BY BESS TWISTON-DAVIES
I POPE had sent them support some 3,000 pro-lifers clutching white "Choose Life" balloons were told at a rally in central London on Sunday.
"We have received a message of support from the Pope," said the Marchioness of Salisbury, organiser of the Choose Life rally. "We are called to celebrate God's creation in all its beauty, to affirm the sacredness of human life, and to defend it.
"Today we face the greatest assault on human life there has been since Nazi Germany," she said, in an address to the crowd gathering in Trafalgar Square.
"We may be a small army flow, but we are growing. I say to those forces ranged against us: 'Do not underestimate us. We will never give up. We will fight until we win. We believe living is for loving and we are doughty fight
ers'," added Lady Salisbury, who was dressed in white, pearls and a sunhat.
Crowds filtered into the square amidst sweltering heat, to cheer a panel of speakers led by Lord Alton. and including human rights campaigner James Mawdsley, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative Party councillor for the Cities of London and Westminster.
"Choices is a buzzword often used to make legislation but often we don't think of the consequences," said Lord Alton. "Life is the only choice worth making ... Who can doubt that the supreme human rights question of our generation is the right to life? The epitaph for our generation might be: 'My right to choose. Me, my, L' Could there by anything more selfish?"
"He is some speaker," commented a girl standing by a life-size image of Our Lady of Guadelupe. She looked, like a sizeable proportion of the crowd, as if she was around 20 years old. Boys sporting sunglasses, rosaries wrapped round their wrists, mingled with clusters of girls in summer dresses.
Another speaker at the event, Wesley Smith, an American anti-euthanasia campaigner, said he was impressed by the turn-out. It was, he said, "a good beginning".
"People were very enthusiastic. They seemed to understand the danger presented by the [pro-euthanasia] Joffe Bill."
He added that the biggest enemy of opponents of euthanasia was apathy.
"My feeling is that the side with the greatest energy will prevail," he said.
A sizeable contingent of middle-aged pro-lifers wearing sunhats had "Choose Life" balloons flying from their sturdy rucksacks. Some waved the pro-life flags designed by Lady Salisbury: a striking half-white, half-black pattern united by the gold flame-like emblem in the centre.
Together they marched to Parliament Square, following the Archangel Michael, a man on horseback clad in chain mail and coloured flags. Children in stripy tiger suits skipped behind a donkey bearing a child dressed as the Virgin Mary, and led by a man representing Joseph. In the centre, a group of Ghanian drummers animated the marchers. In front danced girls waving vibrant scarves.
They stopped in Parliament Square, in front of Westminster Central Hall, where Joseph Estorninho's Requiem of the Innocents was performed by the St Cecilia Choir and Orchestra.
As night fell, the rally ended with the lighting of thousands of candles in Parliament Square, each representing an aborted baby.