Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

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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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 – November

Sunday, January 7th, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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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Solidarity With Gaza, Save Lewisham Hospital – 2012

Friday, November 24th, 2023

Solidarity With Gaza, Save Lewisham Hospital – On Saturday morning, 24th November 2012 I joined marchers against the then recent Israeli attacks on Gaza and the continuing blockade which makes normal life there impossible. Although still a clearly disproportionate response, the death toll in 2012 was minuscule compared to the current ongoing destruction. In the afternoon I went to Lewisham for a march against proposals to close A&E and maternity services, and possibly also the the children’s wards, critical care unit and emergency surgery by the Trust Special Administrator Matthew Kershaw.


Solidarity With Gaza, End the Seige Now – Downing St

Solidarity With Gaza, Save Lewisham Hospital

Despite persistent rain, several thousands turned up to protest at Downing Street before marching towards the Israeli Embassy following the start ten days earlier of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense‘ by the the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Solidarity With Gaza, Save Lewisham Hospital

In the eight days before a ceasefire, Wikipedia statesthe IDF claimed to have struck more than 1,500 sites in the Gaza Strip, including rocket launchpads, weapon depots, government facilities, and apartment blocks” with the UNHCR reporting “174 were killed and hundreds were wounded. Many families were displaced.”

Solidarity With Gaza, Save Lewisham Hospital

There were also deaths and casualties among Israelis, but on a much smaller scale, with 6 Israelis being killed and 240 injured by rockets fired from Gaza.

Solidarity With Gaza, Save Lewisham Hospital

As in this year, “Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other Western countries expressed support for what they considered Israel’s right to defend itself” , or condemned the Hamas attacks, while some other countries condemned the Israel attacks. Human Rights Watch said both sites committed war crimes.

Solidarity With Gaza, Save Lewisham Hospital

As in 2023, many of hose killed in Gaza in 2012 where children, and at the front of the march, ahead of the main banner were a group of children, each carrying a placard hanging around their neck with the names and ages of some of the dead children.

And as in the recent marches I’ve photographed, both the National Marches calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and those in Camden and Lewisham, among those taking part there were many individual Jews and Jewish groups including Jews Against the Siege of Gaza, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and a group of Jewish Socialists.

Before the march began 163 while balloons printed with the Palestinian flag – one for each of the Palestinians then known to have been killed – were released. The march then moved up Whitehall and I went with it as far as Trafalgar Square where I took pictures for the next 15 minutes or so as the crowd moved past before catching a train from Charing Cross to Lewisham.

More at Solidarity With Gaza, End the Seige Now


Save A&E at Lewisham Hospital – Lewisham

Thousands of protesters – perhaps as many as 15,000 – formed a human chain to hold hands around Lewisham hospital after a march from the centre of Lewisham to oppose plans to close its A&E department to pay debts from mismanagement at other hospitals in south London, which have huge PFI debts.

The march had seemed rather smaller than expected when I arrived at the start close to Lewisham station, but the numbers grew greatly as we got closer to the hospital and Ladywell Fields, with the road still packed with people coming to join this as the human chain began to form.

At Ladywell Fields the march divided into two, with hospital workers making their way to the front of the hospital in an anti-clockwise direction and the others going clockwise to meet them. Soon people were filling the whole thre-quarters of a mile ring around the hospital and holding hands in a human chain. The organisers had asked people to go in single file, but there were far too many in most places for this and in some areas the pavements were filled ten deep.

Traffic around the hospital was brought to a stop with people still flooding in on the High Street and Ladywell Road and nothing was moving on the roads by the time I left and caught a train home, except for ambulances which police and stewards were ensuring could still reach the hospital, clearing a route through the crowds.

Lewisham Hospital is well run and well used by people in the area around, and has played no part in the financial problems faced by the South London Hospitals Trust, which were largely caused by disastrous private finance schemes entered into to build the trust’s hospitals in Orpington and Woolwich. The planned closures would drastically cut health services in the area and almost certainly lead to many deaths as well as huge inconvenience for millions and are driven entirely by the financial gain in selling off 60% of the site.

But even this makes little sense as the expected £17 million this would raise would be only a minor one-off contribution towards the over £60 million the Trust has to find each year for its PFI debts which were then expected to total around £1,200 million before they were paid off.

The problem of PFI debt is not of course limited to this trust. Government figures in 2018 were that the total value of PFI investments in the NHS was then £12.8 billion – and that by the time these were paid off the NHS will have paid over £80 billion for them – more than six times as much. The figures have worsened since then as many contracts include inflation-based cost increases – leading to an extra £264 million in payments in the past 2 years. Some trusts now have to spend 10-13% of their total income on their PFI debts, and these payments cannot be cut and are prioritised. over other expenditure such as than on staff costs and drugs.

Lewisham Hospital’s campaign against the cuts was successful. They were ruled unlawful by the High Court and eventually dropped by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt after he lost an appeal.

More at Save A&E at Lewisham Hospital.


Dear Suella, Please Resign

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

Dear Suella, Please Resign – I and I think most of the British public have had enough of your hate speech, and your latest tirade against the half million or so people who came out onto the street to call for a ceasefire in Gaza plumbed new depths in hypocrisy.

Dear Suella, Please Resign

Those hundreds of thousands who marched last Saturday – and I was there – were marching for a ceasefire to end the humanitarian catastrophe which is underway in Gaza, where thousands of civilians have already died through Israeli attacks and more will do so if the attacks continue from bombing and shelling, the lack of food and clean water and the almost complete breakdown of medical services.

Dear Suella, Please Resign

There was no celebration of Hamas on the march and certainly none for the particularly barbaric actions in Israel on October 7th. Nor for the taking of hostages, although some on the march will certainly have felt it was the only way that Palestinian prisoners in Israel might be freed – over 4,000 of them, many locked up without charge, including (April 2022 figures) 32 women and 160 children. The continuing attacks on Gaza also threaten the lives of the hostages held by Hamas and appear to have stopped for the moment negotiations which would have led to further releases.

Dear Suella, Please Resign

Together with the BBC and some other news media you continue to collude to suggest that people at these protests shouted for Jihad. As you well know, these shouts took place at an entirely separate protest by Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, an extreme Islamic organisation calling for the establishment of a caliphate, whose protests I have covered since 2004. Their protest was not for peace but was calling upon Muslim Armies to liberate Palestine. To use their activities to denigrate those taking part in the huge protests for an end to the fighting and occupation in Palestine is dishonest in the extreme.

Dear Suella, Please Resign

The world needs peace in Palestine and so does Israel as well of course as the Palestinians. We have seen over the years since Israel was set up that war is not the way to achieve this.

As the UN Secretary General made clear when condemning the Hamas attack, it did not take place in a vacuum. It took place after years when Palestinians have been forced out of their homes, their lands occupied, and they have been subjected to arbitrary military rule under an apartheid regime with Gaza held under siege. Years in which the peace process has been put to one side. The only hope for peace is if Palestine is allowed to grow and to flourish rather than continue to be oppressed.

I grew up in a country which prided itself for its sense of fair play and decency, even though this ideal was not usually extended in practice to those we colonised.

We were a country that led the way in the establishment of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other conventions.

Now we seem to be a country that is ruled by politicians that have no real regard for human rights and the rights of asylum seekers, that are massively incompetent and put their own personal aggrandisement before the national interest, and are directed by corporate interests rather than those of the people or the planet. With some politicians from both main parties claiming huge expenses and often fiddling unnecessary second homes and increasingly frequent sexual scandals.

Government ministers and shadow ministers alike seem prepared to come onto the media and bluster and lie for the party, backed up by an electoral system that fails to provide any real democracy. Our current parliamentary election system is actually rather less democratic than the system that brought Hamas to power in 2006 – despite considerable interference by the US and Israel in the electoral process, though since Hamas took over Gaza completely by military force in 2007 and there have been no elections there.

The Covid inquiry continues to reveal government failures which led to many early deaths and its now clear that our current government have decided to abandon any real attempt to slow down or reverse our excessive global heating despite almost daily scientific evidence of the increasing risks – and the evidence we all fell as our weather becomes more and more chaotic. And rather than try to deal with the many problems that various protests bring to the fore, successive governments have enacted laws to restrict the right to protest and free speech and have encouraged police to prevent protests and courts to impose harsh ‘exemplary’ punishments.

Frankly Suella, you and your government are a disaster. And you are the leading edge of that disaster. The sooner you all go the better for Britain. Resign Now.

Pictures here are from London last Saturday, 28th October 2023. You can see more of those I made during the protest at:
National March for Gaza – Ceasefire Now, London 28 Oct 23
More Pictures – Gaza Ceasefire Now! London 28 Oct 23
Gaza Ceasefire Now! Protest At Waterloo Station, London 28 Oct 23


Starving Palestine and a Mad Emitters Tea Party

Saturday, May 20th, 2023

Starving Palestine and a Mad Emitters Tea Party: London Saturday 20th May 2006


Stop Starving Palestine! – March for Palestine

Starving Palestine and a Mad Emitters Tea Party

After Hamas, a Sunni-Islamic militant nationalist political movement won a majority of seats in the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections, Israel had imposed an economic blockade and both the US and EU withdrew their support.

Starving Palestine and a Mad Emitters Tea Party

This led to more than two-thirds of the people in the country being below the poverty line, lacking basic necessities such as sugar, oil, milk, and even bread is rationed. A ban on the import of vital medicines threatened many lives.

Starving Palestine and a Mad Emitters Tea Party

Around 20,000 people came to the Stop Starving Palestine! march organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and supported by many other organisations including peace groups, the Muslim Association Of Britain and leading trade unions.

Starving Palestine and a Mad Emitters Tea Party

Among the speakers were Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, Baroness Jenny Tonge of the Lib Dems and Manuel Hassassian, the Palestine Liberation Organisation representative to the UK (appointed by the Palestinian President as Ambassador but not recognised by the UK.)

As usual there were many Jewish protesters among the marchers, most noticeable of whom were Neturei Karta orthodox Jews who had walked from Stamford Hill on the Sabbath to attest to their support for Palestinians and their opposition to Zionism.

I left the event as the rally in Trafalgar Square began to go to Grosvenor Square.

More somewhere down the page at My London Diary – May 2006.


Bush in Wonderland, a Mad Emitters Tea Party – US Embassy

Campaign Against Climate Change had organised “bush in wonderland, a mad emitters tea party” held outside the heavily barricaded front of the US embassy in Grosvenor Square. The party was a part of an ongoing series of protests including a weekly climate vigil outside the embassy taking place since the breakdown of The Hague Climate Talks in November 2000.

There was a picnic table with sandwiches, cakes and tea, music from the eco warriors and guests with some appropriate lyrics, as well as samba from rhythms of resistance, and fancy dress. balloons, banners and a short speech by a White Rabbit called Phil reminded us of the need for protests like these.

The USA continues not only to pollute on a massive scale, but increasingly acts to sabotage international efforts to take any effective action on climate change.”

Protests such as this, publications by groups of leading scientists and COP talks after COP talks have done a little to move things on, but the climate situation has worsened and actions taken by governments so far are woefully inadequate.

The USA improved its rhetoric under Obama but didn’t do much and it went backwards under Trump. Biden has also failed to make the real changes needed – and like most politicians is still living in Wonderland rather than the real world.

Politicans are still pursuinging economic polices based on infinite growth under capitalism and we need to move to a new economics which recognises that we live on a planet with finite resources both physical and in the natural world and we need to move to living within sustainable limits.

More somewhere down the page at My London Diary – May 2006.


End The Israeli Invasion Of Gaza – 2014

Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

End The Israeli Invasion Of Gaza – 2014 On 8th July 2014, Israel had begun Operation Protective Edge with air strikes and artillery bombardment on the narrow Gaza strip of Palestinian territory.

The previous month 3 Israel teenagers had been kidnapped close to an Israeli settlement on the West Bank; several weeks later their bodies were found – they appeared to have been shot shortly after capture and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would have a tough response.

After the kidnapping the Israel Defence Forces had immediately arrested 350 Hamas members in the West Bank, and in response Hamas fired rockets into Israel from the Gaza strip. Israel’s bombardment failed to stop the rocket attacks and after 10 days on 17th July they began a full-scale ground invasion, attempting to destroy the military tunnels which Hamas had created in Gaza.

Israel ended the ground invasion on 5th of August and a cease-fire was announced on 26th August. During the war between 2,125 and 2,310 Gazans were killed and over 10,000 badly injured, many of them permanently disabled. The homes of over 10,000 families were destroyed and more severely damaged. The huge military imbalance meant that deaths on the Israeli side were 72, five of them civilians.

The protest in London on Saturday 26th July called for an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza which had already killed over a thousand Palestinians, mainly civilians.

It began with a rally on the main road close to the Israeli embassy a short distance down a private road which was heavily defended by barriers and police. The police tried to keep the protesters on the pavements and traffic flowing, but there were soon far too many protesters for this to be possible and it spilt out to block the road.

The rally here was fairly short, with speakers including Owen Jones and Labour veteran Walter Wolfgang. It was hard to estimate the number of protesters, but the wide street was packed with people for around 300 yards, many too far away to hear the speeched. I photographed the front of the march as it moved off and stayed with it for around half a mile before walking slowly back against the flow of the march taking more pictures of the protesters. There were still people coming out of the tube station for the march as I took a train to photograph another protest at Westminster.

After covering another event briefly I met up with the front of the march at Trafalgar Square as it turned into the top of Whitehall and was able to photograph it going down. It stopped briefly opposite Downing St, then continued to Parliament Square for the main rally.

Jeremy Corbyn sees me taking his picture

Parliament Square is almost square with its large central area, mainly grassed about 205×230 feet, and for this protest was mainly fairly crowded, with people spilling out onto the roadways around its edge in places. Though quite a few protesters had felt they had done their bit by marching on a hot day and were making their way to the station or elsewhere.

I stayed for some time, photographing the marchers and speakers but after listening to around 17 of them (you can see my pictures of them on My London Diary) I began to feel rather faint. It was a hot day, and although there is some shade, to take photographs I had needed to stand in the sun. The rally was still continuing as I left for home.

Stop the Massacre in Gaza Rally
End Gaza Invasion March to Parliament
Israeli Embassy rally – End Gaza Invasion


Protests over Gaza massacre

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

3 Jan 2009

January 10th 2009 saw what was probably the largest protest ever in London against the Israeli attacks on Gaza, with a crowd of around 100,000 gathering in Hyde Park for a march past the Israeli embassy.

2 Jan 2009

The Israeli attacks on Gaza, known by Israel as Operation Cast Lead and called by others the Gaza Massacre had begun on 27th December 2008 with an air assault on Gaza’s densely populated cities, striking 160 targets, some linked to Hamas but also including police stations and some other civilian buildings. This first day of air strikes killed around 230 Palestinians and injured more than 700. Air attacks continued in the following weeks, with around a quarter of those killed being civilians.

Ultra-orthodox Jews protest against the Israeli attacks, 7 Jan 2009

Israeli ground forces had blockaded the Gaza strip since the start of the attacks and on the evening of January 3rd launched an attack. Fighting continued with many buildings being destroyed by bulldozers in case they contained booby traps. On January 15th the United Nations Relief and Works agency was shelled, destroying tons of food and fuel destined for refugees and Gaza’s second largest hospital also was hit. Many Hamas fighters were killed but others continued to fight in Gaza and to send sporadic rocket fire into Israel, though casualties from these were low, with a total of 3 civilians and one soldier killed and 182 wounded. A further nine Israel soldiers were killed in Gaza, four by Israeli fire. Around 1400 Palestinians were killed, around 2-300 of them Hamas fighters.

9 Jan 2009

Protests took place daily in London throughout this period, and, according to Wikipedia, there was Israel faced significant international pressure for a ceasefire, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor, access to the population of Gaza and the lifting of the blockade. From January 7th there were periods of ceasefire most days by both sides to allow humanitarian aid to be shipped in, violated on occasions by both sides. On the 17th January Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire, and the following day Hamas also announced a ceasefire.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain protest at Egyptian Embassy, 11 Jan 2009

I covered seven protests over the attack on Gaza in January 2009 and had a few problems at a couple of them when things became rather physical. On Saturday January 3rd, things got a little hectic in the road in front of the closed private street leading to the Israeli embassy, and I had to retreat a little to avoid objects being thrown at the police preventing protesters from reaching the barriers. The whole area became a little chaotic and I found myself in the middle of something like a huge rugby scrum as protesters tried to push past police. Although the protesters weren’t hostile to the press, there was a lot of pushing and grabbing at others for support and in the melee my trousers got a little torn and I lost a filled Compact Flash card which had been in one pocket with many of my pictures from earlier in the day.

Trafalgar Square, 17 Jan 2009

On the 10th, not far from the same place I was pushed and punched by Stop the War stewards as I tried to take photographs – some of them seem to have problems with the press. Other stewards who saw the assault came up to me and apologised for what had happened. And as usual at many protests I was often pushed and threatened with arrest by police on a number of occasions and prevented from getting on with my job. At times police do need to clear areas, but some officers seem to regard photographers simply as a nuisance, despite the agreements the press have with them which recognise the need for them to allow us to work.

Andrew Murray, Jeremy Corbyn, & Tony Benn at the BBC, 24 Jan 2009

Much more about the Jan 2009 Gaza protests:

Open the Gaza Border – Egyptian Embassy
Hands Off Gaza: Free Palestine
Daily Gaza protest at Israeli Embassy
Gaza Massacre – National March
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain Gaza march
Gaza: 1000 Dead and Nothing Said
Gaza: Protest March from the BBC