Edinburgh: The Minute's Silence

 CAFOD's Fiona Callister describes the emotional atmosphere as the huge crowds all around Edinburgh fall silent to remember those facing poverty in the developing world. It was a unique experience to stand surrounded by people, as far as you could see, yet be enveloped by silence. At 3pm exactly the Make Poverty History crowd stopped marching, stopped chanting, stopped drumming for a minute's silence to remember those living in the developing world, daily struggling to survive in the grip of extreme poverty. Those who dare to hope that their child will not join the 30,000 who die each day because they are too poor to live. Those who worry every day whether they will be able to feed their child tomorrow. Flapping above the silent crowd was a banner reading "Imagine it's your child". A telling message to the G8. As silence abruptly descended, the summer sky filled with balloons, released as a symbol of hope that eight men in suits meeting on Wednesday will ensure that our children or our children's children will not have to gather to protest at the injustices our country forces on the poor of the developing world. The hope that the G8 leaders will decide once and for all to take the long awaited steps to double aid, cancel unpayable debt and make trade rules fair. The only sound to break the silence was a small blonde girl overcome with excitement and unable to grasp the enormity of the moment proudly pointing out to her dad her golden balloon now sailing away over Edinburgh. At the end of the minute, the air was split with a sudden rush of noise, almost painfully loud as the crowd clapped, cheered and blasted their whistles to express the anger and passion that brought them to Edinburgh.

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