Frith (frith_in_thorns) wrote,

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so come out of your cave walking on your hands and see the world hanging upside down

Protest report!

We got onto Turl St and found that apparently Exeter College had been closed all day to visitors because of us - students were having to show their bod cards, and conference guests had to be ticked off a list before being allowed in. So there was always at least one porter standing outside the door. We weren't sure how they'd react to us but it turned out that they were really positive about our protest and massively agreed with us, so that was nice. They were lovely all day and chatted with us.


We had all our lovely placards from yesterday! The one that Merlin ended up with was only one-sided; I told him he would be my new favourite person if he wrote "DOWN WITH THIS SORT OF THING!" on the other side. Sorry, previous favourite people, you've been displaced.


Actually, there was a massive turnout! My photos don't really show it, as most of them were taken early on while we were still milling around sorting ourselves out. Other people may have done better, though. The Missing Bean (coffee-shop of awesome) even put a rainbow flag up in their window for us :D And loooooads of people stopped to look at us and read our signs and talk to us. Quite a few people thanked us for protesting, which was lovely :)


We had some interesting arguments with people from Christian Concern as they started arriving. Well. There're only so many times you can hear "but abortion is totes murdering the innocent baaaaaabies" before you want to start beating your head against a wall. I'm sad that I didn't get a photo of the very earnest man who talked to us for about half an hour and seriously believed things like every sperm being sacred. And literal creationism. And according to him he'd been gay until he realised how much of a sin that was and how much god hated him for it. WHY WHY WHY. Oh, he also told us lots and lots and lots about Satan, or "The Enemy". And he had a very protracted argument with our resident bible scholar about interpretations and I don't know I tuned out because argh.

The leader of CC didn't like us. She kept standing in the road and glaring. It was rather funny. She tried to complain to the porters about us and they told her they supported our right to protest.


Possibly the most surreal moment was when a woman pushed angrily through us while muttering passive-aggressively about us being as bigoted as those were protesting against. To which I think I said "Lol no" (I know, not terribly mature), and then she turned round and yelled a very loud monologue in my face. I don't KNOW her, how DARE I presume to JUDGE her, she bets she has MORE GAY FRIENDS THAN ME. which point, because I have no self-control, I turned to Lyman and said "She has more gay friends than we do!" And zie made a shocked face and said "Oh noes!!" And then the woman went on some more about how she has gay friends and how I have no right to judge her and then she went inside. And the group of us just died laughing because WHAT. It was bizarre.

No, actually, that wasn't the most surreal moment. That was the group of Chinese tourists (all middle-aged) who shrieked with excitement when they saw us and then half of them came running up to strike excited poses next to us and our signs while the other half snapped photos. They especially loved Elouise's sign (below). They were reading it out loud and giggling.


When pretty much all the guests had arrived (the porters let us see their ticking-off-names sheet) we packed up and went home, having been standing there for about five hours by then. I am TIRED. But it was great :D


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Tags: activism, feminism, oxford, quiltbag, real life, soapboxing, wut
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