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.

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