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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Protest the Pope march through London on day of Hyde Park mass

The Protest the Pope campaign has announced its large-scale march through London on Saturday 18 September – the day that the Pope will be holding his outdoor mass in Hyde Park.

The protest march will assemble at 1pm at Hyde Park Corner – Piccadilly Downslip (full details will be made available nearer the time). It will then proceed through central London and arrive in the vicinity of Parliament Square (details currently being discussed with New Scotland Yard). Please put this date in your diary and make every effort to be there. Spread the news of this event as far as you can. Local groups might consider getting a coach party to come and if you’re coming from outside London and could offer a lift to someone in your area, please let us know and we’ll put you in touch.

Before then, a public meeting to form the Richmond Coalition Against the State Visit of the Pope will be held at Richmond Library, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond TW9 1TP on Thursday 12 August at 7.30pm.

This is in response to Ratzinger’s first event in London, on Friday 17th September, which will be at St Mary’s University College in Twickenham, just down the road from Richmond, where he will talk about his views on Education. A spokesperson for the Protest the Pope Campaign said: “We reject the promotion of segregated education and state funding of faith schools. This is why the Campaign will support a local coalition of associations based in South West London that are organizing protests on the 17th September in Twickenham: a day that will be themed Education Day. Terry Sanderson, Keith Porteous Wood and Peter Tatchell will be speaking. More details.

As its contribution to the Protest the Pope Campaign, the NSS is staging a short season of iconic and deeply moving films in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. They will be screened from Monday 13 September to Thursday 16 September, timed to stimulate debate in the days running up to Ratzinger’s arrival. The movies cover such issues as the Magdalene Laundries, child abuse, the persecution of native Canadians by the Church and a feature film about Catholic corruption in Mexico, admission is only £3. Full details of the films and how to book.

Details of another film and debate

Meanwhile it has been announced that the Government has moved to change the law to prevent an arrest warrant being issued against Ratzinger while he is in the UK and a women’s group called Catholic Women’s Ordination will put the slogan “Pope Benedict Ordain Women Now” on buses throughout September. Read more.

Also see: Protest the Pope: T-shirt and book – get yours now

Published Fri, 23 Jul 2010