Archive for the ‘My Own Work’ Category

DOCK

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Currently showing at the HIP Gallery in Hull until May 18th is DOCK‘, showing St. Andrew’s Dock in Hull from its heyday as the heart of Hull’s thriving fishing industry through its decline into dereliction to how it stands now, as a sad wasteland.

The show was curated by Hull photographer Will Slater, who asked me to send a dozen of my pictures he had seen on my Hull web site, Still Occupied: A View of Hull, for it.

St Andrew’s Dock was built in the 1880s, opening in 1883. Though it had been designed for coal and general trade, from its opening it became the dock for what was then a fast growing fishing industry. It needed to be extended in 1895. There were plans for further expansion and modernisation in the 1930s, but these came to nothing.

In 1972, the neighbouring Albert and William Wright docks closed to commercial traffic and three years later in 1975 the fishing fleet moved to these, leaving behind St Andrew’s Dock, where the fish quay was in poor condition and the dock not suited to the modern large trawlers. But the Cod Wars soon put an end to Hull’s fishing industry, and later still what little fish there was being landed (mainly from Icelandic boats) in Hull moved to Grimsby.

My pictures in the show all come from 1981-1985, when most of the dock and its buildings were still there, some still in use as offices and workshops. It was only a short walk from them to the new home for the trawlers. Now relatively little remains, the main Lord Line building is there, but has been left open to vandalism, almost certainly deliberately, along with a couple of listed buildings and I two others when I photographed there last year.

There has been considerable controversy about the future of the site, with several proposals coming to nothing. The west of the site was years ago turned into the St Andrews Quay Retail Park, but the older part remains, the dock entrance closed and the dock silted up. It has become a popular subject for many taking pictures in Hull, and some of these by others including the curator form the third part of the show.

I was a little embarrassed by the state of some of the pictures I was asked to provide as the years haven’t dealt kindly with the negatives. Back in the 1980s too, technical standards perhaps weren’t so high as we seldom saw most pictures larger than 8×10 inches, while now they appear (in small sections) on my screen at perhaps 60 inches across from a full size scan – though prints at 300dpi will be a more sensible size. Fortunately it is now also possible to correct some – but not all – of the defects digitally.

I’ve yet to see the actual show, but hope to go before it closes. The pictures on this post are some of those that I sent and may not all be on display. For most of them it will be the first time they are seen in Hull, though I think a couple were in the 148 of my images shown at the Ferens Art Gallery in 1983.

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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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Halloween in South Ken

Friday, April 6th, 2018

As darkness fell, another Halloween-themed employment-related protest was taking place, this time in one of the richest neighbourhoods of London, South Kensington, and involving some of the poorest workers in the capital, the two cleaners who have kept the Ferrari and Maserati showrooms of H R Owen spotless on the legal minimum wage for the last 12 years.

Both Angelica (below) and Freddy (above) are Spanish speaking migrant workers and members of the United Voices of the World trade union, whose members and friends had come to support the protest, meeting outside South Kensington Station. The posters they are holding sum up the issue, though they are not asking for parity with the bosses, simply for enough to live on, the London Living Wage. Not a fortune, but over 20% more than they were getting paid.

As is so often the case, the owners of the showrooms, H R Owen, the worlds largest luxury car dealer, say that it is not their responsibility. They put the cleaning out to tender and give it to the lowest bidder, in this case Templewood Cleaning Services Limited, who make their bid the cheapest by keeping wages and conditions to the minimum and cutting corners in various ways. While reputable companies would feel bound to pay a decent rate, provide proper sick pay, pensions and holidays in excess of the legal minimum, provide proper safety equipment, materials and training and give workers the time needed to do the job to a good standard, cleaning contractors generally have no such scruples.

The UVW, as legally required, held a strike ballot to support the workers claim for a Living Wage after this had been turned down. Unsurprisingly it got a 100% support in a vote with 100% turnout. The employer’s response to the workers’ demand was to suspend them. The day before this protest at the end of a a five hour grievance and disciplinary hearing they gave the workers a choice; promise not to strike at Ferrari and accept your poverty wage, or find work elsewhere.

This had been meant to be an unannounced protest, but the lengthy gathering outside the station and the rather noisy march along the road gave the showroom management plenty of notice, and when the protesters arrived the doors had already been locked, and the protest took place on the street outside. It blocked the road, causing considerable disruption with traffic including buses having to be diverted around nearby streets, and I’m sure greatly annoyed some of the wealthy neighbours.

Eventually after 30 minutes of protest the police arrived and tried to talk to the protesters, without a great deal of success. They were told why the protest was taking place and that the protesters would move when they felt they had made enough of a protest.

They did leave soon afterwards, but only because one of those supporting the protest, the president of the IWGB trade union persuaded the protesters to march to protest at another location where cleaners in the IWGB are under threat. I didn’t go with them as I had promised to be elsewhere.

This story did have a happy ending. This protest achieved some publicity in the newspapers and TV, and perhaps those wealthy residents in the area also put on some pressure (quite a few people passing the protest had actually stopped to find out why the protest was taking place and expressed shock at the low pay of the cleaners) but for whatever reason the next protest planned for a week or two later was cancelled at short notice as the dispute had been settled with the cleaners back at work and on the London Living Wage.

Halloween protest for living wage at HR Owen
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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

________________________________________________________

Pregnant Then Screwed

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

In June 2017 the results were published of a research programme commissioned by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate the prevalence and nature of pregnancy discrimination and disadvantage in the workplace.  This report showed that every year 54,000 women lose their job for getting pregnant, a figure has almost doubled in the last 10 years.

It also demonstrated that 1 mother in 5 felt they had experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working from their employer and /or colleagues, and that 1 in 10 had been discouraged by their employer from attending ante-natal classes. It also showed how difficult it is for those suffering discrimination because of their pregnancy found it to access justice, with less than 1% raising a tribunal claim.

And not surprisingly the reaction of the government was to say thank you very much for telling us about it and then to take the usual action of putting the report to one side and hoping it will go away. Nothing has happened and campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed decided to give them a reminder.

That reaction had an unusually long gestation period and only emerged kicking and screaming 15 months later, at Halloween and wrapped not in swaddling clothes but in bandages with the odd saw or axe in the head in best zombie fashion.  It also came with some clever captions and posters and a tablet with various messages including ‘Stop Ovary Acting‘.

Although it would be easy to make fun of such vital issues as ‘Creches on Film Sets’ it is of course an issue that effects all women, not just those in well paid middle-class jobs, and though those on minimum wage have less to lose, its loss may be even more devastating. I think I was one of the 82,965 supporters who signed the petition that was being carried in a box on the protest.

It obviously is important that employers make it possible for women to work and not to discriminate against them for being pregnant or being mothers. As the organisers of the protest stated, “the Government has stalled and stalled, paying lip service to the issue but doing naff all to improve the outlook for working mums. And in that time 70,000 women have been pushed out of their job for daring to want both a family and a career.

Many of those taking part had gone to some lengths to dress up for the occasion and there was plenty to photograph – and plenty of photographers there to do the business.  You can see quite a few of the pictures that I took on My London Diary.

Pregnant Then Screwed March of the Mummies
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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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United Families and Friends march

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

Every year there are new families grieving the loss of a family member and calling for justice after a death in police custody or prison or secure unit. Most often those who have died have been young men, mostly black and usually in good physical health, though some have mental health issues.  Although some of the many deaths each year many be accidental or through natural causes, many seem to be the result either of direct actions by police or custodial staff, sometimes by failing to exercise proper care, but more often by failing to observe proper procedures and at least on occasion by deliberate use of inappropriate force.

Of course the police have a difficult job and often have to deal with difficult people, and like the rest of us sometimes get things wrong. But their actions should be subject to proper and independent scrutiny, and where appropriate they should be prosecuted for their actions. Instead we see a failure to properly investigate, a widespread conspiracy to cover up actions, ineffectual complaints procedures and organisations, a Crown Prosecution Service that works hand in hand with police to brush things under the carpet and a judiciary, inquest and court system which has far too often failed. Of course not every highly suspicious death at the hands of police was criminal, but many should have resulted in verdicts of manslaughter and some of murder – but none of the hundreds have.


Ajibola Lewis, the mother of Olaseni Lewis killed by police in 2010

The United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC), is a coalition of of people killed by police, in prisons, in immigration detention and in secure psychiatric hospitals and includes some who have been trying to get justice for deaths  for 20 years or more.  This was apparently their 19th annual march of remembrance – and I’ve photographed most since 2003, when I commented:

these are the friends and families of those – mainly but not entirely black – who have died while in police custody, in prison or in psychiatric care.

roger sylvester, david davies, joseph scholes, christopher alder, ricky bishop, rocky bennett, sarah campbell, mikey powell, brian douglas, james grafton, jimmy ashley, orville blackwood, alphonso coley, wayne douglas, joy gardner, glenn howard, paul jemmott, shiji lapite, alton manning, leon patterson, kenneth severin, ibrahima sey, aseta simms …

there are some 1500 names on the posters, listing those who have died in custody since david oluwale’s death in 1969. on the bottom of the list it says: “there are still more whose names we do not know.  all these individuals have died in the custody of police and prison officers or in secure psychiatric hospitals – many in suspicious and disgraceful circumstances.


Kadisha Brown-Burrell, the sister of Kingsley Burrell, killed by poiice in 2011

You can see more about the campaign and why it is necessary in the full-length film Injustice, about black deaths in custody from 1993–1999. The film was released in 2001 and received wide-spread showings despite efforts by the Police Federation and individual police officers to prevent it being shown with threats of legal action and it received various documentary film awards. The TV companies refused to show it, although it was shown in many cinemas, at community groups and elsewhere, and it forced a review into the Crown Prosecution Service, but this produced no real change. A special edition CD updated with extra material is now available.

Since 2003, the only main change has been that the list has grown longer, now with well over 2000 names. Many of the families of those listed above have given up the struggle to get justice, tired of beating their heads against the wall of officialdom.  Sarah Campbell’s mother Pauline Campbell is another name that belongs on that list; having thrown herself into campaigning for prison reforms after her daughter’s death she died from a drugs overdose close to her child’s grave with its message in black granite, “Her mother left broken hearted“, five years later. Having met and corresponded with Pauline, her death saddened me greatly.

As usual the march proceeded at funeral pace down Whitehall, this year with a banner at its front with the message “Police Have Licence To Kill” which unfortunately seems to be confirmed by events such as the shooting of Mark Duggan, Mohammed Yassar Yaqub and Jermaine Baker.  There were perhaps slightly fewer banners than in some previous years, with some families not coming this year, but there were some new ones too. And there were also two French campaigners whose problems with police violence are even greater than ours.

At Downing St there was a rally, blocking the south bound carriageway, with speakers from a number of the families. I had to leave before the rally finished and there were still others waiting to speak.

UFFC annual remembrance procession
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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

________________________________________________________

March 2018

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Thanks to a wet Bank Holiday Monday, My London Diary is now complete for March.

Comments on any of these posts are welcome here or on Facebook, where my site has albums for most of these events, usually with fewer pictures than on My London Diary.

Mar 2018

Against Israeli Land Day massacre


Defend Afrin – Bring Anna Home
BMXLife Charity Bunny Hop


Land Day protest against Israeli state
Staines Good Friday Procession


Shut Down Yarl’s Wood
Cleaners protest at Royal Opera House
Support for Yarls Wood strikers
Alfie’s Army at Downing St
British Museum Carillion staff
Staines & Shortwood Common


March Against Racism
University teachers march for pensions
Kurds protest Turkish Invasion of Afrin
Chiswick House Gardens
Don’t Bomb Syria
Remember Fukushima, 7th Anniversary
London March for Freedom for Tibet
Against attacks on Afrin
Sri Lankans protest Buddhist violence
Protest forcible religious conversions
Million Women Rise
Unilever & Myanmar’s Rohingya genocide


Reinstate the Royal Opera House 6
Solidarity with Yarl’s Wood
London Women’s Strike
Family Courts put on Trial
Shut Guantanamo at new US Embassy
Embassy Quarter


IWGB protest at Graduation Dinner
More Staines
No More Deaths On Our Streets

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

________________________________________________________

Roads & Bikes

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

Cycle safety shouldn’t really be a controversial issue, but it is, with some, particularly some driving black cabs, seen the presence of cyclists and the provision of any infrastructure for them as some kind of attack on the divine rights of motorists. Our lives and planning have been dominated for around a century by the demands of motorists and the road lobby, with powerful groups pressing their interests, including the oil companies as well as motorists groups such as the AA and RAC.

Britain’s main road system a the start of the nineteenth century was made of toll roads, maintained on the tolls levied by turnpike trusts. By 1830s there were around 30,000 miles of these ‘turnpike roads’ in England and Wales. But then came the railways which took much of their traffic; coaching disappeared and the turnpikes fell into disrepair as the income from their tolls plummeted. Horses and carts still travelled, but largely on local journeys on muddy and rutted roads.

What changed all this was the bicycle. A device that transmits with great accuracy the irregularities of the road surface to the posterior of the rider, particularly before the widespread adoption of the inflatable tyre. By 1885 the responsibility for the condition of major roads had been transferred from the defunct turnpike trusts to the local authorities, and the Cyclists Touring’ CLub was definitely on their case, forming the Roads Improvement Association, which in 1890 was at the head of the Good Roads movement, led by William Rees Jeffreys. The CTC in 1885 and 1886 organised Roads Conferences and published guidance for county surveyors on improving road surfaces for all users, not just cyclists.

But early motorists took the ‘Mr Toad‘ line. Motoring in the early days was the preserve of the extreme wealthy who saw the world and the roads as theirs, lobbying first for the repeal of the ACT which had demanded that for public safety they be preceded by a man with a red flag. The AA was actually formed to foil police speed traps. An feature in The Guardian in 2011 quoted a satirical verse published in Punch in 1907 which neatly sums up the views of motorists:

The roads were made for me; years ago they were made. Wise rulers saw me coming and made roads. Now that I am come they go on making roads – making them up. For I break things. Roads I break and Rules of the Road. Statutory limits were made for me. I break them. I break the dull silence of the country. Sometimes I break down, and thousands flock round me, so that I dislocate the traffic. But I am the Traffic.

But actually the roads had been made for cyclists and because of their demands. It wasn’t until the 1930s that we had the first roads made for motorists, with roads such as the Great West Road and the Great Chertsey Road, with their separate cycle tracks alongside.

I used to ride on the cycle track beside the Great West Road on my way home from school, but twenty years later it had become impassable. Cars were parked across it in places and the road surface had been largely destroyed by the weather and by cars running across it, making it impossible to use.

We partly have the London bombers of 2005 to thank for the resurgence in cycling in the capital, when many deserted the tube fearing further outrages. The Brompton bicycle, made in Brentford also played its part, making multi-modal journeys possible using train or underground and bicycle. Later came Ken Livingstone’s 2007 proposal for what unfairly became called ‘Boris Bikes’ when they hit the streets in 2010 and later still the first cycle superhighways.  These all coincided with ‘healthy lifestyles’ and greater exercise for health and a fight against obesity to turn using a bike from an index of failure into trendy living.

But we still need to make the roads, dominated for so long by cars and lorries, into safe routes for cyclists, both by providing separated routes like those 1930s cycle tracks, by banning the use of vehicles with limited all-round vision and by driver education. One good move might be a multi-stage driving test, with the first part requiring would-be drivers to demonstrate road sense on a bicycle (or for the less able, a tricycle.)

The protest in Ealing followed the death of a woman cyclist, Claudia Manera, who died a week after a collision with a lorry being driven at the Lido Junction on October 12th. You can read more about it at March for a Safe Uxbridge Road.

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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

________________________________________________________

Class War Levitation Squad

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

On the 21st October 1967, 50 years ago at the height of the anti-Vietnam War protests in the USA, Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, together with Allen Ginsberg, the Fugs and others marched to stand around the Pentagon and chant ancient Aramaic exorcism rites in an ‘exorgasm’ which was intended to get it to “rise into the air, turn orange and vibrate until all evil emissions had fled.”

Ed Sanders of the Fugs had researched the event, drawn out a flier for those taking part explaining the “magic rite to exorcise the Spirits of murder, violence and creephood from the Pentagon“.

The 10 stages of the rite included the exorcism text:

In the name of the amulets of touching, seeing, groping, hearing and loving, we call upon the powers of the cosmos to protect our ceremonies in the name of Zeus, in the name of Anubis, god of the dead, in the name of all those killed because they do not comprehend, in the name of the lives of the soldiers in Vietnam who were killed because of a bad karma, in the name of sea-born Aphrodite, in the name of Magna Mater, in the name of Dionysus, Zagreus, Jesus, Yahweh, the unnamable, the quintessent finality of the Zoroastrian fire, in the name of Hermes, in the name of the Beak of Sok, in the name of scarab, in the name, in the name, in the name of the Tyrone Power Pound Cake Society in the Sky, in the name of Rah, Osiris, Horus, Nepta, Isis, in the name of the flowing living universe, in the name of the mouth of the river, we call upon the spirit to raise the Pentagon from its destiny and preserve it,

the  placing of love-articles and clothing – “beads, feathers, rock & roll records,books and the sacred Grope Relic” onto the Pentagon and ended with the chanting by all present of the peace mantra:

a-ri-ia-ad-da-li-is Dim-an-za sar-ri ka-si-i hu-u-e-hu-u-i-ia tap-pa-as-sa-it sar-ri ti-ia-mu hu-i-hu-i-ia”

The Yippies had actually applied for and were granted official permission to levitate the Pentagon, though some hard bargaining by the authorites led to a cutting of the permitted height rise from the original 300 ft down to a mere 3 ft.  Accounts by eye-witnesses of what actually happened differ, perhaps largely depending on what people had been smoking.

Class War‘s Ian Bone and shaman Jimmy Kunt (aka Adam Clifford) along with a few co-exorcists went to celebrate the anniversary by attempting similar feats of levitation at Kensington Town Hall and later outside the Daily Mail.

Adam called out the demons of councillors responsible for the disastrous fire at Grenfell Tower, including Nicholas Paget-Brown, Rock Feilding-Mellen & Elizabeth Campbell on the steps of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea town hall and attempted to raise it to over 70 metres into the air, shouting . “Out, demons, out! Out, demons, out!” and ignoring the pleas of the security officer on duty.

Unfortunately I failed to capture the decisive moment of the building in mid-air; afterwards Ian Bone repeated a well-known quote from 1967 “You mean you didn’t see it, man?”

The team went on to repeat the performance outside  Northcliffe House, the home of the Daily Mail, where they were met with greater belligerence from a small group of security staff, apparently terrified of the effect removing demons might have on editor Paul Dacre, or perhaps that it might scratch the Rolls-Royce outside, before leaving to refresh themselves after the spiritual ordeal in the nearby Prince of Wales.

It seemed a strange choice of pub, though perhaps Charles has done more to discredit the monarch than most.

Class War levitate the Daily Mail
Class War levitate Kensington Town Hall

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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

________________________________________________________

City Airport Docklands

Friday, March 30th, 2018


King George V Dock, 1984

Back in 1984 I got permission from the Port of London Authority to photograph inside the areas of the Royal Docks which they had closed down three years earlier. I’d been photographing around the edges of the docks occasionally over the past three years and needed to get inside to complete my project. A few pictures were shown and published from it over the years, and in 2013 published the book of the project on Blurb as ‘The Deserted Royals‘. Still available as either a reasonably priced PDF or expensive paperback, and there is a extensive preview on the Blurb page.

By the time I took the picture above, the public planning inquiry into a Docklands STOLport as a city centre air transport gateway on this site six miles from the centre of London had been going for around a month, though detailed planning permission was only granted in early 1986.  Work started immediately, and the first aircraft landed in May 1987, with the airport opening for business on 26 October 1987, though the Queen came and did the formal opening a few weeks later.

Like all airports it grew, and the promises made to the planning inquiry were soon forgotten. There are still some limitations on traffic there, but it is no longer used by the whispering turboprop STOL aircraft it was built for, but people close to the flightpath for miles around suffer from deafening jets which often seem to approach at lower heights than promised. The number of flights allowed has grown hugely over the years and in 2017 there were over 80,000 take-offs and landings – an average of around 220 per day. Fortunately there have been no crashes on approach or take-off but given the highly built-up areas around a major catastrophe remains likely.

I went to the airport with protesters from HACAN East, led by John Stewart, local residents who want their views on the airport and its future to be taken into consideration and are calling for no further expansion, no increase in air or noise pollution and for and end to the concentrated flight paths which have made life a misery for those under them.

They had planned a event to attract media attention rather than a confrontation with the airport, with a team dressed as bakers carrying a 30th birthday cake from the terminal entrance to the airport offices, though in the event only one local newspaper photographer and myself arrived to take pictures. HACAN want a constructive engagement with the airport, and City Airport’s Director of Public Affairs Liam McKay who met them stressed that the airport also wanted to be a good neighbour – though quite how possible that will be is questionable.  The airport owners – who now include a Canadian-led consortium and the Kuwait Investment Authority – will be rather more interested in increasing returns than the health, safety and sanity of East Londoners.

In a civilised gesture we were invited in for tea and coffee, and to share a slice of the birthday cake, though McKay refused my request to photograph him cutting it. It was good coffee and the cake was fine – and I hope the the City Airport office staff enjoyed the rest of it after we left.

30th Birthday cake for London City Airport

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

 

Faces from the Forest

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Guardians of the Forest, indigenous leaders from Latin America, Indonesia and Africa, came to London on their way to the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn where they were to argue that the continuing maintenance of the forests by their indigenous inhabitants is vital in the fight against climate change, and that the clearance and devastation has to be stopped.

Their rally in Parliament Square commemorated the many who have lost their lives defending the forests against exploitation by mining companies, clearances for timber and agriculture such as the production of palm oil, much of it carried out by companies registered and listed in London. A few of those who have been killed for our profits were shown in photographs held up by some of the protesters, but most of the deaths over the years have gone unrecorded and, except by their families and tribes, unmourned.

Profit and “progress” has eliminated many who have stood in its way, usually with little thought and less conscience, seeking short-term gain for rich investors but ignoring the death and distress their activities cause.

But in the longer term it is not just the forests and the indigenous people who are suffering, as these forests are a vital part of our global life support system.  We need them and we need them to  be maintained sustainably. And while the exploiters are thoughtlessly destroying them, the people who live in them have hundreds or thousands of years of experience in living with them and keeping them alive – and are truly the ‘Guardians of the Forests’.

It was a privilege to meet these people and to photograph them. Here are a few pictures of their strong faces which so impressed me.

You can read more about the event at Guardians of the Forest – COP23.

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Homage to Catalonia

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

Another Spanish Civil War appears now to be taking place, though fortunately at the moment rather less bloody than the last, though the repercussions of that and the repressive Franco regime are still at least in part behind the current unrest.

Without that history, the referendum in Catalonia would have not have stirred up the same problems. It might have been rather more like the Scottish vote here in the UK, raising some fairly bitter arguments and probably being won by dint of promises made by the government which turned out to be largely fairy stories.

In the end I suppose I’m not a great supporter of independence, whether for Scotland, Catalonia or for that matter the UK. Rather than proliferating countries I think we should be setting up more clearly federal structures, recognising our interdependence, devolving much more to regional authorities at every level of government, from country or even continent down to street level, setting up a truly participatory and democratic system. It’s clearly the solution for Syria too, with Rojava an inspiring model.

Spain seems to be sitting on top of a pressure cooker, managing to hold the lid down for the moment, but things inside are building up and it can’t be long until they explode, unless something fairly dramatic is done to ease the pressure.

There was a lot of anger and energy on display at this event where several hundred, mainly Spanish and many Catalan came together to wave flags and show their support for the Catalonian people, demanding the immediate release of Catalonians imprisoned for their political views and calling on the UK government to condemn the police violence against civilians who wanted to register their vote in the Catalan referendum.

It’s always the problem of how your pictures show what the event is about, both the issues and the feeling. Words – on banners, posters, placards – and actions, and particularly gestures and expressions are mainly what we have to tell the story.

March in Solidarity with Catalonia
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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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