Harlesden Protest Police Brutality

December 18th, 2018

After an knife attack on a main street in Harlesden, a van load of police arrived and began questioning people on the street. Among them was a young black man who they had seen smoking cannabis and who, perhaps because of this was, was a little disturbed to be surrounded and questioned by police.


The scene of the police crime

What happened next was recorded on the phone of someone standing just a couple of yards away in a small crowd that had gathered around the group. They were protesting that the police were arresting him, and doing so with quite unnecessary force, with one officer viciously kicking him as others tried to handcuff him. And then, when he had been cuffed and was being held face-down on the pavement, clearly under control, another officer came up and sprayed him in the face from close range with CS gas.

Although force is often needed in making arrests, particularly when suspects are not cooperative, this very clearly went far beyond what was necessary. Both the kicking and the use of CS gas were clearly intended to inflict pain rather than to assist in the arrrest. The video went viral, and North West London Stand Up To Racism called an emergency protest at the site of the arrest, seeing the incident as a clear case of racist policing.

The man arrested was shortly afterwards de-arrested, having clearly no link at all to the knifing the police were there to investigate – and which their attack on this unfortunate man made it much less likely that they would find any evidence.  Not only was it racist policing, it was also something that was counter-productive in the investigation of the crime and corrosive to police-community relations.

It was dusk as the protest began, and soon got darker, but I persisted in working by what ambient light there was. Quite a few pictures were ruined by subject movement but few if any by camera shake, so this was a situation where image stabilisation would not have helped, although faster lenses would have come in useful.

The arrested man’s mother spoke briefly at the protest but requested that we did not photograph her. Others were happy to be photographed, and some actually requested I take their pictures.

When people ask me not to photograph them, I generally assess both the situation and the public interest if any in taking their pictures before accepting their request. In this case I was happy to agree. Of course in general in the UK we have the right to photograph anyone in a public place like the street, and even in private places we can generally take pictures although publishing them might be an offence. But there are times when it isn’t appropriate to stick up for our rights, and where a little humanity makes more sense, and this was one.

Harlesden Protest Police Brutality

Sheffield

December 17th, 2018

Although we have many friends in Sheffield, it isn’t a place I’ve often visited, and most times when I have gone there I’ve been busy with meetings and social events. My first visit there was in way back in the 1960s as a student when I visited the university and was absolutely terrified by the new Paternoster lift in the Arts Tower, one of very few still in operation. These have cars which move continuously and passengers have to step on or off while the lift is travelling up or down. It may not have helped that I was there with the other members of a football or rugby team (I played both badly, but never like William Webb Ellis confused the two) and our trip on the lift could have been after a lengthy visit to the union bar. I still sometimes have nightmares about it.

I wasn’t really going to Sheffield in October, just passing through on the way to a weekend conference at Unstone Grange, around ten miles to the south. But the lottery of advance train tickets meant we could save a small fortune by arriving in Sheffield several hours before we needed to catch the bus to Unstone on Friday, and similarly on the way home on Sunday we had a couple of hours to spend before the train south to London. So we spent some time wandering around, with little or no plan on both occasions.

On Friday I decided I wanted to walk a little more of the Five Weirs Walk route beside the River Don, though we didn’t have time to do the full nine and a bit miles. In the event we had to turn back early, partly because the weather turned and we didn’t want to get wet.

On the Saturday afternoon we had some free time, long enough to walk a few miles up through Apperknowle on to the ridge and back, as well as around the grounds of Unstone Grange.

We got back to the centre of Sheffield rather earlier than expected, thanks to being given a lift by a friend, and decided to take a walk around the city centre. We could just have sat down in a cafe or a bar, but we were going to be sitting for hours on trains, and the sun was out, though it wasn’t too warm.

We began by walking up towards the town hall, a rather splendid Victorian building that now has a peace garden behind it, then walked further on before walking to find a different route that would take us back to towards the station. We then went to look for a cafe Linda remembered by the canal basin, but found it had just closed, so went back a different way to the station and our train.

More pictures and captions at:
Sheffield
Unstone and Apperknowle

Vedanta gone into hiding

December 16th, 2018

The campaign group Foil Vedanta has been campaigning for some years to get mining company Vedanta de-listed from the London Stock Exchange, and on the morning of its AGM in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the company de-listed itself. Not only activists such as Foil Vedanta, but politicians were calling for its delisting following May’s Thoothukudi massacre in Tamil Naduin which 13 protesters were killed and dozens injured, and the success of grassroots activism which has shut down Vedanta’s operations in Goa, Tuticorin and Niyamgiri.


Vedanta AGM protest 2012

The delisting also followed, as I wrote on My London Diary, the publication of Vedanta’s damning “report ‘Vedanta’s Billions: Regulatory failure, environment and human rights’ with a comprehensive account of the company’s crimes in all of its operations, and of the City of London’s total failure to regulate Vedanta, or any other criminal mining company and revealing the vast scale of tax evasion and money laundering.”


Vedanta AGM protest 2010

Although the company will continue, and doubtless continue to cheat and pollute, the de-listing will at least deprive it of some of it’s respectabilityand perhaps curtail some of its more damaging activities. Presumably the de-listing will mean no more AGMs in London, and I will miss the annual protests that I’ve attended most years since 2010, though I’m sure that so long as Vedanta continue their crimes anywhere around the world, Foil Vedanta will find some opportunity to protest them here.


Vedanta AGM protest 2013

Vedanta, owned largely by a billionaire Indian industrialist and his family, is the kind of company that has no place in a civilised world, with a long history of crimes in India, Zambia and elsewhere, attempting to mine sacred lands, dispossesing many, polluting air and water, evading taxes, lying to governments and courts, bribery and corruption, beating and shooting protesters, killing workers with a disregard for safety and more.


Vedanta AGM protest 2016

Its activities have been met by protests where it operates around the world, particularly in India, and in London where the company was based to get support from the British Government – with David Cameron pleading their case with the Indian Prime Minister and British taxpayers supporting its nefarous activities through our government agencies. Its crimes have been exposed by groups including Foil Vedanta, with detailed research summarised in the latest and earlier reports.

The report, Vedanta’s Billions Regulatory failure, environment and human rights can be downloaded here.  The de-listing, with a Bahamas based family trust buying back the 33% of shares not already owned by majority shareholder Anil Agarwal means that the company will now be much less open to public scrutiny. Though the financial authorities, as the report’s title suggests have failed in their duty over this, as a listed company Vedanta had to publish annual reports and individuals supporting Foil Vedanta were able to buy a single share to attend and ask questions at its AGMs. So while the de-listing was a victory for campaigners, it also presents a challenge, making their campaign more difficult.

Vedanta’s Final AGM

Deptford

December 15th, 2018

I can’t remember when I first went to Deptford, though it was possibly in 1982, the date of my earliest pictures in my ‘Deptford to Woolwich‘.  I’d certainly been to neighbouring Greenwich much earlier in my life, first on the only school trip from my primary school back in the mid 1950’s, when I will have seen its industrial shoreline from the river, but then few of us could have afforded a pencil, let alone a camera, and any impressions were solely on our young minds.

After my walk in 1982, I returned in 1984 to take  more pictures, again on my own, but in 1985 went on a group outing led by members of the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society, GLIAS, to which I still belong. I had come across GLIAS in 1977 on a family outing to the Kew Bridge Engines, and immediately joined up – and many of my pictures reflect an interest in the area, though I’ve done very little actual detailed recording work.

With GLIAS we went into Convoys Wharf, walking through their listed Olympia sheds to the riverside and on to the jetty where giant paper rolls were being unloaded from the ship for the Murdoch press, as well as into the rum cellars of the former Royal Navy Victualling Yard. The wharf has now been derelict for around 18 years, a huge 18.5 hectare site in the middle of London’s housing crisis, one of London’s many housing scandals down to private developers. Outline planning permission for around 3500 homes was rushed through around five years ago by Boris Johnson against the wishes of the local council but the first more detailed plan for a small part of the area was only put in six months ago.

Of course I’ve returned numerous times since then, more recently walking along the Thames path and visiting the lively Deptford High St, photographing along the DLR and the river Ravensbourne and more recently to Deptford Cinema on Deptford Broadway, and it was time for me to go again. And I wrote a post here in 2012, Views of Deptford.

I’d been aware of the fight by local residents to save the Old Tidemill Garden and neighbouring council at Reginald House, and of the occupation of the garden which had begun on August 29th, but partly because I’d been away on holiday hadn’t found the time to visit. So I was keen to go on the Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk organised by Tidemill occupiers during the Deptford X Festival – I’d missed a first such walk earlier in the year as I was busy photographing elsewhere. The route had been published and I could see there were some places I’d like ot photograph it would not go to, so I arrived a couple of hours earlier for my own walk beforehand.

On My London Diary you can see pictures from my own walk and the organised walk, as well as a set of panoramic images made during both of these. As usual these images have a horizontal angle of view of around 147 degrees (some needed to be slightly croppped.)

Deptford Walk
Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk
Deptford Panoramas

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King’s brings cleaners in-house

December 14th, 2018

Although I had to leave King’s College before the decision was announced, there was very much a feeling of celebration among the workers waiting in the area outside the building where the council meeting was taking place,  By the time I’d got my pictures ready to file there was an unofficial tweet of the decision, which was formally announced the following morning. I felt very pleased for the cleaners and also glad that I’d been able to support their campaign by attending and photographing a number of their protests.

People still keep telling me that “protests don’t work”. And its obviously true that some don’t. Our country still went to war in Iraq despite the largest ever protest against it (and one I was sorry to miss, having come out of hospital the previous day and still being unfit, though I had photographed various other protests against the war previously.)  But I’ve always felt that protest could have stopped us going to that war with better leadership of the movement. I do sometimes wonder if there were people in the pay of the intelligence services among them who deliberately let the moment slip. But many protests do acheive their aims, and others provoke and promote important debates and help to change public attitudes and political policies.

Some of the most succesful protests I’ve been involved with over the years have been by low paid workers, calling for better pay and conditions of service. Many of them have been organised by small grass-roots unions, but a few like at King’s College by more determined branches of a major union, in this case Unison. Although often they involve only small numbers of workers, for these people the gains can make huge differences to their lives, both in pay and in satisfaction with their jobs and in health and safety at work.

Some of these campaigns have had almost immediate success, with companies recognising the reasonable demands of the workers and, having been alerted to the Dickensian practices of contracting companies wanting to distance themselves and their reputations from these. Others have been long and hard fought, with Unison at SOAS fighting for over ten years to get workers brought into direct employment, though considerable gains were made on the way; the University of London central administration at Senate House is still dragging its feet. Universities seem less concerned about their reputations than many private firms, or perhaps they simply have more board members with entrenched views.

The event at King’s started on the pavement outside the college in the Strand, where students including the KCL Intersectional Feminist Society were running a lively protest.  The pavement gets very busy during the rush hour and police came to try and move the students who insisted on continuing the protest but did try to prevent the pavement being blocked. The police also eventually led away a man who had come to argue with the students; I could make no sense of what he was saying and was unsure whether he simply had mental health problems or was a fascist trying to provoke them as the students said.

More welcome as visitors were two RMT members, who had been attending a strike meeting nearby, and stopped to express their support for the cleaners. The RMT has been active in supporting its own low paid workers and against management victimisatino of their trade union representatives – a major problem in many of the disputes by low-paid workers.

The students then decided to go inside King’s College to join the cleaners who were waiting outside the meeting. Those outside who were not members of the college, including myself, were signed in as guests to go through the security barriers and we joined the cleaners inside.

Apart from being pleased to see the cleaners, many of whom I knew from previous events, things also became rather easier photographically. There was far more space and it was easier to move around than on the crowded pavement – though the crowds perhaps made for more interesting images. But importantly the lighting was much easier to work with – though again less dramatic.

On the Strand, as this picture shows, the sun was low and shining directly along the street, giving deep shadows and often excessive flare.  Photographing into the sun gave more dramatic images, and it was sometimes possible to hide the sun behind banners or placards, but it made photography difficult. Taking pictures with my back to the sun was easier, but many of the pictures had both areas in  bright sun and those in deep shade.

Had I been making portraits I might have used fill flash, but with wide-angle images this isn’t really practicable, and I had to rely on processing to bring up the shadows and take down the highlights, often with some additional dodging and burning. For the backlit images local use of Lightroom’s ‘De-haze’ was essential. Lightroom continues to improve both in functionality and in ease of use, though I didn’t welcome the recent news that future versions would abandon support for Windows 7, still by far more usable than Windows 10.

Inside King’s, the height of Somerset House’s East wing (where the council meeting was taking place) and the low sun kept the area in shade. Less dramatic but much easier. I’m sure there is some kind of moral in this!

More at Kings College workers await council decision.

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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A wet walk for wildlife

December 13th, 2018

Of course I’m in favour of nature, and appalled at the incredible loss of species cuased by various human activities around the world, including the destruction of forests, pollution of the seas, rivers, air and land and the changes to climate caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide making the world warmer.

So it was good to see people coming out to protest, even about the losses of some of the less fluffy of species like earwigs, but with a few exceptions there did seem to be a lack of the politics that is vital to actually do anything about the situation.

The event was planned to launch a new ‘People’s Manifesto for Wildlife’ drawn up by Packham with the aid of 17 independent experts and scientists aimed at halting the drastic decline in British wildlife. I have to admit not having studied this; perhaps it does call for the massive political change that would be needed to implement it, and perhaps it does (as did quite a few actually at the protest) see the UK’s problem as a relatively small part of a global problem.

I hope that all those who went on this march were also later in the year out on the streets supporting ‘Extinction Rebellion’, but there were not that many that I recognised, although that movement is based on the same kind of scientific evidence that was behind this event – and more.

It was certainly an event remarkable for the variety and inventiveness of so of the headgear and various giant (and smaller) animals on display, some very finely made and intricate, others rather less so.  Bats seemed to attract a number of the protesters and there are photographs of these along with some very fine owls , rats and birds and some fine placards on My London Diary.

One of the speakers congratulated those present for coming out and taking part, telling the hundreds of anorak-wearers that “we are used to going out in the rain”, that we don’t mind it at all. I have friends who are bird watchers (I think they call themselves ‘birders), and while I have nothing against them, it isn’t an interest I greatly share. But now is a time when they would be better standing on the streets than in the marshes and calling for real change, not just on one day a year but keeping up the pressure. Let’s hope they do – and follow David Attenborough to the barricades.

As a photographer I was pretty annoyed by the rain, though as usual I got on with the job. But I minded very drop that got on my lens and spoilt a picture. When they left Hyde Park to march to Parliament Square, I was pleased to be able to get on the tube at Marble Arch, though not to avoid going with them, but to photograph another protest, which appeared not to be taking place, though I did find another as well as a large orange lion before I returned to meet the wildlife walk as it came up Pall Mall.

My account and more pictures: People’s Walk for Wildlife.

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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#100Women

December 11th, 2018

We don’t need fracking. It’s dirty energy, causes considerable damage to the environment, endangers water supplies and contributes to global warming. As I write, Quadrilla has had to halt its fracking for investigations after around ten seismic events were recorded this morning, all small but a pointer to the damage that is being caused.  The fracking industry response is to call these minor earthquakes insignificant and is lobbying for the thresholds of at which fracking is temporarily halted to be raised.

The government backs fracking for at least two reasons. The first is short-sighted greedby them and their supporters, but the argument they more openly give is one of energy security, that if we can produce more of our own gas we would not be reliant on Russia, who could threaten to cut our our supplies.

This is perhaps a good argument for cutting our reliance on gas, and the best way to do this is by cutting our energy use, insisting that all new build properties and conversions have high energy efficiency. There needs to be more help for increasing energy efficiency of older buildings and an expansion of varioius government schemes.

Increasingly energy is coming from renewable generation, with both solar and wind playing a large part. Many now benefit from cheap electricity from solar panels, but government cuts in the feed-in tariffs which subsidised solar panels has decimated the solar installation industry.

Solar panels are now much cheaper and battery storage systems now available make more sense than supplying electricity at low cost (and there will be no feed-in tariff for new installations from April 2019) to the grid. Hopefully better (and cheaper) battery systems will make many more homes, especially new energy efficient properties, essentially independent of the grid, at least for much of the year.

The cheapest source of electricity is now onshore wind turbines, and the government should be backing and expansion in these rather than halting them and encouraging fracking. Fortunately there tends to be more wind at times in the year when solar generation is lower and reliance on both, along with other minor renewable sources should leave only a very limited emergency role for gas and other carbon fuels.

So we don’t need fracking, and we certainly don’t want the kind of problems it will cause, and many have been protesting against it at various sites across the country, but particularly in Lancashire, where the fight against the frackers has been led by a number of remarkable women, the Nanas from Nanashire, who have devoted much of their lives to stopping it.

Unfortunately, despite their long and valiant efforts – and Lancashire County Council’s refusal to allow it (also doubtless a result of the campaigns), local democracy was over-ruled by the government, and a couple of months after this protest in London, fracking began at the site near Blackpool.  And so have the earthquakes.

Local opposition across the country to fracking sites continues to grow, and a number of local authorities have come out against it. The response of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been to propose to change the planning rules to make fracking easier, seen by many as an attack on democracy. Many of those taking part in the protest wore  suffragette costumes to mark the 100th anniversary of women first getting the vote and to challenge Parliament now to make voting actually mean something.

After the rally in Parliament Square, there was a march around the square and then on to the nearby BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy )  where campaigners soon moved onto the open area under cover at the front of the building where they could see people working inside the ministry, some of whom closed their blinds. The protesters shouted loudly and sang anti-fracking songs fro some time before leaving.

More on My London Diary:

100Women against fracking
100Women protest at BEIS
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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Migrant Mother

December 9th, 2018

Had you asked me a few days ago I think I would have said that there was little more to say about Dorothea Lange‘s ‘Migrant Mother’ which has already had so much devoted to it, as one of photography’s truly iconic images. But there appears to be at least one significant fact I was not aware of in the new book from the Museum of Modern Art, written by Sarah Meister.

Perhaps not enough to make me want to read the book, but James Estrin, the co-editor of Lens, the New York Times photographic blog, has written a post on it, as always clear and concise, Unraveling the Mysteries of Dorothea Lange’s ‘Migrant Mother’.

As the image was one of a set taken for US federal Farm Security Administration, it is of course available at the Library of Congress, where you can download several versions of it and the others Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children.

This is a smaller version of my favourite of this image, and probably the oldest. The current version of it, available for download as a large tiff if you want to make your own print, has slightly different scratches on it, and both versions would take considerable retouching to make a really good print. As the LoC page above states “This is an unretouched version of the image listed in #1. This version of the image shows a thumb in the immediate foreground on the right side.”

There is more about the retouching to remove the thumb in the book and Estrin’s post, which remind us that Roy Stryker, “Lange’s boss at the Farm Security Administration … thought it compromised the authenticity not just of the photo but also of his whole F.S.A. documentary project” although such practices were widespread at the time and “Ms. Lange considered the thumb to be such a glaring defect that she apparently didn’t have a second thought about removing it“, getting an assistant to retouch the image in 1939, some 3 years after she had made the image in February 1936 (according to the FSA, though possibly March.) Personally I’m with Mr Stryker on this.

Perhaps the most interesting issue raised in the book is that after Florence Owens Thompson came forward and identified herself in 1978, an Associated Press article revealed that she was not as had been assumed of European descent ‘but “a full-blooded Cherokee Indian” from Oklahoma‘, something that would certainly have caused the image to have been seen differently had it been known when it was widely published – and even now where considerable prejudice still exists against Native Americans.  Lange appears not to have provided the usual field notes and captions for this set of images, and to have known relatively little about her subjects.

Sarah Meister’s book is one of a series “One on One” on individual items in the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. Surely a prime candidate for such a series should be a book by A D Coleman on Robert Capa‘s iconic D-Day landing image, for which the material by Coleman and his collaborators has been published online in voluminous and convincing detail at Photocritic International in the Robert Capa D-Day Project. While I’m sure that this will one day emerge in book form, I think it is unlikely it will be published by MoMA.

November 2018 complete

December 8th, 2018

November seemed a short month and one of short days with the clocks having gone back and evening coming in around 4pm.  The protests by Extinction Rebellion which were launched on the last day of October occupied me on two days, though I didn’t try to cover their series of smaller actions during the week, but without them it would have been a relatively quiet month.

When I began to write this post about the month I discovered that there were a couple of protests and a few pictures from a walk in Burnham Beeches that I’d managed to leave out, and had to go back and add them.

Back in the days when we worked on film I made a conscious decision to lock away colour film in the autumn to avoid wasting too much on colourful leaves, autumn and particularly ‘fall’ colour making a fortune for Kodak but producing nothing of any real interest.

Of course I didn’t literally lock the film away – the cupboard didn’t have a lock, but back then I had neither the time nor money to waste on such things (though I did just occasionally sin.) But there are some things that it is better to simply stand and admire rather than photograph, and that  photographs seldom if ever do more than hint at the glory of the real. Its something I feel too about sunsets and magnificent landscapes, where few of those I’ve taken really satisfy, and many I see simply look false.

The two missing protests were both outside meetings of south London councils, Lewisham and Southwark and both took place on the same cold wet night. At least there was reasonable street lighting on Tooley St, but it was curiously dark in front of the civic centre at Catford. Both Labour councils are trying hard to push through housing schemes against the interests of their current residents, many of whom will be forced out of the area.

Nov 2018

Protest at Lewisham Council & Mayor


Southwark protest estate demolitions
Free Political Prisoners in Iran
Extinction Rebellion Buckingham Palace


Extinction Rebellion Funeral Procession
Extinction Rebellion Parliament Square


IWGB at London University Founders Day
No10 Vigil says stop Brexit
Focus E15 protest former Newham Mayor
Extinction Rebellion form Citizens’ Assembly
Unity Against Fascism and Racism
Extinction Rebellion: Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo
Extinction Rebellion Bridge blockade starts
Burnham Beeches


South Norwood stands with Grenfell
Class War picket the Ripper ‘Museum’
Global Day to save the Sunderbans
Leave Voters say Leave Now!
Save Old Tidemill Garden & Reginald House


Class War protest Labour Housing record
No Demolitions Without Permission
Save Our Libraries march
Euston to Kings Cross Coal Drops

London Images

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Class War & the Rees-Moggs

December 7th, 2018


Jacob Rees-Mogg comes out to welcome Class War as they arrive to protest

I published the true story about Class War’s protest outside the Westminster home of Jacob Rees-Mogg on Facebook the morning after the event (and in picture captions hours after it happened), when the newspapers and TV were up in arms about a story they had invented about an “ambush” based on a largely irrational over-reaction to a dramatic short video taken and posted by Class War.


Starring Adam Clifford as Jacob Rees-Mogg

Both Class War and Rees-Mogg were I think delighted by the outcome, which provided an incredible amount of free publicity for both. I was upset because it showed a total failure of objective journalism in the UK. Not by the two journalists who were actually present at the the event – myself and another photographer who came along as it started (two other photographers arrived as it was finishing) but by those who fulminated on it without making any checks or inquiries as to what actually happened. Although I’d posted about it with the pictures I filed later in the evening, and the following morning on Facebook, my account was never used by the media and I was never interviewed. The media had made up their story and didn’t want to know what actually happened. And as Class War’s Ian Bone got bleeped out and insulted for telling Nick Ferrari on air, it was “total bollocks“.


and Jane Nicholl as Nanny Crook

I was there because, like the Rees-Moggs, I had read about it in advance on Facebook, where it had been fairly widely posted in advance. I don’t expect the Rees-Moggs read the various groups on which it was posted but clearly the police and others do, and had informed them, and Jacob Rees-Mogg had decided to miss a meeting of Brexiteers to play his role in the event, along with his family and Nanny Crook. He could of course simply have taken his family and nanny out of the house for the evening to avoid the protest, and I’d rather assumed he would, or that they would simply stay inside the house and ignore it. But he or his advisers were rather cleverer than I’d expected.


The family and Nanny came out to join in

Having decided to cover the event I told Class War and was invited to join them at the pub where they were meeting before going to the Rees-Mogg home, where two of the small group put on costumes for it, as Rees-Mogg and as Nanny Crook. A third activist was carrying a costume as a giant inflatable penis, but she didn’t start putting it on until the protest had started and missed most of it.


The boys didn’t want to miss the performance though adults pulled the blinds

It was a short protest, and I’ve written about it at some length in Class War visit the Rees-Moggs on My London Diary where you can read what actually happened.

At the end I went back to the pub with Class War, and watched the video one of them had posted with them, before going back home to file my pictures and story a couple of hours after the event. It was the video that made the story sensational – and it only showed a little of the event. And the media totally failed to ask the kind of questions every journalist should have asked.
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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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