[D] espite the most prominent theme of Saturday’s protest being the Church’s condom policy in Africa, there was not a single African in the march as far as I could see. There were a handful of black British people and a handful of Asian women, but the crowd was 99 per cent white and very middle-class looking.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of the noblest protests, from Prague 68 to Tehran 09, have been dominated by the middle-class; neither does their racial composition make any difference to their message – either they’re right or wrong. But it is strange that no Africans came to protest Vatican policy in Africa.
In contrast thousands of Africans came to welcome the pope in Hyde Park, Ugandans, Nigerians, Zimbabweans, Malawians and many others, as well as thousands of Filipinos, Indians, Iraqis, Poles, Germans, and Irish. The masses gathered there largely represented the children of immigrants brought in to work while Europeans enjoyed the labours of their ancestors. Undoubtedly they want to be part of European civilisation and our way of life – and it’s represented best by the man in the white Mercedes-Benz.