Pro-choice supporters gathered in Bedford Square, central London, on Friday (30.03.12) to voice their opposition to the 40 Days for Life campaign which has been picketing a BPAS clinic for several weeks.
The group’s tactics have caused public outrage following reports of clinic staff and patients being approached and filmed by the anti-choice activists.
The counter-protest, organised by Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance and Abortion Rights, was called when 40 Days for Life announced it had invited Roman Catholic bishop Alan Hopes to join them for an evening ‘prayer vigil’ outside the clinic.
Anti-choice activists arriving for the vigil were greeted by a noisy, boisterous pro-choice crowd, who kept up a constant stream of chants, whistles and songs. As the evening wore on as many as 1000 people joined the protest – including dozens of cyclists from the Critical Mass movement – outnumbering the anti-choice crowd by a huge margin.
The protest was overwhelmingly peaceful and good natured, and some very kind pro-choice people even tidied up the square afterwards.
Many thanks to everyone who attended and helped to make the event such a huge pro-choice success. We needed to send a clear message to anti-choice groups that we will not tolerate their aggressive tactics, and we needed to remind anti-choice politicians that attempts to restrict our right to choose will be met with fierce opposition. And that’s exactly what we did!
Watch the Guardian video of the protest.