Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

Saturday 10th February 2024 – Gaza & Iran

Thursday, February 15th, 2024

Saturday 10th February 2024 – Gaza & Iran – Saturday 10th February was another day of local actions around the country calling for and end to the horrific genocide now taking place in Gaza. I went to two of the local events in London as well as photographing an annual event on the anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran, calling for democracy there.


Ceasefire Now – Stop The Genocide In Gaza, Southwark

Saturday 10th February 2024 - Gaza & Iran
London, UK. 10 Feb 2024. Camberwell Green

Southwark and Lambeth 4 Palestine had organised another march from Camberwell Green to BAE Systems offices on Southwark Street against the terrible genocide now being carried out by Israeli forces in Gaza. It turned out to be rather smaller than previous local marches, perhaps because many people in the area had demonstrated in workplace-based protests earlier in the week.

Saturday 10th February 2024 - Gaza & Iran
London, UK. 10 Feb 2024.

The event started with a few short speeches on Camberwell Green, including one from a student activist from the UAL at the Elephant where they had had a large protest. She talked about how she had been inspired by the example of Brian Haw’s protest over many years in Parliament Square who had carried on calling for peace and an ending to the killing of children until shortly before his death in June 2011, almost ten years after his protest there had begun.

Saturday 10th February 2024 - Gaza & Iran
Brian Haw: Find Your Courage; Share Your Vision; Change Your World.
(T-shirt from Dan Wilkins, The Nth Degree.)March 2007, Peter Marsh
all

I got to know Brian well, going to speak with him every time I went to photograph in Westminster and often photographing him, as you can see on-line at My London Diary. He suffered regular harassment from police, council officials and thugs encouraged by the authorities, some of whom were I think plain clothes officers or military. An Act of Parliament was passed largely to try to end his peace camp there, though it also severely restricted other protests within a kilometre of Parliament.

Saturday 10th February 2024 - Gaza & Iran
London, UK. 10 Feb 2024

Later, after his ill-health took him to hospital, his protest there was continued by Barbara Tucker who had joined his campaign there in 2005. She was subjected to even more severe police harassment, was arrested at least 47 times and served two periods in prison, of two weeks and nine weeks. In January 2012 police removed her protection against the elements – tent, blankets and sleeping bag and later they came back for her chair. She continued to protest there despite needing hospital treatment for exposure until May 2013.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024.

The march set off with around a hundred people marching behind the banner though more joined the later at the end. There was considerable support from people on the roadside, particularly when it went past the busy section of Walworth Road close to East Street Market, and many drivers going in the opposite direction beeped their horns in support. Although the UK government continues its support of the Israeli genocide clearly the majority of the British people do not.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024

I found it a rather long march – well over two and a half miles – and was wishing I’ve brought my bicycle by the time we got to the Bluefin Building on Southwark Street. The march stopped for a few minutes in front of the building where BAE Systems have offices on an upper floor.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024.

BAE Systems is the world’s seventh-largest military contractor, and the largest in Europe and supplies Israel with a wide range of weapons which for years have been used against Palestinian citizens and civilian infrastructure “including hospitals, schools, and water and electric systems.” There is much more about their activities in arming Israel on the American Friends Service Committee web site.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024

When we arrived at Bluefin, we saw that others had been there before us, and a large area of the frontage had been sprayed with red paint. A team of contractors were busy cleaning it off. I took a few pictures of them as the marchers moved off down the side of the building for another rally, but I walked back to Southwark Station to catch the Elizabeth line to Westminster.

More pictures online and available for use on Alamy.


Iranians Call For Freedom and Democracy in Iran

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024.

45 years after the Shah of Iran was forced into exile by a popular revolution following repression under the Pahvlavi regime, the Anglo-Iranian community and the National Council of Resistance of Iran call for a new revolution to end the oppressive theocratic regime with democracy and for the UK to declare the Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group.

They say Khomeini who had been invited back by the acting government after the revolution stole the leadership of the country revolution in a rigged vote, imposing the current oppressive theocratic regime.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has put forward a ten point plan for a future democratic republic in Iran, with secular government, democratic elections, freedom of expression, equal rights for women and human rights and an independent judiciary and legal system.

The NCRI is a coalition with representation from five bodies, the major of which is the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), which currently has its headquarters in Albania. It was largely disarmed after the US/UK invasion of Iraq and its camp in Iraq was attacked after US forces withdrew.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024

On Feb 1st this year, the House of Commons agreed to a motion in support of freedom and democracy in Iran. The motion condemns the violent state crackdown on the protests and urgest the government to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

As I left the protest, two men came to try and disrupt the protest and there were brief scuffles as security and others tried to move them away. After a few minutes police came and held one of them, talking to him and suggesting he leave – the other was already a few yard down the road.

More pictures online and available from Alamy.


Ceasefire Now – Stop The Genocide In Gaza, Ealing, London, UK

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024

I was on my way to Ealing, fortunately a much faster journey now the Elizabeth Line goes to Ealing Broadway, although I still arrived well after the rally outside the town hall there had started. There was a large crowd around the steps on the main road in front of Ealing Town Hall, another of the many local protests around the country calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the genocide in Gaza which has now killed 28,000 mainly women and children and severely injured around 68,000.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024

The entire population of Gaza is now living in desperate conditions with constant threat of bombing, shelling, famine and disease. Speakers condemned the failure to respond to the ICJ ruling to prevent acts of genocide and for the continued killing taking place there with precision targeted attacks on ambulances, aid workers, schools, hospitals, refugee camps, medical staff, journalists and others.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024. Grenfell campaigner Moyra Samuels.

I think most of the speakers were from Ealing and Southall, but Grenfell campaigner Moyra Samuels had also come to speak both about the shameful attack on Gaza and also share some experiences of campaigning over the Grenfell fire, where continued protests had helped to keep the fight for justice alive – though there is little sign of justice so far.

London, UK. 10 Feb 2024.

I left as the rally was coming to a close, taking my final pictures of it from the top deck of the bus which was taking me to Brentford and a train home from there.

More pictures online and available from Alamy.


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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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More Support to Gaza – 27th January 2024

Saturday, February 3rd, 2024

More Support to Gaza: Local actions took place across the country last weekend calling for an end to the genocide in Gaza and for an immediate ceasefire and freedom and a just peace in Palestine.

More Support to Gaza - 27th January 2024
Barclay’s Peckham branch

Most of the protests last Saturday were directed against local branches of Barclays Bank, demanding they stop bankrolling Israel’s attacks on Palestinians and calling customers to boycott the bank. Barclays has investments in weapons companies BAE Systems, Boeing, Elbit Systems, Raytheon all producing weapons and systems used in Gaza and Caterpiller whose bulldozers are used to demolish Palestinian homes, schools and civilian infrastructure.

More Support to Gaza - 27th January 2024
Barclay’s Peckham branch

The protests came the day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, the UN’s top court, had ruled that there was a plausible case against Israel under the 1948 Genocide Convention, and that the Palestinian population in Gaza was at real risk of irreparable damage.

More Support to Gaza - 27th January 2024
Barclay’s Peckham branch

The ICJ stopped short of ordering an Israeli ceasefire and instead directed Israel to take every measure possible to avoid genocide while also ensuring humanitarian aid. The six provisional measures the court voted on to protect Palestinians from “irreparable” damage were all passed by overwhelming votes by the 17 judges, with even an Israeli judge supporting two of them, while a Ugandan judge voted against them all (although the Ugandan government issued a statement backing the ICJ).

More Support to Gaza - 27th January 2024
Barclay’s Whitechapel branch

Media reports here in the UK have generally been rather lacking in detail and have underplayed the ICJ judgement. You can read it on the ICJ web site in full or as their lengthy unofficial summary. The court demanded that Israel must:

  • take all measures in its power to prevent all acts against Palestinians in Gaza violating the Genocide Convention;
  • ensure its military does not commit any acts of genocide;
  • punish all incitements to commit genocide;
  • take immediate and effective steps to provide basic services and humanitarian assistance in Gaza;
  • take effective measures to preserve evidence related to allegations of genocide;
  • report to the ICJ within one month on actions it has taken over these orders.

The ICJ has no powers to enforce its decisions and statements from Israeli government and military have been defiant, while the UK and USA governments seem determined to continue their support for genocide and to continue giving support to Israel, including supplying weapons

Edmonton Green march to a rally at Silver St

The ICJ decision came after South Africa brought the case, but protesters around the world have been clear that this is genocide. And in December the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention, continuing the work of Raphael Lemkin, the Polish lawyer of Jewish descent who coined the term genocide and campaigned to establish the Genocide Convention, issued a statement explaining “the reasons why we believe the Israel-Palestine situation constitutes an instance of genocide.”

Edmonton Green march to a rally at Silver St

The killing in Gaza continues, with over 26,000 Palestinians now known to be killed including over 10,000 children. More than 8,000 are missing, probably most of them buried under the rubble, and over 65,000 are severely injured.

Edmonton Green march to a rally at Silver St

A BBC report states that more than half of all buildings in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged by the Israeli assault. There are also said to be almost 20,000 children in Gaza who have been orphaned or separated from their families. Other reports suggest that around three-quarters of Hamas fighters are men who became orphans, and so the current attacks are likely to be a powerful recruiting ground for future militants against Israel.

Edmonton Green march to a rally at Silver St

The whole Israeli policy over the years has been counter-productive. Peace in the region requires a thriving Palestine, not an area subjected to military occupation, under an apartheid system and subjected to destructive attacks – and certainly will not be achieved by genocide.

Edmonton Green march to a rally at Silver St

It’s very hard to see how any positive outcome can emerge now for Israel and Palestine, but perhaps the ICJ ruling is a small glimmer of hope – as years ago was Oslo. But hope then was soon defeated by Israel’s determination not to accept peace.

Edmonton Green march to a rally at Silver St

Last Saturday made my way around London on National Rail, Overground, Underground and Elizabeth Line to visit several pickets outside Barclays branches and then to Edmonton Green.

Edmonton Green march to a rally at Silver St

I arrived at Edmonton Green just in time for the march organised by the Enfield branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to a rally at Silver Street. They demanded Israel ends its genocidal attack on Gaza, calling for an immediate ceasefire and an urgent programme of humanitarian aid to end famine and provide shelter, medicine and water. They praised South Africa for taking Israel to court for genocide and called for a just peace with freedom for Palestine.

At the start of the rally at Silver St

The pictures here come from protests outside Barclays branches on Rye Lane, Peckham and Whitechapel High Street and from the Edmonton march. You can see more pictures online at Barclays Told Stop Banking On Genocide and Enfield for Gaza Ceasefire, End to Occupation.


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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

London Gaza Marches & End Guantanamo – 20 Jan 2024

Thursday, January 25th, 2024

London Gaza Marches and End Guantanamo: Last Saturday, 20th January 2024 the main protest against the ongoing genocide by Israel against Gaza was taking place in Birmingham, but there were half a dozen local events around London, and I decided to photographed some of these, as well as a protest calling for the closure of Guantanamo, 22 years after the first prisoners were taken there to be tortured.

Rail engineering works made it much slower than normal for me to get up to London and back and I abandoned plans to go to some of the events and I was only able to pay a fleeting visit to the Camden march because this was meeting at Kentish Town tube station which has been closed since last Summer for extensive refurbishment.


Gaza Ceasefire March, Camden, London, UK

London Gaza Marches and End Guantanamo
London, UK. 20 Dec 2024. A woman holds a blood-stained bundle representing a dead child. Protesters met at Kentish Town to march to a rally outside Camden Council offices on a day of local actions for Palestine as rage grows over the ever-increasing death toll. Genocidal Israeli attacks have killed over 22,000, mainly women and children, with many bodies still hidden over the rubble. Almost the entire medical capacity has been destroyed with many medical staff killed or arrested and hospitals bombed and almost the entire population of Gaza displaced and in danger of famine and disease. Peter Marshall

I took the tube to Camden Town and just missed a bus going up to Kentish Town. The stop had an electronic display that told me I would have to wait 6 minutes for the next and I decided to walk. It turned out to be a little further than I had remembered – almost a mile and the bus would have been rather quicker. People at Kentish Town were waiting for others to arrive before they started and also expected some to join them on the over two mile route to the rally.

London Gaza Marches and End Guantanamo

I had expected the march to have left, and to meet it coming down the road, but it had not yet moved off. After a few minutes of taking pictures I realised I would be too late back in central London unless I left, and caught a bus to Mornington Crescent and the tube to Charing Cross. Camden Town tube is always crowded with tourists and it takes a long time to get down to the platforms.

More pictures: Gaza Ceasefire March, Camden


Close Guantanamo – 22 Years of Injustice Must End

London Gaza Marches and End Guantanamo
London, UK. 20 Jan 2024. Members of the UK Guantanamo Network walked from Parlament past Downing Street in single file wearing orange jumpsuits 22 years after the arrival of the first prisoners at the illegal US camp to a rally in Trafalgar Square. They highlight the abuse, torture, lack of human rights, force-feeding and indefinite detention there and call for its closure. 30 Prisoners are still held there. Peter Marshall

I came out of Charing Cross Station and met the group of marchers wearing orange Guantanamo-style jumpsuits just coming up to the traffic crossing at the top of Whitehall. The protest was organised by the UK Guantanamo Network which includes Amnesty International, Freedom From Torture, Guantanamo Justice Campaign, Close Guantanamo and the London Guantanamo Campaign. They had met in Old Palace Yard opposite the House of Lords and changed into the jump suits there before proceeding in single file around Parliament Square and up Parliament Street and Whitehall to Downing Street and were now coming up Whitehall for a long rally in Trafalgar Square.

London Gaza Marches and End Guantanamo

They demand US President Biden should act rapidly to close Guantanamo, where a total of over 800 prisoners were illegally tortured over they years, the great majority of them having no connection at all with terrorism. Most have since been allowed to return home or to safe countries, but 30 remain held there, although half of them have been cleared for release. “The Guantanamo network calls for Guantanamo to be closed and for an end to depriving people of their legal and human rights, and an end to indefinite detention and torture.”

I left after taking pictures before the rally began as I was already late for the start of the final event I wanted to photograph in Tower Hamlets.

More pictures at Close Guantanamo – 22 Years of Injustice Must End


Gaza Ceasefire March, Tower Hamlets, London, UK

London, UK. 20 Dec 2024. Front of the march. Over a thousand marched from Whitechapel to a rally at Mile End on a day of local actions for Palestine as rage grows over the ever-increasing death toll. Genocidal Israeli attacks have killed over 22,000, mainly women and children, with many bodies still hidden over the rubble. Almost the entire medical capacity has been destroyed with many medical staff killed or arrested and hospitals bombed and almost the entire population of Gaza displaced and in danger of famine and disease. Peter Marshall

I sat on the District Line going east trying to guess where the Tower Hamlets march might have got to as I was too late for the start. Marchers had met in Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel, close to Aldgate East Station but was marching through Whitehchapel and Stepney to Mile End. I looked at the time and took a guess about when they would have started to march and how far they would have got, and decided to leave the train at Stepney Green station.

Fortunately my guess had proved correct and as I looked down the Mile End Road towards Whitechapel I could see the front of the march in the distance and walked down to meet and photograph it. I walked with the marchers going back and forth and taking pictures over the last mile or so. When we got close to the Green Bridge which takes Mile End Park across the busy road. I left it a little late and had to run up the steps to be able to photograph the front of the march and its long tail behind as it came up to the bridge.

Then I came down and walked with them the final short stretch to the large area of Mile End Park where the rally was being held. I’d photographed the ultra-Orthodox, Neturei Karta anti-Zionist Jews earlier as they were taking part in the march and took some more pictures when a group of them stood on the wall at the entrance to the park.

I took some photographs as the rally started and heard the first of the speakers. The rally was interrupted by a speaker from Movement for Justice using their own megaphones. He complained that they had been refused permission to speak at the event. Stewards argued that he was disrupting the meeting. As I left there were some discussions taking place over whether he might be allowed to make an announcement to the rally. But I was tired and had a long journey home, so I left.

More pictures: Gaza Ceasefire March & Rally


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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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Free Palestine Coalition Demand A Ceasefire Now

Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

Free Palestine Coalition Demand A Ceasefire Now: Last Saturday, 6th January 2024, like many others I was watching on Twitter/X for the announcement by the Free Palestine Coalition of the starting point for their Gaza protest at 10am.

Free Palestine Coalition Demand A Ceasefire Now

It was with some surprise that I read it was to be at the drinking fountain in St James’ Park, one of London’s Royal Parks, a feudal remnant with bylaws against almost everything, but at least it was easy to get to, and I had plenty of time to make it by the starting time of noon, and arrived around a quarter of an hour early.

Free Palestine Coalition Demand A Ceasefire Now

The protest was organised and backed by Black Lives Matter UK, NMEE, Sisters Uncut, East and South East Asian Sisters, Copwatch Network, Health Workers For a Free Palestine, Queers For Palestine, London Campaign Against Police & State Violence, Palestinian Youth Movement and London Palestine Action.

Free Palestine Coalition Demand A Ceasefire Now

It made three clear demands; a full unconditional ceasefire NOW, the UK to stop arming Israel and an end to the Israeli Occupation of Gaza and Palestine. It had clearly been planned as a peaceful protest, although one that would cause some disruption to traffic in central London as many other events including other protests do.

Free Palestine Coalition Demand A Ceasefire Now

There was only a small group there when I arrived, but numbers grew rapidly by the time the rally began and continued to grow for some time, perhaps increasing to a couple of thousand by the end of the event. Shortly after the rally began police approached the speaker and told her that she could not use a megaphone as it was against the Park bylaws. After a short delay she continued without it, though now the crowd was so large many could not hear. A few minutes later a public address system arrived and the speakers began to use this. After another warning by police they wheeled this out onto the pavement of Birdcage Walk.

A doctor speaks about the terrible conditions in Gaza’s hospitals, most bombed out of existence.

Here the speakers continued, with a particularly moving account by a doctor from Health Workers For a Free Palestine about the horrific conditions faced by her colleagues working in Gaza, where almost all hospitals have been bombed by Israeli forces and only three remain able to continue, facing terrible shortages which have meant amputations with no anaesthetics available and a total lack of medicines, clean dressings and antiseptics taking medical conditions back into the dark ages.

Officers come to seize the PA system

After the rally had continued for some minutes, a squad of police rushed in and seized the PA system from the pavement, forcefully pushing all those close out of their way. I was thrown aside and kicked in the shin hard enough to cause some bleeding and although not seriously injured certainly suffering from shock. I’m unsure about what happened for the next few minutes and it was almost ten minutes before I’d recovered enough to photograph seriously again.

The police appeared to have been deliberately trying to provoke the protesters and had a very large presence for what was expected to be a relatively small protest. Eventually the organisers called on the protesters who had been shouting angrily at the police for some minutes to move off and the march slowly made its way towards Westminster Bridge.

As the front of the march came to Bridge Street at the side of the Houses of Parliament there was a halt for photographs and when the march moved off a line of police across the road tried to stop them. But there were far too few officers to form a proper cordon, and I and around a couple of hundred protesters moved past and onto the start of Westminster Bridge before reinforcements arrived.

There were more police on the bridge and a line of police vans behind them, as well as more on the Embankment. Had the protesters been allowed to march onto the bridge and protest there the bridge would have been closed until the protest ended, but traffic could have continued to flow on both the Embankment and Bridge Street, which were still blocked when I left later. Protests continued on Westminster Bridge, though most of the protesters were still held on Bridge Street behind a police line. Around half an hour later police did decide to allow them to join the others, probably to make it easier for them to kettle the protest in one block rather than two.

On the bridge there were some noisy protests which forced police liaison officers to withdraw from the crowd. Some of them complained to the event stewards about the leaflets which were being distributed to the many tourist also being blocked by the police from leaving towards Parliament Square, suggesting that those distributing them might be committing an offence. I read one carefully and could find nothing anti-Semitic, nothing which I had not heard or read in the mainstream press despite their failures in reporting.

At one point people let off smoke flares in the red, green and white of the Palestinian flag. Later there was a period of silence for the victims in Palestine and those in Israel, and many sat or lay down on the roadway. A group in front of the police cordon wore masks showing Rishi Sunak, wearing tops with the messages ‘STOP ARMING ISRAEL’ ‘CEASEFIRE NOW!’holding up their hands red with fake blood which dripped down their arms.

I left as the police allowed the protesters to all join together, kettling both groups. I was tired and still a little shaken from the earlier assault by police and needed to sit down and rest on a seat on the Embankment. Eating my sandwiches for a late lunch and drinking some water helped too.

As I walked back to Waterloo the blue lights were still flashing on Westminster Bridge, and an hour later at 3.32 the Met posted “All protesters have now left the area around Westminster Bridge. Officers remain on-duty in central London and are ready to respond to any further demonstrations.” I felt their response to this one had been negative in the extreme and had made the situation worse than if they had stayed away completely. Their presence was a huge waste of public money and London really does not need police who behave as they did at this event.

The police had arrested a number of people on Westminster Bridge but later Black Lives Matter UK, one of the organisers, made the following post: “All arrestees have been released with no further action. Thanks to all who have supported the protests and taken time out to care for all those made vulnerable by the police.

More pictures in my Facebook album Free Palestine Coalition Demand A Ceasefire Now!


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Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 – December

Monday, January 8th, 2024

Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023: Apart from a protest by Just Stop Oil against the way their protests are being policed and non-violent protesters being given lengthy prison sentences because of political pressure by our government which has continued to move away from our ideas of liberal democracy towards a police state, all but one of the other events I photographed were about the continuing genocide of the people of Gaza. More and more civilians – men, women and especially children – were being killed every day, more forced to move out of their homes with nowhere safe to go, and an increasing humanitarian crisis – with many workers for relief agencies also being killed by Israeli forces.

Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 - December
Police Clamp Down on Just Stop Oil. London, 2 Dec 2023. I
Just Stop Oil met at New Scotland Yard for a peaceful non-violent march. As it was about to start one of the organisers was arrested and others were warned that if they stepped into the road they would also be arrested. After a short meeting the protesters marched through the crowded pavements of Westminster holding photographs of jailed JSO protesters behind a banner ‘NO PRISON FOR PEACEFUL PROTEST’ to a rally outside the Supreme Court. Some held large photographs of peaceful Just Stop Oil protesters who are in jail, some serving lengthy terms though some juries have refused to convict those standing up for the future of our planet.
Peter Marshall
Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 - December
Police Arrest Young Teen at Brixton Gaza Protest. London. 2 Dec 2023.
At the end of a Gaza Ceasefire march to a rally in Brixton, a crowd surrounded a police van containing a young teenager arrested for an allegedly anti-Semitic poster, shouting “Let Them Go!” and preventing the van from leaving. Police argued with protesters for around 45 minutes, eventually bringing in almost a hundred officers who pushed the crowd back to the pavement so the van could leave.
Peter Marshall

The situation in Brixton was rather confused and I got different stories from different people. The police too were arguing with each other for much of the time before a Senior Commander arrived, stopped another officer who had been trying to calm the situation and brought in reinforcements. There were at least two arrests, one for carrying a placard which I think compared in some way the actions of Israel in Gaza with those of the Nazis and the second for damaging a police vehicle.

Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 - December
Now We Rise Day for Climate Justice. London, UK. 9 Dec 2023.
Climate Justice Coalition protest at BP’s London HQ calling for climate justice. The UN COP28 climate summit in the UAE is presided over by an oil CEO and attended by a record number of fossil fuel lobbyists who togther saw we did not get the committment to phase out fossil fuels we need to survive. Our government too is blocking the path to a green transition, backtracking on cutting carbon and granting many new oil and gas licences despite record world temperatures and increasingly dire scientific predictions.
Peter Marshall
Goodbye & Good Riddance 2023 - December
National March for Palestine – Full Ceasefire Now. London, UK. 9 Dec 2023.
Neturei Karta Jews support the march. Hundreds of thousands march in London to call for a full ceasefire in Gaza where Israeli forces have killed over 17,000 people including more than 7,000 children. Bombing has made humanitarian aid and medical treatment impossible and widespread deaths from disease and starvation now seem inevitable. Marchers call for an end to the genocide and a political solution to bring peace and justice to Palestine under international law.
Peter Marshall
Gaza Ceasefire Rally, Elephant, London, 16 Dec 2023.
The Gaza Ceasefire Now! rally in Elephant Square was one of many across the country in a day of action for Palestine as rage grows over the increasing death toll, with over 18,600, mainly women and children, now having been killed by Israeli attacks. Hundreds came to a rally to demand a permanent Ceasefire now, and for an end to British complicity in Israeli apartheid before marching to join a vigil by medical staff at St Thomas’s Hospital.
Peter Marshall
Gaza Ceasefire Rally, Whitechapel. London 16 Dec 2023. The
Gaza Ceasefire Now! rally at the Tower Hamlets Town Hall was one of many across the country in a day of action for Palestine as rage grows over the increasing death toll, with over 18,600, mainly women and children, having been killed by Israeli attacks. Several hundred came to demand a permanent Ceasefire now, and for an end to British complicity in Israeli apartheid and were supported by many drivers who hooted as they drove past on the busy road.
Peter Marshall
Gaza Ceasefire March, Lewisham. London 16 Dec 2023.
The Gaza Ceasefire Now! march in Lewisham was one of many events across the country in a day of action for Palestine as rage grows over the increasing death toll, with over 18,600, mainly women and children, having been killed by Israeli attacks. A large crowd possibly around a thousand met at New Cross to march demanding a permanent ceasefire now, and for an end to British complicity in Israeli apartheid.
Peter Marshall
Vigil for the children of Palestine, Ilford. London 16 Dec 2023.
A vigil for the children of Palestine in Valentines Park was one of many events across the country in a day of action for Palestine as rage grows over the increasing death toll. Adults and children spoke, some reading poems and we heard about the lives of a few of the many murdered children. The protest condemned the genocide in Gaza, calling for a permanent ceasefire now, and for an end to British complicity in Israeli apartheid.
Peter Marshall

It was almost the end of the year. Christmas too was overshadowed by the news of new killings and increasing suffering in Gaza. Christmas festivities were cancelled in Bethlehem, and the Nativity scene at the The Evangelical Lutheran Church there showed the newborn Jesus wrapped in a kaffiyeh an a heap of rubble to show solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Like many others I greeted the passing of 2023 at the end of New Year’s Eve with thanks that 2023 was over and the hope that 2024 would see a better year for us all. But perhaps that hope was realistically only a glimmer.


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Remember Gaza & Ashura 2009

Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

Remember Gaza & Ashura – Two events in London on December 27th 2009 was the first anniversary of ‘Operation Cast Lead’, Israel’s earlier war against Gaza which began on 27 Dec 2008. By the time this illegal attack came to an end on 18 Jan 2009, it had killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and devastated the Gaza strip, destroying homes and infrastructure.


Remember Gaza – Israeli Embassy, Kensington

Remember Gaza & Ashura 2009

That attack in 2008 had come after a number of earlier attacks by Israel on Gaza over the years – which had resulted in a growing active resistance from Palestinians, including the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel and the free election of Hamas with a majority in Gaza in 2006.

Remember Gaza & Ashura 2009

After Hamas took over the running of the Gaza strip in 2007, Israel imposed an indefinite blockade of Gaza that has continued until now. Intended to stop Hamas importing weapons it “also led to significant humanitarian challenges, as it restricts the flow of essential goods, contributes to economic hardship, and limits the freedom of movement for Gaza’s residents.”

Remember Gaza & Ashura 2009

The current destruction of Gaza is of course on a much greater scale than in 2008, with over 20,000 Gazan deaths including 10,000 children. More journalists have now been killed in Gaza than were killed in the whole six years of the Second World War; many aid workers have also been killed. Over 90% of those living in Gaza have been forced to flee their homes with many families living in squalid conditions in makeshift tents without water supplies or sanitation and short of food. UN officials on the ground describe it as “hell on earth”.

Remember Gaza & Ashura 2009

It is now clear to almost everyone around the world outside Israel that the current Israeli attacks go far beyond anything that can possibly be justified as a response to the horrific attack by Hamas on 7th September. Now impossible not to see the current attacks as an attempt at genocide, the complete elimination of the Palestinian population of the area, and this has been the clearly stated aim of some Israeli right-wing politicians including some of those in the Israeli government.

It is hard at the moment to see any end to the current destruction of Gaza and its people by Israeli armed forces. The US seems unable to exert any real influence on Israel but has been able to effectively stymie any international action through the United Nations, watering down the United Nations Security Council resolution to almost meaningless platitudes – and even then abstaining.

As Russia’s UN Ambassador stated to the council, this resolution “would essentially be giving the Israeli armed forces complete freedom of movement for further clearing of the Gaza Strip“.

More than a thousand came to protest as close a police would allow them to the Israeli Embassy in Kensington on December 27th 2009. They called for an end to the siege of Gaza, justice for the Palestinian people and the trial of Israelis responsible for war crimes, and for Egypt to allow the peace convoy taking humanitarian aid to Gaza to proceed.

It was a peaceful but noisy rally, with a number of speakers including Jeremy Corbyn as well as Palestinians from Gaza. Police stopped people from crossing the road towards the private road leading to the Israeli embassy and led them back, with one man who sat down and refused to move being carried back with reasonable care by smiling officers.

Also present at the protest were a group of ultra-orthodox Neturei Karta Jews who oppose Zionism, believing it to be a political movement that is against their view of the Jewish religion. They were taking part in other similar demonstrations in major cities around the world and a group of their Rabbis was on its way to Gaza to show solidarity with the people.

More on My London Diary at Remember Gaza.


Ashura Day Procession – Marble Arch to Kensington

Also taking place earlier in the day in London on 27th December 2009 was the annual Ashura Day procession, which takes place on the 10th of the Muslim month of Muharram to mourn the assassination of the Imam Hussain and his followers at Karbala in AH 61 (680 AD.) Because the Islamic Calendar is based on a year of 12 lunar months this observance occurs at different dates each year according to the civil Gregorian calendar – and in 2023 was in July.

The march began at Marble Arch and two large groups of Shia Muslims – men followed by women -marched from there to the Islamic Centre in Holland Park. Most were dressed in black and many beat their chests with their hands in mourning as they marched to the beat of drums and the sounding of trumpets. Some wept as the marched. Many had been fasting for the previous nine days of Muharram, saying prayers and giving charitable gifts.

Imam Hussain was the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad and he and his followers had refused to accept the authority of Caliph Yazid as they believed this would have meant abandoning the “true” Islam of his grandfather. He and his small group of followers were surrounded at Karbala, left for three days in the desert without water and then Imam Hussain and his 72 male companions including male children were slaughtered and the women made to march as captives to Damascus.

More on My London Diary at Ashura Day Procession,


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UN Human Rights Day 2016

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

UN Human Rights Day – On 10 December 1948 the 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and December 10th is now celebrated around the world as Human Rights Day.

The theme for the day in 2016 was ‘Stand up for someone’s rights today’ and there were a number of protests in London which did just that. This year will mark the 75th anniversary of the declaration and it seems unlikely that the UK government will be doing much celebration as it begins to try to push through a law to prevent asylum seekers from asserting their human rights.


Silent Chain for Europe – Old Palace Yard, Westminster

UN Human Rights Day

Campaigners linked arms in silent chains in protest opposite parliament and elsewhere in other towns and cities.

UN Human Rights Day

They say Brexit threatens our human rights including workers rights to paid holidays, maternity leave and fair treatment at work, the right of free movement around Europe, to live in the EU and for EU citizens to live here, disability rights and the right to freedom from discrimination.

More pictures at Silent Chain for Europe.


BBC censors prison struggles – Broadcasting House

UN Human Rights Day

A Human Rights day protest outside the BBC highlighted the failure of the organisation to report on people wrongly held in prison in some countries around the world.

UN Human Rights Day

They say the BBC as an institution largely or totally ignores wrongful imprisonment in Northern Ireland, including the frame-up of the Craigavon 2 and the continuing internment of Tony Taylor for legal political activities.

The Craigavon 2, John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville, have been in prison since March 2009 and were convicted for the killing of police officer Stephen Carroll by a Diplock court without a jury on the basis of evidence which has been described as ludicrous. An appeal was dismissed in 2014 and at the start of 2023 Northern Ireland’s The Sunday Life newspaper revealed that MI5 had set up and operated what purported to be a human rights organisation but was actually working to subvert the campaign for their release.

Other cases the say the BBC consistently fails to report include the imprisonment of Mumia Abu Jamal on Death Row in the USA, Palestinians held in Israeli jails and victims of Erdogan’s purge in Turkey.

BBC censors prison struggles


Balochs UN Human Rights Day protest – Downing St

People from Balochistan in West Pakistan called on Theresa May to speak up for the Baloch people and their freedom against the Pakistan regime which they claim has a policy of genocide against the Baloch people and has killed thousands of Baloch activists and abducted more than 25,000 of them.

When Pakistan was set up in 1947, the kingdom of Balochistan became a part of it with some autonomy but a year later was merged with Pakistan. Since then various political and military separatists have emerged in the area which also includes part of neighbouring Iran.

Balochs UN Human Rights Day protest


Human Rights Day call close Guantanamo – Downing St

Also at Downing Street the Guantanamo Justice Campaign held a rally calling for an end to torture, the closure of Guantanamo and an end to British complicity in torture.

Speakers at the rally included Lewes Amnesty Group Chair Sara Birch, Journalist and writer Victoria Brittain and Stop the War convenor Lindsey German. Mizan the Poet gave an impressive performance of his poem ‘1984’ against the government’s anti-Muslim ‘Prevent’ counter extremism strategy.

More pictures at Human Rights Day call close Guantanamo


Save Yazidi women and girls – Westminster

A small group of women protesters from WAVE (Women’s Action against Violent Extremism) held placards in Parliament Square before coming to protest at Downing St calling for help for the Yazidi women who were targeted and captured by ISIS (Da’esh) in Iraq.

ISIS regard the Yazidi as devil worshippers and subjected their women to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. The UN in 2014 reported that more than 5000 Yazidis had been murdered and 5-7,000 abducted. Over 3,400 are believed to be still held.

Although in 2014 the UK government in 2014 provided some emergency aid to those who escaped to a refugee camp, few if any have been given asylum here. The Independent reported in 2018 that “some Yazidis in the UK are having their asylum denied.” When SNP Brendan O’Hara asked a question in Parliament in 2022 on how many Yazidi refugees have been resettled in the UK since 2014 he was simply told that the Home Office keeps no records of the religious or ethnic background of refugees. Others put the figure at close to zero.

Save Yazidi women and girls


Not everything I photographed in London on 10th December was related to Human Rights Day. I also found a couple of rhinos and many more Santas. You can see them on My London Diary.
Save the Rhino
London Santacon 201