When I went to one of the first protests against the planned Pope's visit to UK there were only about fifty of us standing outside in the cold, on a rather windy day in March 2010. Now look at the picture. Thousands.
As we marched from Hyde Park Corner down Piccadilly people kept joining in, stepping down from the pavements and mixing with us. There were celebrities walking just in front of me e.g. Professor Richard Dawkins and various people from media. As we chanted: " Children's rights are Human Rights", children were joining us on their bicycles. Mothers joined with children in pushchairs and Dads with babies in their arms.
There were women's rights protesters, homosexual and transgender Human Rights Activists, as well as those opposed to racism. Pro-science lobby was there as well with some protesters carrying placards saying: "I believe in Science".
People waved from balconies, cars and buses in support. Some cooks in a posh Piccadilly restaurant got their napkins made into Papal hats as they waved to us from their balcony.
The organizers did not expect so many people to turn up so when we arrived at Downing Street we had to spread all the way down to Parliament Square and up to Trafalgar Square.
Recent Pope's attack on atheist being cause of Nazism was quickly dispelled by Professor Dawkins who read a paragraph from Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler and reminded all that Hitler was a Roman Catholic.
I looked around and noticed people dressed as giant condoms with placards pointing to Pope's role in the spread of AIDS because of his opposition to contraception. Many condoms were made into balloons. Protesters chanted: "Contraception saves lives! Contraception saves lives!"
Some gay people wore pink Papal hats. There was a Papesse as well made up as a witch.
Large group of Japanese adolescent visiting London waved in support in Haymarket.
There was a huge amount of international media presence and many, many photographs were taken.
Police were quite nervous at the start of the demonstration as they could see a very, very large crowd forming right behind them. Two helicopters hovered above us as if permanently suspended in two fixed spots over Picadilly. They got a good view so they were not moving on.
Educational activists joined in some carrying placards that all religious education is a form of child abuse: teaching untruths to vulnerable.
I carried the large banner (Canadian Holocaust) with two of the Teddie Bears given to me by my patients looking over the banner. Press took many photographs. But did you see any? Reverend Kevin Annett, himself was there. A brave man, indeed, whose integrity must be remembered.
Speakers outlined Pope Ratzinger's knowledge of child abuse scandals and how he covered up for them for many years. Police were asked to arrest him. They averted their eyes from us as protesters shouted: And all British Prime Ministers knew about it.
Some protesters and speakers came all the long way from USA and Canada. Victims of abuse by clergy spoke of their ordeal what it involved, shame and guilt and pain for so many years.
Progressive Catholics (including some priests) joined the protest and spoke of the need for reform.
Vatican was not accepted as a state by the protesters.
Unionists were collecting signatures against the proposed government cuts pointing that government was wasting money on this state visit.
Please, sign this Petition: