Striking Firefighters March Against Cuts

© 2010, Peter Marshall

I was pleased with this image of the fire-fighters at the front of the thousand or two trade unionists marching to a London rally against the cuts.  Framing was a bit tricky as I was holding the camera up as high as I could above my head and saying my prayers – a ‘Hail Mary‘ shot. I took several frames, looking at the image on the camera back after each and trying to get the distance between me and the closest man right as well as the angle of the camera, and this one seemed to work. The D700 does have a shutter blind which stops light coming in through the viewfinder affecting the exposure, but in practice it’s often easier simply to cover it with my other hand as I did on this occasion.

Either I’d misread the details or it started early, as I was expecting to be at the meeting point for some time before the march actually started, but I met it coming along the road a few hundred yards away.  It’s almost always a good idea to go early when photographing events but I’d had a few things I’d wanted to do first. Some days when I’m photographing a whole series of events it just isn’t possible. But often things are more interesting before the actual start.

© 2010, Peter Marshall

There were plenty of trade union banners and I particularly like this one from Islington Trades Union Council which commemorates the ‘Grand Demonstration‘ by the Metropolitan trades unions to campaign for the release of the Tolpuddle Martyrs in 1834, which gathered at Copenhagen Fields. I was there last year when TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O’Grady unveiled a plaque to commemorate the event.

© 2009 Peter Marshall

The image on the Islington banner very much reflects the current population of London, and there was a strong group of demonstrators at today’s event from the Refugee Workers Cultural Association Women’s Branch, carrying placards from the  AvEG-Com against Militarism, War and Racism, to which they had added the word CUTS.

© 2010, Peter Marshall

I thought the Islington banner made a fine backdrop against which to mover closer to photograph an elderly woman, I think one of our new Londoners, in a flower-decorated scarf with its crowd as a backdrop.

© 2010, Peter Marshall

Of course there were other pictures, including those of the two main speakers, the RMT’s Bob Crow and  FBU’s Matt Wrack, as well as many more of the crowd, all in Trade Union March Against Cuts on My London Diary.

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