squirrels killed crossing a road. Government detention centres like Yarl's Wood are, as a recent Channel 4 documentary showed, hellholes that abuse all those consigned to them, while asylum seekers like Aderonke Apata are treated like criminals, forced to defend every aspect of themselves before being told it's not good enough. The government sends round vans telling migrants to 'go home', and tabloid headlines whip up xenophobia in the name of economic need. It's very grim.
(RAMFEL, did you want to say something here?)
I wanted to do what little I can beyond my activism on Twitter, and so I picked up my metaphorical boots from when I walked the entire length of all branches of the Northern Line in 2 days for Shelter, and decided to do something again to raise money and awareness for a deserving cause at a time when they are really needed.
-- THE CHALLENGE --
The challenge is this - I plan to visit all 170 London-based embassies, high commissions and British Overseas Territory representative offices in a single day.
While dressed as 80s cartoon antihero, international woman of mystery, and geography diva, Carmen Sandiego.I'm not fully sure it's possible but it's close, and that's the nature of a challenge is it not? I won't be doing it all on foot but I won't use private transport either - it will be buses, trains, tubes, and my own two feet. Within 24 hours starting from the first diplomatic mission I visit.
I'll be posting regular updates as I go along to a special Twitter account - @embassthon - and this will include photos of each diplomatic mission to act as proof that the challenge is being undertaken. I'll also try to tweet something about each country or territory whose diplomatic mission I visit.
--- SPECIFICS --
To make this possible, to save time, and to prevent causing an international incident, I won't be going inside any of the embassies. A 'visit' counts as being outside the diplomatic mission, such as on the pavement in front of the front door or at the entrance to the building the diplomatic mission is located in.
To clarify, where embassies, consulates and other diplomatic offices are located in separate buildings, I will be visiting the main embassy as stated on the official UK Government diplomatic list.
To ensure a global political fairness in which diplomatic missions I 'recognise', I will be using the ISO 3166 standards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1) which cover both the People's Republic of China (China) and the Republic of China (Taiwan), as well as Palestine, but not Northern Cyprus or Kosovo. This is is despite the UK recognising its Kosovan diplomatic mission as an embassy but not its Palestinian or Taiwanese missions.
So I'll be travelling the whole world in a day, so to speak.
If only moving from one country to another were that easy for all of us.