The Pope Protest
September 20, 2010 2 Comments
On Saturday I went down to central London to watch as the No Popey people marched through te streets. I went with a few intentions: to be among those who take an opposite stance to that of the Catholic church on abortion, on homosexual consensual sex, on condoms and on AIDS.
I also went to see the blatant displays of anti-Catholic bigotry – and stickers that read “religion is stupid”.
I went expecting to see one set of people for sure – atheist leftwingers protesting against a person who to them signifies everything that is wrong about extremely conservative, institutional religiosity.
I belong to this sub-set of people in most ways so this was fine. But I went along to see if I could spot other, less palatable folk, who have every reason to be protesting a visit by the Pope; namely Ulster Volunteer Force types, far right groups with those sorts of sympathies such as Combat 18, and the less unpalatable, more weird groups that believe the word of God is enough, rendering pointless the need for a papa.
I didn’t see any “Ulster types” – although I did hear a chap outside the Clarence pub, near number 10, say “the Ulster guys wouldn’t have had this”, by which I can only imagine he meant sharing a platform with quite a prominent cohort of gay rights activists, who happened to be walking past him at the same time as me.
I could hardly hear what Geoffrey Robertson QC, Richard Dawkins, Peter Tatchell and Johann Hari said as I was stood next to some anarchists with a flag which depicted Benedict XVI as a nazi with slave children, and they frankly didn’t give a shit about being there, instead were interested in waving scarves in front of the faces of policeman and replying “wha!!” to requests of silence from the rest of the crowd who were there to listen.
Proudhon wouldn’t have smelt like arse, throwing beercans at photographers by the women during world war 2 wreath, and shouting at the tops of the voices (feel better for that).
One thing I didn’t expect to see was the sight of a chap dressed as the Pope simulating anal sex with a young boy who had the words “God loves fags” scrawled upon his half naked body – but one has to expect the unexpected at these sorts of things.
My musings on the Pope’s visit can be found here.