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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Protest march against Blasphemy on the 19th March

On the 19th March 2011 a protets march of around 200 people was organised by Christian Social Link at 10 Downing Street.

Here is some footage of an interview I gave on the day:

I spoke twice during the event and many of you have queried why I had left the protest early and removed my memgaphone.

I had to early firstly to collect my daughter from her dance class at nearby Sylvia Young dance class. Moreover, we had been informed by one of the organiser's John Bosco that the protest would be for 2 hours starting at 12;00 and ending at 14:00. I had already stayed beyond this around 15:30 and was actually for a while trying to contact my wife having left my phone in the car, who had made 3 visits to pick me up earlier, but could not find parking.

Many of you will be aware that I was also incensed by the removal of my banner which was not inflammatary and had been placed on a wall at the front of the protest, not by me I must add, but by a group of young British Christians who felt it had a clear message and imagery.

They had not felt other banner really represented who we were to the wider public. They felt that my banner would at least let people know who we were as a community.

The banner was thrown to the floor and one of the organisers had claimed that the Police had asked for it's removal. The Police later confirmed it was not their decision but the lead organisers. This behaviour upset me greatly as I was invited as aguest speaker and my megaphone had been commandeered without request - just removed from my soldiers after I had been cut very short whilst speaking.

Despite not being asked I allowed my megaphone to be used by Christian Social Link as I felt obliged. But seeing our banner discarded in such a manner was the heigh of inpoliteness. I did not want to cause friction but in my angered state I looked to get away as soon as possible with minimum fuss. Fortunately, my wife was just completing another trip to pick me up and I saved a long walk.

The BPCA has an annual protest we have never prevented any group from joining us, speaking if they let us know in time, or using their banners. We positively encourge the brandishing of your own banner whether an individual or a group, we believe it adds to the flavour of our events and gives heart to participants and onlookers.

I do not wish to hold a grudge on the issue and will continue to extend a hand of friendship to all groups including Christian Social Link if they wish to can speak, brandish their banners and participate as best they can if they choose to come to our event on the 2nd July. They would be welcome guests and I apologise if my early depature has caused any friction. I still believe I was in my right to leave early as my daughter is always my priority.

Perhaps in future if any banner is to be excluded from events organiser should provide ample prior warning - to avoid alienation and conflict...?

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