Posts Tagged ‘events’

November 30th 2011

Monday, November 30th, 2020

November 30th fell on a Wednesday in 2011, and it was the day of a strike by public sector workers against government plans to cut their pensions as part of the austerity programme following the banking crisis. As I wrote back then:

Feelings are certainly running very high over pension injustice, as well as over the government cuts in jobs and services. The widespread feeling across the country – not just trade unionists – that our government is made of of the wealthy and privileged who just do not understand the problems of ordinary people was reflected in the two hand-written placards I photographed, both with photographs of Cameron and Osborne alongside the texts ‘Eton Boys, Do you Feel Our Pain, As You Order Your Champagne‘ and ‘No Cuts For You, Eton Boys!!’

The day had begun early for strikers at Wandsworth Town Hall who had been on the picket line since 6am at the Town Hall and other council sites across the borough, though I only joined them around 4 hours later, when many were about to leave to join the TUC march in central London, and I also made my way to a packed Lincoln’s Inn Fields where around 20,000 were assembling.

As well as public sector workers – including many from associations which have no record of previous strike action or taking part in protests – there were activists from groups such as the Education Activist Network and other student groups, people wearing ‘Anonymous’ Guy Fawkes ‘V for Vendetta’ masks and other supporters, including political artist Kaya Mar with his painting of coalition leader David Cameron and his Lib-Dem sidekick Nick Clegg carrying blood-stained axes.

There were also a group of French trade unionists from the CGT, come to support their English colleagues – here in a picture beside Frances O’Grady, Dep Gen Sec of the TUC and John Rimmer, president of the NASUWT.

More joined the march along the route to Westminster. It was a peaceful march which hardly merited the huge police presence, and I think the French trade unionists will have thought it very restrained, although some groups, particularly some of the students, did liven it up a little with loud chanting and the occasional surge. The rally had already begun when I arrived, although the end of the march was still almost a mile back.

I didn’t wait to hear the speeches, but went to Piccadilly Circus, where Occupy London protesters from the camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral were gathering for a protest against corporate greed. I stood with them for around half an hour while we all waited for something to happen, watched by a large crowd of police. It began with a diversion as around 30 people with the ‘Precarious Workers Brigade’ banner that I’d photographed earlier on the TUC march rushed across the road to protest outside Boots, drawing much of the police attention.

Others by Eros were getting ready the main banner ‘All Power to the 99%’ which they then rushed along the street with the rest of the protesters following, going down Haymarket, and I rushed along with them taking pictures. At Panton St, one of them lit a bright orange flare and they all turned down the street to Panton House, where some rushed into the foyer.

I stopped there to take a few pictures rather than rushing to follow them up the stairs. By the time I turned to follow them the stairs were rather crowded but I made my way up to the third or fourth landing before deciding I was out of breath and probably not going to get to the top as the stairs were too crowded. By then the police had begun to catch up, and stopped me going down. And although police were shouting and me and the others on the stairs to go down, other police were pushing us out of the way when we tried to do so as they rushed up to the roof.

Eventually I managed to make my way out and try to take a few pictures as protesters on the roof lowered banners over the edge while others outside formed a ‘human microphone’ to let everone know what the protest was about.

Occupy London had chosen Panton House as it contains the London offices of the mining Company Xstrata, whose CEO Mick Davies they say is the highest paid CEO in the UK, but according to their statement, “is a prime example of the greedy 1% lining their own pockets while denying workers pensions.”

I was sorry not to have made it to the roof as several other photographers had done, but at least I was able to slip through the police kettle and go home early after a rather tiring day.

More pictures at:

Occupy London Expose Corporate Greed
TUC Nov 30 March
Wandsworth Nov 30 Rally

November 2014

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

I had a busy week at the end of November 2014, with protests on Monday, Tuesday, two on Wednesday and three on Friday. Fortunately there was only one event I felt I needed to cover on the Saturday and I took the Sunday off; I think there were some things happening but I needed another day of rest.

2020 is rather different. The only real event in my diary is a visit to the health centre for my regular six-monthly diabetic review, though there are a couple of virtual events. Back in 2014 I got plenty of exercise covering events, but this week I’ll be going out for my now usual 10 mile bike rides most mornings. Otherwise I’ll be stuck in front of a computer writing things like this or digitising, editing and contextualising pictures I made in the 1980s, sometimes a tricky process. Back then we didn’t have metadata or geolocation and I wasn’t always good at record keeping. And when I start falling asleep at the keyboard I’ll probably watch a film.

Roger Waters, Clive Stafford Smith and Caroline Lucas hold a banner

Monday’s protest, on 24th November 2014, We Stand With Shaker, was in Old Palace Yard, Westminster in front of the Houses of Parliament. Present were two of my favourite MPs, Caroline Lucas and John McDonnell, as well as civil rights activist including Peter Tatchell and Clive Stafford Smith, my favourite comedian Jeremy Hardy and of course people from both the We Stand With Shaker campaign and the ‘Free Shaker Aamer Campaign’ whose regular protests I’ve often photographed.

Jeremy Hardy, Peter Tatchell and John McDonnell

Attracting a little more media attention (though not much) was music legend Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s chief songwriter, who had become involved in the campaign after hearing that Shaker Aamer recited some of his lyrics in his Guatanamo prison cell to help him keep sane in long spells of solitary confinement.


And there was Shaker Aamer. Not the man himself, still held in Guantanamo seven years after being cleared for release, but a giant inflatable figure of him for people to be photographed with holding the message ‘I stand with Shaker.‘ Someone took my picture too, but I don’t think it was ever seen again. You can see more at We Stand With Shaker. Thanks to the long campaign, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident to be held in Guantanamo was finally released on 30 October 2015.


Protesters meet in front of Newham Council’s Housing Office

I caught the train rather earlier than I liked on a cold Tuesday morning to travel across London to Stratford where I met with a small group of protesters from the housing protest group Focus E15 and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) to support a young mother and her child. Newham council had a statutory obligation to rehouse Candice and her child, but were trying to do so by sending her over 200 miles from the borough and her community to private rented accommodation in Liverpool.

Candice is allowed into the offices for her interview

The group accompanied her to the Housing Office to support her claim to be rehoused locally. Candice wanted two of them to go in with her as support in her meeting with the officials to discuss her case, but they were refused entry by council staff. Something of a ruckus with security staff on the door eventually led to the two, Jasmine and Sam, being pushed past them along with one other protester, but the rest of the group were kept outside, along with myself and two videographers.

Security stop Jasmine and Sam from going in to advise Candice

It was difficult to take photographs, though I made a few through the windows and doors despite the security staff attempting to block the view of what was happening inside.

Sam and Jasmine argue with a council official to be allowed to support Candice

I was also restricted by wanting to respect the privacy of other clients inside the office. The police arrived and went inside – and I think told the council officials to It wasn’t easy to know what was happening inside, though Sam did occasionally come to a window to try and tell us what was going on.

Sam tries to speak through a window to let those outside know what is happening

The protest continued outside the door, and unfortunately the security staff decided not to admit others who had come for interviews, despite promises by the protesters outside not to impede them or rush in.

Sam and Stan at the door to the meeting – with Jasmine sitting inside

The meeting with a housing officer was taking place inside, and through a window when Sam held the door open I could see Jasmine’s back as she sat giving her support and advice.

The protest continued outside the door, and unfortunately the security staff decided not to admit others who had come for interviews, despite promises by the protesters outside not to impede them or rush in.

Eventually one of the protesters negotiated with security to allow clients to enter by a rear door which they would not protest outside but would direct the clients too. The protesters were rather more concerned than council staff at allowing them access.

There was a bitter wind and it was wet outside, and after the meeting had been going on inside for over an hour I was shivering, despite being warmly dressed. I would have liked to have photographed the group coming out and sharing the news that Candice would be rehoused in the borough at Canning Town but decided I had to leave. By the time I was home and writing up the story I’d got the news on the group’s Facebook page.

More pictures at Focus E15 Support Homeless Mother


My week in November 2014 continues in another post…

Gatherings

Sunday, July 5th, 2020

I wish Alan Lodge (aka ‘Tash’) every success with his new book ‘Gatherings‘, a large-format hardback he has published through Blurb, which looks to be a splendid compilation of his pictures of ‘Free Festivals, New Age Travellers, Police Actions and Surveillance. Multi-Cultural and Counter-Cultural. Non-mediated events the state would rather didn’t happen!’

As he says on Blurb, ‘This is a coffee table hardback type book with 124 pages of quality photographic reproduction, printed on premium paper‘ and being from Blurb and print on demand it comes at a premium price, which, together with postage will add to around a hundred notes.

I’m not sure quite what proportion of those who took part in the events he catches the spirit of so well will now own coffee tables and be well-heeled enough to cough up for a copy of their past, though there is also a reasonably priced PDF available.

You can get a little idea of the book by looking at the few preview pages on Blurb and find out more about the photographer and his incredibly extensive work on One Eye on the Road and in particular the large black and white galleries there (and if you have Flash installed possibly from his more recent web site.) You can also watch a page-through of his Stonehenge – Solstice Ritual Zine, from a book he self-published in 1987.


As readers will know, I’ve published a number of books through Blurb, and though all rather smaller and cheaper than this, sales have always been held back by costs, which in particular prevent bookshop distribution. Booksellers need a high mark-up to keep in business and print-on-demand makes the resale price prohibitive.

July 2019 on My London Diary

Monday, August 26th, 2019

Finally my pictures and comments for July 2019 are online. It should have been easy as I took the last week off with various family events, which even if they get photographed very seldom get shared publically on-line. But somehow I’m finding keeping up with things rather difficult, and for various reasons I think My London Diary is likely shortly to come to an end. But at least a few months more…

As usual in July I went to the annual Procession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at St Peter’s Italian Church in Clerkenwell and managed to get all three doves leaving the basket in the same picture – always a challenge.

July 2019

Boris J is not our Prime Minister
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Sagra
No to Boris, Yes to Europe
Requiem for a Dead Planet at Daily Mail

Students march for climate
XR London Tax rebellion
GLIAS 50th anniversary walk
St John’s Wood – Paddington Basin
Extinction Rebellion Waterloo

XR Summer Uprising procession
XR call for Ecocide Law

BEIS workers begin indefinite strike
East London Extinction Rebellion March
Vegan for Life Parade
Belgian Army Cenotaph Parade
IWGB welcome new Vice Chancellor
XR East London marches for clean air
IWGB demand living wage at LouLou’s
Bring Back unlawfully deported ‘PN’
London’s Sinister Arms Trade
Pride is a Protest
Give Me Five days
Protest French police attack on XR
XR Carmen’s Carbon Procession
End Inhuman Electroshock treatment

London Images

April 2019 complete

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

April may only have had 30 days, but it was a very long month for me, particularly because of the actions by Extinction Rebellion, XR. Though many friends have reservations (or worse) about them and their methods, particularly over their attitude to the police and arrests, their protests have begun to change the debate, though so far not actually got our government to take any of the actions needed to save life on earth. Perhaps the only action the Conservative government have so far taken is to put pressure on the Met police to be tougher on any further protests.

I suspect that the total of 41 posts probably is the most I’ve made in any month on My London Diary, though I’ve not gone through the site to check, As you will see from the list below XR was not the only thing happening in April.

My London Diary – Apr 2019

Protest against Israeli Army Recruitment
XR Families and Children at the Treasury
50 days anti-racist occupation at Goldsmiths
Protests at Anglo-American mining AGM


Southall rally for unity against racism
Disabled protest against Facebook
XR March back from City protests
Azerbaijanis & Armenians at Turkish Embassy
Extinction Rebellion at Marble Arch
Extinction Rebellion in Parliament Square
Free Julian Assange
Capital Ring – Hendon to Highgate
Police clear XR from Oxford Circus

Emma Thompson speaks at XR
Knife crime Operation Shutdown
Drax Protest at BEIS

XR around Parliament Square
Drax wood burning must end
XR Waterloo ‘Garden Bridge’ continues
Save Lambeth Children’s Centres
Extinction Rebellion at Shell
Extinction Rebellion Funeral Procession
Extinction Rebellion Marble Arch
Anti-capitalist environmental action
Extinction Rebellion Sea at Oxford Circus

Extinction Rebellion Garden Bridge
Brexiteers march at Westminster
Sewol Ferry Disaster 5 years on
Love the Elephant
Against extinction and trophy hunting
Times end transphobic articles
Regent’s Canal
Scrap Universal Credit Jobcentre protest
Tottenham and Spurs
Brexit protesters
Living wage at Dept of Business
Staines Walk

Brunei Sultan gay sex stoning protest
Sudanese for Freedom, Peace and Justice
Private hire drivers protest congestion charge
Windsor walk

London Images


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