Archive for the ‘My Own Work’ Category

Alternative Housing Awards

Friday, February 8th, 2019

I wasn’t sure, as I made my way to SHAC’s Alternative Housing Awards 2018, due to take place outside the annual National Housing Awards on the edge of the Broadgate development whether it would be possible for the Social Housing Action Campaign to stage the protest there, or if I would be able to photograph it.

Broadgate is one of the increasing number of areas in London which, although open to the public, are privately owned, and where photography and many other activities are strictly controlled. Over the years I’ve been stopped from photographing a number of times, sometimes politely, other times less so. It’s often affected me less than many other photographers, partly because I almost never use a tripod and partly because I generally work fairly rapidly – and have often made the picture I want before security notice.

But although the security had insisted the protesters move down a little away from where they had wanted to stage their protest, they did allow it to happen, only insisting that the protesters remove banners they had taped to the walls, fearing they might cause damage. There was considerable argument over this, but eventually as security told them they would call the police unless they took the banners down, they were removed and held instead.

I’m pleased to say security completely ignored me, though the head of security did request a videographer not to film him talking with the protesters, and I was able to cover the event unhindered. I was very pleased the protest had not been forced onto the pavement outside, both because it was considerably darker, but also because it was raining rather steadily and we would have got very cold and wet.

The Alternative Awards Ceremony wasn’t the most interesting event for a still photographer, though I think it will have made a better video. After an introduction for each award to a housing association made by someone from Unite Housing Branch who had organised the event together with SHAC, there was an invitation for them to come up and accept a small cup, but not surprisingly none of them had turned up to collect their awards. Instead residents or former residents or workers came to take them and spoke about their own experiences.

Although we still think of housing associations as being organisations set up to provide low cost social housing, having taken over much of the role of local councils, along with many of their council estates as a part of Thatcher’s policy of marginalising local government, they have changed over the years to become in many cases virtually indistinguishable from private developers and landlords, producing new developments often largely for sale or rent at market prices, usually with fewer properties at high cost affordable rents or shared ownership schemes, and virtually none at true social rents.

The awards were made as follows:

As Landlords

Sanctuary Housing for Most Rotten Repairs,
London & Quadrant for Soaring Service Charges,
Peabody Trust for Senseless Social Cleansing and Dodgy Development, with a special mention for The Old Tidemill Garden in Deptford,
Notting Hill Genesis for Rocketing Rents,
Optivo for Secrecy, Unaccountability & Spin,
Tower Hamlets Community Housing for Blundering Board and Management.

Clarion Housing Group was awarded as Overall Lousy Landlord.

As Employers

Catalyst for Poverty Pay,
St Mungo’s for Punitive Performance Management,
Peabody Trust for its Relentless Restructures.

Catalyst was awarded as Overall Bullying Bosses.

More at SHAC Alternative Housing Awards 2018.

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Hull Streets

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Another publication by me is now available from Café Royal books. The Streets of Hull has 20 of my pictures taken between 1979 and 1985 as I walked around Hull working on my larger project which was shown and published as ‘Still Occupied: A view of Hull‘. You can see the whole new work on the Café Royal site.

Here’s the text I wrote for publication of that larger book:

‘Still Occupied’ was my first serious attempt to photograph the urban landscape. An extended study of the city of Kingston upon Hull, it was exhibited in the Ferens Art Gallery there in 1983.

When I started this project in 1977, Hull was in the throes of a massive redevelopment, with many inner city areas being bulldozed and instant slums being created on its outskirts. It seemed to have learnt nothing from the mistakes I had fought against during the previous decade in inner-city Manchester, and to be a city that had turned its back on its heritage, which as I hope these pictures show, I had come to cherish.

Circa 120 pages & 270 black and white photographs. First published 2011, reprinted with minor corrections for 2017 Hull UK City of Culture.’

‘Still Occupied’ is still available, though expensive in print, but there is a good PDF of it you can download immediatley for £4.50 and the web page also has a good preview.

After the show at the Ferens I continued to work on the project for several years and am still occasionally going back to Hull and taking pictures there most years, most recently last July and in February 2017.

You can also still see my early pictures of Hull on my Hull Photos web site, which currently has black and white pictures I made from 1973 to 1986, though when I find time I hope to add some colour work as well as pictures from later years. Almost all of the pictures in the Café Royal book are on the site.

The pictures have aged well in content if not always physically under the less than ideal storage conditions of my home. When I first made them there were some from Hull who felt they were showing an unfortunate aspect of the city which they wanted to dismiss and move away from. Now I think they are seen differently, reflecting a vital and under-recorded part of its heritage.

I decided against putting any text with the images. Some from Hull may recognise where they were taken, though much has disappeared. But I think the pictures speak for themselves.

The Streets of Hull‘ 1979–85 by Peter Marshall. Cafe Royal Books, 2019 36pp 20 black and white images £6.00 + p/p

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Universal Credit & Eurovision Boycott

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

As well as the Climate Justice march there were other protests in London on 1st December, and I managed to photograph a couple of them, the first vaguely on my way to the Climate protest. I took the tube a little further north to Camden Town, one of several London locations in a country-wide day of actions against Universal Credit.

It appears to be universally recognised – except among a few die-hards in the DWP and the ministers concerned – that Universal Credit has been very much a Universal Disaster. Part of the reason for this has certainly been that it was for years led by that universal disaster of a politician Iain Duncan Smith, an outstanding example of Tory incompetence, reaching levels only surpassed by his confidence in his own abilities.

While the aim of UC to simplify the benefits system was certainly laudable, it carried with it the aim to cut benefit payments, and is being implemented with a complete failure to understand the way that people in poverty actually live. There would have been few problems had this scheme designed by middle class people been for middle class people with their bank accounts, savings, friends and familiesto support them and tide them over the introduction, but applied to those living in poverty its results have been brutal;  evictions, homelessness, destitution and even death by starvation.

Although the main problems have been over the transition from previous benefits and for new claimants, with some being left for several months without any payments – and even when the system has worked as intended for around five weeks, various large categories of claimants have found themselves getting significant less after the transition.

There is of course one area of success; food banks. Although the government has proved itself callous and hard-heated, people across the country have responded with warmth and generosity, making donations and working as volunteers.  But it should never have been necessary, and the sight of Conservative MPs in a concerted Tory party campaign around the time of this protest posing for photo-opportunities at their local foodbanks was sickening and angered many of us.

Stop Universal Credit day of action


After the rally at the end of the Climate Justice march, I made my way more or less back to where it had started, to the BBC, where a protest was taking place calling on the BBC to boycott Eurovision 2019 because it is being held in Israel.

It’s hard to think of a less compelling regular TV event than Eurovision, which must mainly appeal to tone-deaf masochists. But clearly it is something that the Israeli government is using in an attempt to heighten its reputation as they increasingly turn Israel into an apartheid state – most recently with the passing of the Jewish nation state law – and the continuation of its aggresive polices towards Palestinians, particularly in Gaza. There should be a peaceful solution in the area that fully recognises the Palestinian rights in the area as well as those of Israel – as indeed Balfour stated back in 1917.

I supported the boycott of the apartheid South Africa regime for many years, applying pressure on South Africa through economic and cultural boycott – at a time when many, including almost all the Conservative Party was opposed to it – and labelled people like Nelson Mandela as terrorists. Back then I often thought nothing would ever change, or at least not in my lifetime, but it came, and things changed more rapidly than we ever imagined. It gives me hope that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign will eventually lead to a similar reconciliation and change in the Middle East.

Some idea of the hate that will have to be overcome was provided by a small group of vociferous zionists who had come to try and shout down the protest. Hate is never an attractive sight.

BBC Boycott Eurovision Israel 2019

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Campaign Against Climate Change

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019


March 2002

The first protestI photographed organised by the Campaign against Climate Change (CaCC) took place in March 2002, though I had come across the organisation and its founder Phil Thornhill the previous year at a climate protest at the US Embassy organised by the Green Party. The US was then and remains the chief villain in our fight to save the planet from extinction, and it was then Preseident Bush who was in bed with the fossil fuel companies, notably Esso, whose advertising campaigns claimed to ‘put a tiger in your tank‘.

So CaCC literally put a very attractive female ‘tiger’ on a bed with an activist with a George Bush mask and began pushing it towards Parliament from the gardens of the Imperial War Museum, with the tiger holding a placard showing Bush ‘Wanted For Crimes Against The Planet’.

The bed was on castors, and to begin with rolled along smoothly, but as we got to Westminster Bridge, disaster struck. The castors were designed to make it easy to move the bed around in a room, not for long distance, and certainly not to take the weight of a single bed loaded with two people, and one fell off, ripping out the screws from the wooden base, and there was no way it could be replaced.


Dec 2005

There were more protests in London by CaCC I photographed over the years, particularly the annual march they have organised at the start of December, and 2018 was no exception.

This year’s march began at the Polish Embassy, and we practised slogans in Polish as well as listening to speeches before the march set off, and you can see some of them on placards. UN climate talks were due to begin in a couple of days in Katowice, Poland, and it was very worrying that they were being sponsored by Polish fossil-fuel companies, producing some of the dirtiest fuel currently in use.


Face paint calls for planet-centred decisions

One campaigner came dressed as a ‘gilet jaune’ and with a placard ‘Brulons la Planete pour notre diesel!!’, presumably meant as an ironic comment on the French protesters whose protests were first ignited by increases in the cost of fuel, particulary diesel. But as the protests across French cities continue it has become clear that they are not about the price of oil but reflect a deep disatifaction with the way society is run by elites with little regard for the majority of the population.

I don’t know what it will take to get the British public to wake up to the seriousness of the situation over climate change. It was good to see people from Extinction Rebellion taking part in the march and speaking; but the high-profile actions by XR have only so far touched a minute fraction of the people. It’s a start, but I’m unsure it can really take off, or that its strategy will work.

It is certainly an uphill struggle, against the complacency of our political parties, who listen far more to the highly paid lobbyists working for coal and oil interests than to scientific evidence or protests such as these. Uphill against the dominance of the media controlled by a handful of billionaires pursuing short-term interests in dirty energy and polluting products. And a national character that grumbles in private rather than gets out on the street in protest.

At some point there will be a series of disasters that will finally prompt politicians into action, though the lesson from Grenfell is that one huge disaster won’t be enough – but will just be subject to the usual cover up and long grass.  By then I fear it will be too late. But while there is still some hope we need to battle on.

Together for Climate Justice

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

London Labour

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

My father never spoke about party politics, but I think his views were fairly clear. And when election time came round, although my mother always put up a Conservative Party poster in our front window, I’m fairly sure that my father’s vote cancelled her’s out.

Back then we didn’t get a vote until we were 21, but when I was around 14 or 15 I started to go to Labour party youth meetings in the local Co-op hall. By then my mother had died, but I don’t think she would have minded – she was a supporter of the Co-op, we had a Co-op milkman rather than the privately owned diary, and bought all we could, mainly clothes, in the local Co-op, always being sure to remember the Co-op number so we got our divi – I think it was then paid on an annual basis, and something she looked forward to all year, the only way we ever had any spare cash. That number is engraved on my mind – and several numbers generated from it occur in my various PINs and passwords.

Until a few years ago I’d always voted Labour, though only once has my vote ever led to anyone being elected – a young Gerald Kaufman in the 1970 election where he first became an MP, for Manchester Ardwick. He was amused when I told him this, around a year before his death that never since then has my vote counted.

Though I still believe that Labour is more likely to understand the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, to continue to support our NHS, and generally to make a better fist of running the economy and the country than the Tories who have such a proven track record of failure (and have got us into such a mess over Brexit) their record in recent years in local governement in London has been dire. Some things than can blame on national government for cutting the money they get, but there is a real problem that they have increasinly moved to becoming businesses, run by small cabals who appear to have forgetten that they exist to serve the public.

Housing is perhaps the major area of their failure, where they have failed to start with the people and their needs, and the need to build communities, but have adopted policies which destroy communites, send people in need of homes to distant areas of the country, convert huge areas of publicly owned land and assets into privately owned developments for those who can afford high market prices and rents.

There are of course other areas where both Labour and Conservative Councils have failed the people, taking out ridiculous loans, becoming property investors, building expensive council offices, outsourcing services to companies that fail to deliver and more, including some more straightforward examples of corruption and councillors and officers getting lucrative jobs. Most of the councils in London are Labour-controlled, though there seems to be little to chose between them and the Tories.

The first protest I attended on a cold, damp November night was outside the offices of Southwark Council, where the council is colluding with protperty developers to get rid of the centre of the Elephant and Castle, including a thriving street market and much used facilities by the local Latino community and replace it by a kind of Westfield-lite with little or no local connection, along with luxury flats that the people in the area can’t afford.

The council don’t like what residents and in particular council tenants and leaseholders on council estates tell them about their plans. They would rather not listen to the people whose activities get in the way of their business opportunities – so they plan to get rid of the established organisations and replace them by new ones with little opportunity for public opposition and which will remove any possibility of real public involvement.

Some councillors stopped to listen as they went into the council meeting, while others hurried past (and I think some had either arrived hours earlier or found a little-used back entrance to avoid the protest.) YOu can read more about what is happening in Southwark in the rather lengthy post on My London Dairy about the protest – and of course see more images:
Southwark Protest Estate Demolitions

I hurried from the protest outside Southwark Council’s offices and jumped onto a train at nearby London Bridge to take me to Catford and the offices of neighbouring Lewisham COuncil, arriving there as the rain came on harder. It was cold but I got some shelter as I waited for the arrival of the protesters who came a little later than expected.

There were several groups protesting against Lewisham Council, but the main group had come over the plans to develop the Old Tidemill Garden and the adjoining disused school and council housing in Deptford together with Peabody, once a respected provider of low-cost housing, but now more a property developer whose development would provide a relatively small proportion of properties at less – and mainly marignally less – than the high market rents for the area.

Protests about this development, which is destroying a highly regarded and award-winning community garden and displacing a number of tenants on council rents, have been going on for years, and the protesters have shown how the site could be developed to the same extent well keeping the garden and also allowing for the transfer of current residents to new premises on the site. But the council and Peabody clearly have had no interest and refused to engage with these proposals. As with the Southwark protest, I’ve written about these things before on several occasions.

The area outside Lewisham Council offices was peculiarly dark, getting little or no effective light from the street lighting, and I had to add light. Fortunately I’d brough both my cheap LED light source and the Nikon flash and put both to use taking pictures, with just a few made with no added light when people were closer to the street.

Protest at Lewisham Council & Mayor

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Open Bridges

Monday, January 28th, 2019

One of the more interesting projects as a part of Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017 was ‘Open Bridges‘ , an event unlike some truly based on Hull, a city which has long been split in two by its river. Rivalry between East and West Hull is at its highest in terms of sport, with Hull Football Club on the west formed in 1865 and Hull Kingston Rovers in the east from 1881. The sport is of course Rugby League, though other codes of football are available.

Back when I first began visiting Hull in the 1960s people were always complaining about being late for things because North Bridge or Drypool or one of the other bridges “were up“, disrupting bus or car journeys.  Then the bridges opened frequently with a great deal of traffic moving up and down the tidal river  to various wharves, though now bridge openings are fairly rare (except for Scott St bridge, a listed structure permanently open since some time in the 1990s.)

For Open Bridges, for the first time ever, all the bridges were opened simultaneously at 20:17 hours on the autumn equinox, 22nd September 2017, splitting the city completely in two, although only for a few minutes. Open Bridges also included a film and specially commissioned musical work for the event.

A River Full Of Stories is the follow-up to Open Bridges, and with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund is producing a film, exhibition, website and a book which will be given to each library and museum in Hull and the East Riding.

I’m very pleased that some of my own work is now included on the web site as one of the Open Bridge Stories,  The River Hull 1977-85 by Peter Marshall, with links to my ‘The River Hull’ and ‘Still Occupied’ books and my Hull web site.

My web site was also produced, but as an entirely unofficial contribution, for Hull’s year as City of Culture and rather to my own surprise I managed to post a new picture on-line every day during 2017 on it, as well as on Facebook, where I also put some short comments.  But I have to admit that I’ve rather neglected it since then, posting only a very few new pictures, and making little progress with adding the text about the images which I’ve written on to the web site.

Recently I’ve begun to scan some more of the colour images I made, at first on colour transparency, and from some time in 1985 using colour negative film. Technical problems in getting the results I wanted from slide film in pictures from Hull were a major motivation in my moving to negative film, and problems in getting the results I wanted from commercial printers led to me setting up my own colour print processing line – and doubtless breathing in lots of harmful fumes. Things are easier in many ways now, though scanning colour negatives still remains rather a dark art.

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

A Day out in London 1974

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

In 1974 I moved back from Bracknell, where I had been working since 1971 to the outskirts of London, buying a small Victorian house, built as agricultural worker’s house, in Staines, one of a row of 6 properties split by narrow passages into three semi-detached houses. Staines is inside the M25, probably the best definition of Greater London, but our area is the only part of Middlesex not to be included in a London borough in 1965.

Thanks to the objections of local Conservatives, particularly from the posher parts of the area we were delivered out of the London Borough of Hounslow, where Staines had been placed and obviously belonged and handed over to Surrey, across the River Thames, with whom Staines had very little in common and which still hasn’t quite accepted us, becoming the borough of Spelthorne. It was a decision based more on a snobbish disdain than political nous, as had the area been included, Hounslow would almost certainly have become a Conservative majority borough.

We moved to be closer to London, not for the benefit of my photography, but because my wife was then working at the British Library, then inside the British Museum. We needed still to be on the Reading line for me to travel to work in Bracknell, and had found nothing in Twickenham or Richmond we could afford, and the next station on the service at that time was Staines.

We moved in some time in August. After the move I was kept busy, painting walls and making small repairs and improvements inside the house, as well as digging up the extensive remains of the concrete floor of the former piggery a few inches below the large nettle patch in the garden. But I suspect I may have taken a day off during the October for the walk.

The pictures are something of a tourist view of London – and rather more so including some of the pictures I’ve not thought worth putting on-line, but obviously from a long walk carefully planned – at least in outline – before the event.

I wrote a short text to go with the pictures when I first put these online a few years ago, and here is most of it (with a few minor corrections.) You can see the other pictures not included here on my London Photographs site.

The Golden Hinde II seen moored in some images was launched in Appledore in April 1973, and came to London from Devon before her ‘maiden voyage’ in late 1974 – with a crowd here queuing to visit her.  I think the ship arrived at Tower Pier in London in September and left the following month to sail to San Francisco, making a number of trips to various countries before becoming a tourist attraction on the opposite bank of the river in St Mary Overie Dock. They were probably made using a Zenith B, for which I had the standard 58mm f2 lens along with a Russian telephoto, though I also owned an Olympus 35SP, possibly the best fixed lens rangefinder camera ever made, with a superb 42mm f1.7 lens.

I can recall little of that day even with the aid of the contact sheets, but I appear to have started taking pictures from London Bridge (probably having taken a train to the station there from Waterloo East) before making my way along the south bank to Tower Bridge, then crossing that to St Katharine’s Dock beofre wandering back through the city along the north bank to St Pauls Cathedral and on along Fleet St to Trafalgar Square, then going back to the Thames and the Albert Embankment, probably on my way back to Waterloo Station.

I took remarkably few pictures – 49 in all, on two Tri-X 36 exposure rolls. About half are shown here; a few of the images – of St Paul’s and in Trafalgar Square hold little or no interest, but most of the rest have at least some details.

It’s surprising to look at some and remember how much has changed. There were then no walkways beside the river on either bank in the City or opposite in Southwark, with only short lengths accessible. Many of the former industrial buildings have now been replaced by large office blocks, and in one image, smoke emerges from the towering chimney of the Bankside Power Station. Of least interest are the more touristic pictures – such as those of the Tower of London.

London Photographs site.

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Extinction Rebellion Buckingham Palace

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Perhaps the most surprising part of the Extinction Rebellion Day came outside Buckingham Palace, where protesters marched up to the impressive front gates behind teh ‘OUR FUTURE’ coffin, at first raising it up, and then lowering it to the ground in front of them.

I think people didn’t know what to do next, though there was some noisy shouting of slogans and then many of us started to wander away and see what was happening behind us.

There was a crowd behind the ‘REBEL FOR LIFE’ banner, with an empty space in front so that people could take pictures. This was one of many occasions where the 18-35mm was not quite wide enough, and I really needed the extra 2mm of the 16-35mm, unfortunately broken beyound economic repair.  I do have another, even wider full-frame lens, a Sigma 12-24mm, but the image quality falls short of the Nikon lenses so it gets left at home.

Normally I’d use the 16mm fisheye to get a wider view, but I know this isn’t really satisfactory when looking at rectangular objects – such as the banner and the palace – head on. The banner would be considerably taller in the centre  than at the edges, as the camera to subject distance is further for peripheral objects; while this makes sense in terms of optics, it just doesn’t look right.

I seldom like to photograph banners (or buildings) head  on, but for this image it makes sense, and I was just able to get back far enough to squeeze it all in. I did also move to one side to use a more oblique view – as you can see on My London Diary.

There was some uneasy grumbling in the crowd as Gail Bradbrook of Extinction Rebellion read a very humble address calling on the Queen to get her government to take the urgent action needed to save her country – and the world. Certainly as I noted, some in the crowd would have been happier to bring a guillotine. There was rather more unity behind yet another joint reading of the ‘Declaration of Rebellion’.

There was then a period of silence in memory of those who have already died because of glabal warming, after which people were invited to bring their wreaths flowers, placards and other objects to lay on top of the coffin, which was soon under a large pile.

The protest ended with dancing, while at least one person superglued herself to the railings by the main gates. Pictures of this and much more are on My London Diary at Extinction Rebellion Buckingham Palace.

______________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________________

Extinction Rebellion Funeral March

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

The coffin was carried off of the grass in Parliament Square and to the roadway in front of Parliament, where slowly the protesters formed up behind it. A short flight of steps at the back of Parliament Square enabled me to photograph it looking down and to show the large crowd in the square behind. Using the 16mm fisheye gave me a usefully wide angle of view (about 147 degrees horizontal) which meant including at left the lens of a photographer standing next to me at the top of the steps.

One man had brought a coffin of his own, complete with an animal skull, and another protester had a similar skull on her head, and there were plenty of other creative placards and artifacts. Others carried flowers. It was raining slightly as the march went up Parliament Street into Whitehall and many put up umbrellas, though I found none to photograph with slogans on them.

When the front of the funeral march reached Downing Street, there was a sit in for around 10 minutes, followed by some loud shouting of slogans as they got up and moved on.

I let the front of the march go on and waited for others to pass, wondering if there might be other actions taking place in Whitehall. As I stood next to the memorial for the Women of World War II, a man got out a paint spray and began painting a slogan across it. He gets as far as ‘MOTHE’ and tries to write an ‘R’ as a police officer grabs him, and he is led away and arrested.

I turned back to the crowd still outside Downing St, and see they are standing around in a large circle round a circle of people lying on the ground. Inside them are other bodies making out the double triangle ‘hourglass’ symbol, completing the XR symbol, which has also been chalked or painted on the roadway in several places.  I held the 16mm fisheye as high as I could above my head and took a number of pictures. By using this on the D750 (rather than the D810 which has a fixed rear screen) and working in Live View I was able to swivel the rear screen and have a good idea of the framing. For once the curved horizon adds to the image. Unfortunately I forget to switch from ‘movie’ to ‘still’ mode in Live View, and so get a 16:9 frame rather than the normal ’35mm’ 1.5:1, an annoying feature of the camera.

Others are writing on the walls in Whitehall – and getting arrested for it. Many of those taking part in Extinction Rebellion are deliberately seeking to be arrested, working on the hope that large numbers of arrest give the protests a higher public profile and may prod the authorities into doing something about the problems.

The front of the protest halted at the top of Whitehall, for me and the other protesters to catch up with them, before setting off under Admiralty Arch (now owned by a hotel company) and along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace. A few police try to stop them, but are ordered back to allow the protest to go through – and on to the next stage in the protest.

Many more pictures at Extinction Rebellion Funeral Procession.

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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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Extinction Rebellion burial thwarted

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

It was a big day for XR (Extinction Rebellion) which began with several groups blocking the roads around Parliament Square where a rally was taking place in the newly turfed centre.

The XR ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ was again read by all, pointing out the failure of government and of “corrupted, inept institutions”  to take action, thus threatening our future, and declaring it to be “our duty to act on behalf of the security and well-being of our children, our communities and the future  of the planet itself“, and then there were speakers, singers, a flute player and more before it was time for XR to carry out a burial, with a black coffin, topped by lilies being carried by pall bearers into the centre of the square. The protesters formed a tightly-packed ring around the centre of the square and the grave-diggers brought in their spades and began work.

Unfortunately when they began digging, caerfully lifting the turf and putting it to one side, they found the turfing had been done on the cheap, and the ground beneath, compacted by years of feet and occasional heavier use, was like concrete, making digging almost impossible. No wonder too that the grass which had grown there previously had never shown much resilience, turning to mud after almost any slight footfall – as it will have had no roots below the top inch or so.

But the protesters care – and their intended digging out of a grave, which after refilling would almost certainly have been beneficial for the lawn – was for naught, as police forced their way through the crowd, trampling the carefully laid aside turves to pieces and further compacting the bared soil. It’s arguable whether or not the protesters were guilty of ‘criminal damage’, but the police certainly were.

Things got rather intense, with a great deal of forceful pushing and shoving by police and we were all packed together. Using the 16mm fisheye and the 18mm end of the 18-35mm lens enabled me to continue taking photographs, though at times it was difficult to lift a camera. The XR organisers tried to keep the protest going and calling for calm and for people not to be provoked by the police action.

I was right at the centre when I saw the coffin surrounded by police near the edge of the crowd, and it was had to get out of the crush, even though everyone was happy to let me through. I managed to rush around the outside of the crowd and then make my way in again towards the coffin.

More pictures: Extinction Rebellion Parliament Square

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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

________________________________________________________

Police had surrounded and stopped the coffin being carried further onto the square, where they also apparenlty stopped a second attempt to dig a grave, though the crowd in the middle of the square was too dense for me to see or photograph this. For some minutes, everything came to a tightly-packed standstill until eventually XR decided the time had come for the next stage of their action.