What do you do when you organise an anti-anti-JS:TO protest, and no Christians turn up? Go down the pub, of course.
“Roger Geowell” reports on a quiet Friday evening in Nottingham:
We arrived an hour early due to the Royal Centre apparently changing the time of the performance but not updating it on their website. No problem – we set up in the pub across the road and had a few pints, looking out of the window and expecting hundreds of Christian Voice protestors to turn up at any minute.
We waited, and waited, and waited, and were just about to call it a night and head out for some more beers, when an elderly couple were spotted handing out the infamous yellow leaflets. We decided it would be rather cruel for a small mob of us armed with placards and a megaphone to take on a couple of pensioners, so we watched them for a few minutes and continued to wait.
Eventually, we decided to set up in the bar right next to the Royal Centre. We found a few tables outside, rested our signs in a prominent position against the railings, and sat there some more. The elderly couple were leaving just as we sat down, so we considered it “job done” and just decided to enjoy a nice evening with some beers.
After a short while, a lone protester turned up and handed out a few leaflets. We felt sorry for him, so invited him to come and sit with us and have a drink. Turns out he wasn’t part of Christian Voice, just a local Christian bloke standing up for his religion.
Despite the offer of a pint, he politely refused and had a coke instead. A vegan among our numbers then got off onto an interesting ethical conversation about how swearing doesn’t really affects anyone, but how factory farming and eating meat are both cruel and environmentally damaging.
An attempted deal was proposed: vegan chap would refrain from swearing for a month (no mean feat) if Christian chap would refrain from eating meat for a month (no meat feast). Unfortunately, we couldn’t persuade our Christian friend that this was a good deal, so our foul-mouthed vegan comrade is still at large.
Despite the lack of any real action, we concluded that Christian Voice were perhaps operating remotely, using the power of prayer. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to work, because quite a lot of people went in to see JS:TO, including some who told us that they felt disappointed with the lack of protestors outside, and asked for some of our leaflets anyway.
All in all, the most ridiculous and amusing counter protest ever – we just turned up and sat around drinking beer, with no “ignorant bigots” in sight – 100% success!