Friday, February 04, 2005

We see Nelsen Mandela and Sir Bob Geldof speak in Trafalgar Square

Today we did one of those things you can only do in a city like London - Carly planned for us to attended a rally in Trafalgar Square in town in support of Make Poverty History, which is the UK part of a global campaign, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, and is made up of a unique alliance of charities, trade unions, campaigning groups, faith communities and high profile individuals who are uniting to tackle global poverty in 2005.

Before you start thinking you've lost us to a political action group - we were there to hear none other than former South African President Nelson Mandela speak, in possibly one of his last public appearances since retiring from public life last year..

An Oxfam webpage detailing the event can be seen by clicking here:

I met Carly at the Square during lunchtime with 20,000 other Londoners, to hear Nelson Mandela (introduced by none other than Sir Bob Geldof!) publicly give his support to the global campaign for action against poverty.. In his lead in, Bob spoke of his 'tiredness' of attempting to change things in Africa, and said that he was sick of hearing words, and little action.. quite appropriate for someone who has been doing this for 20 years since the original Band Aid and Live Aid, and the recent 20th Anniversary Band Aid recording.. After being introduced by Geldof as 'the President of the World', Mr Mandela walked slowly to the podium with his walking cane to the cheers of what sounded like the whole of London, and spoke with confidence on issues you could easily sense he had experienced personally.. Without adding in a transcript of his speech, one part of what this amazing 87 year old man said stood out for both of us:

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. "

Bob Geldof introducing Nelson Mandela; and the view from where we stood

Nelson Mandela speaking

Mr Mandela and Sir Bob

We headed back to work soon after, knowing that we may have seen one of the last public speeches from one of the great leaders of the world (...and thanks to Carly for convincing me I should go after I had hesitated about going earlier that day..)

-shane (and carly)

On the web: I received this great link from Amanda at work.. for all you Hoff fans out there, here is a page that gives you all the latest showbiz news for our favourite Knight Rider/Baywatch/Chicago stage show star!! - go see


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