Saturday, 9 October 2010


Today's the day of the demonstration in Leicester city centre by the English Defence League and counter-demonstration by Unite Against Fascism.

I've been asked to act as a "Single Point of Contact" for Leicester Council of Faiths, receiving hourly emails from Leicestershire Constabulary and frequent tweets from officers on duty today, updating me on the situation. If any urgent information needs to be communicated, it's my duty to pass it on to my contacts in the Council of Faiths. Of course, many of them are involved in this day in their own right. There's a criss-crossing of networks, which should ensure that no one gets left out.

We're taking Harry and Grace out of town today, as we've decided it's best to keep their minds off events in the city centre. Yesterday evening, when the kids were dropped off for the weekend, they could hardly wait to tell me that we have to stay out of town on Saturday afternoon, because something terrible is going to happen. When I asked them what that might be, Harry told me that the word around his school is that Muslims are going to set off a bomb in the city centre. He's indignant about this, to put it mildly. He tells me that he was angry with his schoolmates for saying this, that he knows Muslims, that he knows I work with and for Muslims - and that they're good people, who wouldn't do such a thing ("Would they Dad?") How do these stories get started? That's rich, even for schoolkids.

So we go to a comic book drawing workshop with professional artist Kev F, being held at Countesthorpe College. Kev F Sutherland writes and draws for The Beano, Doctor Who, Match, Marvel Comics, Viz, 2000AD, Funday Times, Red Dwarf and more. He's appeared at Leicester Comedy Festival with the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. He's full-on, funny and a very entertaining turn. You'd think he'd been engaged specifically to keep all our minds off events in the city centre (though I'm checking my messages regularly of course). We all (children and adults without exception) have to write and draw a page to be included in a comic book that we create today and is printed in the school, so we all get to take away a copy.

No comments:

Post a comment