Against Trump and Robinson

It was a day of strong emotions in Westminster, with rival rallies. Having been attacked by right-wing protesters at the previous ‘Free Tommy’ rally in Whitehall I had decided to leave the reporting of the far right protest at Downing St to my less recognisable colleagues. Although I’ve covered many events on the right, and tried to do so without distortion – and been commended by some on the right for my objective reporting – I’ve also been featured in photographs and named on right-wing hate web sites, with their suggestions that photographers like me are an enemy that should be roughed up or worse.

So I began taking pictures at the Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism rally in Old Palace Yard opposite the House of Lords, where speakers included a number of trade unionists – such as the PCS speaker above –  as well as Green Party MEP for London  Jean Lambert  and Weyman Bennett from Stand Up to Racism. I arrived after the event started, having rushed there from Croydon Pride, so I may have missed some, but I was suprised not to see or hear any Labour MPs.

The plan had been for those at the rally to march behind a lorry carrying their sound system to Parliament St and continue the rally closer to the extreme right protest, with police keeping a couple of hundred yards between the two events. But police refused to allow the lorry to move from where it was parked on Abingdon St. There was a bitter argument between the organisers and police who gave no coherent reason for the decision, which appeared to many to be politically motivated, but eventually the march which had been kept waiting for a long time proceeded without the powerful sound system.

Where Bridge Street runs in to Parliament Square, the Stand Up to Racism march was greeted  by a large group of anti-fascists who had met south of the river and come across Westminster Bridge, and a number of smoke flares were set off. Also on the corner were some small groups of right-wingers who were abusing the anti-fascists, with police trying to keep the two groups apart.

The Stand Up to Racism march continued up Parliament St to the police barrier across the bottom of Whitehall and held a further rally there, although without the lorry they could only use a smaller amplification system, and the speeches were inaudible for much of the crowd.

After having taken a few pictures of the speakers and the front of the crowd where they could be heard, I wandered back down towards Parliament Square, where the anti-fascist crowd was forming a barrier across the end of Parliament St, with police present in front of them.

There was a further police line across Bridge St, and beyond it I could see a larger group of right-wing football fans, being stopped by police from moving towards Parliament Square. There were a few of them roaming around the square, with police talking to them and trying to persuade them to leave. One of those, in front of Parliament was wearing a lurid t-shirt showing a young woman posing provocatively with various tattoos including a red rose and across her stomach below her half-exposed breasts in flowing script was ‘England’.

See more at:

Against Tommy Robinson & Trump
Whitehall rally against extreme-right
Anti-Fascists & Police harassed by hooligans

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