Posts Tagged ‘children’

Carshalton Carnival, Merton Priory – 2004

Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

Carshalton Carnival, Merton Priory: On Saturday 12th June 2004 I went to photograph the carnival in Carshalton and from there went on to an open day at Merton Priory, a scheduled ancient monument.


Carshalton Carnival

Carshalton Carnival, Merton Priory

It seems unclear when Carshalton Carnival first began, but it was certainly taking place in the 1930s, usually held on the second Saturday in June.

Carshalton Carnival, Merton Priory

By 2004 many other local carnivals were fading away but the event in Carshalton appeared to still be going strong, although there were fewer floats than I had expected and almost all the groups taking part seemed to be groups of children.

Carshalton Carnival, Merton Priory

Carnivals like this, organised by the local Rotary and Round Table, raise money for various charities and the Rotary had brought their Santa waving from the chimney of a very small mobile home. Carshalton’s Lavender Farm was represented by a bike-hauled trailer.

Carshalton Carnival, Merton Priory

The parade ended at the funfair taking place in Carshalton Park. I took a few pictures there too.

More pictures on My London Diary


Merton Priory Chapter House – Colliers Wood

Merton Abbey was one of the most important places in England from 1114 until Henry VIII dissolved it in 1538. The Abbey church was around the same size as Westminster Abbey and as fine a building as existing cathedrals such as Salisbury, but its fine stonework was taken down and used in other buildings, particularly Henry VI1I’s new Nonsuch Palace in nearby Cheam where building began the same year, though this in turn was demolished in 1683.

Merton Abbey was more important than Westminster or Canterbury. Here the first English laws, the eleven ‘statutes of merton’ were written in 1236, and its college established here moved to Oxford an became one of the three that started Oxford University in the 1260s.

The site remained derelict but part by the River Wandle became a calico printing works in 1724 using the power of a large waterwheel.

Alfred Liberty took over Littler’s Print Works here to print the fabrics for his Regent Street store, taking over the site completely in 1904 and using parts of it until 1977.

A little to the north in the Abbey site William Morris set up works in 1881 which produced decorated glass, printing fabrics and other goods until 1940. I don’t think anything remains of his works but there is a William Morris pub on the former Liberty site. And the world’s first public railway, the horse-drawn Surrey Iron Railway, ran through the site beside the River Wandle in 1804, taking goods to the Thames at Wandsworth.

Archaelogical investigations of the site between 1914-1920 established the floor plans of the former Abbey, uncovering its foundations. In 1959 a garden was created on the site of the main altar of the church and ‘given in perpetuity‘ to the people of Merton.

This now lies several feet below the surface of the car park of the Sainsbury’s ‘savacentre’ along with most of the rest of the huge church site, with just a little still present beneath the edge of the supermarket. Some parts of the original walls around the large Abbey site have survived.

A new dual carriageway, Merantun Way was built for the new traffic to the various shops, and the ruins of the chapter house were preserved in an enclosed area under this. Local volunteers had formed the Merton Priory Trust in 2003 and were holding an open day when I visited.

Back then the area under the road was rather dimly lit and I don’t think I took any pictures of the interior with its foundations. Cerrtainly I put none online. Now it has much better lighting and a new visitor centre with a small museum and is open on Summer Sundays to the public. You can see pictures on the IanVisits site. The Wandle Valley site shows pictures of some of the work being carried out and there is much more on the Merton Priory site.


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Workers, Cyclists & Palestine – 2012

Sunday, April 28th, 2024

Workers, Cyclists & Palestine – Saturday 28th April 2012 I began by covering the Workers Memorial Day protest at the statue of the Building Worker on Tower Hill before going on to The Big Ride, London’s largest ever cycle protest. My final assignment was opposite Downing Street where people were showing their support for the more than 1200 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails.


Workers Memorial Day – Tower Hill

Workers, Cyclists & Palestine

Around a hundred trade unionists and pensioners met at the statue of the Building Worker at Tower Hill on Workers Memorial Day to remember those killed and maimed at work, laying wreaths and releasing black balloons.

Workers, Cyclists & Palestine

According to official figures 20,000 people in the UK die every year as a result of their work though campaigners believe the true figure is at least double this. At least 1.9 million people of working age are living with injuries caused or made worse by their jobs and many of these are in the numbers Rishi Sunak complains about as being economically inactive and the Tories want to force back into work.

Workers, Cyclists & Palestine

The UK has a poor safety record for workers, 20th out of 34 in the OECD industrialised countries and governments have contributed to this by cutting workplace safety inspections dramatically. They respond to lobbying by employers to “cut red tape” which has meant a lowering of safety for workers – and for others including those killed by the Grenfell fire where the local authority was allowed to avoid proper fire safety inspections.

Workers, Cyclists & Palestine

Workers Memorial Day began in Canada in 1988 and was recognised by the TUC in 1999 and the Health and Safety Executive in 2000. The UN adopted it as the World Day for Safety and Health at Work in 2002. Its message is “Remember the dead – Fight for the living.”

This year, 2024, the theme for International Workers Memorial Day is the Climate Crisis and Workers’ Health, exploring the impacts of climate change on occupational safety and health. Events are taking place across the world, and in London in Waltham Forest, Barking and Stratford today, Sunday 28th April and tomorrow, Monday 29th April in Old Palace Yard, Westminster at 1-2pm.

More from 2012 on My London Diary: Workers Memorial Day.


Big Ride for Safe Cycling – Park Lane to Temple

This was a huge family-friendly ride for cyclists, with and estimated 10,000 riders taking part, calling on the next London mayor to show their commitment to making London’s streets safer and healthier by encouraging walking and cycling.

All three main candidates have signed up to select three high-profile locations for Dutch-style cycling infrastructure, which encourages cycling and walking although I only saw one of them, the Green Party’s Jenny Jones, actually taking part in the ride.

Many of those taking part dressed up for the event and there were some weird and wonderful machines taking part. For many it was a family day out and there were some very young participants both in trailers and on various small bicycles among the crowd.

More at Big Ride for Safe Cycling.


Support For Palestinian Hunger Strike – Downing St

This was an emergency protest called at the last minute to support the over 1200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on hunger strike against administrative detention and other issues.

Among those held in Israeli jails in 2012 were 27 Palestinian MPs, 8 women and 138 children. Around 320 of them are in administrative detention, held without any charge or trial, and their numbers had risen considerably in the previous 18 months.

Hunger strikers are being punished by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) who have confiscated personal belongings, transferred some to other prisons, put some in solitary confinement and denied them visits from family members and lawyers.

Support For Palestinian Hunger Strike


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Vaisakhi in Gravesend – 2012

Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Vaisakhi in Gravesend – Saturday14 April 2012: Gravesend is in Kent around 20 miles east of London on the River Thames and home to around 15,000 Sikhs in a population of just over 100,000. The first Gurdwara opened here in 1956 but in November 2010 a splendid new Gurdwara was opened, the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara. This is said to be the largest Gurdwara in Europe and one of the largest outside India and cost £12 million, financed by donations.

Vaisakhi in Gravesend

The temple is on a large site around half a mile east of the railway station and I arrived too late to make a tour of the place as the Nagar Kirtan procession was getting ready to start.

Vaisakhi in Gravesend

I took a short look inside then went back outside to photograph the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Scriptures) being carried out ceremonially to be put inside a model of the Golden Temple of Amritsar on one of the floats at the head of the procession.

Vaisakhi in Gravesend

Vaisakhi in Gravesend

There were lengthy prayers outside the Gurdwara before five Khalsa, baptised Sikh men in saffron robes carrying Sikh standards and five more with raised swords representing the Panj Pyare baptised at Ananpundur in 1699 by the last living human Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the founding of the ‘Khalsa’ took their place in the procession behind an open lorry carrying a large Nagara drum and its beaters.

Behind them was the Guru Granth Sahib and then the walking congregation (Sangat) led by Punjabi School children, then the women and after them men, along with several vehicles carrying the elderly.

The Gurdwara also has various cultural, social and sports groups, including Bhangra music and dance groups, the Guru Nanak Football Club and children from local primary schools and lorries carrying some of these made up the end of the procession.

I hadn’t arrived early enough to visit the Langer, but as the procession made its way around the centre of Gravesend there were a number of stalls handing out free vegetarian food and drink. I enjoyed some delicious vegetable curry with a strong mint flavour as well as some very sweet chai and a couple of vegetable samosas, but there were also plenty of treats for the children, lollipops, soft drinks and sweets.

Shri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara in Brandon Street

Close to the very much smaller Shri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara in Brandon Street there was a large crowd waiting to see the procession and more people handing out free food. I paid a very brief visit to see the interior of this temple.

The procession was going back towards the Gurdwara when I waited to see the end of it go past before going to catch a train. The celebrations were to continue the following day with a religious service in the Gurdwara.

Many more pictures at Gravesend Vaisakhi.


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Extremists and Mob Rule

Thursday, March 14th, 2024

Extremists and Mob Rule: Last Saturday I walked along with around 450,000 others from Hyde Park to the US Embassy in Nine Elms calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israeli genocide. The IDF has now killed over 30,000 people, mainly women and children and many more are threatened with starvation and disease as Israel continues only allow a trickle of the food and medicines needed into Gaza.

Extremists and Mob Rule

Humanitarian agencies including UNRWA are ready to distribute aid, but far too little is coming across the borders and the Israeli army are disrupting their activities, while Israeli spokesmen continue to produce lies which even the BBC now feels it has to challenge. The pictures here all come from this march.

Extremists and Mob Rule

Of course it wasn’t a mob, but a peaceful protest. It wasn’t Islamists taking over the streets of London, though there may well have been a few taking part among the more than 99% of us who were protesting because of the terrible scenes we have seen on even the limited reporting which has been allowed to come from Gaza – where Israel still prevents the international press from reporting. And because many of us believe that we should have a peaceful solution which gives freedom to both Palestine and Israel.

Extremists and Mob Rule

It wasn’t one of of my better days. I was feeling a little weak and walked twice as far as I should have done. The march may only have been around two and a half miles, but photographing it I walked at least twice that, going back and forth. And after collapsing for a short rest beside the Thames opposite the US Embassy I walked back to the middle of Vauxhall Bridge. From there I could see almost the length of Vauxhall Bridge Road, around three quarters of a mile still packed with marchers and no end in sight. But I was tired and turned back and took the train home from Vauxhall station.

Extremists and Mob Rule

Later today the UK Government is expected to announce its new definition of extremism, which is expected to be something along the lines of:

promotion or advancement of ideology based on hatred, intolerance or violence or undermining or overturning the rights or freedoms of others, or of undermining democracy itself

The point behind this re-definition is to enable the government to list organisations which it considers extremist and to ban these from meetings with ministers and elected officials or receiving public money and ban individuals who belong to them from serving on government boards.

It is clear that it will be used by the current government to list a wide range of organisations that are seen as left-wing in an attempt to embarrass the Labour Party, including those that support the Palestinian opposition to Israeli occupation, and with Sunak’s crazed accusations of “mob rule” could be applied to any organisation that supports large protests on any issue, but particularly calling for freedom for Palestine. And I expect to see Stop The War and CND on that list along with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Muslim Association of Britain and the Palestinian Forum in Britain.

Peter Tatchell

Reports suggest that the largest Muslim group in the UK, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), as well as Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) and Palestine Action will be on the list and any other groups opposed to the UK’s Prevent programme. Government departments have boycotted the MCB since 2009.

Listing will not ban these groups, though it might deny funding to some organisations which many might feel important in maintaining effective democracy. And if this wretched government remains in power much longer we will certainly see further powers given to the police particularly over the policing of protests, probably giving them much greater control over the activities of listed groups.

It will almost certainly be used to stigmatise groups which campaign against the monarchy, and perhaps also those calling for changes to our parliamentary system such as the abolition or reform of the House of Lords or proportional voting systems. And groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil will surely be there.

Michael Gove has apparently rejected suggestions that trans rights activists will be among those listed, but suspicions remain that these and some gay rights groups might also be targeted.

Perhaps too, human rights organisations that launch legal cases against government legislation might feature, and when we have had government ministers in recent years labelling the Supreme Court as anti-democratic it is hard to see where this definition might end.

Like many recent statements from the government, this one from Gove seems dangerous and divisive. It might even itself be seen as “undermining democracy itself.

You can read more about the protest march last Saturday, 9th March 2024 and see another seventy or so of my pictures at End Gaza Genocide Massive March To US Embassy


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Children’s Blood and Women Rise – 2019

Saturday, March 9th, 2024

Children’s Blood and Women Rise – On Saturday 9th March 2019 Extinction Rebellion covered the road at Downing St with fake blood in a protest calling for a future for children and women marched through the West End in an annual protest against male violence.


Blood of Our Children – XR – Downing St

Children's Blood and Women Rise

Two processions converged from both directions on Whitehall outside Downing Street, each led by children carrying posters with the message ‘Our Future, Our Blood’ along with a person ringing a bell.

Children's Blood and Women Rise

The children were followed by people in single file carrying buckets of fake blood prepared to be arrested to draw attention to the need for urgent action to avoid the otherwise inevitable extinction of human life on Earth. They were followed by a crowd of other Extinction Rebellion supporters.

In front of Downing Street those carrying buckets formed a large half circle and when the bells stopped ringing came forward in three waves to pour the blood onto the roadway, retuning to sit down and await arrest.

Children's Blood and Women Rise

Police watched carefully but took no action. There were a number of short speeches from young people, including some very impressive 10 and 11 year-olds, before I left, as well as by students and grandparents, but no arrests.

More pictures at Blood of Our Children – XR.


Million Women March against male violence – Oxford St

I left early to rush to Oxford Street for the annual all-women Million Women March by several thousand women, girls and children against male violence and arrived a little before the march was due to start from a street at the side of Selfridges.

The theme of the 2019 march was ‘Never Forgotten’ and it remembered the more than a hundred women killed by men each year in the UK, mainly by partners or ex-partners.

As in other years there was a strong representation by women from our diverse ethnic communities, concerned about male violence both here and in their countries of origin.

In the UK 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence at some point in their lives and one incident is reported to police every minute.

Many more pictures on My London Diary Million Women March against male violence.


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Shaker, Job Centres, Firefighters, Tube, Lambeth

Sunday, February 25th, 2024

Shaker, Job Centres, Firefighters, Tube, Lambeth – On Wednesday 25th February I photographed a number of protests in London, starting in Westminster with the Free Shaker Aamer campaign, striking firefighters and welfare rights activists, then with tube workers at Edgware Road and finally outside Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton.


Free Shaker Aamer – Parliament Square

Shaker, Job Centres, Firefighters, Tube, Lambeth

A protest opposite Parliament called for the urgent release of London resident Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo, where he has been held and regularly abused for 13 years without charge or trial.

Shaker, Job Centres, Firefighters, Tube, Lambeth

The Free Shaker Aamer Campaign had been holding weekly protests opposite Parliament whenever it was in session to remind government of the need for act over his release. He had long been cleared for release but was still held in the illegal prison camp with both US and UK governments dragging their feet as his testimony would be embarrassing to their security agencies, making clear their involvement in torture.

Shaker, Job Centres, Firefighters, Tube, Lambeth

The protest was longer than usual as an international event was taking place at the nearby QEII centre and they wanted to remind delegates there of Shaker’s torture and imprisonment. Eventually the long campaign of protests by this and other groups led the UK government they needed to back his release in practice and he was finally released on 30th October 2015.

More pictures: Free Shaker Aamer at Parliament


Striking Firefighters block traffic – Westminster

Shaker, Job Centres, Firefighters, Tube, Lambeth

Firefighters in England held a 24 hour strike on 25th Feb 2015 against the unworkable pension scheme the government intended to implement. They say that the devolved governments had recognised the problems in the scheme and made improvements but in England government ministers were refusing to talk with the union, simply ignoring requests for meetings. They accused the government of lies about the union, saying they were being labelled as militants despite them being ready and willing to enter into negotiations at any time.

After a rally in Westminster Central Hall, several thousand striking firefighters protested on the street outside Parliament before marching to Downing St. Their protest brought all traffic in the area to a standstill until they marched away.

They stopped outside Downing Street and refused to move, saying they would wait there until someone came out to talk to them. A senior police officer come to talk with Matt Wrack and the other FBU leaders there and was extrememly politie, taking Wrack’s mobile number before going away to see if anyone could be persuaded to come out from Downing St to meet the protesters.

I left them leaning on the barriers and looking into Downing Street waiting for someone to come and see them, though I doubted if anyone would ever emerge.

The Fire Service has also suffered like other public services from government cuts; in London these led to Mayor Boris Johnson making dangerous reductions, closing some fire stations and reducing equipment and staffing, which left the London Fire Brigade ill-equipped to deal with major disasters such as the Grenfell fire.

The FBU union later won a number of legal cases against the government over the changes that were made to the pensions scheme, leading to significant compensation for some members.

More at Striking Firefighters block traffic.


Welfare Advocacy not a Crime – DWP, Westminster

Welfare activists protested outside the Dept of Work & Pensions in Caxton Street as a part of the national day of action over the arrest of welfare rights activist Tony Cox. He had been arrested when he tried to accompany a vulnerable claimant to her job centre interview to argue for a fairer claimant agreement.

As well as several banners, one man was gagged in protest. By law claimants are allowed to have and adviser present with them at the interview, but when a claimant turned up with Cox, his interview was cancelled.

Cox and the claimant then left the job centre, but later in the day police arrived at his him and arrested him, charging him with threatening behaviour.

Welfare Advocacy not a Crime.


RMT protest Underground Job Cuts – Edgware Road Station (Bakerloo)

Around 20 RMT members handed out fliers at the busy Edgware Road Bakerloo Line station against the proposed 50% cut in station staffing and the closure of the ticket offices which they say will endanger the safety of both passengers and staff.

They got a very positive reception from many of the public going in and out of the station or walking past, although a PCSO came to harass and try to stop their picketing. Most of the public seemed to realise that staff do far more than sell tickets and offer service and protection to the travelling public.

Many promises were made to Underground staff and the public about how they would be protected when cuts were made, but most were later broken.

RMT protest Underground Job Cuts


Lambeth against £90m cuts – Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton

After taking some photographs of the protesting RMT staff I got on the Underground there, changing at Oxford Circus to take me to the end of the Victoria Line at Brixton.

There I walked down to Lambeth Town Hall on the corner of Acre Land to join around a hundred trade unionists, pensioners, library and other council staff, social housing tenants and other residents who were gathering for a lively rally outside Lambeth Town Hall.

A lively rally took place urging councillors who were arriving for the council meeting to reject library closures and other £90 millon cuts which were being passed there by the large Labour majority on the council. Labour then held 59 of the 63 council seats. Among the speakers at the rally was the only Green Party councillor, Scott Ainslie, who was to vote against the cuts. The Green Party gained four more seats in the 2018 council elections but lost three of these in 2022. Right-wing Labour councillors still have an overwheming majority and the council continues its policies which fail the community.

Lambeth’s finances were stretched by the development of a new Town Hall or Civic Centre the cost of which roughly doubled from the original contract of £55 million ot £104 million. Policies such as the closure of libraries and the demolition and sale of popular and well-built council estates like Cressingham Gardens had already produced a great deal of protest in the borough.

The £90 million cuts passed at the council meeting later that evening have had a disproportionate impact on children, old people and the disabled who always rely on local services more than the average person. Council employees at the rally opposed the cuts not only because they feared for their own jobs, but because they knew those that remain in post will not be able to offer the public the same quality of service that they do at present.

Lambeth against £90m cuts


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Gaza March in London 3rd Feb 2024

Friday, February 9th, 2024

Gaza March in London – Another huge march through central London called for an immediate ceasefire and for an end to the Israeli genocide against Palestinians.

Gaza March in London
London, UK. 3 Feb 2024

I didn’t hear any news reports of the march, and over the past few days other events have largely pushed reporting over the continuing genocide to the edges of coverage.

Gaza March in London
London, UK. 3 Feb 2024.

If anything the deliberate targeting of civilians in Gaza appears to have increased since the ICJ ruling calling on Israel to do all it can to prevent genocide in the area.

Gaza March in London
London, UK. 3 Feb 2024.

Israel is still keeping international journalists out of Gaza and feeding the world’s press with misleading information. The BBC have some good reporters but they cannot work in Gaza. They have had interviews with some families and doctors in Gaza – some now killed. Papers such as The Guardian also carry reports from people in Gaza – such as Mondays Gaza diary part 44: ‘The angel of death is roaming the skies, nonstop’. But to get real information about what is actually happening on the ground you need to also go to alternative news sources.

Gaza March in London
London, UK. 3 Feb 2024.

One of those is Double Down News, who say “Far too many Journalists sit comfortably trapped in their own bubble of privilege and power, talking to each other and the so-called political class, rather than serving the people they’re meant to inform.” They aim to “prioritise people, ideas, evidence and community above all.” DDN carries no advertising but is supported by over fourteen thousand of subscribers who give what they can afford rather than being owned by governments or billionaires. And you can be one and become a part of the community equally with the others.

London, UK. 3 Feb 2024.

One of their latest videos is ‘Israel’s AI Killing Machine‘ by Palestinian-American lawyer and activist Lara Elborno which exposes by how Israel is using modern technology to target civilians across Gaza. Like other videos on the platform it provides a chilling insight missing in the mass media.

London, UK. 3 Feb 2024.

Before writing this a few days ago I read Al Jazeera’s Israel War on Gaza coverage, with its list of key events on day 123 published on Tuesday 6th February. Under the Humanitarian crisis in Gaza it begins its report with “At least 27,478 people have been killed and 66,835 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7.

London, UK. 3 Feb 2024.

It goes on to give other significant news on the humanitarian crisis, before news on Regional tensions and diplomacy and on what is happening in the Occupied West Bank. Al Jazeera was the first independent news channel in the Arab world and is funded by the Qatari state.

London, UK. 3 Feb 2024.

All pictures here are from the march in London on Saturday 3rd February 2024 which was I think uneventful. It was certainly large and several streets around the BBC were densely crowded before the start. I photographed the start and then slowly went down Regent Street with the marchers, stopping a number of times to photograph them as they walked past me.

London, UK. 3 Feb 2024. ‘Sunak’ and dead babies.

At Piccadilly Circus I decide to wait until the end of the march arrived there, and it was a long wait. It was almost two hours after the start of the march before the end arrived, and most of that time the streets were crowded across both carriageways with slowly moving people.

London, UK. 3 Feb 2024. London Mothers and Children Say Stop Killing Babies.

It was too late to be worth trying to get to the rally on Whitehall and so I began my journey home. I uploaded 35 images to Alamy but later put these and around 35 more into an online album Ceasefire Now – Stop The Genocide In Gaza.


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No To Arms Fair At Twickenham

Saturday, January 27th, 2024

No To Arms Fair At Twickenham: This Monday, 22nd January 2024, Richmond & Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised their third annual protest at Twickenham Rugby Stadium which was hosting the International Armoured Vehicles Fair for the third year in a row from 22-25th January. The arms fair claims to be the largest of its type in the world, attracting around a thousand delegates from over 40 nations,

I came to the bus stop outside Twickenham Station to find several people clearly on their way to the stadium, and found more on the bus when it arrived – the bus more or less emptied when we arrived at the stop in front of the stadium. We walked across the road and joined a hundred or so who had already come to protest.

I had to leave after around an hour for a meeting, and people were still arriving to the protest which had another couple of hours to run. This was a considerably larger protest than in the two previous years having become more important because many of the companies selling weapons inside are suppliers of weapons which are being used now to kill Palestinians in Gaza.

Richmond & Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign is an active local group campaigning for the rights of Palestinians, justice and freedom against Israeli occupation and apartheid. Their numbers at this protest were swelled by others who had come from other areas of London to tell the Rugby Football Union to stop hosting arms fairs. As well as the International Armoured Vehicles Fair this week they are also hosting the International Military Helicopter conference from 27th to 29th February 2024.

Many of the posters and placards at the protest called for an end to the Israeli genocide taking place in Gaza now, and there were others more specific to Twickenham, calling for fair play and an end to the promotion of killing by the Rugby authorities.

At the centre of the protest was a large poster with the heading ‘MERCHANTS OF DEATH’ naming companies taking part in the arms fair, including BAE Systems, Elbit Systems and Thales, with cartoons of arms dealers making vast profits from war. Most of the companies involved supply Israel with armoured vehicles and other weapons used in its devastating assault on Gaza and used to repress, terrorise, abduct and kill civilians and children in Palestine as well as in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere around the world. And as some posters and speakers reminded us, Israeli arms manufacturers proudly boast ‘OUR WEAPONS ARE FIELD-TESTED’ – on Palestinians in the killing fields of Gaza and the West Bank.

Standing around the poster were members of Richmond & Kingston PSC, holding up their hands in white gloves stained with fake blood, with one holding a Palestinian flag. Others held posters and banners, ‘CEASEFIRE NOW’, ‘WAR KILLS PEOPLE & PLANET’, ‘STOP BOMBING CHLDREN’

Shortly before I had to leave a group arrived carrying cloth bundles stained with red dye, representing the children killed by the Israeli attacks. A report by Save The Children from Ramallah on 11th January began with the following:

More than 10,000 children have been killed by Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza in nearly 100 days of violence, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, with thousands more missing, presumed buried under rubble, Save the Children said.

Save The Children

By now the number will be many more. As one poster stated: ‘TWICKENHAM DON’T SIDE WITH GENOCIDE’.

More pictures

Massive London Protest Over Gaza Genocide – 13 Jan 2023

Thursday, January 18th, 2024

Massive London Protest Over Gaza Genocide: Last Saturday I photographed the march in London when over 200,000 marched from Bank calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Among those on the march, Little Amal, a 12ft giant puppet of a Syrian child refugee stood out. As usual there was a strong Jewish representation both on the main march and on a separate feeder march for families and children I photographed as they set off from outside Kings College on Strand.

Massive London Protest Over Gaza Genocide

This was the seventh large protest in London and reflects the feelings of a large majority of the British public but unfortunately this and other huge protests around the world, including in the USA, seem unlikely to have any effect on our or the US governments polices. They will continue to give support to Israel while making weak statements about the need to reduce the killing which Israel will continue to ignore while denying the effects of its actions and blaming Hamas for the death and destruction they are causing.

Massive London Protest Over Gaza Genocide
The front of the march waiting to start.

The march took place on the 99th day of the Israeli attack on Gaza which has so far killed over 23,000 people, mainly civilians including more than 10,000 children, with many bodies still under the rubble. The bombing and shelling has made humanitarian aid and medical treatment impossible and widespread deaths from disease and starvation now seem inevitable.

Massive London Protest Over Gaza Genocide
Doctors Against Genocide.

Israeli forces have attacked hospitals, schools, refugee camps and have killed many doctors and arrested others. Only one hospital remains operating in the whole of Gaza and there are desperate shortages of medicines with many amputations having to be carried out without anaesthetics. Few of the 60,000 severely injured so far by the Israeli attacks have been able to get proper treatment.

Massive London Protest Over Gaza Genocide
A few of the Palestinian press who have been killed by Israel

Gaza’s journalists appear to have been especially targeted and more have now been killed by the IDF than journalists were killed in the whole six years of the Second World War.

A man holds a bloodstained bundle representing a dead child

As well as calling for a ceasefire, protesters also demand a just solution with freedom for Palestine, an end to the military occupation of the country and an end to Israeli apartheid.

Free Palestine Hands Off Yemen

Two events in the previous week added to the demands of protesters. Some had placards praising the Houthi forces in Yemen for their attacks on ships in the Red Sea and their were chants such as “Yemen, Yemen, make us proud, turn another ship around” following the US and UK air attacks. The Houthi are now in control of much of Yemen following the October 2022 ceasefire and peace talks led by the UN began it December 2023, but they continue to be referred to in UK media as rebels or terrorists.

Last week South Africa stated the case at the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide. It got rather less attention in the UK media than the response the following day by Israel, which appeared largely a continued recital of the widely condemned attacks of October 7th and the long-discredited assertion that their actions in Gaza are self-defence. Israel also denied having bombed any hospitals and claimed they were facilitating humanitarian aid, lying in the face of mountains of evidence the world has read.

A woman holds a placard ‘Well Done South Africa’.

Many on the protest praised South Africa for taking Israel to court. The moral case seems clearly proven, but I suspect the case may be lost on some legal technicality. ICJ verdicts are in any case not binding and I think the majority of the world has already reached their conclusion.

People hold up posters showing Nazi Germany and Palestine with a poster saying ‘Signs Like These Have Been Criinalised by the Met Police

There were apparently 1,700 police on duty for the protests and a handful of people were arrested for carrying placards or handing out leaflets which the police decided were possibly “showing support for a proscribed organisation which is an offence under the Terrorism Act.” The flyer, published by the Met, stated their “unconditional and wholehearted support and solidarity for the Palestinian struggle, which is once more breaking out into armed resistance” but made no explicit mention of Hamas. Other groups in the Palestinian struggle are not proscribed in the UK.

With so many taking part, the march ended with rallies in both of London’s major central squares, Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, though I only got to the first of these. I was quite tired having walked from London Bridge station to Bank and then along with the march going back and forth taking pictures and decided to get a train from Charing Cross rather than go on to Parliament Square.

There are around 50 more of my pictures from the march at Massive London Protest Over Gaza Genocide.


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Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 – November

Sunday, January 7th, 2024

Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023: My work in November was largely on protests over the continued genocide in Gaza where Israeli attacks were killing thousands of civilians including large numbers of children as they attempted to exterminate Hamas.

The killing continues and currently in January 2024 Wikipedia states “Over 22,000 Palestinians have been killed, a majority of them civilians, and thousands more are considered missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings.” Nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million population have been displaced and there is a severe humanitarian crisis with a shortage of food, medicines and safe water, with most of Gaza’s hospitals no longer able to operate. It now seems certain that many Gazans will die from famine and disease. The Israeli attack has quite unequivocally become a deliberate genocide.

Protests around the world have called for a ceasefire, and this is supported by the majority of countries in the world at the UN, but the killing continues with support for the Israeli offensive from the USA and UK and a few other countries.

While both Israel and the Palestinian resistance have committed war crimes, Israel is doing so on a huge industrial scale. Refugee camps and Hospitals have been deliberately targeted and many hospital staff are among the thousands of Palestinians detained in Israel. More journalists have already been killed in Gaza than the total number killed in six years of the Second World War and Israel has prevented the world’s press from reporting from Gaza and the parts of Israel which came under attack by Hamas and the other Palestinian groups.

Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 - November
Lewisham March – National Day of Action For Palestine, London. 4 Nov 23.
Several thousands march from a rally at Lewisham Council Offices in Catford to a rally in the centre of Lewisham in one of many local protests around the UK in solidarity with Palestine calling for an immediate ceasefire and against the government support for Israel’s assault on Gaza. Later many went on to the central rally for a Gaza ceasefire in Trafalgar Square.
Peter Marshall
Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 - November
Huge Trafalgar Square Rally for Gaza Ceasefire. London, 4 Nov 23.
Many thousands packed Trafalgar Square and the surrounding streets for the largest rally there in living memory in solidarity with Palestine and against our government’s disgraceful support for Israel’s assault. The rally came after local protests around London and across the country observing a silence for those in Palestine and Israel already killed and calling for an immediate ceasefire with negations to free the hostages and towards a peace settlement in the area.
Peter Marshall
Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 - November
Armistice Day March Calls for Ceasefire In Palestine. London. 11 Nov 2023.
Hundreds of thousands march peacefully from Hyde Park to the US Embassy at Nine Elms on Armistice Day calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East, where thousands of innocent civilians including many children have died both in the Hamas-led attack on Israel and in hugely punitive air attacks which have devastated large areas of Gaza.
Peter Marshall
Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 - November
Ceasefire Now in Gaza March Against Starmer. Camden, London. 18 Nov 23.
Around two thousand fill the pavements at Chalk Farm station and march in solidarity to Camden Town and on to a rally outside the office of MPs Keir Starmer and Tulip Siddiq. Marchers expressed shock at killings of innocent civilians including children, doctors and patients, called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and were angry that Starmer had whipped Labour into voting against this.
Peter Marshall
People vs Oil PROTEST March, Just Stop Oil. London. 18 Nov 23. An officer puts handcuffs on one of a group who held up traffic to allow the march to pass safely. A crowd of supporters of Just Stop Oil of all ages marched from beside the London Eye through Southwark in protest against the failures of the government who are imprisoning peaceful protesters, licensing 100 new oil projects and ripping up any prospect of reaching net zero and endangering the future of human life on our planet.
Peter Marshall
Gaza Ceasefire Now March in Lewisham. London. 18 Nov 23. Several thousands march from Lewisham Islamic Centre to a rally outside Glass Mills Leisure Centre in one of many local protests around the UK in solidarity with Palestine calling for an immediate ceasefire and condemning MPs including local MP Vicky Foxcroft who voted this week against a ceasefire. There was angry disbelief when police arrested a young woman for a placard she was carrying.
Peter Marshall
Make Amazon Pay Black Friday Protest. London. 24 Nov 2023.
A protest at Amazon’s HQ in London joined groups across the world in the Make Amazon Pay coalition striking, protesting, picketing, boycotting, and fighting for the rights of Amazon workers around the world against abuse and exploitation. Amazon dodge taxes, deny union recognition, refuses to pay fair wages and fails to ensure safe working conditions and their activities are wrecking the climate, threatening the future of human life on earth.
Peter Marshall
Ceasefire for Gaza Now – National Protest. London. 25 Nov 2023.
Two police officers walk in the protest. Hundreds of thousands marched again through London to call for ceasefire in the war on Gaza where millions of civilians still face attacks by Israeli forces. The current pause and hostage exchanges are welcome but do little to address the urgent humanitarian crisis and the killing is set to resume. The marchers call for a permanent ceasefire and for a political solution to bring peace and justice to Palestine under international law.
Peter Marshall
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain Call for Muslim Armies. London, 25 Nov 2023.
A large crowd of followers of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, men and women in separate groups, listened to speakers in front of the Egyptian Embassy calling for Muslims to rescue of Palestine from 75 years of occupation, brutal oppression, sieges, kidnapping and murder. They call on Muslims in armies in the region to join together to restore a just caliphate where people from all faiths can live together across the Middle East.
Peter Marshall

It was getting dark as I took pictures of the Egyptian Embassy and I was tired and feeling chilled by the speeches. I think I first photographed Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain around 20 years ago and have never felt welcome as I took pictures. But I also remember that I didn’t take them seriously when years ago they talked about ‘Muslim Armies’ – and then we saw the rise of ISIS and I realised how wrong I had been.

The final part of my looking back on 2023 will be online tomorrow.


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