News comment: A day at war
Mark Meatcher reports on his activism at No Faith in War Day, a nonviolent protest against the DSEI arms fair in London
I believe the Spirit of God is stirring deep inside me at the moment.
I attended my first proper demonstration on Tuesday 5 September when I participated in the #NoFaithInWar day protesting against the DSEI arms fair at the ExCel Centre in London. I met so many wonderful people, including the police force tasked with keeping law and order while the demonstration was going on. I was filled with hope for the future of humanity, but also challenged about my own faith and what it means to me.
Mine was a relatively tame protest. Since I am a minister of the United Reformed Church, I turned up in uniform, so to speak, to say that I thought the arms trade and the arms fair were wrong and not the best way for us to work in peace. I discovered that simply turning up as a church minister brought a response from many people. They said: ‘Thank you so much for coming, thank you for talking the talk and walking the walk.’ It was a response that moved me, challenged me, humbled me.
Others stood in the road. Some chained themselves together and had to be cut apart before being arrested. Others hung from bridges to try and prevent the lorries carrying weapons of warfare from entering the ExCel exhibition centre.
What did I do? I participated in a drama where Britannia was married to the arms trade. We performed it three times during the day. I also joined with the Quakers in their worship for an hour in the late morning as we stood at the side of the road…
This is an extract from an article that was published in the October 2017 edition of Reform