Climate Rush Cycle Protest

Finally I’ve got around to putting some more pictures from this protest on July 13 on line on My London Diary.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

My main dilemma in photographing this event was in deciding whether or not to take my bike. Handy though a bike is for following any bike-based protest such as this, it also tends to be something of a liability. Whenever anything is happening and the protest moves you have to decide whether or not to stop taking pictures and get your bike. When you arrive anywhere you need to find somewhere safe to lock it before you can start taking pictures.

Of course, if the cyclists are going to go large distances, a bike may become essential, especially when, as on this occasion the destination has not been disclosed.  Often when covering protest marches I’ll take the tube (or even sometimes a bus if the protest isn’t so large as to block the streets) so as to get to the end before the marchers.  With a bike it’s easy to keep up with other cyclists.

When I heard there was also going to be a bloc of the protest on foot as well as the cyclists, I decided not to take my bike but go with them, and I think it was the best way to cover it. We set off a few minutes before the cyclists and arrived at the destination before them, so I was able to take a few pictures of the large bloc of cyclists arriving.

The protesters had large placards which looked good in photos, but they had been made on the back of those used for a protest against university fees.  Although this was fine when they were marching with them and holding them the right way, once they were on their backs on the roadway to stop the traffic they were holding them up in the air, and then around half were always showing the wrong message. I was slow to pick up on this at the spot and had to reject many pictures because they had the wrong placards, and it was very obvious when reviewing the work on the computer screen. I met some of the organisers at another event a few days later and pointed out this problem to them – so next time they will have double-sided placards, or at least blank out any confusing messages.

© 2011, Peter Marshall
This wasn’t a protest against Uni Fees

I’m not sure whether Jenny Jones, a Green Party GLA member, will like the picture I took of her, but I do,

© 2011, Peter Marshall

and I was also quite happy with several other ‘portraits’, as well as pictures that showed the action that was taking place.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Perhaps my favourite image from the evening was this one of a protester who decided to lie down as soon as he was on the box junction, flat on his face next to his abandoned white bicycle. Apart from the design  with just lines and circles it appeals to me because of the simplicity of it’s colour scheme, with just black and white (and grey) with three yellows and some purple details on the bike and shirt along with the blue jerking.

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