Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

Palestine, Orange Order, Naked Cyclists & RFH – 2007

Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Palestine, Orange Order, Naked Cyclists & RFH: On Saturday 9th June 2007 I photographed a protest against the occupation of Palestine,the Orange Order celebrating 200 years of parades, the London World Naked Bike Ride and the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall.

Palestine, Orange Order, Naked Cyclists & RFH

End the occupation – Palestine

Palestine, Orange Order, Naked Cyclists & RFH

The largest of these events was part of an international day of action marking the 40th anniversary of the 1967 six day war which had ended in complete and massive military victory for Israel, and a shameful defeat for not just the Arab nations but also the UN and the rest of the world.

Palestine, Orange Order, Naked Cyclists & RFH

And, as I commented then “in the longer term it is proving a disaster for Israel too, chaining them to a policy of brutal oppression of their Palestinian neighbours.” I continued; “Over the past few months, reading and hearing eye-witness reports of life in the occupied areas have shocked me, just as the reports from South Africa under apartheid did. And just as in South Africa, in time these things must come to an end with peace and reconciliation. War doesn’t settle things, it just prolongs the agonies.”

Palestine, Orange Order, Naked Cyclists & RFH

Seventeen years later we are seeing things that are orders of magnitude more shocking still happening in Gaza, witnessing the genocide of the Palestinian people.

Two members of the Palestinian government who had been invited to speak at the event were unable to come as they in jail in Israel. As usual until recently there was little coverage of this event or Israels apartheid policies in the UK media. Now their is considerable international interest in what is happening in Gaza but reporting is severely hampered as the international press are not allowed access other than in a few very limited Israeli army led tours.

More at End Occupation in Palestine.


Orange Order celebrates 200 Years of Parades – Park Lane

The Grand Lodge 200th Anniversary Parade marked 200 years since the first recorded Orange Parade by the Portadown Lodge of the Orange Order, Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1 (LOL 1), on 1 March 1807.

Although King William III, Prince Of Orange had successfully invaded England in what was later known as the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and the first Orange Association was founded a few days after his landing in Brixham when he reached Exeter, organised parades are only known to have started 119 years later.

This anniversary event was an impressive display with several thousand marching including lodges from all our major cities. The Orange Order still has a strong following in some former protestant working class areas but as I commented, despite “own protestant roots … such sectarian solidarity now seems a relic of ancient enmities, a throwback to a less civilised age.”

Many more pictures at 200 Years of Orange Marches


World Naked Bike Ride, Hyde Park,

I arrived in Hyde Park a little late but was able to photograph the riders setting off on their ride around London and went with them along Piccadilly before taking the tube to wait for them to reach the Houses of Parliament at Westminster.

You can read my thoughts about the ride which I think rather fails to get its message across although causing a great stir on the busy streets it goes through, as few of the riders have anything on their bodies or bikes to state its purpose on My London Diary.

For most who see it, this is simply an unusual spectacle of nudity, and an illustration of the great variety of the human form rather than the very limited body types which we see on advertising hoardings and other images of the fully or partly unclothed om the press or elsewhere.

This was the one event of those I covered that was widely covered in the media, making the national news that evening, though I think there was little attention to why the ride was taking place.

More about it and more pictures at 2007 World Naked BikeRide.


London’s Royal Festival Hall Reopens

The Southbank centre was staging a weekend of events across its site marking the reopening of the Royal Festival Hall after a considerable refurbishment which began in June 2005 and I managed to take a few photographs of these across the day.

The foyers inside the building were opened up more but I think the main purpose was to provide more commercial space to provide an income for the centre. The Royal Festival Hall was built as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951 and was funded and managed by the London County Council and their successors, the Greater London Council until that was abolished by Thatcher in 1988.

The Southbank Centre states on its web site that it “does not receive any funding from the Government to run and maintain its 11-acre national heritage site. All essential repair and maintenance work to our buildings and site has been funded from our own commercial revenues or from fundraising.

More pictures begin at London’s Royal Festival Hall Reopens


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Pagan Pride & Justice for Darfur 2008

Saturday, May 25th, 2024

Pagan Pride & Justice for Darfur: On Sunday morning 25th May 2008 I made my way to Red Lion Square in Holborn to photograph the Pagain Pride public procession. Later I went to Downing Street were protesters were meeting to march to a rally at the Sudanese Embassy calling for Sudanese war criminals to be brought to justice.


Pagan Pride – Beltane Bash – Red Lion Square/Russell Square

Pagan Pride & Justice for Darfur

Pagans – or rather neo-Pagans had come to Conway Hall in the corner of Red Lion Square for a day of celebration of the ancient Spring festival of Beltane, celebrating coming out of winter and the springing of the world into growth.

Pagan Pride & Justice for Darfur

As well as their private celebrations inside the hall they were also taking part in a public procession, Pagan Pride, which goes the short distance to the fountain in Russell Square for a joyful celebration before returning to Conway Hall.

Pagan Pride & Justice for Darfur

Nature and the cyclical nature of the seasons plays a central part in pagan beliefs and Godesses and Gods linked with nature play an important role in their ceremonies.

Pagan Pride & Justice for Darfur

As I commented in 2008 nature appeared “not to be too kind to them as the rain bucketed down as the participants were supposed to gather, with only a few braver members (and some with umbrellas) coming out of the hall, but fortunately for them and the photographers it soon eased off, finally almost stopping as the parade got under way.”

That circular fountain in the garden of Russell Square “could have been designed with them in mind, with a strongly phallic character in the water jets, which in normal use rise and fall, but were left to flow at full strength for most of the ceremony.” In 2008 it was open for everyone to play in but on more recent visits I have noticed it is now surrounded by a fence.

At first the group danced around the fountain in rings with hands joined, but then many of them started to run through the centre, many getting soaked.”

Even the drummers, who at first stood on the edge providing a rhythm for the dance, eventually ran though the jets, and finally the Green Man also did so.

By the time the parade left the square for its return to Conway Hall I’d had enough, and my feet and legs were soaked.

I left with a friend to go and have a cup of tea before going to Whitehall for a very different event.

More pictures at Pagan Pride – Beltane Bash.


Justice for Darfur – London Protest; Whitehall – Sudanese Embassy

Around 200 people, mainly from the Sudan, had gathered opposite Downing Street for a noisy protest before marching to a rally at the Sudanese Embassy opposite St James’s Palace in London.

The Justice for Darfur campaign was supported by around 30 organisations including the Aegis Trust, an international organization working to prevent genocide, Amnesty International and Darfur Union UK, who organised this event together with Aegis Students.

The campaign began when the Sudanese government refused to had over two men to the International Criminal Court. Sudan’s former Minister of the Interior Ahmad Haroun and Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb were wanted on 51 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity arising from persecution, rapes and murder of civilians in four West Darfur villages.

Haroun had even been promoted to be responsible for humanitarian affairs, and Kushayb, who had been in jail facing other charges when the ICC warrants were issued has been released.

In 2005 the UN Commission of Inquiry into war crimes listed 52 people for investigation and placards named some of these calling for them to be brought to justice. They included Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir, Saleh Gosh, head of Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Service, Minister of the Federation Government Nafi Ali Nafi and former Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman.

Earlier that month there had been fresh reports of beatings, detentions and shooting of Darfuri civilians in Khartoum and Omdurman but little had appeared in the UK mainstream press and they had sent no photographers or reporters to the event. It was one of those protests that later one photographer told me his editor dismisses as “tribal matters“.

More pictures at Justice for Darfur.


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Vaisakhi, Uganda & Freedom Umbrella – 2011

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

Vaisakhi, Uganda & Freedom Umbrella: On Saturday 9th April 2011 After visiting Woolwich to photograph the Vaisakhi celebrations I came back into central London to photograph Ugandans and Kurds protesting for freedom and democracy.


Vaisakhi Celebrations in Woolwich

Vaisakhi, Uganda & Freedom Umbrella

For some years I had been documenting religious festivals in and around London and had photographed a number of Sikh Gurdwaras at their Vaisakhi festivals.

Vaisakhi, Uganda & Freedom Umbrella

On Saturday 9th April 2011 I went to the Ramgarhia Association Gurdwara in Mason’s Hill Woolwich. The Ramgarhia are a Sikh community who originally came from the close to Amritsar in the Punjab and traditionally they were carpenters, blacksmiths and other artisan workers but were renowned for their military prowess and the victories of the armies.

Vaisakhi, Uganda & Freedom Umbrella

When I turned up I was warmly welcomed and taken to the Langar hall where I enjoyed some of the free vegetarian food on offer to all, prepared and served by members of the congregation who volunteer their services as a part of their religious practice and was able to talk with people there and wander around taking photographs.

Vaisakhi, Uganda & Freedom Umbrella

The Gurdwara was established in 1970 in an existing landmark building, the Victorian Freemasons Hall, just over the Woolwich border in Plumstead on a street which was then called Mount Pleasant.

The Freemason’s Hall was where the Royal Arsenal Football Club held its annual meetings and dinners, and on 16th May 1891 that the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Arsenal Football Club (earlier known as Dial Square) the committee announced it had decided two weeks earlier to turn professional and had thus resigned from the amateur Kent and London Associations.

In 1913, the club moved across the river to a new stadium at Highbury, where it continued to play until 2006, when it moved the short distance to its new Emirates stadium. Apparently it is doing quite well at the moment.

The Vaisakhi festival, which takes place on April 14 each year marks the formation of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, in 1699. You can read more about this and the Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan procession which is lead by five Khalsa – baptised Sikhs – dressed in saffron robes and turbans and carrying swords in the account I wrote on My London Diary, Vaisakhi Celebrations in Woolwich, as well as in the posts on other Vaisakhi processions on that site.

On My London Diary I wrote in more detail about the origins of Vaisakhi and the 10th Sikh Guru who gave Sikhism its modern form with its symbols and the eternal guru, the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy religious scripture being reverently carried out to the procession in th picture above.

Unfortunately the start of the procession was delayed and although I had photographed the preparations for it I had to run to catch a train before the actual start of the colourful procession, with its joyful singing of Sikh hymns, martial arts demonstrations and Dhol drumming through the town, expected to take several hours.

More at Vaisakhi Celebrations in Woolwich.


Ugandans Demand Democracy – Uganda House, Trafalgar Square

Ugandans had come to protest outside Uganda House in Trafalgar Square, calling for new free and fair elections after the rigged Parliamentary and Presidential elections in February.

The election on 18 Feb had resulted in the re-election of the sitting president Yoweri Museveni, in power for 25 years, apparently getting 68% of the vote.

But the EU Election Observation Mission which had been in Uganda for the vote reported the election, with a turnout of only 59% had been “marred by avoidable administrative and logistical failures which led to an unacceptable number of Ugandan citizens being disenfranchised” and that Museveni had used his presidential power to “compromise severely the level playing filed between the competing candidates and political parties.”

As well as the state owned Uganda Broadcasting Corporation giving much more coverage to the ruling NRM party, there had been extenisve human rights abuses with the police failing to take action against groups attacking opposition political meetings, intimidation and assaults on journalists and the cancellation of broadcasts.

Ugandans Demand Democracy


Freedom Umbrella Kurds March Through London – Old Marylebone Rd – Downing St

Freedom Umbrella (Chatri Azadi), a coalition of British-based Kurdish organisations and supporters, had organised a demonstration in front of the offices of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Old Marylebone Road followed by a march to a rally opposite Downing St.

They called for support of the people’s uprising for freedom and social justice in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan which had begun on 17th February but had hardly been noticed by UK media.

Two Kurdish militia groups dominate Iraqi Kurdistan and remain in power. On 19th April their security forces began a more organised violent crackdown on the protests which brought them to an end.

I met the protesters as the march neared Trafalgar Square and photographed their rally opposite Downing Street.

More pictures Freedom Umbrella Kurds March In London.


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Sudan and Brunei Gay Sex – 2019

Saturday, April 6th, 2024

Sudan and Brunei Gay Sex: I began work on Saturday 6th April 2019 at the Sudanese Embassy and then left for the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair where protesters had come after the Sultan of Brunei had announced death by stoning as a punishment for gay sex, adultery and blasphemy.


Sudanese for Freedom, Peace and Justice – Sudan Embassy

Sudan and Brunei Gay Sex

War is raging again now in Sudan between between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Sudan and Brunei Gay Sex

Back in 2019 people were protesting against the extreme violence in Sudan against peaceful protests calling for for an end to the violent and corrupt Sudanese regime and for president Omar al-Bashir to ‘Just Fall’ and stand trial by the ICC for genocide in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and South Blue Nile.

Sudan and Brunei Gay Sex

People in Sudan had been protesting for 17 weeks and over 70 protesters had been killed and thousands injured.

Sudan and Brunei Gay Sex

Five days later, Omar al-Bashir was deposed by the Sudanese Armed Forces and in May 2019 was charged al-Bashir with “inciting and participating in” the killing of protesters. Later other charges were brought, including of corruption and money laundering. Other trials followed and he has been accused of genocide. The prison in which he was being held has been overrun by the current fighting between forces led by the generals who deposed him and he is currently held in a military hospital in Khartoum.

I left the protesters still in and around the protest pen outside the embassy opposite St James Palace in Cleveland Row and rushed the three quarters of a mile or so to the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, where I knew the protest had already begun.

More pictures at Sudanese for Freedom, Peace and Justice.


Brunei Sultan gay sex stoning protest – Dorchester Hotel

A large crowd had gathered on the streets in front of the Dorchester Hotel behind barriers that kept them out of the area directly in front of the entrance.

There were a number of speeches including those by Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Emily Thornberry MP and activist Peter Tatchell condemining the announcement by the Sultan of Brunei of death by stoning as a punishment for gay sex, adultery and blasphemy.

It was a colourful protest with many from the gay community with some interesting posters and placards. Police continually harassed protesters to keep the roads open, although there were really too many people to make this sensible.

After an hour or so, Class War decided to move from behind the barriers and pushed some aside to protest directly in front of the hotel doors. They were followed by many of the other protesters and a noisy protest continued there.

Many more pictures at Brunei Sultan gay sex stoning protest.


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Israel’s Land Day Massacre & Afrin March

Sunday, March 31st, 2024

Israeli Land Day Massacre & Afrin March – On Saturday 31st March 2018 two emergency protests in London condemned the cold-blooded shooting by the Israeli army of peaceful protesters near the separation wall in Gaza the previous day, Palestinian Land Day. The was also a march calling for an end to the invasion of Afrin by Turkey and al Qaeda-affiliated militias intended to destroy this peaceful state and eliminate the majority Kurdish population of the area.


Land Day protest against supporters of Israeli state – Oxford St

Israeli Land Day Massacre & Afrin March

Protesters from the Revolutionary Communist Group have held regular protests outside the Marks and Spencer flagship store on Oxford Street for many years. They were met there this morning by others apalled by the news of the 17 unarmed Palestinian civilians shot dead by Israeli snipers.

Israeli Land Day Massacre & Afrin March

Those murdered in cold blood were taking part in the first of a weekly series of marches, the ‘Great March of Return‘, beginning on Land Day, the anniversary of protests against the state confiscation of swathes of Palestinian land in Galilee in 1976 until Nakba Day on May 15, the anniversary of the expulsion of millions of Palestinians from their homes and villages in 1948.

Israeli Land Day Massacre & Afrin March

The protesters went from M&S to protest outside other stores on Oxford St with business links with apartheid Israel, calling for shoppers to boycott them. While I was with them they also protested outside Selfridges, which sells Israeli wines, Adidas which supports the Israel football team, Boots which sells cosmetics made in Israel and Carphone Warehouse and were continuing along the street when I had to leave.

Land Day protest against Israeli state


Defend Afrin – Bring Anna Home – Oxford St

Israeli Land Day Massacre & Afrin March

Turkey’s attack on Afrin in north-west Syria is a clear violation of international law, and air strikes have deliberately targeted civilian areas.

Turkey has NATO’s second largest army and much of its weapons come from European states including the UK which had recently signed a major arms deal. The UK government has expressed support for Turkey, claiming it has a right to defend it borders, but this attack is outside these and Turkey has clearly announce an intention to push far into Syria.

Turkish aims are clearly genocidal with Turkish president Erdogan having stated he intends to invade all the Kurdish areas of Syria and “cleanse” the area of its Kurdish people.

As well as calling for an immediate ceasefire and end to the Turkish invasion of Syrian and UK support for this, they called for an end of UK arms sales to all human rights abusing regimes in the Middle East and for humanitarian relief for Afrin and other areas of Syria and for an investigation into human rights abuses there. They also called on the UK government to demand Turkey return the body of YPJ volunteer Anna Campbell to her family in Sussex.

Much more on My London Diary at Defend Afrin – Bring Anna Home.


Israeli Embassy Protest against Land Day Killings

I joined others close to the Israeli embassy in Kensington for an emergency protest against the shooting of unarmed protesters several hundred yards from the Gaza separation wall by IDF snipers. 17 Civilians were killed and over 750 seriously injured by live fire, with others injured by rubber bullets and tear gas.

The massacre the previous day had shocked the world and led the UN to call for an independent investigation, which Israel have refused – just as they have refused calls for independent investigation into other massacres. The news had come too late for a large protest to be organised – which followed in April.

Coverage of the event in the UK media on the day had been surprisingly muted, with the BBC giving considerable air-time to Israeli state speakers shamefully claiming the massacre was reasonable and fully justified. The same thing has been happening over events in Gaza in recent months, though I think it has now become very much clearer that they have lost all credibility and even some presenters have sometimes challenged them.

Against Israeli Land Day massacre.

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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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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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
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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’.

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