Scantily-clad angels protest Pope visit to Twickenham as protesters turn out in force

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Defiant: Protesters donned costumes to protest the Pope's anti-gay stance in Twickenham today Defiant: Protesters donned costumes to protest the Pope's anti-gay stance in Twickenham today

Protesters carrying placards with the message “no state visits for Pope” and shouting "resign, resign" greeted Pope Benedict XVI as he arrived in Twickenham today.

A human barricade to block the Pope’s entry to St Mary's University College failed to materialise - but more than 300 protesters lined the road to express their anger at his visit.

Among them were three gay men dressed as golden angels, protesting against the Pope's views on homosexuality.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who spoke out against the Pope at a Richmond LGBT forum, was among the crowd in Waldegrave Road this morning.

He said: “We defend the right of the Pope to come to Britain but we also assert our right to protest his often very harsh, intolerant views.”

He accused Pope Benedict of being “out of touch with British opinion” on topics such as the use of condoms, gender equality and HIV.

His view was shared by Rhiannon Bell, 30, of Spring Terrace, Richmond, who said: “If he wants people to accept him he should come down a level.

“He needs to get down from cloud cuckoo land.”

Many of the protesters waved signs attacking the pontiff’s handling of the child abuse scandal, while others hit out at teachings against the use of condoms.

Rosanna Fay, 46, of Strawberry Vale, said: “I’ve never demonstrated before but I feel the Pope’s protection of priests that abuse children is appalling and I also think it’s a terrible thing to oppose the use of condoms in today’s society.”

Teddington resident Michael Bishop, 23, of Fairfax Road, added: “He holds such a responsible position in the world. So many people dwell upon his words and to say things like condoms should not be used is just so irresponsible.”

Twickenham-based radio station Gaydar sent a host of scantily-clad angels to join the protest to highlight the pontiff’s anti-gay stance.

Writing on the radio’s website, managing director Trevor Martin said: “The Pope is visiting the home of Gaydar and our angels are here to welcome the Pope to the UK that prides itself on equality, civil partnership and gay rights.”

The Pope visited St Mary’s University College to host a celebration of Catholic education with 3,500 schoolchildren from England, Scotland and Wales.

The outdoor event, held in the university’s playing fields, was also used to mark the inauguration of the John Paul II Sports Foundation, named in honour of the pontiff’s predecessor.

However, a number of the university’s students were left unimpressed by the disruption the Pope’s visit had caused them, including 20-year-old Sarah Merr who is in the middle of rehearsing a play set to be staged on Monday.

The drama student said: “We’re rehearsing for a show at the moment but we’ve been refused space to rehearse for the last three days.

“They booked out every single room. We’re going to be three days behind.”

Send us your pictures or commentary by emailing gholt@london.newsquest.co.uk or via Twitter at twitter.com/richmondtimes.

Comments (15)

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1:40am Sat 18 Sep 10

RevDrHunt says...

One woman, viewing a banner proclaiming "Holy Joe Ratzinger: concealed abusive priests for 20 years; excommunicated rape victim aged 9; promotes sexually transmitted infection; promotes poverty; destroys rainforests; peddles superstition and sectarianism; exploits and fleeces the gullible", commented: "That just about sums it up".

Just a few hours later, at a meeting of SOARS, (Society for Old Age Rational Suicide), several speakers mentioned a further aspect of papal inhumanity: dogmatic opposition to assisted dying or euthanasia.
One woman, viewing a banner proclaiming "Holy Joe Ratzinger: concealed abusive priests for 20 years; excommunicated rape victim aged 9; promotes sexually transmitted infection; promotes poverty; destroys rainforests; peddles superstition and sectarianism; exploits and fleeces the gullible", commented: "That just about sums it up". Just a few hours later, at a meeting of SOARS, (Society for Old Age Rational Suicide), several speakers mentioned a further aspect of papal inhumanity: dogmatic opposition to assisted dying or euthanasia. RevDrHunt
  • Score: 0

10:16am Sat 18 Sep 10

archipelago says...

Earlier this year the RTT claimed that 3000 protesters would turn up and embarked on a long campaign of negative publicity to drum up support.

Of the 300 protesters that did turn up, most were objecting on theological grounds. However the RTT has to publicise the angels and their handful of sympathisers to hide the fact that its long running campaign failed so spectacularly.
Earlier this year the RTT claimed that 3000 protesters would turn up and embarked on a long campaign of negative publicity to drum up support. Of the 300 protesters that did turn up, most were objecting on theological grounds. However the RTT has to publicise the angels and their handful of sympathisers to hide the fact that its long running campaign failed so spectacularly. archipelago
  • Score: 0

11:02am Sat 18 Sep 10

EdwinaWaugh says...

This so-called news paper (or whatever) censors a letter of mine because I used the word for a female dog. It starts with a B and ends with an H. They placed stars instead of the three missing letters. Same when I wrote about a small horse-like animal, starts with an A, and has two letters. They wrote A**. Yet they print a blog by sjames6621, London in its entire form. Typical of much that lives in this area? Carry on Richmond and Twickenham!
This so-called news paper (or whatever) censors a letter of mine because I used the word for a female dog. It starts with a B and ends with an H. They placed stars instead of the three missing letters. Same when I wrote about a small horse-like animal, starts with an A, and has two letters. They wrote A**. Yet they print a blog by sjames6621, London in its entire form. Typical of much that lives in this area? Carry on Richmond and Twickenham! EdwinaWaugh
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Sun 19 Sep 10

Twickenham Bob says...

Gaydar - should be ashamed of themselves. It’s outrageous that they send semi-naked models to picket an event called "The Big Assembly" - an event organised for young school children to attend. The police should have stopped it for the sake of the young children.
.
Gaydar make most of their money by charging gay prostitutes to advertise on their website. Many of whom are young and vulnerable teenagers who have been pushed into selling their bodies though drug abuse or homelessness. Any involvement in such prostitution is exploitative and wrong.
.
Gaydar have no place lecturing anyone else about morals or what is or not acceptable when they themselves are directly involved in promoting prostitution.
Gaydar - should be ashamed of themselves. It’s outrageous that they send semi-naked models to picket an event called "The Big Assembly" - an event organised for young school children to attend. The police should have stopped it for the sake of the young children. . Gaydar make most of their money by charging gay prostitutes to advertise on their website. Many of whom are young and vulnerable teenagers who have been pushed into selling their bodies though drug abuse or homelessness. Any involvement in such prostitution is exploitative and wrong. . Gaydar have no place lecturing anyone else about morals or what is or not acceptable when they themselves are directly involved in promoting prostitution. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: 0

9:44pm Sun 19 Sep 10

tim_lennon says...

Perhaps I went to a different website to Twickenham Bob, but the Gaydar radio site offered me an advert for Halfords. Maybe in his rush to condemn, he visited gaydar.co.uk which is a dating site ...

Besides, what's wrong with children knowing that there are gay people? The picture on the site is showing less flesh than the average expose in the Sun or the Metro.
Perhaps I went to a different website to Twickenham Bob, but the Gaydar radio site offered me an advert for Halfords. Maybe in his rush to condemn, he visited gaydar.co.uk which is a dating site ... Besides, what's wrong with children knowing that there are gay people? The picture on the site is showing less flesh than the average expose in the Sun or the Metro. tim_lennon
  • Score: 0

11:32pm Sun 19 Sep 10

Twickenham Bob says...

Tim - explaining gaydar as a dating site is more than a tad misleading.
The main gaydar sites tag line is "Probably the Best F##*ing Website in the World - and it concentrates on people who want sex on the spot instantly without any date or dinner beforehand.
Tonight there were over 430 prostitutes online in the central London area - and over a thousand across the country - so the promoting prostitution element of the site isnt a small sideline.
Protests have their time and place - overtly sexual protests have no place infront of young Children.
Henry Badenhorst, the owner of Gaydar should be ashamed of himself.
Tim - explaining gaydar as a dating site is more than a tad misleading. The main gaydar sites tag line is "Probably the Best F##*ing Website in the World - and it concentrates on people who want sex on the spot instantly without any date or dinner beforehand. Tonight there were over 430 prostitutes online in the central London area - and over a thousand across the country - so the promoting prostitution element of the site isnt a small sideline. Protests have their time and place - overtly sexual protests have no place infront of young Children. Henry Badenhorst, the owner of Gaydar should be ashamed of himself. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Mon 20 Sep 10

tim_lennon says...

Bob,

Gaydar Radio: www.gaydarradio.com/


Gaydar: www.gaydar.co.uk

The protest was organised, according to the article, by Gaydar radio.

Even so, Gaydar is clearly a dating site: who are you to judge gay men on how they approach sex? And who are you to accuse anyone on the site of being a prostitute? By your standards, anyone who advertises to meet someone online is a prostitute.
Bob, Gaydar Radio: www.gaydarradio.com/ Gaydar: www.gaydar.co.uk The protest was organised, according to the article, by Gaydar radio. Even so, Gaydar is clearly a dating site: who are you to judge gay men on how they approach sex? And who are you to accuse anyone on the site of being a prostitute? By your standards, anyone who advertises to meet someone online is a prostitute. tim_lennon
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Mon 20 Sep 10

Twickenham Bob says...

Tim
.
Gaydar Radio and Gaydar are the same organization, in the same office with the same staff owned by the same people so there is no real difference between them.They use the gaydar radio name when they don't want the sleazy connotations that go with their main website.
.
Secondly - the gaydar site has an extensive prostitution section - and aside from the normal dating / hooking up profiles. On Sunday evening their were over 430 people online in the central London area who were people explicitly selling sex whilst there were several thousand profiles of people with non-commercial profiles online.
.
With regards to commercial profiles there are thousands of them listed on that website which makes Gaydar a lot of money and thus they are profiteering (on a large scale) on this very exploitative trade.
.
Young gay men are particularly vulnerable and organizations such as the Albert Kennedy Trust have written some excellent reports that highlight the reality of gay prostitution and the damage it does. The owners of Gaydar are intelligent people and know the damage that it inflicts on many people who sell sex. They have reflected on this, and have decided to continue to carry on and take the money.
.
Just because an organization is gay doesn't mean its beyond reproach or cant be criticized. Any company that is involved in promoting prostitution to the extent gaydar should have the spotlight well and truly directed at it.
.
There are many other gay dating websites about that are not involved in prostitution, one such being Grinder.
Tim . Gaydar Radio and Gaydar are the same organization, in the same office with the same staff owned by the same people so there is no real difference between them.They use the gaydar radio name when they don't want the sleazy connotations that go with their main website. . Secondly - the gaydar site has an extensive prostitution section - and aside from the normal dating / hooking up profiles. On Sunday evening their were over 430 people online in the central London area who were people explicitly selling sex whilst there were several thousand profiles of people with non-commercial profiles online. . With regards to commercial profiles there are thousands of them listed on that website which makes Gaydar a lot of money and thus they are profiteering (on a large scale) on this very exploitative trade. . Young gay men are particularly vulnerable and organizations such as the Albert Kennedy Trust have written some excellent reports that highlight the reality of gay prostitution and the damage it does. The owners of Gaydar are intelligent people and know the damage that it inflicts on many people who sell sex. They have reflected on this, and have decided to continue to carry on and take the money. . Just because an organization is gay doesn't mean its beyond reproach or cant be criticized. Any company that is involved in promoting prostitution to the extent gaydar should have the spotlight well and truly directed at it. . There are many other gay dating websites about that are not involved in prostitution, one such being Grinder. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Mon 20 Sep 10

tim_lennon says...

Admittedly I've not registered for it, so haven't looked in detail, but I can't see anyone offering sex for sale. Prostitution is an issue for gay and straight communities, and you don't have to be gaydar to seem to be making money from it - I don't think all those people in the back pages of Time Out are really providing massages.

Even so, going back to your original complaint: what's wrong with the protest? They're wearing what you might see at an average swimming pool, and making a clear protest about the church's approach to gay people. Are the children at the event likely to have been blissfully unaware that someone can be gay? What is it you want to protect children from, exactly?
Admittedly I've not registered for it, so haven't looked in detail, but I can't see anyone offering sex for sale. Prostitution is an issue for gay and straight communities, and you don't have to be gaydar to seem to be making money from it - I don't think all those people in the back pages of Time Out are really providing massages. Even so, going back to your original complaint: what's wrong with the protest? They're wearing what you might see at an average swimming pool, and making a clear protest about the church's approach to gay people. Are the children at the event likely to have been blissfully unaware that someone can be gay? What is it you want to protect children from, exactly? tim_lennon
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Mon 20 Sep 10

Twickenham Bob says...

This month Gaydar has 565 commercial profiles for London area alone this month. They charge £45 per month for a commercial profile - that’s £25,425 per month or £305,100 per year just for London. Considering it’s a worldwide operation you can see the amount of money they are making out of prostitution.
.
Other organisations that run adverts for prostitutes on this scale also receive a large amount of adverse comment. For example Craig List cam has come under fire for facilitating prostitution http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/technology-109
12548
.
Young children - which this 'Big Assembly' event was aimed at - should be protected from sexualised protests (it would be equally bad if playboy had sent playboy bunnies) and intimidating protests. Children should not be subjected to all the worries and pains of the adult world – they should be allowed to enjoy their childhood.
.
There have been adequate opportunities for people to protest at other events. Deciding to try and disrupt an event aimed at young children is wrong. I’m sure all the protestors could afford a travel card to attend the protests in central London.
.
The Richmond & Twickenham Times led a successful campaign to stop local newspapers in London advertising for prostitution. Let’s hope the newspaper will lead a campaign to stop Gaydar , who has its home in Twickenham, from running adverts for prostitutes too.
.
If Gaydar does stop running its commercial / prostitute adverts – some good will have come from the Gaydar bunnies.
This month Gaydar has 565 commercial profiles for London area alone this month. They charge £45 per month for a commercial profile - that’s £25,425 per month or £305,100 per year just for London. Considering it’s a worldwide operation you can see the amount of money they are making out of prostitution. . Other organisations that run adverts for prostitutes on this scale also receive a large amount of adverse comment. For example Craig List cam has come under fire for facilitating prostitution http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/technology-109 12548 . Young children - which this 'Big Assembly' event was aimed at - should be protected from sexualised protests (it would be equally bad if playboy had sent playboy bunnies) and intimidating protests. Children should not be subjected to all the worries and pains of the adult world – they should be allowed to enjoy their childhood. . There have been adequate opportunities for people to protest at other events. Deciding to try and disrupt an event aimed at young children is wrong. I’m sure all the protestors could afford a travel card to attend the protests in central London. . The Richmond & Twickenham Times led a successful campaign to stop local newspapers in London advertising for prostitution. Let’s hope the newspaper will lead a campaign to stop Gaydar , who has its home in Twickenham, from running adverts for prostitutes too. . If Gaydar does stop running its commercial / prostitute adverts – some good will have come from the Gaydar bunnies. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: 0

9:27am Tue 21 Sep 10

HenryR says...

Gay organisations are most certainly not above reproach. But I am constantly forced to question the motives of anyone who take an opportunity to complain about something which probably doesn’t affect them. It’s so easy to blur the general disgust of the issue at hand with personal disgust at gays in general.
Anyone who thinks what they were wearing was not appropriate for children to see. Obviously haven’t seen any of the modern superhero movies featuring scantily clad or tight Lycra wrapped protagonists, we don’t hear about children being escorted out of the cinema with the eyes covered by tutting mothers.
Gay organisations are most certainly not above reproach. But I am constantly forced to question the motives of anyone who take an opportunity to complain about something which probably doesn’t affect them. It’s so easy to blur the general disgust of the issue at hand with personal disgust at gays in general. Anyone who thinks what they were wearing was not appropriate for children to see. Obviously haven’t seen any of the modern superhero movies featuring scantily clad or tight Lycra wrapped protagonists, we don’t hear about children being escorted out of the cinema with the eyes covered by tutting mothers. HenryR
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Tue 21 Sep 10

EdwinaWaugh says...

Twickenham Bob, Twickenham

Agree with you Bob, only pity that most people here couldn 't care less.
Twickenham Bob, Twickenham Agree with you Bob, only pity that most people here couldn 't care less. EdwinaWaugh
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Tue 21 Sep 10

RevDrHunt says...

Although the article reports that "more than 300 protesters lined the road to express their anger" , discussion seems to have been sidelined by the three Gaydar "angels".

If this means that there is no controversy about the protest, then, , it looks as though the protesters won the day.

The Saturday protest was considerably larger, with reports estimating ten, twelve, or twenty thousant protesters. Images of some of the placards can be seen at www.buzzfeed.com/mjs
538/the-funniest-pop
e-protest-signs
Although the article reports that "more than 300 protesters lined the road to express their anger" [a considerable turn-out for Twickenham, I suggest], discussion seems to have been sidelined by the three Gaydar "angels". If this means that there is no controversy about the protest, then, [praise be!], it looks as though the protesters won the day. The Saturday protest was considerably larger, with reports estimating ten, twelve, or twenty thousant protesters. Images of some of the placards can be seen at www.buzzfeed.com/mjs 538/the-funniest-pop e-protest-signs RevDrHunt
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Wed 22 Sep 10

RevDrHunt says...

Short pope protest video: 3 min., 53 sec.
Cc:

www.sanduron.com/pro
test.html
Short pope protest video: 3 min., 53 sec. Cc: www.sanduron.com/pro test.html RevDrHunt
  • Score: 0

10:28am Fri 24 Sep 10

RevDrHunt says...

And, courtesy of LBC, several photographs of the Twickenham protest. --

www.lbc.co.uk/protes
ts-against-the-pope-
--in-pictures-30003/
view/12344#photo

The non-Twickenham-speci
fic animated cartoon on freedom of religion vs. freedom of speech may also amuse and inform. --
www.youtube.com/watc
h?v=pBJjBOwk9oI
And, courtesy of LBC, several photographs of the Twickenham protest. -- www.lbc.co.uk/protes ts-against-the-pope- --in-pictures-30003/ view/12344#photo The non-Twickenham-speci fic animated cartoon on freedom of religion vs. freedom of speech may also amuse and inform. -- www.youtube.com/watc h?v=pBJjBOwk9oI RevDrHunt
  • Score: 0

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