‘Bomb Mandy, Not Kids’: We meet the guy behind the sign

‘If all the MPs did some mandy, they’d be far too loving to want to bomb Syria’

As the government debated whether to extend air strikes into Syria, hundreds of students gathered in Parliament Square as part of a protest organised by the Stop The War coalition. From that protest, one placard has attracted enormous attention. We’re talking, of course, about this one:

The (in)famous pickard

The (in)famous pickard

We tracked down the guy behind it to find out what made him want to protest the war. He’s asked to remain anonymous as he doesn’t want his uni or his mum to know he enjoys a dab of E from time to time.

Why did you decide to protest ?

I personally went to the protest to show my support for the Stop The War coalition, and voice my opinions on the ridiculous policy of bombing ISIS-controlled positions which will ultimately just cause more innocent, civilian deaths and more support and recruitment for the extremist sects in the areas in question.

Do you think it’s important for students to protest?

Yes because otherwise who will represent those in our generation who do not agree with this governments policies? Not just those to do with Syria, but all of their policies, which have a negative impact on people who need the support of the government and are instead being punished by them. Also, as the future generation of this country, I think it is imperative that we show it is not in our names that this government commits such terrible crimes against humanity.

What was the intention behind the phrase you used?

My intention was really to point out the ridiculous nature of the bombing raids, as in my opinion the only real victims of these bombing raids will be the Syrian civilians, especially the children who do not understand why these things are happening.

Also it’s just funny. Obviously we shouldn’t make light of the situation, but at the same time, this policy of bombing a terrorist group who have no real positions to actually target, is so insane it’s actually laughable.

Plus you know, if all the MPs just did some mandy, they’d be far too loving to want to bomb Syrian civilians.

What was your response in person and online?

I didn’t really have one, I was surprised it had got so much attention, but really I wasn’t all that bothered. I just hope people see it as a banner which criticises those who voted in favour of the bombings, rather than a banner about drugs.

Also, I’m grateful for the attention, but I genuinely believe there wasn’t enough media coverage of the protest, almost as if they wish to ignore the fact there was such a popular movement of people who didn’t support the vote.

This doesn’t really surprise me though, the right-wing media are of course in favour of the bombings and any coverage we received was generally negative. A lot of the words the media used to describe us were negative, “mob” for example was used in the Daily Mail to describe the rally on Saturday evening even though it was a peace rally and there was absolutely no cause for concern. It’s ridiculous really.

The protester with his board (face blurred for anonymity)

The protester with his board (face hidden for anonymity)

Do you think signs like yours give a negative perception to student protesters?

I mean, in some lights yes, people who take it the wrong way could argue that us “terrorist sympathisers” – as Cameron called all those who didn’t support the bombings- are also pro drugs. But at the same time, I think the message the sign carried is more important, plus it’s quite clearly a joke satirising the policy.

As convincing as the argument is I don’t think Cameron will be doing mkat anytime soon. Although it’d be horrid to think that he wasn’t on something with the whole pig… thing.