Opinion Former Article

BHA: Protest the Pope update

12noon onwards Protest the Pope spokesperson available for interview

1.30pm protestors begin to assemble

2pm speech by Sue Cox, sex abuse survivor

2.10pm 'Stand by me' sung by soloist

2.20pm performance by BHA Choir

2.30pm march moves off and proceeds through central London via Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall. Map available here.

3.30pm rally outside Downing Street featuring:
Barbara Blaine, SNAP, the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests
Clara Connolly, Women Against Fundamentalism
Andrew Copson, British Humanist Association
Professor Richard Dawkins, scientist
Dr Ben Goldacre, journalist
Johann Hari, journalist
Father Bernard J Lynch, an openly gay catholic priest
Maryam Namazie, One Law for All
Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters
Terry Sanderson, National Secular Society
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

For further comment and information on the day, contact Andrew Copson on 07534 248596.
Press are encouraged to attend and will not need specific permission to film. To organise filming logistics, please contact richard.watson@met.police.uk

Notes

Generic contact details for Protest the Pope
Pepper Harow or Naomi Phillips on 020 7462 4992 for media enquiries, or email at pepper@humanism.org.uk
Out of office hours - 07534 248596

Protest the Pope - www.protest-the-pope.org.uk

The diverse groups who support this campaign have many different reasons for not approving of the State Visit to the UK by the Pope in September 2010. They all however share the following view:

That the Pope, as a citizen of Europe and the leader of a religion with many adherents in the UK, is of course free to enter and tour our country. However, as well as a religious leader, the Pope is a head of state and the state and organisation of which he is head has been responsible for:

opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and
the spread of AIDS
promoting segregated education
denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women
opposing equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people
failing to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation.
rehabilitating the holocaust denier bishop Richard Williamson and the appeaser of Hitler, the war-time Pope, Pius XII.

The state of which the Pope is the head has also resisted signing many major human rights treaties and has formed its own treaties ('concordats') with many states which negatively affect the human rights of citizens of those states.
As a head of state, the Pope is an unsuitable guest of the UK government and should not be accorded the honour and recognition of a state visit to our country.

Pepper Harow
Campaigns Officer

British Humanist Association (BHA)
1 Gower Street, London WC1E 6HD
Tel: 020 74624992
Fax: 020 7079 3588

www.humanism.org.uk
Find us on social networking sites via www.humanism.org.uk

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