This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

More than 10,000 people take to the streets to protest against pope

Degree of hostility over Pope Benedict's three day visit takes observers by surprise

I never expected to hear a middle-class crowd that almost filled up Piccadilly chanting "Fuck the Pope". But Saturday's anti-pope demo in London took even the organisers by surprise. I don't know how many people there were, but 10,000 seems a reasonable minimum estimate. It wouldn't be surprising if there had been 15,000.

The higher figure would be nearly a tenth of the number of people who paid to see the Pope over the last three days but it is still a lot more hostility than sober observers had expected.

There was a mixture of slogans from the policy wonkish to the straightforwardly abusive. "Boss of the world's largest sex abuse gang" said one, next to "Vatican promotes segregated schools". "Thou shalt not bugger boys" marched next to the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association. "Despicable, twisted, vile hypocrite" marched ahead of "Why not women priests?"

There was a picture of the pope holding a golden swastika, which the organisers apparently took down later, as offensive. I don't know why, since Richard Dawkins later delivered a speech comparing every Catholic in Britain to Adolf Hitler.

But for the most part, the crowd was cheerful and good humoured. Almost at the end, the condom fairy marched past: a young man who seemed like Puck, wearing a spiky headdress of inflated contraceptives.

Whether this energy will dissipate is one of the most interesting questions that the Pope leaves behind him. The crowd was certainly having a lot more fun than the gloomy handful of Paisleyite protestors traditional on these occasions. The face of anti-Catholicism in England has changed forever.

Source here

TAGGED: POPE, SPEECHES, VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM


RELATED CONTENT

Atheists On Religion, Science, And...

- - YouTube - townsquare Comments

Cara Santa Maria (Senior Science Correspondent, Huffingtonpost.com) leads this week's panel on 'The Point' to discuss these issues and more with Michael Shermer (Publisher - Skeptic Magazine), Sean Carroll (Theoretical Physicist - Caltech), and Edward Falzon (author of 'Being Gay Is Disgusting').

WALK DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE ~ 25 - 26...

- - Ancestors Trail Walk Comments

WALK DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE ~ 26 AUGUST 2012 - event begins on Saturday 25 August

Why I won't take part in debate with...

Richard Dawkins - for the Press and... Comments

I was invited several months ago to speak at the Faclan Book Festival in Stornoway and I was delighted to accept, as I have a great affection for the Highlands and Islands but have never visited Lewis and have heard such good things about its beauty and about the friendliness of the islanders.

CCI: DAVE MCKEAN ON DAWKINS, CHRIST AND...

Andy Liegl - CBR (Comic Book... Comments

In front of a packed crowd during his panel titled "My Two Years with Dawkins, Christ and a Small Crab Called Eric" at Comic-Con International in San Diego, artist, writer and indie filmmaker Dave McKean recounted two recent life events on radically opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum: an all-ages book he illustrated with scientist and Atheism proponent Richard Dawkins called "The Magic of Reality," and a film he shot starring Michael Sheen in Port Talbot, Wales called "The Gospel of Us," a modern day interpretation of "The Passion" story chronicling Jesus Christ's final days of life on Earth.

Update - Podcast June 5 Interview with...

Jacob Fortin - The Good Atheist 103 Comments

Update 6/7 - podcast


"Faith: Pretending to know things you don't know"

What Would Darwin Say to Today's...

Eugenie Scott - YouTube -... 17 Comments

Many creationist arguments would be familiar to Darwin. But others--such as Young Earth Creationism--would have baffled him. Genie Scott explores the then and now of creationism. Where: Transylvania University. When: 2/15/2012

MORE

MORE BY ANDREW BROWN

A creationist's 'scientific' disproof...

Andrew Brown - guardian.co.uk 55 Comments

Why 9/11 was good for religion

Andrew Brown - The Guardian 78 Comments

Resurgence of religious debate after September 11 challenges notion that theism is doomed

Church of England tied in knots over...

Andrew Brown - The Guardian 71 Comments

The memo warns: "This situation cannot endure. Exposure of the reality would be nuclear."

Papal aggression

Andrew Brown - guardian.co.uk 82 Comments

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment