Posts Tagged ‘hyde park’

1984 Remembered

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021

Every year around the 8th June, Sikhs march in London to remember the 1984 destruction at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Soviet government forged documents in 1982 to show that Sikh militants were getting CIA support for their plans to establish an independent Sikh state of Khalistan in the Punjab and these were taken seriously by Indian intelligence services and prime minister Indira Gandhi, who on June 1st 1984 sent in the Indian Army in Operation Blue Star, attacking scores of Sikh temples across the Punjab.

On 3rd June Indian forces surrounded the Golden Temple in Amritsar where many of the militants who were well armed had taken refuge, along with thousands of pilgrims who were there for the anniversary of the death of the fifth guru, Arjan Dev Ji. The siege lasted several days and many were killed, mostly pilgrims who had been allowed by the army to enter on the 3rd June but not allowed to leave later that day. As they secured the Temple, the army carried out many executions of those they detained and fired on men and women as they were trying to follow army orders to leave.

Acoording to Rajiv Gandhi, around 700 Indian Army soldiers were killed in the attack, although the official figure was 83. There are also huge discrepancies between the official figures of those who died inside the Temple, with an official figure of 554 casualties and independent estimates of 18-20,000.

Many Sikhs resigned from official positions and soldiers left the Indian Army after this assault on their religion, and five months later Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in an act of revenge. This in turn led to anti-Sikh riots in which thousands of Sikhs were killed.

Many Sikhs still continue to call for an independent Sikh homeland, Khalistan, combining parts of the Punjab in both India and Pakistan that were severed at partition in 1947 when the whole area was divided between the two and Sikhs, along with other minorities were sidelined. Both political and military activities continue as does their repression by the Indian government, with many Sikhs held in Indian prisons, some under threat of hanging.

Feelings still run very high, and in 2013 four Sikhs were found guilty of attacking one of the generals who led the attack on the Temple, long retired and on holiday in London with his wife. Police have often taken a very keen interest in the annual march and prevented people from carrying some placards and posters which support the proscribed organisation Babbar Khalsa. The pictures here are from the march on Sunday 8th June 2014, which I left as the last of the protesters went down Park Lane on their way to a rally in Trafalgar Square

Sikhs march for Truth, Justice & Freedom


Protest Against Egypt Death Sentences

Also taking place on Sunday 8th June 2014 was a protest against the the 1,212 death sentences imposed on Islamists in Egypt, which was taking place as the new Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, was sworn in. These included 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood sentenced in 2014 following an attack on a police station in 2013.

There was a mock trial. People wearing numbers to represent the prisoners made the Islamist R4BIA (Rabia) sign and the event ended with a die-in in front of Marble Arch.

Protest Against Egypt Death Sentences


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


1988 Free Mandela march

Friday, October 23rd, 2020
Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-66
Camden Town

Although I first took pictures at protests in the 1970s, I had been taking part in protests since the middle of the 1960s. But I was then a penniless student with no idea about how you could cut costs by developing and printing your own films; I did own a camera, a Halina 35X, but had dropped it in the lake at Versailles and it never worked reliably after that, delivering random but usually very slow shutter speeds from its rusty leaf shutter.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-55

Even after I had taken a short photographic course and got a job and could afford a new camera (a cheap Russian Zenith SLR) and had rigged up a temporary darkroom in the kitchen of our flat, I was still going on protests as a protester and took few if any photographs.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-31
BBC

Of course there were fewer protests back in the 70s and 80s, or at least it was harder to find out about them in the days before the World Wide Web. There were of course huge events such as the Miners’ Strike, but unless you lived in the mining areas or could travel to them, which didn’t fit with my full-time job you read about most of these after the events were given newspaper coverage if at all. Many other protests related to strikes and union issues were simply impossible to know about unless they concerned your own union.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7i-43

My attendance at protests was largely limited to the big national demonstrations organised by groups I belonged to – such as CND and the Anti-Apartheid movement and a few others that were advertised in advance in the alternative press. Many protests were only advertised by fly-posting on walls mainly in the areas they were to take place in – and there were few if any such postings in the area where I lived.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7j-65

I began to be more a photographer of protests than an actual protester in the 1980s, particularly after a few of my photographs were accepted for an exhibition on protest (and I think one won a prize.) I began to realise that I could make a great contribution to the various causes with a camera than simply marching or attending rallies, and, a little later, began contributing my photographs to a picture library concerned with social issues, and later still providing my services directly to some protest groups.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988

As more and more people and groups went on-line things began to change. I found out about more and more protests, at first as groups set up web sites to promote their activities. I’d spend an evening or more a week going through a list of perhaps 20 or thirty different groups and using sites which listed bus and travel diversions and various search engines to find out about events and put them in my diary. Then Google arrived and made searching easier and finally Facebook and I had little time to photograph anything but protests.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7j-13

The Free Nelson Mandela march in London was on Saturday 17th July 1988, the day before his 70th birthday and two years before he was released from prison. I walked with the protesters taking pictures from Camden Town to Hyde Park, and took a few pictures in the crowds in Hyde Park, but none of the stage and speakers at the rally. You can see more of the pictures in the Flickr album uploaded a couple of days ago. Clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to the larger version in the album.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


More from West London: 1987

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020
Horse, Craven Hill, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-55-positive_2400
Horse, Craven Hill, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

One of William the Conquerers companions in his 1066 invasion was Ralph Baynard, and among the rewards for his services was an area of land in Paddington. Bayswater was in the 14th century Baynard’s Watering Place, where the River Westbourne or Bayswater rivulet passed under the Uxbridge Rd and horses could drink from it.

Lord Craven bought Upton Farm close to here in 1733 and soon after called the area Craven Hill. The Westbourne rises in Kilburn but springs on Craven Hill added to its flow. Large houses – like this one largely Grade II listed – were developed on Craven Hill and the surrounding area in the early 19th century and in the 1830s it became fashionable as a place of residence, particularly for the literary and artistic. The grand town houses here date mainly from the 1830s to 50s. The horse is an appropriate decoration for the area, but I can tell you nothing more about it or when it disappeared.

Devonshire Terrace, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-63-positive_2400
Chilworth St, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

This ornate doorway is in Chilworth St, and not as the note on my contact sheet suggested in Devonshire Terrace, which is just around the corner. There is more carved brickwork on the frontage of this building, which is rather grudgingly Grade II listed for its ‘group value’.

Westbourne St, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-21-positive_2400
Westbourne St, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

This area of London has been home to many ethnicities and nationalities at least since the Victorian era.

The Fountains, Hyde Park, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-35-positive_2400
The Fountains, Hyde Park, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

The River Westbourne used to emerge into the open in Hyde Park, and Queen Caroline had a dam built to make the Serpentine Lake in 1730. By the 1830s, with Bayswater being developed the river had become a sewer, and water was instead pumped from the Thames – and is now from deep boreholes into the chalk below the park. One borehole is in the Italian Gardens, which were built in the 1860s when Prince Albert decided it would be nice to have something here like those which he had made at Osborne House. The pavilion which held a pump for the fountains was designed by Sir Charles Barry and the gardens by James Pennethorne with sculpture by John Thomas.

Bayswater Rd, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7i-46-positive_2400
Bayswater Rd, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987

This rather ugly truncated column on the corner of Lancaster Gate marks the service road in front of the building at left (now the Columbia Hotel) as a private road, running parallel to the Bayswater Rd. Planned in 1856-7, this was one of the grandest developments in London and took around ten years to complete. The architect for the two long terraces facing Hyde Park was Sancton Wood (1815–1886) who worked for his cousins Robert and Sydney Smirke and also designed many railway stations.

All Saints Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7j-25-positive_2400
All Saints Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

‘DOC ALIMANTADO SAY FREE SOUTH AFRICA’. Dr Alimantado, born in Kingston Jamaica in 1952 as Winston Thompson and also known as ‘The Ital Surgeon’ is a Jamaican reggae singer, DJ and record producer, best known in the UK for his ‘Born For A Purpose’, made after he was knocked down and injured by a bus and for his 1978 album Best Dressed Chicken in Town. He gained success for his ‘toasting’ over the work other singers and his own recordings as a vocalist were less successful.

All Saints Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7j-26-positive_2400
All Saints Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

‘REMAIN CAREFUL OF YOUR TRUE CONDUCT, DIGNITY, STEER AWAY FROM TRASHY INTEGRATION, BE WORTHY OF THE BEST’

This graffiti on one of Notting Hill’s best-known streets was based on advice given given to the young Dr Martin Luther King:
Remain careful of your conduct. Steer away from ‘trashy’ preachers. Be worthy of the best.”

More on page 5 of my album 1987 London Photos.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.