The organisers claimed 20,000 people joined the “Protest the Pope” march in London, from Hyde Park Corner to Downing Street, on 18 September.
One of the organisers, Peter Tatchell, said: “Among the marchers were Catholics and other Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and people of no faith. The protest was not against the Catholic church or Catholic people. It was against the Pope and his often harsh, intolerant teachings; especially his opposition to contraception, women priests, gay equality, abortion, fertility treatment, embryonic stem cell research and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV.”
A few AWL members were there, pretty much the only presence from the organised left. (Two SWPers came to petition about cuts, but did not want to discuss the Pope, the Catholic Church, religion, etc; there were a few members of the Anarchist Federation there.) Solidarity had a brisk sale, the AWL comrades there selling all the papers they’d been able to bring.
Unfortunately there were many more thousands in Hyde Park of Catholics who had come to join a “Prayer Vigil” with the Pope...