Friday, 19 February 2010

London For a Secular Europe 2010

Following quote is from the BHA wbsite. I was there. I think I'm just visible in the photo. It was an interesting Rally. Very good natured and civilised. There was a sprinkling of more outlandishly dressed attendees, and a few slightly oddball remarks, but most were distinguished only by their very straightforward views and unremarkable dress.

Around 250 demonstrators met Sunday outside Westminster Cathedral and marched to the Italian Embassy, as part of the second annual London for a Secular Europe demonstration.

Addressing the rally, the organiser from the Central London Humanist Group, Marco Tranchino, said:

'The Vatican is not an immutable fact of life. It is relatively young, and in fact it is younger than the current pope. The Vatican was created by the dictator Mussolini on the 11th of February 1929 with the Lateran Treaty and since then it has gained more and more financial privileges and power on the global political scene interfering insidiously in debates in the United Nations, especially against women's rights and gay rights.

‘11th of February 1929; and that's why on the anniversary of the Lateran Treaty, every year in Rome, thousands of Italians demonstrate against the Vatican and its undemocratic power. We are here to support the Italian demonstration "NO VAT" [“No Vatican”] and demand a secular Europe. We don't ask this of the Vatican. We ask it of the democratic institutions, and that's why we are here at the Italian embassy.

‘Last year, the British Humanist Association, together with the Central London Humanist Group, was the first to support this event in solidarity with the Italian march.’

Representatives from several organisations spoke at the rally, including Bob Churchill, Head of Membership at the British Humanist Association. Afterwards he said:

‘The speakers addressed many issues of anti-secularism, including state-funded ‘faith’ schools in the UK, increasing EU collusion with religious institutions, ‘blasphemy’ laws such as the new law in Ireland, and the impact that is felt around the world when European states compromise on the basic principles of secularism.'

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