Love Music, Hate Racism, fed up with stewards

Last Saturday I went to photograph a march against the BNP, who gained a seat on the London Assembly in the elections last month. I’d photographed the man who was elected, Richard Barnbrook, speaking at an outdoor BNP meeting in Dagenham a year or so ago, and detest his politics.

Barnbrook (C) Peter Marshall
Barnbrook speaks to media at BNP rally in Dagenham, Dec 2006

It struck me when I was taking pictures on Saturday that although the people in the demonstration were considerably more open and friendly than the small worried looking crowd in Dagenham, I was getting a lot more hassled by the stewards at Love Music Hate Racism‘s Stop the BNP march. Officiousness and threatening behaviour is no way to get good treatment from the media.

Although billed as a carnival parade, Stop the BNP was more a boring political march. If there was a samba band it was in hiding. For me the tone was set when a steward came up to the band who were just about to start playing and rather grudgingly allowed  them to do just one number before the march had to move off.

LMHR march

It wasn’t a huge march, and quite a few of those on it apparently left before the rally in Trafalgar Square (including me.) Although I’m dead against the BNP, I’m not really sure that this march was worthwhile. The Love Music Hate Racism campaign needs to convert hearts and minds not bore them. It should have been a carnival parade but was just another rather dull march.

More pictures on My London Diary as usual.

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