Page 10, 20th September 1968

20th September 1968
Page 10
Page 10, 20th September 1968 — Peaceful protests SVP WORLD SECRETARY'S VISIT

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Organisations: Army


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pay dividends

Fr. Blake says: "The demonstration helped to bring Porton and all its evil works before the public eye. It was the ill-considered decision of the authorities to bring out the Army against a small, innocuous and motley group of pilgrims that brought a peaceful, non-violent demonstration of prayer and fasting into the headlines."

He says that on the march towards Porton Down a small group of colourful anarchists tagged on with their black and red flags, "much to the disapproval of the police superintendent, who found • it difficult to understand how Christians could associate themselves with disreputable sinners."

MILITARY FORCE Fr. Blake describes the "extensive military force deployed to defend Porton against us"—two helicopters, soldiers, jeeps and lorries and a "sinister military van with co n c ea 1 ed photographers, drawn up behind the fence to watch and record our movements."

Two Masses and an Anglican communion service were celebrated in the open air at the camp site along the perimeter of the establishment, but they were continuously buzzed by the two helicopters.

• PUBLICITY Speaking of the publicity value of the demonstration, Fr. Blake says: "Pictures and newsreel films of the demonstrators lying prostrate on the ground have helped focus public opinion on the evil of chemical and bacteriological warfare.

"Many who have doubted the value of public demonstrations may have had second thoughts about this form of activity. "Actions speak louder than words, particularly in a world conditioned by visual means of publicity. For once Christians have been seen to commit themselves in a concrete and unmistakable way against the obscene blasphemy of this type of warfare."

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