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Watch: Thousands Protest Pope Benedict in London


Thousands turned out in London over the weekend to protest Pope Benedict's visit to the UK.

Watch an excellent video diary on the march, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Press Association reports:

Jesus "Organisers said as many as 20,000 humanists, secularists and human rights campaigners took part in the central London march - ten times the number expected. They gathered to air their opposition to the Pope's teachings on a range of issues from gay rights and women priests to the use of condoms and clerical sex abuse. The demonstration ended with a series of speeches from humanist luminaries, during which eminent scientist Richard Dawkins rounded on the Pontiff as 'an enemy of humanity'. Protesters gathered near Hyde Park Corner for the Protest the Pope rally. Some held aloft banners stating: "The Pope is wrong - put a condom on" and 'Pope protects paedophile priests'. Among those in attendance was human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who hit out at the use of taxpayers' money being used to fund the visit. He said: 'The Vatican isn't a state, it is not recognised as a country by the UN. To give the Pope head of state status is wrong and to give him immunity against prosecution is wrong - no-one should be above the law.'"

Pink News also has a write-up.

Watch clips of Tatchell and the march, AFTER THE JUMP...

Activist Peter Tatchell on the Pope protests:

And a video diary of the 'PRotest the Pope' march:

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  1. Protesting IN AN OBNOXIOUS MANNER (like dudes in nun gear drag) achieves NOTHING. There are only three effective methods that work:

    1) Work diligently within the system, especially behind the scenes, where you get bigger bang for your buck.

    2) If you must protest publicly, be as polite and sane as possible. The most effective public demonstrations I've experienced are Quakers / pacifists who will simply stand quietly in a line with a (polite,non-vulgar) protest sign for hours at a time. People always notice them because they are the opposite of typical loud, obnoxious, rude demonstrations.

    3) Disciplined violence. Empires, for example, have never been brought down through words alone; violence has always been necessary. The United States of America was achieved through violence. Ditto the French Republic and many others.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 19, 2010 5:12:19 PM

  2. Oh yeah, rb, you hit the nail on the head with 1). Closeted homosexual priests have been working assiduously "behind the scenes" for centuries in the catholic church to get us to "inherently disordered". WTG, DOUCHEBAGS! Your not-achievement will be forgotten. As to the bang, the pedophilia scandal more than makes up for that. And the buck that paid for it came from STUPID FUCKING HACKS who promote "working behind the scenes" to promote change and tolerance in bigoted institutions.

    Seriously, I feel like my IQ takes a hit whenever I read a lot of the comments here.

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 19, 2010 5:25:35 PM

  3. Like it or not, the Vatican is recognized as an independent entity, ergo has nation status and all that comes with it.

    Posted by: daniel | Sep 19, 2010 5:58:51 PM

  4. An independent nation that's harboring hundreds of known and suspected child rapists.

    We'd order a military strike on any other country harboring a similar percentage of fugitive child rapists.

    NAMBLA should declare itself a religion and setup shop as an independent state.

    Posted by: Jacknasty | Sep 19, 2010 6:44:26 PM

  5. Tank,

    I'm not defending at all what this organization, the RC Church, has tolerated and enabled, regarding abuse. It's unbelievable state and federal prosecutors haven't done much more. NOBODY should be above the law.

    BTW: The main reason why New England as a region has statistically the least religious people in America (because of the huge number of Irish, Italian, French-Canadian, Portuguese, Polish, and other ethnic whites, Catholicism is/was the dominant religion in N.E.) has a lot to do with people born and raised Catholic but who are no longer religious because of the various scandals and unacceptable ideology. It's interesting that the region of America probably most nominally Catholic is also the most gay friendly and politically so-called progressive.

    Organized religions IMO get away with far too much in America and elsewhere, and I'm just talking about abuse, but also things like financial fraud.

    And of course I understand why many gays are at the forefront of anti-religious activity since 99% of religions basically condemn homosexuality.

    But I still think a lot of these street protests and demonstrations are obnoxious bullshit that achieve nothing really positive...might make those demonstrating feel good about themselves, that's about it.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 19, 2010 8:09:00 PM

  6. If you haven't seen it, here is a song written for the (at the time...upcoming) Pope's visit to the UK. It is hilarious!!

    Posted by: CB | Sep 19, 2010 8:26:07 PM

  7. Any voice of opposition has barely been mentioned in US media... I'm SOooo glad these people protested. If any other "world leader" called gay people an evil threat on modern society they would be met with ridicule & ostracism, not a f'n parade & a visit w/ Queen!

    He keeps apologizing for abuse, while protecting perpetrators & their enablers from prosecution... and demanding that people not use condoms regardless of all we know about HIV... he should be charged with crimes against humanity.

    I'm surprised the crowd of protest wasn't larger!

    Posted by: stephen | Sep 19, 2010 9:04:01 PM

  8. The Roman Catholic church today is a mere shadow of its former self -- politically, financially and in size.

    Mark Twain predicted it would disappear and it is ahead of schedule.

    The protests do have an effect -- they wake people up!

    Posted by: Good Riddance | Sep 19, 2010 10:46:16 PM

  9. It's a shame the protests are portrayed as secularist and humanist protests. I suspect there are quite a few devout Catholics unhappy about the Pope's visit.

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 19, 2010 11:35:43 PM

  10. let me again preface my comment: I am not religious, and certainly don't approve of the RC church, or any other Christian denominations demonizing homosexuals; ditto any other religion or groups demonizing gays, such as Jews or Muslims.

    That said, you're delusional if you think the Catholic Church is going anywhere or seriously about to collapse. It's existed for 2000 years and survived and prospered long after great empires have come and gone. The atheistic worker's paradise of the Soviet Union lasted 80 odd years, the thousand year Third Reich around 11.5 years..a blink of an eye. The British Empire lasted perhaps 200 years,but really only thrived and reached it's zenith and collapsed in a span of roughly 100 years. The RC church is larger than all Protestant denominations combined and it's still fabulously wealthy and influential.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 19, 2010 11:43:47 PM

  11. Here is author/actor, openly gay Stephen Fry's take on the Catholic Church as part of The Intelligence² Debate

    Posted by: CB | Sep 20, 2010 2:24:04 AM

  12. It never fails to amaze me at how inept the catholic leadership is at taking responsibility for it's own sins.

    Here's what Pope Benedict should have said:

    Posted by: Tom | Sep 20, 2010 2:38:04 PM

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