On Saturday 8 June I woke early. And realised I had laryngitis and had lost my voice. This was not a great start to the day: it was the day of the BigIF G8 rally and I wouldn’t be able to talk to our supporters. Luckily my great colleague James was willing to do all the verbal communications when we met up with everyone to travel to London.
But I was undeterred, I was not going to let this stop me making lots of noise in Hyde Park. I had my wonderful whistle. This has travelled to many rallies over the years, including Make Poverty History and The Wave.
It was bought on the 16 May 1998 from a small stall as we headed off into Birmingham city centre to join the rally for the Drop the Debt Jubilee Campaign. I remember thinking “I probably won’t use it” and popped it into my bag. How wrong I was. We joined thousands of people making a nine mile human chain banging pots and pans, blowing hooters and waving klaxons, even rattling chains and old wooden footy rattles!
To this day, Birmingham evokes very precious memories of the joy of uniting with like-minded friends who work tirelessly for justice.
Last Saturday it happened again. There was a deep well of love that united over 45,000 people in London’s Hyde Park. It gives us great hope and of course we cannot forget that we have enough food for everyone, yet one in eight people go hungry.
IF we all speak out together in 2013 we can make our world leaders change the future.
A favourite hymn of mine is Breathe on me breath of God - “that I may love what thou does love, and do what thou wouldst do”.
Even though I didn’t have a voice for the voiceless on Saturday it didn’t matter I had my breath and the wonderful whistle worked it’s magic once again !
About the author: Chris Lappine is CAFOD’s diocesan manager for the Liverpool diocese.