Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime?
Human Shields is the story of an against-all-odds overland pilgrimage that directly impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Baghdadi civilians, delivered by an unlikely band of activists in response to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
This “direct action of the century so far” is a creative, courageous and characterful tale told by it's chief protagonists in a multi-perspective narrative style.
Human Shields is a radically honest and relentlessly optimistic reflection on the enduring power of non-violence to resolve seemingly intractable conflict.
Human Shields brings forward new evidence in support of an ancient truth; that small groups of determined people can change the course of history.
Human Shields exposes the remarkable true story of a brilliantly conceived and comically executed contemporary political action: a 3,000 mile multicultural, interfaith, overland pilgrimage of peace from London to Baghdad on the eve of "Shock and Awe."
It is a story of conflict resolution and rugged resourcefulness, and is a powerful example of the kind of storytelling by which we might pause to reflect on and celebrate a rich and diverse legacy of non-violence in the political process.
"The idea was simple. The buses would travel overland from London to Baghdad picking up anti-war protesters as it went. When the passengers reached Iraq they would volunteer as human shields, taking up residence in key civilian locations across the country. Relying on the assumption that Western lives would be valued more than Iraqi lives by the allies, the shields hoped to deter bombing by the coalition and maybe even avoid war altogether.
The reality - logistical nightmares, mechanical failures, bitter in-fighting and condemnation by the press and politicians - worked out differently."
- Marcus Webb, Delayed Gratification: The Slow Journalism Magazine
Human Shields is the incredible story of ordinary people standing together in non-violent opposition to the might of the allied forces and mainstream media in a pivotal moment in 21st Century history - and one in which any democratic pre-tense had been deeply compromised by George Bush and Tony Blair’s pro-war agenda. A story under-told in the Western world, but brought to life by fifty Human Shields and three double decker buses.
A decade on, could this epic tale help to renew the energies of a diverse social justice movement which finds itself on the brink of breakthrough in times of convergent crises?
Human Shields will:
Tell the story of chief protagonists in this against-all-odds political action of the century through a unique, multi-perspective narrative style. In-depth character biographies and curated anecdotes from over 3,000 miles of breakdowns and breakthroughs.
“Democracy...is ridiculous. Some people will take offence at what I’m saying...but you’re stupid, you’re an idiot.” - Ken the Instigator, ex-marine.
Reflect upon and renew through a contemporary lens the enduring legacy of non-violence as the only viable path to sustainable reconciliation in the face of seemingly intractable conflict. How did our intrepid explorers experience this conflict, both inside and out? What is Human Shields legacy for political activism and theories of change? How did this intervention make a difference to the lives of ordinary people in Baghdad?
Build a shared sense of optimism to re-invigorate diverse social movements by an open invitation to authentic leaders in the fields to add their voices to Human Shields call to action. Why is non-violence the only reliable foundation upon which we might build the better world our hearts know is possible?
Human Shields is the personal testimony of a non-violent political action which was creative, courageous and characterful.
Watch the 40 minute documentary by Journeyman.TV, full of original footage filmed in 2003, to go behind the scenes on this once in a lifetime adventure.
The Human Shields story is indicative of a wider, deeper social movement which represents this project’s target audience. We will use our unique testimony to advocate for non-violence in political activism.
An accessible Digital Platform
To comprehensively document the Human Shields direct action of 2003 as narrated by chief protagonists and noteworthy.
A photographic Non-fiction Book
This “direct action of the century so far” is a creative, courageous and characterful tale told by it chief protagonists in a unique, multi-perspective narrative style.
An original Screenplay
Based on the true story of Human Shields. An occasionally dark, often slapstick British comedy with a deeply moving subplot: that small groups of committed, everyday individuals can change the world.