Thursday, 1 August 2013

Garry Davies (27/7/1921-24/7/2013) World Citizen of No Borders R.I.P

Peace activist Garry Davies, who dramatically renounced his U.S citizenship in the dark days of the Cold War and founded a government for self declared 'world citizens' like himself has died. He would have been 92 last Saturday. On May 25th 1948, this former United States B-17 bomber pilot and broadway star entered the American Embassy in Paris,because of his own negative view of his own actions in the war, renounced his American citizenship and as astonished officials looked on, declared himself a citizen of the world . In 65 years after that until the end of his long life last week, he remained by choice a stateless man - entering and leaving, being regularly expelled from and frequently arrested in a spate of countries carrying a passport of his own devising, as the international news media chronicled his every move.
His rational was simple, his aim immense, if their were no nation states, he believed there woild be no wars. An idea he relentlessy campaigned for over many years, gaining the support of thousands of people across the globe. Garry Davis did not invent the One World movement. Philosophers and poets and emperors alike have imagined an Earth united. “As long as there are sovereign states possessing great power, war is inevitable,” wrote Albert Einstein in a letter to World Federalists in 1949. “There is no salvation for civilization or even the human race other than the creation of a world government.” These ideas also  attracted support from the likes of novelist Albert Camus and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer.
The World Passport is currently distributed by the Government of World Citizens, a self proclaimed, International Government body which he set up, that has issued documents, passports, identity cards, birth and marriage certificates and occasional postage stamps and currency. The world passport is issued to refugees and stateless people for free, and are seen by some as a political statement about borders and restrictions placed on travel.
In 2012 Davies sent wikileaks founder and refugee of Ecuadorean embassy in London - Julian Assange - a world pasport, and only weeks before he died he sent a passport to whistleblower Edward Snowdon in Moscow. And there is the probability that his hand of friendship if he had lived would have reached out to the great hero of our times Bradley Manning. 
“We are born as citizens of the world,” Davis wrote in Passport to Freedom: A Guide for World Citizens. “But we are also born into a divided world, a world of separate entities called nations. We regard each other as friends and yet we are separated by wide artificially created barriers. Whatever we may think of one another, each one of us on this planet is designated as ‘alien’ by billions of his or her fellow humans. The label applies to everyone who does not share our status as a ‘national citizen.’ And many millions of us, despite our religious, ethnic or racial kinship, are forced to wear another label: ‘enemy.’”Sadly though the world is still divided, run by nearly 200 governments, and unfortunately we still live in a very unfree world, but that does not stop us dreaming, and striving for a better one.   A person who can make her heart into a home doesn’t need a passport and already lives beyond nations. They are a map without borders.

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