Posts Tagged ‘BNP’

Marikana, Bangladesh, Bahrain & Brazil – 2018

Saturday, August 13th, 2022

Marikana, Bangladesh, Bahrain & Brazil – 2018. One of the joys of London is its multi-cultural nature with so many people from different countries and nationalities working here and many for various reasons choosing to make a new life in the city, and the four protests I photographed on Monday 13th August 2018 reflected that diversity.

Marikana, Bangladesh, Bahrain & Brazil - 2018

London has long been a cosmopolitan place, and has a long history of welcoming people fleeing from persecution and oppression, certainly from the days of the Huguenots and in the late nineteenth century the Jews fleeing pogroms in Eastern Europe. London has also memorials to a number of the liberators of South America who were given refuge here, as well as European revolutionaries such as Karl Marx and Giuseppe Mazzini.

Marikana, Bangladesh, Bahrain & Brazil - 2018

In the twentieth century things began to change, beginning with the Aliens Act 1905 which was aimed at denying entry to ‘undesirable’ Jewish and Eastern European immigrants. But subjects of the British Empire still had free movement, though restrictions were tightened up against those from South Asia after the First World War.

After the Second World War we needed immigrant workers to run public services but also began to set up tight barriers against immigration from the Commonwealth. In the current century we have clearly racist anti-immigrant policies and now even plans to forcibly deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

There are now many different national communities living in London, often gathered mainly in particular areas of the city. And from these are many groups still highly concerned about events in their countries including some who have come here as political refugees. Often their concerns are shared with others on the left in the UK who come to protest with them.


Justice For Marikana – 6th Anniversary – City of London

Marikana, Bangladesh, Bahrain & Brazil - 2018

South Africa was once a key part of the British Empire, and its mines in particular contributed greatly to the wealth of London and many mining companies are still based in the city. The earliest demonstrations I attended were against British companies and the UK government who supported Apartheid and these and the boycott continued for many years.

34 Striking miners were shot dead by South African police at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in 2012, and three days before the 6th anniversary of the massacre the Marikana Solidarity Collective organised a tour of the City of London protesting outside the premises of investors, insurers and major shareholders profiting from the violence against people and nature in Marikana.

Lonmin plc was founded in London in 1909 as The London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company Limited and became a huge company. As well as mines the company diversified its interests and for 12 years from 1981-93 was the owner of the Observer newspaper. Even Prime Minister Edward Heath described the company, then notorious as Lonrho, in 1973 as “an unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism” for its busting of sanctions against Rhodesia.

The protesters carried banners and large portraits of some of the murdered miners. They met up at St Paul’s Cathedral and then left to march to the offices of several investors, insurers and shareholders profiting from the violence at Marikana, calling for those responsible to be brought to justice and for reparations to be made to their dependents and to those survivors who were injured and arrested. The tour ended outside the London offices of BASF who are the major customers for the platinum mined at Marikana.

Justice For Marikana – 6th Anniversary


Release Bangladeshi opposition leader Khaleda Zia -Downing St

The Bangladeshi Nationalist Party UK protested opposite Downing St for the release of their party leader, Begum Khaleda Zia, jailed in February for five years for embezzlement of international funds donated to Zia Orphanage Trust.

Khaleda Zia was the First Lady of Bangladesh during the presidency of her husband Ziaur Rahman who founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in the late 1970s, was Bangladesh’s first female head of government from 1991-6 after the BNP won the country’s first democratic election in 20 years, and served as prime minister later in 2001-6.

The BNP claim the charge against her was politically motivated. Her son has also been sentenced to 10 years in jail but remains in London. Some Bangladeshi friends say there is little to chose between Zia and her rival, Sheikh Hasina Wazed, leader of the Awami League and Prime Minister of Bangladesh since January 2009. They say both are corrupt and neither represents the interests of the people of their country.

Release Bangladeshi opposition leader


Attack on Bahrain Embassy hunger striker – Bahrain Embassy, Belgrave Sq

Inminds Islamic human rights organisation protested outside the Bahrain embassy after an attack in the early hours of the previous morning on hunger striker Ali Mushaima who was on hunger strike there since the start of August to save the life of his father Hassan Mushaima, one of the leaders of the 2011 mass movement that peacefully called for human rights and democratic reforms in Bahrain.

Inminds had protested in support of the Ali Mushima three days earlier, calling for the release of his father and all the other 5000 Bahraini prisoners of conscience languishing in the Al-Khalifa regimes jails and for and end of the dictatorship’s crimes against the Bahraini people.

Police had failed to properly investigate the early morning attack when a bucket of an unknown liquid was thrown over the hunger striker on the pavement below from the Ambassador’s balcony, but came to harass the protesters, trying to prevent them protesting in front of the balcony.

The protesters refused to move and then performed a rather unrehearsed short play in which Theresa May sold arms to the Bahraini dictator which he used to shoot protesters, who were then chained up. Unlike in real life the International Criminal Court came to their rescue, released them and condemned the Bahraini regime for their crimes against humanity.

Attack on Bahrain Embassy hunger striker


Free Lula – Brazilians for Democracy & Justice – Brazilian Embassy, Cockspur St, St. James’s

Brazilians protested outside the Brazilian embassy calling for the release of Lula – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – the former trade union leader who was President of Brazil from 2003-11 in order to enable him to stand for election again in October 2018.

The right-wing Brazilian government had brought highly dubious charges against both then President Dilma Rousseff and Lula to impeach Dilma in 2016 for what was not an impeachable offence and to send Lula to prison in an attempt to prevent the Worker’s Party (TP) winning in the forthcoming elections.

Unfortunately he was not able to stand in 2018, and the far-right Bolsonaro became President. But Lula was released pending appeal in November 2019 and in March 2021 the Brazil Supreme Court ruled the judge in his trial was biased and the following month restored his political rights and all his convictions were nullified. He is now the front runner for the 2022 presidential elections.


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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall. Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.


Londoners Defeat the EDL: 2012

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

Londoners came out to defeat the racist EDL when Tommy Robinson decided to hold a march to a rally in Walthamstow against Muslims and Sharia Law. The area is one of London’s more ethnically diverse, with a large Muslim population as well as others of Asian and Caribbean origin and, at least in 2012, many from Romania, Poland, Hungary and other EU countries. Roughly a quarter of the population of the borough of Waltham Forest call themselves Muslim though around twice as many identify as Christian.

The ‘We are Waltham Forest’ campaign brought together many groups from the community to oppose the march, including many from the churches and mosques in the area as well as the main political parties and trade unionists as well as more active anti-fascist groups including Unite Against Fascism.

From a well-attended rally in the centre of Walthamstow people marched to block the road along which the EDL intended to march. As they marched people came out of shops and houses to applaud them and it was clear they enjoyed wide community support.

When they reached the crucial road junction, many of them sat down on the street, while others stood and watched. A samba band played and people danced and it was clear that there were more than a thousand people determined that the EDL were not going to be allowed to pass.

I went to meet the EDL march on its way into the area, and found a group of perhaps 200 surrounded by a police escort which made taking photographs difficult. But since I was getting sworn and and threatened by the marchers the police presence was welcome, and they held back one man who made a determined effort to assault me. I followed their march for some distance; there were a few protesters at the side of the road against them, but police stopped them coming close. Along around half a mile only one person shouted support, leaning out of a first floor window, and was met with a huge response from the marchers.

Police took the EDL along some back streets that led them close to the site where they had intended to hold their rally but then kettled them. Tommy Robinson and the other EDL leaders had set up a PA system but the police held the marchers a short distance away and it soon became clear that a rally there would be impossible. Although most of the opposition was non-violent, stones and other objects were soon flying through the air, and the EDL leaders had to retreat, as I did too, watching from the sidelines.

I’d decided long ago that I was not prepared to wear the kind of protective armour that many photographers use to cover protests – including various kinds of helmet, bullet proof vests, shin pads and more. Fortunately such things are seldom needed at protests in the UK, though photographers have often been targets, particularly at extreme right protests. Here it was the anti-fascists who were throwing things, not at photographers but towards the EDL, but many were falling short.

It seemed to me that a stalemate had been reached and that nothing of interest was likely to happen and I decided to go home. For once I was right – often my leaving seems to be a signal for things to kick off – but this time little more happened. Eventually the police escorted the kettled EDL march away to an Underground station so they could safely leave the area.

More about the event and many more pictures at Waltham Forest Defeats the EDL.


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


Eight Years Ago… 1 June 2013

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Eight years ago I was standing in a crowd of around a thousand Turkish people close to Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, where they had gathered to march to the Turkish Embassy to show solidarity with the growing protests in Istanbul’s Gezi Park and across Turkey against the Erdogan regime which has been called the ‘Turkish Spring’. It was a vibrant crowd, including a number of groups of football fans. I left as the march was about to start, and heard later than numbers had grown to around 4,000 by the time they reached the Embassy.

I was off to a protest march from Tate Britain to Parliament against the cull of badgers which began in the two pilot areas of Somerset and Gloucestershire on that day. The protesters say that the cull flies in the face of most scientific opinion and that it will involve considerable animal cruelty as those carrying out the shooting are largely untrained and many badgers will be only wounded and will then suffer a lingering death. Among those who travelled to London for the protest were many who will try to physically prevent the cull being carried out.

I also left this protest before it was over, and went to Southwark Cathedral to attend a memorial service for an old friend who died recently. After this I returned to Westminster to photograph Nick Griffin and a small group of BNP protesters who intended to gain publicity by exploiting the killing of Lee Rigby by laying flowers at the Cenotaph. There were several times as many media as BNP around the statue in Old Palace Yard.

The BNP were prevented from reaching the Cenotaph by a large anti-fascist protest. They hung around for well over 3 hours protected by hundreds of police.

The police made several batches of arrests to fill a couple of double-decker buses they had brought along, but then appeared to decide it was impossible to arrest all of the several thousand anti-fascists who had turned up determined to stop the BNP.

When the BNP finally gave up and left, the anti-fascists began to disperse, with some marching up Whitehall and there were a few short speeches. Quite a few people had been let through the lines of the police and protesters to lay wreaths, but the organised exploitation of the Woolwich killing by the BNP had been prevented.

Anti-Fascists Stop BNP Wreath Laying
BNP Exploiting Woolwich Killing Stopped
Cull Politicians, Not Badgers
London Supports Turkish Spring

4000 Posts

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

I’m not a big one for anniversaries and so on. But I’ve just noticed that today this is the 4000th post on >Re:PHOTO since I began this site on December 1st 2006. That first post has been edited since then to reflect the reason I began posting here, which was to provide an audience for my writing about photography (and also my photography.) I’d been writing professionally about photography on the web since 1999, and it was becoming clear that I was likely to lose my position before long – for the offence of writing too much about photography.

That first post was just an introduction to me, though a second post that same day was a short opinion about Paris Photo, which I’d attended the previous month. Here is its in full:


Paris Photo

Paris was full of photographs in November, and there were some great ones at Paris Photo. But there were things that were hard to take too. Large empty wastes of dollar-rich nothingness covering the walls of some galleries. Vintage prints pulled from some photographers waste-bins and awarded stupendous price-tags. I found it hard not to burst out laughing when a dealer came up to the person next to me and told her the price of one rather ordinary ’60s fashion print was 20,000 euros. A couple of years ago we would have though 200 rather steep, and 2000 definitely well over the top.

Still, all good news for investors, and for the minority of photographers who have a place on the gravy train. There were a few other photographers around, trying to talk to dealers, but this wasn’t the place for it. “Best if you e-mail us” they were politely brushed off.

The first day I had a panic attack of sorts as the place got more and more full of people, all there for the free opening party, and had to rush out and up from the bunker into the fresh air above. The next day things were better, less crowded, but still more a place for millionaires than photographers.

But fortunately, there was much more in Paris than Paris Photo.


Then there was a long gap, with my next post not appearing until May 2007, around the time I finally got the push. Most of those early posts were about things I would not have put on the commercial site I wrote for. >Re:PHOTO was and is my own personal site and I can say and write what I like without having to worry about upsetting editors or readers or maintaining the broad church approach which I had originally been hired to pursue.

Being entirely my own site also freed me from some other restraints. Although my articles and notes had ranged widely over photography across the world (another crime in my new editors’ views) I was unable to write about and promote my own work or that of my friends. Occasionally I did use one of my pictures, but mainly to illustrate some technical point, and these were very seldom of any real interest. The pictures in this post are all ones I took in the month >Re:PHOTO began at a protest in Dagenham against the racist BNP, none of which could be posted on the commercial site.

Politics was another area where I often had to restrain or moderate my views, though I think sometimes they were fairly apparent. But most of my photography at the time was highly political. And certainly at times I’ve treated readers here to something of a political rant.

Jeremy Corbyn photographer

>Re:PHOTO has changed over the years, and back in its early years I was still very constrained by the fact that most of those accessing it were doing so with relatively low bandwidth. So images were few and far between in those early posts, while today most have at least half a dozen.

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at Dagenham

There are also many more photography sites and photography blogs than 13 or 14 years ago, and I feel less need for me to discuss wider photographic issues here. I’ve also come to a stage in my own work where I’m increasingly re-evaluating my own photography from the previous century and thinking about its future as my own is drawing closer to a close. That virus has sharpened my own thinking, particularly as I’m in groups designated as vulnerable both from age and illness and has given me time to think and to scan old work. I’ve had to give up taking new photographs (except for a few during exercise bike rides and the odd walk close to home) and stay at home – and have put over 11,000 old pictures onto Flickr, a few of which I’ve shared here.

All of those 4000 posts are still available on this site – and you can find them by month in the archive list at right or by a search for particular topics. This feature has taken longer to write than it should have, as I spent some time reading my several posts about important photographers who were omitted from what I felt was a rather disappointing 2007 V&A show,  ‘How We Are: Photographing Britain, along with some other things I came across.


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