Discovering John Pilger
How my work was influenced by one of the greatest journalists of all time.
In 2001 I was 22 and newly living in London. Leaving Wales for work, I had arrived in the capital the previous year.
Like a lot of people, I remember where I was when the 9/11 attacks happened.
News came in from New York as I was listening to the radio. The scenes of death and destruction were described by the newscaster and I was as shocked as anybody. But I was also astounded by the rush to war in Afghanistan.
At the time I was a Christian pacifist — both my grandfathers had been conscientious objectors during World War 2. I soon began attending anti-war demonstrations in London. This is how I first came into contact with socialists, communists, anarchists and other assorted English radicals.
It’s also how I first became aware of the realities of the Palestinian struggle.
The second intifada was raging at the time and so the Palestinian flag was a common sight at the demonstrations. Some have forgotten now, but the Stop the War coalition made “Freedom for Palestine” one of the slogans of the massive historical 15 February 2003 demonstration against the looming invasion of Iraq.