Yesterday afternoon my son and I were caught up in Parliament Square in London.
We took the train to London, first to attend a Traidcraft event being held at Amnesty International near Liverpool Street station, afterwards we decided to tour around London for a bit, like tourists.
My son suggested the Gherkin, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square, “because these are cool British landmarks.”
Once we got to Parliament Square at about 1.30pm, we were surprised to be surrounded by hundreds (soon became thousands) of people. Suddenly helicopters appeared, roads were closed, police were busy, and sophisticated filming equipment was prominent amongst selfie sticks in the crowd.
Someone told us excitedly that “Jeremy Corbyn will be here in a minute.” This activist told me the news that Jeremy Corbyn had just become the new leader of the Labour Party.
When I got back and listened to the BBC news and read the online news, I found the focus was about people marching through the streets of central London in a rally supporting the rights of refugees.
However the rally was not just about the ‘open the borders’ message.
Protesters were waving banners of all sorts. Messages included were: “Tell Cameron refugees welcome here”, “Don’t bomb Syria”, “Campaign for nuclear disarmament”, and some against child abuse.
The rally gave me and my son an opportunity to touch upon war, migration, refugees, compassion, and politics. The current crisis is saddening, but I would try to challenge my son to discuss the topics from different perspectives.
Here are some photographs I took yesterday, to show you a taste of the rally in London.