Catching up on the weekend press I see that Robert 'Bobbie' Mickens, the Tablet Rome Correspondant who wept when Pope Benedict was elected, was at World Youth Day - or so he says. He reports on the confrontation between WYD 'kids' and the anti-clerical protesters. ('Kids'? The age range is 18-35, but anyone under 50 probably seems a child to the typical Tablet reader.) After an initial exchange of slogans between the two groups, he writes, 'Police ordered the Catholic kids to keep moving and most did. But some of the more zealous decided to continue giving 'witness'. The protesters responded with insults as the kids continued their chants. A small group even knelt down and began praying the Rosary. ... The Catholic youngsters obviously felt that they were being heroic in defending their faith, albeit from behind a barrier.'
I quote this spiteful description because of the identifiable falsehood: as we've all seen from the photos, there was no barrier. Either Mickens was making it up, or (more likely) he was relying on a garbled second hand version. What is clear, however, is that he didn't bother talking to any of the 'kids' involved or looking at the pictures on the Internet, which went up within hours of the events they captured.
Where is the barrier, Mr Mickens?
What a terrible thing photography and the Internet are for liberal fantasists like Robert Mickens. We don't have to take their word for anything any more.
There should be a short article on this confrontation in the next Mass of Ages giving the story from the horses' mouth - from the young chap in the middle of the photo.