blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Say it loud, say it clear!

Chris and I travelled to Cardiff from London so that we could visit Mum in her care home at Whitchurch. On Monday, we left her to have supper there and sought supper for ourselves at the shopping district near St. David's Hall. It was such a good Indian (Mumbai) meal that we felt we needed some exercise afterwards, so, in spite of the damp evening, we set off for a walk towards the museum / university area. As we approached the western end of Queen Street, where the statue of Aneurin Bevan stands, we started to hear, accompanied by drum beats, what sounded like a high-spirited crowd of rugby fans, not an uncommon sound in Cardiff, but it wasn't that. It was the start of a public protest against President Trump's recent executive order banning Muslims from entering the USA.

As we got closer we began to read the placards, a large number of them proclaiming: REFUGEES WELCOME! Because this is a slogan dear to my heart, we responded with smiles and approving comments, and someone noticing this thrust a canvas into Chris' hands on which was painted the Union Jack and the words: BAN TRUMP NOW! --- a reference to the news that the US President is about to receive an invitation to Buckingham Palace from the Queen. We carried the painting into the crowd and so joined the demo.

It was one of many simultaneous demonstrations nationwide, people turning out on the chilly, damp January night in their hundreds and thousands.

Other slogans on display in Cardiff were these:

  • Unity in diversity!
  • Stand up!
  • Dewi'n grac iawn! (That means David ---i.e. The Welshman, St. David --- is very angry!
  • Refugees in, racism out!
  • Resist Trump!
  • Make love, not special relationships!
  • I've seen smarter cabinets in IKEA!
  • Philip, alert the corgies!
  • No Trump, no torture!
  • Love your neighbour as yourself.
  • Jesus said, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
  • Rage, rage, against the dying of the light! (That's a quotation from a famous Welsh poem.)
  • I don't wear a wig!
The crowds were rhythmically chanting, "Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!" I also heard, "BOO, Trump, get out-a-the-way!"

I felt so wound up after this experience that I lost a good three hours of sleep on Monday night, first exhilerated by the defiance and idealism of all those young people in the crowd, and then, as the night wore on, dreadfully worried by what could happen next in a world where such demonstations are necessary.

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