Archive for October, 2020

Chris Killip (1946-2020)

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

When I heard a few days ago of the death of Chris Killip, my immediate thought was that I should write something about him here. But I was busy with other things and when I had time others had already done so, and in some cases rather better than I could have done. One article that I recommend if you have not already seen it is by John Devos on The Eye of Photography, and as well as the text it has a good representative collection of his photographs and links to several videos.

Killip was not as well known as he should be outside the limited world of photography, and this was something I wrote about in some earlier pieces here and elsewhere. He seemed to have a reluctance to show his work to a wider audience, and particularly on the web which is reflected in his web site, only set up in recent years, which I think contains only a single one of his images, and the comment:

An archive of 1400 Chris Killip images can now be viewed by anyone visiting the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol.

Chris Killip web site

I wrote at some length in 2014 about the lack of publications of his work; after Isle of Man in 1980 and In Flagrante  in 1988 it was over 20 years before more publications, by which time the earlier books had become high-priced collectors items. I’d fortunately bought both when they came out and still have them on my shelves.

And while the obituaries are full of well-deserved praise, we should not forget the slight from the photographic establishment in 2013 when although clearly his work was the most outstanding among the four shortlisted shows for the Deutsche Börse Photography prize, he was passed over, as I predicted he would be in my post Deutsche Börse Anti-Photography prize. The strength of Killip’s work was that he was a documentary photographer, something seldom appreciated by the English photographic establishment. As Adrian Searle commented in his Guardian review of the prize shows at the time (with “but one artist stands head and shoulders above the rest” in the subhead), “He should win because his work is still valuable. Much of the other work here won’t be, in 30 years’ time.” 

Three Years Ago

Saturday, October 24th, 2020
Lord Alf Dubs

Three years ago on October 24th 2017 I photographed two protests over stories that have come back into the news in recent days.

This 9th October the House of Lords voted 317 to 223 for an amendment to the immigration bill proposed by Lord Alf Dubs and three other peers to ensure that rights under UK law to family reunion guaranteed under the EU’s Dublin III treaty continue after the transition period. The government used its House of Commons majority to overturn the amendment and it returned to the House of Lords on 21 October. The Lords on 21st October again backed the amendment by a majority of 78, the fourth defeat for the government over attempts to ensure lone child refugees maintain the right to be reunited with their families in the UK. The government will probably use its majority to again strike out the amendment and demonstrate yet again how little they care for others.

Back in 2017, Safe Passage were protesting at the Home Office’s dragging its feet in carrying out their obligations under Dublin III and the previous Dubs Amendment passed in May 2016 to act “as soon as possible” to relocate and support unaccompanied refugee children in Europe. It took four years until May 2020 for the 480 places provided for under this scheme to be allocated and the children allowed to come here. The government then announced it had ended the scheme and had no plans to allow any of the thousands still stranded in Europe to come here.

The second event on October 24th 2017 was a rally by indigenous leaders Guardians of the Forest from Latin America, Indonesia and Africa, on their way to the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, arguing 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.

This year, Monday 12th October, known to some as Columbus Day, was celebrated in America and around the world as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Although first proposed in 1977 and recognised in the 1980s, this year saw a huge leap in its profile, with a US wide billboard advertising campaign featuring work by over 50 artists in what was called ‘The 2020 Awakening’.

Among the indigenous leaders speaking out on climate change is Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate, who made the news earlier this year when she was cropped out of a photo showing Greta Thunberg at Davos. It made her realise that not just her but the whole of the majority world gets ignored by media coverage. She strongly makes the point that “The Global South is not on the front page, but it is on the front line,” already suffering from the effects of climate change.

At the start of October 2020 Time magazine named Nemonte Nenquimo from the Waorani people of Ecuador of its 100 most influential people of 2020. There is a longer interview with her on Huffington Post.

Facing the climate crisis we need to learn how to live on the Earth in ways that are sustainable and work with nature rather than destroy it. As Nakate puts it:

“People always say that it is hard for human beings to adapt to new ways of living, but the pandemic has shown that we can.”

“If we want a future that is liveable and healthy for everyone, it has to be sustainable, it has to protect the people, it has to protect the planet.”

Vanessa Nakate – Euronews.com

1988 Free Mandela march

Friday, October 23rd, 2020
Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-66
Camden Town

Although I first took pictures at protests in the 1970s, I had been taking part in protests since the middle of the 1960s. But I was then a penniless student with no idea about how you could cut costs by developing and printing your own films; I did own a camera, a Halina 35X, but had dropped it in the lake at Versailles and it never worked reliably after that, delivering random but usually very slow shutter speeds from its rusty leaf shutter.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-55

Even after I had taken a short photographic course and got a job and could afford a new camera (a cheap Russian Zenith SLR) and had rigged up a temporary darkroom in the kitchen of our flat, I was still going on protests as a protester and took few if any photographs.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-31
BBC

Of course there were fewer protests back in the 70s and 80s, or at least it was harder to find out about them in the days before the World Wide Web. There were of course huge events such as the Miners’ Strike, but unless you lived in the mining areas or could travel to them, which didn’t fit with my full-time job you read about most of these after the events were given newspaper coverage if at all. Many other protests related to strikes and union issues were simply impossible to know about unless they concerned your own union.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7i-43

My attendance at protests was largely limited to the big national demonstrations organised by groups I belonged to – such as CND and the Anti-Apartheid movement and a few others that were advertised in advance in the alternative press. Many protests were only advertised by fly-posting on walls mainly in the areas they were to take place in – and there were few if any such postings in the area where I lived.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7j-65

I began to be more a photographer of protests than an actual protester in the 1980s, particularly after a few of my photographs were accepted for an exhibition on protest (and I think one won a prize.) I began to realise that I could make a great contribution to the various causes with a camera than simply marching or attending rallies, and, a little later, began contributing my photographs to a picture library concerned with social issues, and later still providing my services directly to some protest groups.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988

As more and more people and groups went on-line things began to change. I found out about more and more protests, at first as groups set up web sites to promote their activities. I’d spend an evening or more a week going through a list of perhaps 20 or thirty different groups and using sites which listed bus and travel diversions and various search engines to find out about events and put them in my diary. Then Google arrived and made searching easier and finally Facebook and I had little time to photograph anything but protests.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7j-13

The Free Nelson Mandela march in London was on Saturday 17th July 1988, the day before his 70th birthday and two years before he was released from prison. I walked with the protesters taking pictures from Camden Town to Hyde Park, and took a few pictures in the crowds in Hyde Park, but none of the stage and speakers at the rally. You can see more of the pictures in the Flickr album uploaded a couple of days ago. Clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to the larger version in the album.


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

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.


Notting Hill colour 1994

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-125-positive_2400

In 1994 I set out to photograph carnival both in black and white and in colour, and while my colour images concentrate on the people in the procession and their costumes, it was a little more varied than in previous years, with more overlap with the black and white work.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-111-positive_2400

So I took some pictures of the people watching the carnival in colour and perhaps rather more than in previous years where the carnival was the background rather than the main subject.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-108-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-104-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-097-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-094-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-078-positive_2400

I was working with colour negative film, and exposures were a little more critical than with black and white, which has greater latitude. There are some I could not get good prints from in the darkroom, and although digitising makes it a little easier there are still some where the colour is not as good as I would like.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-048-positive_2400

But despite these problems I was encouraged by the results , and the following year for various reasons photographed Notting Hill almost entirely in colour.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-018-positive_2400

There are around 60 colour pictures from 1994 beginning some way down page 6 of my Notting Hill in the 90s album and continuing onto the next page. Clicking on any of the pictures above will also take you to larger versions in this album.


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

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.


Levitation, Police Robbery and Catalonia

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

Three years ago on October 21st I spent an interesting Saturday travelling around London and photographing several quite different events – unlike last Saturday when all I did was sit at a computer and work on old pictures and take a short walk along a familiar stretch of the River Thames close to my home, taking care to avoid getting close to the other strollers.

The Catalan protest at Piccadilly Circus was colourful, with many of the several hundred present fyling or wearing flags and calling for independence. And many of the placards were in English, unlike some other protests about overseas events. While Spain seems to have managed so far to have stopped the indepenence movement by forceful policing and political trials in the longer term I think there has to be movement towards a more federal approach with much greater autonomy for the region. We are begining to see a similar trend here in the UK, where our government appears to be failing to honour the 1707 Acts of Union between England and Scotland as well as creating increasing division between Wales, Northern Ireland and Westminster, with the likely no-deal (or very limited deal) over Brexit seeming certain to lead to to a break-up of at least parts of the union.

Conveniently the Catalan march took me to Parliament Square where I could take the Circle line to Kensington and join a small group of Class War in their attempt to levitate the offices of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, responsible for the disastrous fire at Grenfell Tower.

It was also a celebation of the 50th anniversary of the Yippee levitation of the Pentagon during anti-Vietnam War protests, and Class War’s Ian Bone and shaman Jimmy Kunt (aka Adam Clifford) stood on the steps of the town hall and called “Out, demons, out! Out, demons, out!” to the demons of councillors Nicholas Paget-Brown, Rock Feilding-Mellen & Elizabeth Campbell in their attempted to levitate the town hall to a height of over 70 metres. Unfortunately I failed to capture a photograph of the building in mid-air.

As I reported in My London Diary:

Inspired by their success at the town hall, Class War’s Levitation Brigade then moved on to Northcliffe House, the home of the Daily Mail.

Security staff there reacted angrily to Class War calling out the demon of Paul Dacre and their attempt to raise the building by over 70 metres, perhaps fearing it might damage the Rolls-Royce parked outside, but the levitation ceremony went ahead despite considerable interference.

Class War levitate the Daily Mail

Several security staff objected to the protesters and told me that I couldn’t take pictures, although there is strong evidence that this was not the case, though I did have to move back several times when one attempted to grab my lens. But most of the time at least I was on the public highway and knew I had the right to photograph as I liked and told him so. But it was perhaps this harassment that again made me miss the moment of actual levitation – or perhaps not.

It was a rather longer journey to Kentish Town by Underground, but only around half an hour (Circle to Embankment and then the Northern line) and I arrived in good time for the protest outside Kentish Town Police Station. Police, urged on by Camden Council had been removing and stealing tents from homeless people on the nearby streets ‘in the interest of public safety‘.

A small group of protesters met outside the police station carrying tents before five of them went inside to hand themselves in for being in possession of these now illegal items, calling on the police to arrest them. The police were rather suprised and kept them waiting for an hour or so, before telling them after I had left that carrying a tent was not a crime.

Later both police and Camden Council denied they were harassing the homeless – in direct contradiction to the evidence from the street that they had done so. Perhaps this small protest meant that at least in Camden this cruel policy used in some other boroughs in London and elsewhere will no longer apply.

More at:
Stop Robbing the Homeless
Class War levitate the Daily Mail
Class War levitate Kensington Town Hall
March in Solidarity with Catalonia


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

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.


A Hull Walk – June 1988

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
'Os Wash', Nelson St, Hull, 1988 88-6e-14-positive_2400

Although my main project on Hull had really been completed with a show in the Ferens Art Gallery in 1983 I continued to make at least annual visits to the city, staying with my family at the home of my in-laws in north Hull just off Chants and Bricknell Ave.

Old Harbour, River Hull, Hull, 1988 88-6f-56-positive_2400

While there I would go out for long walks around the city, often with my two sons and occasionally with other family members or on my own, but always with a camera (or two.) Mostly, as in June 1988, I was re-visiting areas already familiar to me but sometimes finding new things to photograph.

Lime St, Hull, 1988 88-6f-32-positive_2400

Our visit in 1988 was a short one, I think for the wedding of a god-daughter, and most or all of these pictures were taken on a long walk which began with a bus journey to the city centre and the Old Town and then went north along the streets close to the River Hull to Sculcoates, before returning, possibly on another day or by bus, to the city centre and Paragon Station.

Chapman St Bridge, River Hull, 1988 88-6g-42-positive_2400

Both my sons, then aged 7 and 9 were with me on the walk, and appear in photographs that I took, but only one is I think present in the pictures on line, hiding at the side of a bridge. I seldom photographed people on my walks at the time, prefering to concentrate on the buildings and cityscape, but there is one rare example in these pictures of a man leaning on a fence on the pavement in Carr Lane. Almost certainly he had watched me taking photographs and had asked me to take his picture.

Man on street corner, Anne St, Carr St, Hull, 1988 88-6h-66-positive_2400

I think I have managed to put the pictures more or less in the order in which they were taken, so those familiar with Hull can follow my wlak, although they will find some buildings have since been demolished.

To see all the pictures I’ve posted from June 1988, start here on Alfred Gelder St.


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

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.


Greenwich Riverside Walk

Monday, October 19th, 2020

One of my favourite London walks has for many years been beside the River Thames on the path downstream from Greenwich. I first walked it in the 1970s and went back occasionally over the years, both on foot and later taking my Brompton bicycle to it on the train. When I was on foot I often went as far as Woolwich, not a great distance but I was always a photographer rather than a walker. Other riverside walks began from Woowlich or railway stations further east including Erith, Dartford and Gravesend.

On October 18th 2018 my walk was rather shorter as I was with three other photographers, and we began at North Greenwich. Parts of the riverside walk had recently reopened after closure for the continuing process of ruining the Thames by lining it with tall blocks of expensive flats and I was keen to walk it again after some years away.

There were other reasons for the walk too. One was a visit to the Pelton Arms, arguably Greenwich’s finest pub. Its in a homely area, developed like the pub around 1844, though the Grade II listed street of granite setts from around 1870 stops a few yards short. It’s just a short walk from Granite Wharf, which got its name as it was here than Mowlem landed its granite from Guernsey that once paved much of the streets of London. But the real attraction is its fine range of real ales and comfortable atmosphere – and, although quiet when we visited is one of South London’s leading music venues.

We were also on our way to an evening event across the river in North Greenwich, and after a meal in the centre of the town hopped on the DLR at Cutty Sark for the single stop to Island Gardens and a short walk to where another of our photographer friends, Mike Seaborne was having the launch of his book on the Isle of Dogs. It was getting a little late when we had finished our meal otherwise I would have suggested going across the river on foot, not walking on the water but under it in the Greenwich foot tunnel.

There are many more pictures from the walk on My London Diary. Most but not all are ultra-wide views with a horizontal angle of view of over 140 degrees. Often I crop these to a more panoramic format, but here I decided to leave them covering the full frame to fit better with the few less wide-angle images. All except one in this post are ultra-wide and they are presented in the order of the walk.


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

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.


Spitalfields & Wapping 1987

Sunday, October 18th, 2020
Spitalfields 87-7m-12-positive_2400
Interior, Christ Church, Commercial St, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, 1987

I think I had gone to Liverpool St to see off some visitors from Germany who had been staying with us and we arrived at the station long before their train was due to leave for Harwich, so I took them to see Christ Chruch, which was then in the middle of building works. The air was rather dusty and the light a little dim, but the structure was still impressive, and we were greeted by one of the clergy who gave us a short conducted tour.

Interior, Christ Church, Commercial St,  Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, 198787-7m-22-positive_2400

One of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s great pentagram of London churches much celebrated in the writings of Iain Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd and others it is a building I find more satisfying seen close too and at and angle as in this picture than in more prosaic and distant views.

Peach, Fashion, Commercial St,  Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, 1987 87-7m-21-positive_2400

Close to the church in Commercial Rd was this builidng, housing Peach and several other fashoion and clothing firms as well as The Colour Assembly litho printers. But I didn’t have long to take pictures as our visitors had a train to catch and we made our way back to Liverpool Street.

St Katharine's Way, Wapping, Tower Hamlets, 1987 87-7n-23-positive_2400
St Katharine’s Way, Wapping, Tower Hamlets, 1987

Afterwards I walked down to St Katherine’s Way, where some of the old warehouse buildings were being gutted and turned into flats, while keeping the basic facades. Miller’s Wharf dates from 1865, but once beyond the front wall is mostly from 1989. A 2 bed flat with a river view is currently for sale at £1.6m should you be looking to move.

Tower Bridge, River Thames, Aldermans Stairs, Wapping, Tower Hamlets, 1987 87-7n-36-positive_2400
Tower Bridge, River Thames, Thames Path, Wapping, Tower Hamlets, 1987

Just a few yards east is a part of the Thames Path from which you can get similar views (though only at ground level) without the huge price tag. Somewhere around this time I went with a group walking along the north bank of the river with the person from Tower Hamlets responsible for footpaths and we found then a number of places where there was supposed to be public access to the river had their gates locked. More recently when I’ve walked along here I think I have been able to access most or all of them.

River Thames,  Rotherhithe, Wapping New Stairs,Wapping, Tower Hamlets, 1987 87-7n-31-positive_2400

I think this picture, which has police launches moored in the foreground is taken from Wapping New Stairs – which are of course very old.

Discovery Walk, Wapping Lane,  Wapping, Tower Hamlets, 1987  87-7n-53-positive_2400

Little remains of the old London Docks, with new housing covering much of the area, here alongside the ornamental canal which I think includes some sections of the old dock wall. I took two pictures from the road overlooking the canal, one concentrating on the south and the other the north side.

Ornamental canal, News International, Print Works, Wapping, Tower Hamlets, 1987 87-7n-55-positive_2400

The two pictures actually overlap and can be joined to make a narrow panorama, though I don’t think I particular intended this when I took them.

The right of the picture is dominated by the large Wapping printing works of News International, the site of a protests for over a year from 1986-7 by the print unions against Murdoch. The strike ended in what seemed an inevitable defeat for the unions who were trying to prevent the introduction of new technology, moving away from the hot metal of Fleet St which employed several thousand type setters to litho printing which allowed journalists to directly input there stories.

More pictures on page 6 of 1987 London Photos.


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

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.


Notting Hill Colour – 1993

Saturday, October 17th, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-007-positive_2400

Although almost all the pictures I took at Notting Hill Carnival in 1993 were in black and white, I did make a few colour images, and here are a small selection.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-008-positive_2400

Almost all of them were of the procession, and I think taken in a fairly short period of time, mainly on Ladbroke Grove.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-019-positive_2400

I tried to cut my equipment to a minimum for carnival, partly to make it easier to move through the crowds, but also because I was just a little worried about taking what looked like camera bags full of expensive equipment to the event. And I wanted to be able to dance as I took pictures.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-022-positive_2400

Instead of a normal camera bag, I took a small khaki canvas ex-army shoulder bag which I still use today when I want to travel light, issued in 1942 possibly for a gas mask, large enough to take a camera, one or two spare lenses, a decent supply of film, notebook, water bottle and a few oddments, which back in those days would usually include a Mars Bar for when my energy lagged, and sometimes a sandwich or two.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-027-positive_2400

Probably when I saw some particularly attractive and colourful costumes and had finished a black and white film I picked a colour one to reload the camera – probably my Minolta CLE, a rather superior second version of the Leica CL which for some obscure reason Leitz decided not to put their name on, ending their collaboration with Minolta. I then took pictures quickly to finish the film so I could get back to my real work using black and white. I think that happened a couple of times on Children’s Day, but on the Monday I concentrated on more serious black and white work.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-034-positive_2400

In crowds I always made sure to put the shoulder strap over my head and on one shoulder and hold the bag on my stomach so as not to get caught up behind me. I always kept the camera on a strap around my neck too. But generally the crowds were good-natured and in high spirits and I had no trouble taking pictures.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-031-positive_2400

Just once, in the centre of a heaving crowd of dancers in front of a sound system I suddenly realised that someone had put their hand into my left trouser pocket. I grabbed it and held it there protesting, and slowly pulled it out to reveal it holding a wallet. But it wasn’t mine (I’d left that at home) and of course it had no money in it. I’m not sure why he was planting it on me, but pushed it back into the hand I was still firmly holding and told the guy to eff off and he ran off pushing through the crowd. It didn’t seem the place to investigate further.

More pictures on page 6 of my Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s on Flickr.


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

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.


XR defies illegal police ban

Friday, October 16th, 2020

On 6th November 2019 the High Court ruled that the ban on all protests by Extinction Rebellion in London that the Metropolitan Police had imposed on 14 October 2019 after a week of protests in XR’s ‘Autumn Uprising’ was unlawful. It was a misuse of the Public Order Act which was intended to allow police to manage protests but not to ban them, and the ‘Autumn Uprising’ was not a ‘public assembly’ as defined by the Act.

As seems often to be the case, the police had deliberately misused the law – and presumably would have taken legal advice that would have told them so. Doubtless they acted under strong political pressure from the highest levels of our government, and this can be seen as yet another case where the government has been found to be deliberately breaking the law.

XR continued to protest calling for urgent action by the government over climate breakdown, species loss and the risk of social and ecological collapse leading to mass extinction, while the government continued to fail to make any response in the Queen’s Speech outlining their programme for the year on Monday 14th October.

There had been arrests by the police when protests took place against the ban on the 14th, and the following day I photographed police warning XR activists who were gathering for the ‘No Food No Future’ protest opposite the MI5 HQ on Millbank before leaving to photograph a protest against the ban led by the Green Party which was taking place in Trafalgar Square. As well as several Green MEPs and party co-leader Sian Berry, those speaking included XR’s Rupert Read and an Irish and German MEP, and around a hundred XR campaigners came to join them. There were no arrests while I was there.

XR’s main protest against the ban came on the Wednesday, also in Trafalgar Square. While the police had ruled that even two people standing anywhere in London advocating action on climate change was an illegal assembly, several thousands had come to protest. There were a long series of speeches before XR held a general meeting in the square.

Many, including George Monbiot, had come to the event with the deliberate intention of being arrested, and after police seemed reluctant to act in Trafalgar Square they went to sit down and block traffic in Whitehall, where police made arrests for breach of the illegal ban.

In the early evening, XR held another protest outside at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp HQ at London Bridge demanding that his papers tell the truth about the climate crisis. Rather to their surprise they found that this protest was legal as the area outside the offices is private land and the illegal ban only applied to public places.

The Murdoch press has a particularly bad record of climate denial, but most of our other media are also guilty. Most of our newspapers are owned by a handful of billionaires who also have interests in fossil fuels, and even the BBC has given completely undue prominence to unqualified climate deniers and politicians in a misguided interpretation of ‘balance’ rather than reporting the overwhelming evidence of experts.

More about these protests and many more pictures on My London Diary:

XR demands Murdoch tell the truth
XR defies protest ban
Protest defends freedom of speech
XR No Food No Future protest


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

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.