I thought you’d like to see my pic of the FSM demo I held in Parliament Square (London). I’ve also sent you a copy of the pamphlet I made.
Perhaps a little background is in order.
In 2005, the British Government passed a law called the “Serious Organised Crime And Police Act” (SOCPA). Buried deep within new regulations dealing with money laundering etc was an additional, entirely unrelated provision that made it illegal to protest anywhere within 1 kilometre of Parliament without getting express permission from the Police a week before the protest (yup – protesting is a serious organised crime!). The rules were designed to get rid of a guy called Brian Haw, who has been protesting about Iraq (first sanctions against, and now the war) for 5 years non-stop (it hasn’t worked – he’s still there!).
Since the law came into force on August 1st 2005, people have been arrested AND convicted under SOCPA for such heinous crimes as standing at the Cenotaph (the UK’s national war memorial) reading the names of British soldiers killed in Iraq.
Under the principal of “defiance through compliance”, the 3rd Wednesday of every month has seen a series of Mass Lone Demonstrations against SOCPA. The idea is this: what if loads of protesters all turned up at the same time all wanting individual permission from the police to demonstrate? As the police can only really turn down an application on the grounds of public safety or public order, that means if 100 people turn up and apply for permission, then the unfortunate police have to license and approve 100 lone demonstrations. So we all troop down to Charing Cross police station a week before and apply. Come the 3rd Wednesday, we all meet in Parliament Square to demonstrate about – well whatever you feel like.
Last month I read in the paper that since the Creationists have had an arse whipping over “intelligent design” in US schools, they’ve turned their attentions to the UK, on account of we don’t have rules about the separation of church and state.
In September a creationist group calling themselves “Truth in Science” sent a pack to every secondary school (read ‘high school’ if you’re in the US) promoting the teaching of intelligent design as a counterpoint to the proven science of evolution, and including lesson plans and materials for GCSE students (GCSEs are the UK’s centralised secondary education school exit exams).
As it is just as important for UK students to learn about the Flying Spaghetti Monster alongside the scientific theory of evolution and non-scientific metaphysical ideas such as â€œIntelligent Designâ€, I figured I’d use my Mass Lone Demo for this month to spread the truth of His Noodliness to the people in and around Parliament Square.
It worked really well – I made an anglicised version of the FSM leaflet to distribute and stood by the gates of Parliament in full pirate dress extolling the virtues of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. Mostly I got just smiles, but there were enough “yars” from people to make me think there are a lot of closet pirates in London. I even got some people to stop and listen to my brief description of the history of the Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, how the FSM created the world and why they should become pirates as well.
Link to propaganda materials