Reclaim Love 10th Anniversary

© 2013, Peter Marshall
At the 10th Reclaim Love under Eros at Piccadilly Circus, 2013

Unfortunately covering the protest by the Disabled Peoples Direct Action Network in Whitehall had taken longer than I had anticipated when I was planning my Saturday afternoon – I hadn’t realised it would only start after the Fuel Poverty rally. But it meant that I was late for this year’s Valentine Street Party at Piccadilly Circus

According to the t-shirt, the first Reclaim Love / One In Love / Operation Infinite Love street party organised by Venus CuMara took place in 2003, but that year I was in hospital waiting for an operation after a heart attack and unable to pay much attention to what was happening on the streets.

In 2004 I spent the Valentine weekend in Paris with Linda, though we didn’t actually go to the club in this picture:

© 2004, Peter Marshall
Paris, Feb 2004

but I don’t think there was a Reclaim Love event in London that year. The Wikipedia entry on the event (which mentions my site and includes several quotations from it both first and secondhand) doesn’t give a clear account of the history, nor is their one on the Reclaim Love site.

The first event that I attended – and photographed was in Piccadilly Circus in Feb 2005 and appears to have been the second ‘annual’ event, and that in the following year, 2006,  was Reclaim Love 3.

© 2006, Peter Marshall
At Reclaim Love 3, 2006

Other than that first occasion, I’ve attended every year since, and you can read my accounts and see the pictures for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 on My London Diary. This year, 2013, my ninth set of pictures was of the 10th anniversary event, and probably the last that Venus CuMara, who founded the event, will personally organise.

The central point of each year’s celebrations takes place at exactly the same time – 3.30 GMT – at the sites around the world (in 2010 there were around 40) which take part in the event.

At 3.30pm be in the circle. Let everyone know that they are being joined by many other people across the world at this time to meditate on world peace as we repeat the words together. Let people know that we are meditating together in order to help effect a loving shift in consciousness for the good of All beings.”

The words repeated, from an ancient Sanskrit prayer, are “May All The Beings in All The Worlds Be Happy and At Peace” and you can read more about the event on the Reclaim Love site. Whatever we think of it, the circle of several hundred with joined hands and minds is quite a powerfully moving event.

© 2011, Peter Marshall
The Circle in the grove at Green Park,  2011

In 2011 Piccadilly Circus was in rather a mess with much of the pavement being relaid and everyone paraded down to Green Park and the circle was made around a circle of 13 massive plane trees there. But Green Park is a Royal Park and the park police were not happy at this incursion into their sacred space, the only occasion where there has been any problems with the police. Here’s my account of what happened:

Everyone present, except for a few photographers, linked hands in a great circle joining the 13 trees and repeated together “May All The Beings In All The Worlds Be Happy And At Peace” for around five minutes, and then, still carefully avoiding the growing daffodils, began to party and dance in the centre of the tree circle.

At this point, two vans full of police drove up, and Venus rushed across to talk to them. Apparently the event was contravening a number of the by-laws of the Royal Parks, and it did not have the permissions needed. After Venus had talked to one of the officers for some time, explaining what they were doing and inviting them to join in, she gave him a hug (a picture I missed as I’d moved away to talk to a friend) and they eventually came to an agreement that the group would move out of the park by 4pm and make its way back to continue the party at Piccadilly Circus – exactly in fact as had been intended. As Venus walked away, treading carefully between the daffodils, the police turned towards their van and the officer who had been talking with Venus said to his colleagues: “I really thought I was in a parallel universe there” and indeed he had been.


My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated are by Peter Marshall and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.