It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the regular meeting of Philosophy in the Pub (PIPs) at the Swan and Rushes, Infirmary Square. A decent-sized group (seven) this evening, we are given as our stimulus a letter that appeared in the Leicester Mercury yesterday about the demonstration by the English Defence League and counter-demonstration by Unite Against Fascism this coming Saturday in Leicester. Not sure whether this works or not. For the first time in all the months we've been doing this, I'm wary of talking about this issue in public. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that some other patron in the bar might come by and tip a pint over someone's head during our discussion. We normally have a good few laughs in these sessions, but there are precious few on offer tonight.
Allan and Mike are here from the Secular Society. Mike's the one liaising with the Police about Saturday's events. How ironic that this demonstration, arising from protests against supposed Islamic extremism, will be taking place virtually on the doorstep of Secular Hall - the first venue of its kind in the world, a living monument to the necessity of free speech, but which will be boarded up for its own safety come Saturday.