Big IF

I went to the Big IF rally1 yesterday.  I went because I think it’s a disgrace that 1 in 8 people in the world are hungry and that millions of infants die or are stunted by malnutrition each year. I went to the ecumenical service first, in Westminster Central Hall, and then walked from there to Hyde Park to listen to the speakers urging the G8 leaders to tackle the causes of hunger.

Bill Gates speaking at Big IF rally

Bill Gates speaking at Big IF rally

There was an impressive lineup of speakers including Bill Gates and Danny Boyle but I was more impressed by the great variety of people who turned up to listen to them. Among the 45,000 there were people of all ages, all styles of dress, people of all faiths and people of no religious faith; all shared a common concern for their fellow human beings.  At one point two women stood together on the stage; one was a Jewish rabbi and the other a Muslim woman.  I overheard a young child asking his mother what a group of men in brown habits were dressed as and one of them turned round, smiled and said, “We’re dressed as friars.”

One man cycled from Newcastle to attend.  I just went by train and I’m glad I went.

If you are interested in the facts about the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, they are available online.2

I’ve put a few of my pictures on Flickr3.

  1. Tens of thousands at Big IF London rally
  2. Enough Food for Everyone IF Executive Summary
  3. Flickr photostream