Posts Tagged ‘eagles’

Fossil Fuels, Bradley Manning & Global Racism

Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

Fossil Fuels, Bradley Manning & Global Racism – my Saturday 27th July 2013 began with a “radicalized midsummer cloud forest dream” against the support given to fossil fuels and climate chaos by the banks and the City of London, continued with a vigil for Bradley Manning who exposed US war crimes and ended with a march and rally against and Injustice.


Rev Billy at HSBC – Victoria

Fossil Fuels, Bradley Manning & Global Racism
Golden Toads to the rescue with ice

I met the Rev Billy and his choir on the Stop Shopping Church Tour England in a green open space on Victoria Street, opposite New Scotland Yard (which has since moved to the Embankment.) There they practised their performance as species – monkeys, jaguars and eagles – among those threatened by climate change.

Fossil Fuels, Bradley Manning & Global Racism

Some had heads of Golden Toads, a Costa Rican species already made extinct by climate change. These were hidden away as the group walked towards the HSBC bank at Victoria, and we all walked in trying our best to look like normal customers and going up to the long line of ‘Express Banking’ cash machines.

Fossil Fuels, Bradley Manning & Global Racism

Then the group erupted into dance action, with the Rev Billy using a megaphone to tell bank staff and customers what is happening and why we are in HSBC. Fossil Fuels are killing life on this planet and London banks and the London Stock Exchange play a key role in this – a quarter of all fossil fuel shares are traded on the LSE and in 2010-12 the top five UK banks raised £170 billion for fossil fuel companies, with the HSBC in the lead. He promised that they would leave the bank after the short performance.

Then the Golden Toads arrived to save the species, bringing with them some large eggs of ice to help cool the planet down, and then as promised people left the bank to continue to the end of the performance on the wide pavement outside. Police arrived and went into the bank as the players were leaving to celebrate their action in a nearby cafe and bar.

More at Rev Billy at HSBC


Free Bradley Manning Vigil – St Martin’s, Trafalgar Square

Saturday 27th July 2013 was an international day of action by the Bradley Manning Support Network, and in London they held a vigil on the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Bradley Manning’s trial had started on 3rd June in Fort Meade, US, and protests have continued both inside and outside the court, with the ‘gay whistleblower’ being celebrated in countries across the world and awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize. Many see Bradley – later Chelsea Manning as a hero who should be honoured rather than imprisoned. Her trial ended on 30th July with a sentence of 35 years, but in 2017 this was commuted by President Obama to seven years, dating from her arrest in 2010.

Free Bradley Manning Vigil


Against Global Racism and Injustice – US Embassy to Whitehall

Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK held a rally outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square before marching to Whitehall in solidarity with families of Trayvon Martin, Stephen Lawrence, Azelle Rodney, Jimmy Mubenga and many others to highlight the reality of racism and seek justice, both in the UK and US.

The protest was supported by many anti-racist organisations including Operation Black Vote, the National Black Students Campaign, Global Afrikan Congress, PCS, RMT Black Members, Counterfire, UAF, Love Music Hate Racism, Lambeth TUC and Lambeth People’s Assembly and a number of well-known faces from the British left were among the marchers, some were scheduled to speak at the Downing Street rally.

The US Embassy was chosen as the starting point because of the killing in Florida of Trayvon Martin and the global outcry against the acquittal of his murderer under the Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.

But although this was a protest against global racism and injustice, and it had a particular focus on this country, and as Lee Jasper stated “We march for Jimmy Mubenga, Mark Duggan, Kingsley Burrell, Smiley Culture and Azelle Rodney.” And others also made clear in speeches they were appalled by UK cases, including We march for Jimmy Mubenga, Mark Duggan, Kingsley Burrell, Smiley Culture and Azelle Rodney and many, many other cases.

I followed the march as it went through Mayfair, but then had to leave rather than attend the final rally.

More at Against Global Racism and Injustice.


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More Around Brompton: 1988

Saturday, July 31st, 2021

The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-52a-positive_2400
The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-52

If the houses around The Boltons are all much the same – the Grade II listing text for most simply tells you to see that for the first pair, 1 &2 – some distinguished themselves by their gates. Those of No 16 have lost their eagles since I made this picture, and the iron gates have lost both their angled top and the arch above as well as the rampant creeper but have gained an entryphone and a letter box. Walking down the street today there would be no picture to make here.

The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-66-positive_2400
The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-66

There are various designs of wrought iron gates to the houses around The Boltons, though quite a few share the same pattern. This one, I think at No 23, appealed to me more than most and I was fortunate to find it half opened, giving a clearer view of the tiled path and those ornamental ceramic leaves containing a small bush.

It also shows the peeling paint which still then could be seen on quite a few of these houses, which are now all I think pristine. I rather liked the impression it gave of these houses being old and lived in.

Jenny Lind, Boltons Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-55-positive_2400
Jenny Lind, Boltons Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-55

Boltons Place leads north from The Boltons to the Old Brompton Road and its east side is occupied by several large houses. That occupied by Jenny Lind, the ‘Swedish Nightingale’, has undergone various changes of street name and number since she moved in as the first occupier in 1874, and is in a rather different style to the rest of the area. In 1906 it was altered by the addition of a rather attractive semi-cicular bow window, hidden in my view. The effect is less austere, described in the Victoria History as “un-Godwinian suavity in a rather French way“.

School, Boltons Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-54-positive_2400
School, Boltons Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-54

The west side of Boltons Place is quite different, occupied by Bousfield Primary School. This primary school was built in 1954-6 by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and is on the site of Beatrix Potter’s house and garden at 2 Bolton Gardens, where she lived for more than 40 years until she was married in 1913, a short walk from Brompton Cemetery where she found some of the names for her characters. The site became available thanks to wartime bombing.

The school is a heavily over-subscribed local authority school which had its origins in a school set up as a “poor school” for local Catholic children by the parish priest in the 1800s which was renamed Bousfield School in 1913. The children were transferred to the new school in 1956. Later the old building became another Catholic school.

Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-43-positive_2400
Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-43

The Fulham Road has a rather different atmosphere with this row of shops with an entrance probably for horses to be led through to stables behind. When I took the picture it led to the Hungry Horse Restaurant, and although the board with its two horses heads looks like that of a French horse butcher, the English menu will almost certainly not have included horsemeat – nor will it have had hay offer, so any horses would have remained hungry.

Now the gate seems closed and the area behind looks unused. Unsurprisingly the shop at left is now an estate agent.

Cinema, Fulham Rd, Drayton Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-44-positive_2400
Cannon Cinema, Fulham Rd, Drayton Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-44

The cinema opened as the Forum Theatre in 1930, designed by architect J Stanley Beard, featuring live variety shows with an orchestra. It was sold to Associated British Cinemas (ABC) in 1935 and lost its organ in the 1960s. Like others it got altered internally to provide first three then four, five when I made this picture and finally six screens. Now owned by Cineworld who have transferred it to their Picturehouse chain, it had further renovations in 2019.


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.