Tuesday, 25 March 2008

I didn't make it to Aldermaston ... but thousands did

posted by kathy

I wish I'd been at Aldermaston yesterday. In the end, other responsibilities got in the way. But it's good to know that thousands of people turned up for the 50th anniversary demonstration against nuclear weapons.

It would be better to know that there was no need for such demonstrations. Unfortunately, nuclear weapons are still a danger to the world - and may be a worse danger now than in 1958, when the first Aldermaston march took place.

Further information is available on the CND website. The national site can be found by clicking HERE. You can find the Nottingham CND site HERE. (If you wish to look at relevant sections from Quaker Faith and Practice, click HERE.)

Edited to add: http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2008/03/25/black.uk.peace.symbol.50.cnn> The protestors behind Pat Arrowsmith are Watford Link Group (teenagers from several meetings for those who don't know the jargon) outing to the demo.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Rallying for peace

posted by kathy

I didn't see any other Quakers at yesterday's anti-war demonstration. I travelled on my own, by train, and by the time I arrived in Trafalgar Square the main space was full. I saw a number of peaceful protestors - some enthusiastic, some tired - and a few police.

Police said there were 10,000 people there. The organisers said there were 40,000. I don't know if I was included in their figures. All I know is that Trafalgar Square was full and that some groups were assempling in the adjoining streets. There was room to move on the edges of the square, but not much. I couldn't get a good photo showing everyone there.

I stayed for part of the rally but was tired and my foot hurt (I'm supposed to be resting it). I didn't march to Parliament Square though I'd have liked to get there. I hope the sight of protestors cheered Brian Haw.

I took a few photos at the edge of the crowd and watched the march set off. The persistence of marchers, when government seems entirely unconcerned with both public opinion and the suffering in the Middle East, was encouraging.

I also heard a speaker mention the choice Iraqi asylum seekers are being given between deportation and destitution. The government says that Iraq is safe. But then, the Ministry of Defence seems to be rewriting the history of the past five years and circulating it as lesson plans to schools.

The Quaker testimony to Truth is still needed.