Pope Protesters

I was walking down Lothian Road this morning when I ran in to a large protesting mob with about 500 neon-coated policemen, all awaiting the arrival of pope Benedict XVI.
No matter how largely his visit had been advertised over the last couple of weeks, I had managed to forget all about it (partly due to the conflicting points of view me and the pope  have and partly because I had so much else on my mind).
So, walking down the street, I run into the mob and police, but also many many journalists with all their gear ready to shoot. I immediately cursed myself for not taking my own camera, but realized I could at least have a journalistic chat with one or two of the protesters.

And so I did. I think that I spent about 20 minutes listening to them discussing how unreasonable the pope’s anti-condom regime is, how it promotes AIDS, discriminates homosexuals and how the catholic church is still overflowing with paedophiles. I decided to ask some of them if they were religious themselves, and surprisingly enough a bit over half the people I talked to replied that they were. I thought it was good to see people who can recognize a flaw in society, especially if it is their own.
I left them to show off their banners and posters to the camera’s and radio stations, feeling a bit hyped up. After all, I basically just performed my first tiny bit of journalism.

PS: I realize this is very short and hardly detailed, but James said we could put anything up here. Also, if you happen to go look at the pope, have a good look at the pope mobile. Has there ever been a more ridiculous method of transport?

Eva Deckers

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16 Responses

  1. I agree on the transport! He would score some ‘cool points’ if he got a better set of wheels.
    Well done on getting out there!

  2. Actually – this is a great first blog post Eva. Short, personal but with plenty of colour. So did the protesters say they were Catholic? or just “religious”? That would be a neat angle: the number of Catholics protesting. You’re right: most people think the demonstrators are atheists.
    It’s a shame you didn’t have your camera. Next time. Did anyone manage to get a pic of the Pope??

    • I think they aid chritians, and I never really understood the difference between all the different sort of them. I usually always carry my camera about, but I was just out to get a phone card (which failed btw). I’m sure there will be plenty of photo’s of the pope.

  3. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to Princes Street today as I had to attend my first Spanish class in Craiglockhart. I am gutted because although I dont agree with the views of the Pope, it would be an interesting story to tell my grandchildren! I dont have any photos but I have a friend who recorded a good quality video and is sending it to my phone. If anyone wants to see it just let me know in our next lecture!
    Lauren Elliott

    • If you want to see the pope, for more than two seconds through a thick crowd, I would suggest you go to Rome and visit the Saint Peter’s Square. After all, it’s where he lives.

    • Why don’t you try and upload the video to this site? Or – failing that – we could attempt in next weds.

  4. I didn’t see the pope myself , I stayed as far a way as possible ! Especially after discovering £12000 of the taxs payers money was spent on bringing him here and only 4% of the population are actually catholic- so it would be very interesting to learn if some of those protesters were catholic! I am starting to wonder whether the public see the pope as a celebrity and that is why so many went to see him? it seems in glasgow there is not as big a crowd? Great first blog- 🙂

    • I only talked to some of the protesters. I wouldn’t know the overall average.
      I’m sure the internet will be flooded with videos and photos of the man in a box

    • it was 12million…and as for state visits that might be something worth investigating. if the queen were to visit america, for example, would the americans oay to have her over? perhaps that is the standard procedure for state visits i am not sure…if the host country pays for a state visit then i dont see why anyone should argue with the taxpayer paying – after all the americans dont worship the queen and yet she still goes ovedr and creates a huge hype…

  5. I never managed to get out and see all the action, mainly because all the buses were diverted away from my flat! I did see him drive past my flat, however not in the popemobile. I was looking forward to seeing the popemobile more than the actual pope.
    Lothian and borders police have reported that 125,000 lined up along princes street to see the pope. I wonder how many of them were actually catholic?

  6. A lot of people in my family are Catholics, yet i know that many of them would have been standing within the crowds of protestors this morning if they had been there.

    I completely agree that the Pope’s anti-condom regime is unreasonable and after having recently volunteered in an AIDS orphanage in South Africa and seeing the effects the disease can have, it makes me furious that someone can be in the position to make a difference and yet continue not to do so!

  7. I was at work today and it was really quiet because so many people were there.
    But the customers I did speak to gave me the impression that they didn’t care much about the Pope’s visit anyway. Not very insightful, speaking to people that didn’t have much of an opinion! Although I suppose it shows that there are always going to be people who are unaffected.
    I envy you seeing this though, it must have been interesting to speak to people with such conflicting points of view.
    Great first blog, Eva. 🙂

  8. I really wish I could say that the Pope’s visit made a huge difference to my life, but if I did I would be the definition of a liar. It aggravated me more than anything else. I am desperate to find a job at the moment, and with the Papal traffic diversions there were no buses to take me to Craiglockart for the “job open-day thingy”. Not only that but it cost tax-payers so much money to get him here and he didn’t even account or personally apologise for the child abuse cases. What a disappointment.

    I am not a religious person, although I admire people who are, but I did think that a visit from a figure so prominent would create a much bigger impact in Scotland. It seems that most people are blase about the whole affair. The event was lacking news, although most newspapers tried to squeeze as much drama out of it as they could.
    And apparently we are living in a Third World country, well done Britain!
    Nice blog, Eva. 🙂

  9. i have a 5 minute video of the pope moving down lothian road then i jogged along side the pope-mobile and videoed him…it just looks like it has been fast forwarded. i havent a clue how to put it on here though…

  10. “it is like paying 12 million pounds for a state visit for robert mugabe” – one angry protestor said that to me…i dont know if anyone is interested in it like lol and if i can find out how to get stuff from my phone to this machine then i will put on the pictures of the convoys of the pope, the protestors signs i have, and the video

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