‘March for Manhood’ campaigner ‘pleased and pleasantly surprised’ at protest turnout

One campaigner was left ‘pleased and pleasantly surprised’ by the turnout to the weekend’s March for Manhood’ protest.

March for Manhood and Harbour villages. Petition has been signed by 5,000 people opposing the urbanisation of the area around Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2201291
March for Manhood and Harbour villages. Petition has been signed by 5,000 people opposing the urbanisation of the area around Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2201291

With more than 600 people attending the event, campaigner Roger Mavity was taken aback by the response from the local community regarding the protest in Chichester which took place on Saturday, January 30.

He said: “I was astounded (by the response), the whole purpose was to make an impression on the Government. If you got 50 people that would look like a washout.

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“We calculated that there were roughly 630 people there which is a huge turnout.

“Secondly, I think that they were all people that were very passionate about the subject and I think that came across so, in terms of demonstrating, to Chichester and the wider community, that there is a lot of local concern about this, I think it was a huge success to be frank.

“I know that, from our point of view, the biggest thing is that we carry on getting exposure in the media because if people in Westminster see that this an important issue then it might then make them sit up and think.

“We’ve already had a big story in the Chichester Observer, BBC South today, on ITV News and the Guardian and the Telegraph are planning to do a story about us this week.

“There was a period on the march where the people that came down, unprompted, started to chant MP: Missing Person, but whatever you say about Mrs (Gillian) Keegan, she is a survivor, so hopefully she will realise that she is under pressure and will really try quite hard to respond to this.

With over 5,000 people signing a petition supporting the demonstration appealing to reject the urbanisation in the area Mr Mavity said that he was surprised and very pleased about the number of passionate people supporting the project.

He said: “I’m very pleased and entirely pleasantly surprised. The number of people that have signed the petition and the number of people that went to the march were both higher that I could have ever guessed before hand and I am pleased that they were.

“It was interesting, my wife was going round handing out leaflets, in the few days before the march, encouraging people to go and she said that talking to people on doorsteps, the strength of feeling, was incredibly strong.

“It’s a big concern in this area.”

“I think the key issue is that because the council have, rather lamely, accepted quota from Government, which means putting about 100 per cent of the quota into about 28 per cent of the land, because they have done that they’re sort of stuck and actually the only people that could have really put this right are people like (Michael) Gove and his partners in Westminster.

“So we’re trying to force through that national system through at a local level without looking at medical conditions.

Mr Mavity said that he and the campaigners are already looking ahead to their next plan of action.

He said: “We have a meeting at 5pm this evening to take stock and see what the next move is.

“I think that we strongly feel that this not a thing where you make a protest and go away.

“We absolutely must keep the pressure on.”

The March for Manhood and the Harbour Villages took place on Saturday, 29 January at 10am to protest the urbanisation of the surround area.

Huge proposed increases to housing targets being forced on the area by central government have been widely criticised in recent years.