This is the speech I made at the rally against the SDL this time last year, when Edinburgh Council gave them permission for a short march from Abbyhill to the East End in May 2012.
“We’re still here – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, of all faiths and none – we’re here, lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight, and transgender – young and old, Scots of all ethnicities and cultures, against the SDL. Some Tories have been telling David Cameron that the reason he’s slipped in the polls isn’t the cuts or unemployment, it’s the reform of the House of Lords and gay marriage. We’re here because we believe in working peacefully, democratically, respecting differences, to get equality and human rights.
“One of the Equality Network supporters of this march was telling me as we walked along about how years ago he and his boyfriend had gone to a BNP march in London, dressed in lumberjack shirts and mini-skirts, to dance in front of the BNPers and taunt them.
“We know what they’re like. They cannot bear difference. They cannot bear diversity. They want their rigid and cold ideas enforced on all of us.
Filed under Politics, Racism
There’s a breeding pair of mute swans on the Water of Leith: they have a whiteness of cygnets every year.
Today, the Yes Scotland campaign is having a march. The main reason for the march seems to be so that the march planned for 21st September 2013 is not the first march for independence.
Next Saturday, there will be another march: I expect it to be quite a bit smaller, but much more important. Alex Salmond won’t turn out for it, there won’t be any fancy rally in Princes Street gardens.
Filed under Politics, Racism
Update, 5th July: The BNP will be back outside this KFC on Saturday 7th July from 12:30. UAF plan counterprotest.
First I heard they were going to be there was this morning.
They claimed they were there because they were protesting animal cruelty. Also because this KFC uses halal chickens, and they complained they were being “forced” to eat halal meat.
Most of the time we were there (three of us) there were only three of them.
(The man in the brown jacket isn’t BNP: he’s just one of several customers that went in and out without hindrance during their demo. There were several police there, too. The man with the union jack on his cap kept raising his BNP sign to cover his face whenever he saw a camera pointed in his direction.)
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, and David Simpson, Network Rail’s route managing director, wrote:
“Thank you for your patience. We are committed to giving more people than ever before the opportunity to travel by rail.”
Unless they’re old. Or have a disability that makes stairs difficult. Or have small children. Or need to travel with heavy luggage.
On 16th April I wrote:
Network Rail want to ban coaches, cars, and taxis from Waverley Station. They’ve come up with a range of excuses why this is a good idea, but I’m pretty certain the real reason is that if they get rid of the taxi rank at the south side of the station, they can have a new row of stalls or shops there. Continue reading
Last night Edinburgh held the annual fertility and beginning-of-summer ritual, Edinburgh’s Beltane Fire festival.
“The performance has two main characters – the May Queen who represents the mother earth, and the Green Man who represents nature and the energy of summer. The festival takes the form of a procession around Calton Hill following the Green Man in his winter form, meeting various groups along the way, such as the Red Men and their Beastie Drummers. It ends with a ritual killing and rebirth of the Green Man, stripped of his winter guise and resurrected in his spring form. We then light the bonfire on the hill, representing the heat and light of the summer.”
People say Beltane‘s not what it used to be, but then… they always did.
I was not there. (The last time I went was in 1989.)
BBC Weather is set at Right Miserable for the next few days. So… still an atheist.
On 28th April 1968, the 1967 Abortion Act became law in England, Scotland, and Wales.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reminds its members:
For the twelve years before the Act, abortion was the leading cause of maternal mortality in England and Wales. The first Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in 1952-54 reported 153 deaths from abortion, which was “procured .. by the woman herself in 58 instances.” The terminal event in 50% of illegal cases was sepsis but in 25% it was air embolus from “the injection under pressure of some fluid, nearly always soapy water, into the cervix or into the vagina.” The Report commented that most of the women were “mothers of families”. After 1968 maternal deaths from illegal abortion fell slowly but did not disappear until 1982.
This Saturday 28th April a different kind of organisation from the RCOG
will mark the Abortion Act becoming law: SPUC plan to hold a “kerbside protest” in cities across the UK, including Edinburgh.
The RCOG works to save the lives of both women and babies: SPUC tells lies.
Tomorrow (18th April) is your very last day to get registered to vote in the council elections on 3rd May. You’ve got till 5pm.
There were two hustings tomorrow. But the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce “Business Hustings” with all the party leaders on 18th April has been cancelled. (Contact them for information.) The other hustings, hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses and the Evening News, has all male candidates the panellists are: Jeremy Balfour (Conservative), Tom Buchanan (SNP), Andrew Burns (Labour), Tim McKay (Lib. Dem), and Chas Booth (Scottish Green Party). It’s in Bread Street from 6pm and may require a ticket for admission.
On Thursday 19th April there are four hustings:
This is what it’s like to move around Waverley Station, right now, in a wheelchair.
On a Saturday in January last year, I slipped on a patch of ice masked by snow. I felt my foot twisting inside my boot in a way it just shouldn’t have been meant to. I landed on thick snow, and that was the last time I walked anywhere without crutches for the next six weeks.