MGM Protest, Golders Green Tube Station. Raising awareness, Promoting Brit Shalom and J4MB (Justice 4 Men and Boys political party UK).
Interesting debates with several people. Some defended infant cutting. Lots of the cut men thought there were health benefits. I guess that is one way of justifying it – although research does not back this claim up!
Many people were interested in the Jewish intactivist movement – which has a long history. Some recognised the human rights issue about consent but felt that it was a decision a parent should still have – often saying that “medical benefits” justified this – as well as religious reasons. I asked some “What if the child grows up to not be religious?” The most common answer being that it was only a minor procedure – and a useless flap of skin. Of course you can’t know any different if you don’t have that “flap” …
Many people were not interested in talking but took leaflets about Brit Shalom and Men’s right’s issues produced by Justice 4 Men and Boys.
Several people declared their religious feelings about MGM as an integral part of their religious life – and did not see MGM and FGM as comparable at all.
One Jewish lady was not sure who Joshua was but was robustly defending MGM for parents’ religious reasons – I was trying to explain that if she reads her Torah she will find that many of the Israelites were not circumcised as babies in the Joshua story – they decided to get mutilated as adults at Gilgal – producing “The mound of foreskins” (check your bible). So maybe cutting could be left to adulthood as there is a biblical precedent for this.
Patrick Smyth: The intactivist message, including Brit Shalom, was promoted in Golders Green yesterday with Mike Buchanan of J4MB and other staunch human rights activists. In all the five years that I have been protesting this issue on the streets I have never before experienced so much opposition and ridicule from women. We had mostly civilised and rational discussion with the men who had been subjected to the ancient ritual.
… There were many interesting conversations, including one with a man who was wearing the Tzitzis and must have been over 60, and yet he informed us that his mother left him intact! I dressed all in black for a change as befits my mood at the moment. Much more to report and more pictures/video as and when I collect my thoughts.
The Police attended and dealt with public access, protesters, and public even handedly and sensitively and the small demo of about ten protesters was peaceful. A very small number of passers by were rude and felt that there was no issue to protest about. The vast majority of people were polite even if they did not agree with our message.