Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Corbyn’

CND Easter Monday Protest – 2013

Monday, April 1st, 2024

CND Easter Monday Protest: On Easter Monday 2013 CND organised a large protest at the UK’s nuclear weapons establishment at Aldermaston, 12 miles to the west of Reading.

CND Easter Monday Protest

As this year, Easter Monday was also April Fool’s Day, and on Monday 1st April 2013 this was the Nuclear Fool’s Day – Scrap Trident rally. But Aldermaston is a huge site and the protesters were spread between the half dozen gates around its 5 mile fenced perimeter, with speakers travelling between the gates in a number of cars and lorries.

CND Easter Monday Protest
Pat Arrowsmith

I’d put my bike on the train to Reading, then cycled from there to the event. I found it quite a tiring ride with some long uphill sections against a prevailing westerly wind, and was rather tired by the time I arrived.

CND Easter Monday Protest
Natalie Bennett, then Leader of the Green Party

Every time I’ve been to Aldermaston I’ve always felt a slight tension in the air.I don’t really believe the air there is any more radioactive than around my home on the edge of London, and it’s certainly otherwise less pollution laden. And although it’s possible that many of the pictures I take are going to contravene our draconian Official Secrets Act 1911 (now replaced by the National Security Act 2023) I know that it is remotely unlikely I will have any problems reporting the event.

CND Easter Monday Protest

But having the bike with me enabled me to ride around to each of the gates in turn and take pictures of what was happening at them, as well as some people stretched out along the fences away from the gates. By the start of the protest at noon there were groups of between 50 and several hundred at each of half a dozen gates around the over 5 miles of the site perimeter, with others walking around the path around the site, attaching messages and banners to its tall security fence.

Gates had been allocated to different groups from around the country, and there was also a women’s gate and a faith gate, with Christians, Buddhists and others. Police were standing behind the gates, with a few mixing with the protesters, and others driving around the roads by the site.

Among the speakers I heard were CND Vice-Chairs Jeremy Corbyn MP and Bruce Kent, CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett and South East Green MEP Keith Taylor, Stop the War’s Chris Nineham and CND founding member Pat Arrowsmith and another veteran Walter Wolfgang, as well as US activist Linda Pentz Gunter, the founder of ‘Beyond Nuclear’.

The ‘Allelulia’ is taken from the coffin where it was placed outside the Defence Ministry on Shrove Tuesday

At the ‘Faith Gate’ there was a short ‘Easter Resurrection Hope‘ service in which an ‘Alleluia’ which had been symbolically placed in a coffin at the Ministry of Defence in London on Shrove Tuesday at the beginning of Lent was lifted out and held aloft, with a call for ‘a new heaven and a new earth‘ and the hope that ‘light and love might overcome the shadow of destruction in this place.’ This was followed by some Buddhist prayers, and some statements from other faith groups about peace.

Walter Wolfgang

The event ended with everyone around the site making a loud noise and some had brought various musical instruments while others joined in banging pots and pans, whistling and shouting.

I still had 12 miles to cycle back to Reading Station, but at least this way much of it was downhill and I had the wind behind me.

More pictures on My London Diary at Nuclear Fool’s Day – Scrap Trident.

Whittington, Syria and St Patrick – 2013

Saturday, March 16th, 2024

Whittington, Syria and St Patrick – Saturday 16th March 2013 saw me travelling around London to cover three events, starting at a march against hospital cuts, then a march supporting the Syrian revoltuion on its second anniversary and finally an Irish parade on the day before St Patrick’s Day.


Whittington Hospital March Against Cuts – Highbury & Islington

Whittington, Syria and St Patrick

Dick Whittington, more formally Sir Richard Whittington (c1354 – 1423) was four times Lord Mayor of London and did a lot for the medieval city, including financing drainage systems in its poorer areas and setting up a hospital ward for unmarried mothers and leaving his considerable fortune to set up a charity which still 600 years later helps those in need.

Whittington, Syria and St Patrick

He made his fortune as a mercer, importing luxury fabrics such as silk and velvet and exporting English woollen cloth and later as a money lender to wealthy noblemen and kings. It isn’t clear if he ever had a cat, but the legend about him fleeing London with one and turning back when he heard Bow Bells from Highgate Hill first made it to print in 1612.

Whittington, Syria and St Patrick

The Whittington Stone was placed at the foot of Highgate Hill in 1821, though earlier it had been the base of a cross there; it only gained a cat on top in 1964. But Whittington’s name is remembered in a number of pubs across the country, including The Whittington & Cat on Highgate Hill, which closed in 2014. Islington Council and local residents fought to keep it, and prevented its demolition in 2012 by declaring it to be an asset of community value, but it became a flooring shop.

Whittington, Syria and St Patrick

More importantly Whittington’s name became that of the major hospital formed when earlier hospitals on three nearby sites were amalgamated when the National Health Service was formed in 1948.

Three years before this march, huge local oppositin had forced the cancellation of plans to end Accident and Emergency, Paediatrics, Maternity and Intensive Care at the Whittington Hospital, but now it was threatened again by a new hospital trust with plans to reduce maternity services, close wards, provide fewer beds for the elderly, cut 570 jobs privatise some services and sell off around a third of the site, closing all onsite accommodation for nursing staff.

I met several thousand protesters close to Highbury & Islington Station where they were preparing to march to a rally outside the hospital. Among those marching were local MPs, Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett, Bruce Kent and various celebrity supporters of the campaign, as well as the truly remarkable Hetty Bower, born in 1905, who became a pacifist at the time of the ‘Great War’, and took part in the 1926 General Strike.

You can read more about the event and see my pictures of many of the marchers on My London Diary. I left the march shortly after it started to go to my next event.
Whittington Hospital March Against Cuts.


Syria – Two Years Fight for Freedom

I arrived outside the Syrian Embassy in Belgrave Square while the rally before the march was taking place with members of the Syrian Community in Britain speaking.

Most of the speeches and chanting were not in English, and the Free Syria campaign appears to have little support from the British left who might have been expected to support their freedom fight. There were a few protests at the start, but often confused and mainly opposing any involvement in Syria by British forces.

The Syrian revolution against the Assad regime had also received little actual support from the UK Government and US support seemed halfhearted. When Assad began using chemical weapons against the Syrian rebel held areas there was strong condemnation but no action and any threats soon melted away once Russia became involved in supporting Assad.

One of the placards carried by marchers included a question which now seems particularly relevant in view of what has been happening in Gaza: ‘Hey World, How Many Kids Should Be Killed Before You Do Something?’

I walked with the marchers on their way to Downing Street as far as the Hyde Park underpass where it looked impressive as it made its way under the Hyde Park underpass, fairly densely packed and with flags waving it spread wide across the road, stretching back into Wilton Place over 200 yards away. Then left for Willesden Green.

Syria – Two Years Fight for Freedom


St Patrick’s Parade Brent – Willesden Green

For several years I had enjoyed the Brent St Patrick’s Day parade, sometimes going together with friends including John Benton-Harris who had photographed St Patrick’s Day here and across the USA as well as in Ireland over many years. The parade in Brent, usually on the day itself, had always seemed rather more authentically Irish than the larger London parade held on the nearest Sunday since Ken Livingstone introduced it in 2002 and I made some pictures.

Brent Council had a fine record of supporting cultural events celebrating its various communities including the Irish, but with government cuts since 2010 no longer had the funds to do so.

This year too, the main London event was taking place the following day, St Patrick’s Day itself, so the Brent event was on the day before. So the crowds were rather thinner than in previous years, and the poor weather may have put some off too.

More pictures at St Patrick’s Parade Brent.


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Refugee Rights & Stop Trident – 2016

Tuesday, February 27th, 2024

Refugee Rights & Stop Trident – On Saturday 27th February 2016 I photographed two large protest marches in London. The first was part of a protest across Europe calling for safe passage for refuges and the second was against government plans to replace the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons which recently for a second time failed a test launch in 2023.


European March for Refugee Rights – Hyde Park

Refugee Rights & Stop Trident

Several hundred protesters, including many who had been to aid refugees in Lesvos and at the Calais camps and some who had volunteered in Syria with Medicins Sans Frontiers, marched from Hyde Park Corner to a rally at Speakers Corner before going on to Trafalgar Square as part of a day of protest in cities across Europe calling for safe and secure routes for all refugees and asylum seekers seeking protection in Europe.

Refugee Rights & Stop Trident

They want an end to the deaths in sea crossings and other borders and for refugees to be allowed to keep their possessions and be reunited with their families.

Refugee Rights & Stop Trident

Groups supporting the protest included the Syria Solidarity Campaign, Solidarity with Refugees, London2Calais, Migrants’ Rights Network, SOAS Solidarity with Refugees & Displaced People Soc, Wonder Foundation, Calais Action, UK Action for Refugees, Refugee Aid Initiative, No Borders and the Greece Solidarity Campaign.

Refugee Rights & Stop Trident

A woman who had volunteered at Lesvos came a child’s life-jacket worn on the dangerous sea crossing to there, more suitable for a beach holiday; others wore similar life-jackets on the march which have become a symbol for the refugees and those who drown on the journey from Turkey to Lesvos. Refugee support groups from Brighton brought a splendid banner they had made based on Picasso’s Spanish Civil War painting ‘Guernica‘.

I marched with them through Hyde Park to Speakers Corner where there was a short rally before they marched on to Trafalgar Square in front of the CND Stop Trident march which was then beginning to march from Marble Arch.

Some then decided to join the CND march but others decided to march in front of it. CND stewards at first tried to stop them but then halted the Stop Trident march for around ten minutes to leave a gap between the two marches which were following the same route.

More at European March for Refugee Rights.


Stop Trident March – Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square

Around sixty thousand had come to Marble Arch to join the march to a rally in Trafalgar Square against government plans to replace the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons at a cost of £180 billion or more.

CND say Trident is immoral and using it would cause catastrophic global damage. These weapons of mass destruction don’t keep us safe and divert resources from essential spending on services like the NHS, schools and housing.

In 2024 CND estimates that the total cost of building and maintaining Trident has been £205 billion. The UK has hung on to nuclear weapons largely as a matter of prestige and to justify its position on the UN Security Council and it has never been an important deterrent – and the recent test failures make it even less of a credible threat to other countries.

I arrived late for the official photocall before the start of the march on Park Lane because the crowd of marchers was so dense and we were soon moved well away from the front banner and those holding it by stewards in the usual somewhat unfriendly ‘Stop the War’ manner.

At the southern end of Park Lane the march halted for around ten minutes to make a gap between it and the marchers for Refugee Rights who had come to join them. I went to take a few pictures of this march and then returned to the ‘Stop Trident’ march.

After taking some pictures of the marchers, working my way through the crowds I had to leave and take the tube from Green Park to Charing Cross for the start of the rally, meeting the head of the march as it arrived at Trafalgar Square.

It was a long rally with a long list of distinguished speakers including Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas, Leanne Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Bruce Kent, Christine Blower, Mark Serwotka, Tariq Ali and many more including some younger activists, and you can see photographs of most of those who spoke. They all opposed the renewal of Trident which they dismissed as out of date, totally irrelevant to our defence and a complete waste of money which could be put to so much better use providing proper jobs and services.

The rally went on longer than expected as we were waiting for the final address by Jeremy Corbyn who was travelling down from Sheffield where he had been speaking at a conference. He arrived on the platform to an enormous round of cheering and applause and gave a rousing speech ending the protest on a high note.

Many more photographs of the march and rally on My London Diary:
Stop Trident Rally
Stop Trident March

Ash Wednesday, Charcoal and Condi Rice – 2008

Tuesday, February 6th, 2024

Ash Wednesday, Charcoal and Condi Rice – pictures from Ash Wednesday in London on 6th February 2008, with an Ash Wednesday Witness and prayer against War at the Ministry of Defence and a Downing Street protest against a visit by US warmonger and then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A week tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday Wednesday 14th February 2024, Pax Christi together with Christian CND and others will again be meeting at 3.30pm for a similar witness against war.


Ash Wednesday Liturgy of Repentance and Resistance – Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

Ash Wednesday, Charcoal and Condi Rice

Pax Christi, Catholic Peace Action and Christian CND began their an annual liturgy of Repentance and Resistance around the Ministry of Defence in protest against the continued reliance on nuclear weapons on Ash Wednesday 1982, 42 years ago, and the 2008 event was their 26th.

Ash Wednesday, Charcoal and Condi Rice

Looking back at the pictures I made in 2008 has a particular resonance for me, in that two of those in them are people that I knew who have died in the past couple of years. One was the well-known peace campaigner Bruce Kent who I’d photographed at various events since around 1990 if not earlier and though I didn’t know him well we often exchanged a few words when I took his photograph and had a little joke in recent years. Bruce died in June 2022 and in March 2023 I photographed Jeremy Corbyn planting a memorial tree to him in Finsbury Park.

Ash Wednesday, Charcoal and Condi Rice

The other was a family friend who died recently and we were disappointed other appointments meant we were not be able to go to his funeral last week. He also appears in a some of my photographs of this and other peace events, sometimes singing in the Raised Voices choir.

Ash Wednesday, Charcoal and Condi Rice

Here is the description of the event I wrote in 2008, although the story is mainly told in the pictures and their captions on My London Diary:

Although the ministry and nearby buildings such as the Old War Office were surrounded by police – rather as if they were expecting a massive attack, the police made no attempt to disperse what was undoubtedly an illegal unauthorised protest under the terms of SOCPA. They did hold a couple of people they caught writing on the walls of the Old War Office, and were at least threatening to charge one of them with causing damage to the building, but otherwise watched benignly, at least until I left to catch my train shortly before the liturgy had finished.

The most moving part of the liturgy was outside the Defence Ministry, where a wooden cross was laid on sackcloth. Ashes were sprinkled on it, and then while those present chanted a ‘litany of the martyrs’, including the names of Franz Jaegerstaetter, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero and Mary Lampard, 21 ‘Theses for today’s church’ by Philip Berrigan were read and then nailed to the cross.

Ash Wednesday Liturgy of Repentance and Resistance


Protest at Condi Rice’s London Visit – Downing St

A couple of hundred ‘Stop the War’ demonstrators were on the pavement facing Downing Street. They had come with a clear message to give Condoleezza Rice, that it was time for the US to get out of other people’s affairs in other countries.

However there was no sign of Condi, who had obviously avoided using the front entrance to miss the protesters, either entering by the back entrance or through another Government building, possibly making use of the extensive network of tunnels underneath Whitehall.

A large crowd of press photographers were also waiting impatiently opposite the front door of Number 10, waiting for her to appear for a press call along with Gordon Brown, but I think they were waiting until after the protesters dispersed.

I could have joined them, but although the press likes to use pictures taken in front of the famous door I find the great majority of them supremely boring. And I don’t carry the long heavy lenses you really need for the situation to take the one in a million images that has some interest. It’s been years since I bothered to go through the security check and into Downing Street.

Welcome for Condi Rice


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Disabled Welfare Reform & Syria – 2012

Sunday, January 28th, 2024

Disabled Welfare Reform & Syria: On Saturday 28th January 2012 I photographed two major protests in London, with disabled protesters calling for the dropping of the Welfare Reform Bill and later several groups of protesters outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square arguing for various reasons against US or Western Intervention in Iran or Syria.


Disabled Welfare Reform Road Block – Oxford Circus

Disabled Welfare Reform & Syria - 2012

Disabled People Against Cuts, DPAC, protested at Oxford Circus, chaining wheelchairs together & calling for the dropping of Welfare Reform Bill, urging savings cutting tax evasion by the rich rather than penalising the poor and disabled.

Disabled Welfare Reform & Syria - 2012

I met with some of the protesters outside Holborn Station and others who had arrived by taxi at Great Portland Street. I’m not sure why they had chosen these two meeting points as they are both – like most Central London stations – without step-free access. London Underground has been painfully slow in providing disabled access.

Disabled Welfare Reform & Syria - 2012

I went with them from Great Portland Street to Oxford Circus where they met up with others who had just begun to block the road, going in a line across the end of Regent Street when the lights changed to allow pedestrians to cross and passing a chain through their wheelchairs which they locked to posts on each side.

Disabled Welfare Reform & Syria - 2012

Others walked on the road with placards and banners to support them, but there were enough police in the area to enable them to stop the protesters blocking Oxford Street.

Selma James speaking

Among groups supporting DPAC’s protest were UK Uncut, the Greater London Pensioners and the women’s groups from the Crossroads Centre in north London who had brought their public address system.

Shortly after the street band Rhythms of Resistance turned up and added their sounds to the protest.

Police had quickly managed to divert traffic on streets to get around the protest and were having discussions about how to handle the protest. A FIT team had arrived to photograph everyone (press included) and TSG officers were standing nearby with bolt cutters. But arresting people in wheelchairs is difficult as police need to supply suitable safe transport.

Eventually the officer in charge read out a statement telling the protesters their presence on the road is breaking the law – as of course they knew. He and other officers then went to ask the protesters if they would move. They didn’t and some got out their own handcuffs to handcuff themselves to the chain.

Police kept smiling and talking to the protesters, waiting for them to leave rather than trying to move or arrest them. Eventually after about an hour and a half they did so, having decided they had made their point successfully and it was time to pack up. Probably too nature was beginning to call!

The protest attracted a great deal of coverage in the press for the campaign, while earlier efforts to get their arguments against the bill including earlier less active protests have received very little publicity.

More pictures at Disabled Welfare Reform Road Block.


No War Against Iran & Syria – US Embassy

Tony Benn started the speeches. Jeremy Corbyn waits to speak

I’d left a few minutes before the DPAC protest ended to walk to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square where Stop the War were holding a protest against sanctions and war on Iran and Syria.

When I arrived I found a very confusing situation with several groups of protesters and some noisy heckling with scuffles with the Stop the War stewards.

I think everyone there was against US or Western Intervention in Iran or Syria, but some noisy protests which came to a head while Abbas Eddalat of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran was speaking, from protesters representing the Free Iran ‘Green Movement’ who wanted to make a clear statement of their opposition to the current Iranian regime with its religious bigotry and persecution.

The stewards first tried to argue with them but soon became physical, pushing them roughly away from the protest. Supporters of the Iranian regime joined in along with supporters of Syrian President Asad.

Police seemed bewildered as they tried to sort out the various groups – and there were also some Kurds with a large Iraqi Kurdistan flag.

Eventually the Free Iran protesters were persuaded to hold their own separate protest a few yards away in front of the embassy, though some of them rejoined the Stop the War protest later. Another group, Hands Off the People of Iran were also present and handing out leaflets, against Stop the War which has favoured links with supporters of the regimes in both Syria and Iran.

Police briefly held one young man who was wearing the current Iraqi flag but then released him, with a police officer trying to prevent press taking pictures, saying “He has a right to privacy” – which clearly as I told the officer he has not under UK law when protesting on the public street.

Then there were ‘Anonymous’ in their ‘V for Vendetta’ masks protesting on the other side of the hedge around the gardens to the main protest, and later Stop the War stewards again sprung into action to stop the free expression of dissent when pro-Asad Syrians began their own protest.

Various speakers including Tony Benn, Lindsey German, John McDonnell and others made a clear case against any Western intervention at the main rally – and I give some of their arguments on My London Diary.

More at No War Against Iran & Syria.


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BBC Bans Gaza Appeal – 2009

Wednesday, January 24th, 2024

BBC Bans Gaza Appeal: On Saturday 24th January 2009 marchers gathered outside the BBC in Portland Place to draw attention to the biased reporting of the Israeli attack which had begun on 27 December 2008 and had ended with a ceasefire by Israel on 18th January.

BBC Bans Gaza Appeal

The attack, known by Israel as Operation Cast Lead but in Arabic as the Gaza Massacre had killed around 1300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis and had destroyed over 46,000 homes in Israel. It had begun with air attacks but was followed on January 3rd by a ground attack.

BBC Bans Gaza Appeal

The protest called for for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaze and for the UK to stop its arms sales to Israel, and for a free Palestine and demanded Israli war criminals to be brought to justice. It also castigated the BBC which although claiming to be impartial had accepted and broadcast much Israeli propaganda during the war while not giving a proper hearing to the views and aspirations of the Palestinians.

BBC Bans Gaza Appeal

After the war, the United Nations Fact Finding Mission and human rights organisations criticised Israel for the large number of civilian casualties and having a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at the civilian population. Among the war crimes that they found evidence for was the use of children and other civilians as ‘human shields’ forcing them “blindfolded, handcuffed and at gunpoint to enter houses ahead of Israeli soldiers during military operations.”

BBC Bans Gaza Appeal

International media were denied access to the war zone by Israel in defiance of a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court and many details only emerged later and the media in Gaza itself came under military attack. The Israeli foreign minister “instructed senior ministry officials to open an aggressive and diplomatic international public relations campaign to gain support for Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip” and the BBC was among those news organisations who lapped up their offerings.

As the ceasefire was announced, humanitarian organisations around the world launched campaigns to bring much-needed humanitarian aid to Gaza. In the UK, the the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) which includes Oxfam, Save the Children and the Red Cross launched a nation-wide appeal, but the BBC (and Sky) refused to broadcast it although it went out on ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five.

It was a decision which clearly made the BBC management’s pro-Israel position crystal clear to the nation and was widely seen, including by many BBC journalists as a failure by the BBC to uphold its reputation for impartiality.

Which is perhaps why Tony Benn was invited onto the Today programme that morning to talk about the decision – and he came on and read the appeal for them. At the start of the protest I photographed him before and after he went in with a deputation to deliver a letter of protest to the BBC – police stopped me going in with him. Among those who also spoke outside the BBC was Jeremy Corbyn.

Pro-Israel press bias continued with the Press Association, who reported this press conference as the protest, giving the number present as 400. Even the police gave a figure of 5,000 – as usual roughly half of the actual number.

The protest was largely peaceful, though some had brought shoes to throw at Broadcasting House, but policing outside there was rather heavy-handed. When police made a few arrests when the march approached Piccadilly Circus the march halted and threatened to stay blocking traffic until the arrests stopped. They did and the march moved on to its final rally in Trafalgar Square.

More on My London Diary at Gaza: Protest March from the BBC.


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Goodbye & Good Riddance – July & August 2023

Thursday, January 4th, 2024

Goodbye & Good Riddance – July & August 2023: Some more pictures from my Facebook albums for last year.

Goodbye & Good Riddance - July & August 2023
Ealing Celebrates 75 Years Of The NHS. 1 July 2023.
Eve Turner, Ealing Save Our NHS, leads some singing. Campaigners from Ealing Save Our NHS celebrated 75 years of the NHS on the side of the main road in front of Ealing Hospital. Speakers called for a proper workforce plan, pointing out the failure of the recent government plan to recognise the realities of an overworked and underpaid system which has been deliberately run into the ground as a pretext for privatisation.
Peter Marshall
Goodbye & Good Riddance - July & August 2023
Housing For Need Not Greed – March to the Aylesbury Estate, Southwark. 8 July 2023.
Marchers at the Elephant on their way to the Aylesbury Estate. This was one of 16 events across the country on National Housing Day. It demanded Southwark Council stop demolishing council homes and refurbish and repopulate estates to house people and end the huge carbon footprint of demolish and rebuild. They demanded housing for need not corporate greed, refurbishment not demolition, filling of empty homes and an end to the leasehold system.
Peter Marshall
Goodbye & Good Riddance - July & August 2023
London Trans+ Pride March. 8 July 2023.
Many thousands of Trans+ and gender-diverse siblings and supporters meet in a wet Trafalgar Square and march to a rally at Hyde Park Corner in a day of trans, intersex, non-binary and gender nonconformity joy, rage and liberation in defiance of the attacks on their community and lives. The ‘Never March Alone’ day called for transgender freedom and equality in the UK and globally and honoured the memory of those killed for being trans.
Peter Marshall
Goodbye & Good Riddance - July & August 2023
Speak Out Against British State Racism, Hammersmith. 15 July 2023.
Protesters from the RCG in Hammersmith against the Illegal Migration Bill hand out leaflets and collect petition signatures saying the bill is racist, scapegoating and criminalising migrants and asylum seekers, denying them their basic human rights. The government claims it is compassionate but shows no compassion, intending to imprison migrants regardless and deport them to Rwanda while failing to address the causes of migration.
Peter Marshall
Save Democracy in Israel, London UK. 30 July 2023.
A large rally in Parliament Square organised by members of the British Jewish community sends a message to the Israeli government rejecting their actions and supporting those protesting for the future of their country and children in Israel after the Knesset this week voted to abolish the Reasonableness Doctrine. They call on all who love and care about Israel’s future to defend Israeli democracy.
Peter Marshall
No To Nuclear War Embassy Walk, London. 4 Aug 2023.
Handing in a letter for the French Ambassador. Campaigners from France and Germany en route to the International Hiroshima-Nagasaki International Fast join British anti-nuclear activists in an “Embassy Walk” to the Russian, French, German Embassies and Downing Street calling on them to sign the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and get rid of their nuclear weapons. There were performances by Raised Voices choir.
Peter Marshall
London CND Hiroshima Day Commemoration. 6 Aug 2023.
Jeremy Corbyn MP holds up and reads from a mug commemorating peace campaigner Bruce Kent. 78 years after the US exploded atomic bombs at the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagaski, London CND met at the Hiroshima Cherry tree in Tavistock Square to remember the over 350,000 people killed immediately or who died from the bombing in the next few months. Speakers called on the UK government to abandon nuclear weapons and sign the UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.
Peter Marshall
No To NATO No To War Rally. 6 Aug 2023.
A rally at Downing Street demanded Britain leave NATO and end support for its continuing proxy war in Ukraine. Speakers including journalists Tony Gosling and Patrick Henningsen, lecturer Niall McCrae and former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford outlined and gave evidence of its anti-Russsian activities since its inception, with Piers Corbyn ending his speech with climate denial, homophobia and ULEZ opposition.
Peter Marshall.

There were relatively few protests in August as many people were on holiday – and I spent some time away from London and protests.


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Goodbye & Good Riddance – May – June 2023

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Goodbye & Good Riddance – May 2023; Continuing my series of posts about some of the many protests I covered in 2023, a year when there was much to protest about.

May always starts with May Day, but after that things went downhill with the coronation weekend, when I found other things to do in Derbyshire, though I did take a few pictures of the decorations, as well as finding a couple of hours to walk around the centre of Chesterfield. But most of the month I was preoccupied with other matters, including a book launch and an exhibition opening by two friends, birthday celebrations and other family matters. Things got a little more back to normal in June.

Goodbye & Good Riddance - May - June 2023
London May Day March – 1st May 2023. Indigenous Ecuadorian dance group Warmis UK march with United Voices of the World trade union. Several thousand gathered at Clerkenwell Green for the International Workers Day March to Trafalgar Square. Those taking part came from a wide range of trade unions and political organisations and included many from London’s wide range of ethnic communities. Peter Marshall

Click the link to see more pictures including many of the banners on the march.

Goodbye & Good Riddance - May - June 2023
Baslow, Derbyshire 14 May 2023.
I didn’t entirely escape the coronation as “I couldn’t avoid a short glimpse when some twit put the TV on” though I did walk out of the room and there were quite a few decorations on the street. The following day I had a couple of hours before my train left Chesterfield for London and you can see some pictures from there and elsewhere in Derbyshire in Coronation Weekend – Baslow & Chesterfield.
Goodbye & Good Riddance - May - June 2023
Unite to Defy Protest Against Racism and Police State, London. 27 May 2023
Protesters at Downing St. Gypsy Traveller League, Black Lives Matter, Just Stop Oil, DPAC, Not My Bill, Republic, Stand Up to Racism and others united in a rally calling for an end to all racial discrimination and against the draconian measures in the Police and Crime Act and other recent laws which remove human rights and make the UK a police state, before marching to Downing St where the GTL handed in a letter. Peter Marshall

Another 70 pictures in the album on the link above.

Goodbye & Good Riddance - May - June 2023
Jeremy Corbyn – 40 Years As Islington North MP. Highbury Fields, 10 June 2023.
I was pleased to have a ticket for the celebration of Jeremy Corbyn’s 40th anniversary as MP for Islington North as all were taken up quickly for the event in a small area of Highbury Fields. It was sweltering and there was little shade and I was only able to stay for the first 90 minutes of the 4 hour event, unfortunately having to leave before Corbyn arrived. Tosh McDonald, Vice President of Aslef, Andrew Feinstein, Stella Assange and others. Peter Marshall
Time to Act on Abortion Law, London, UK. 17 June 2023.
People at the Royal Courts of Justice before the march to a rally opposite Downing St called by British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Women’s Equality Party and the Fawcett Society demands for urgent reform of UK abortion law after a woman was sentenced to 28 months in prison after using abortion pills to end her own pregnancy, prosecuted under an 1861 law. Peter Marshall
Puma End Your Support of Israeli Apartheid, Carnaby St, 24 Jun 2023.
Campaigners from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign continue their regular protests at the Puma shop on Carnaby St calling on the company to end sponsorship of the Israel Football Association. Puma is the main international sponsor of the IFA, aiding Israel to whitewash its human rights abuses and normalising the illegal settlements. Peter Marshall
Early Years Equality Protest, Downing St. 24 Jun 2023.
Campaigners protest opposite Downing St at the way in which the government treats children under 5 and the Early Years Sector. Many came dressed in orange and hung ribbons with their demands onto a Rights on RIbbons Tree. They say the government policy is to put babies in underfunded infant storage units so parents can go back to work neglecting the development and rights of the children. Peter Marshall
Just Stop Oil – Don’t Deport Marcus, London. 24 Jun 2023.
Hundreds marched from Parliament Square to the Home Office to demand that environmental protester and German citizen Marcus Decker not be deported after serving his 2 year 7 month sentence, one of the longest ever for a non-violent protest after hanging a Just Stop Oil banner on the Dartford QEII bridge. Marcus gave an eloquent speech by phone calling for continued actions to save the world. Peter Marshall
Free Assange Rally – ‘Anything to Say? 24 Jun 2023.
Hundreds protest at a rally in Parliament Square around Davide Dormino’s ‘Anything To Say?’, life-size bronzes of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning who all had the courage to say no to the intrusion of global surveillance and to lies that lead to war standing on chairs. They called for the release of Julian Assange from Belmarsh prison and for him not to be deported to the USA. Peter Marshall

You can see more pictures from these and other protests and events in my Facebook Albums.


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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
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Goodbye and Good Riddance – March 2023

Monday, January 1st, 2024

Goodbye and Good Riddance – March 2023: Continuing from yesterday’s post some more pictures from 2013, from my albums on Facebook from March 2003.

Goodbye and Good Riddance - March 2023
Croydon Residents Protest 15% Council Tax Hike. London, UK. 1 Mar 2023. People from the London Borough of Croydon protest outside the Council offices against the council raising Council Tax by 15%. The huge rise is needed because of of swingeing cuts in support from central government and years of mismanagement by both Labour and Tories, particularly in the council’s housing company. The proposed rise comes on top of years of cuts to essential services in the borough. Peter Marshall
Goodbye and Good Riddance - March 2023
A Tree Is Planted In Memory of Bruce Kent. London, UK. 4 Mar 2023. Jeremy Corbyn and Valerie, Bruce Kent’s widow, come to plant the tree. Several hundred came to the planting of a tree in Finsbury Park in memory of Bruce Kent who died last June. A prominent Catholic priest he became a political activist and one of the great peace campaigners of our times. Speakers included Jeremy Corbyn and Kent’s wife Valerie who together planted the tree. Peter Marshall
Goodbye and Good Riddance - March 2023
Million Women Rise 2023. London, UK. 3 Mar 2023. Women, including many from migrant groups, met just off Oxford Street for a march organised by Million Women Rise, a collective led by Black women, which welcomes all women to attend. They called for an end to male violence against women and girls in all its forms. They want an end to everyday and structural racism at the heart of policing and our immigration system and society generally. Peter Marshall
Goodbye and Good Riddance - March 2023
Bank of England – Hand Back Venezuela’s Gold. London, UK. 4 Mar 2023. A protest at the Bank of England on the 10th anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s death demanded they return the 31 tonnes of Venezuela’s gold in their vaults. The UK government has refused to recognise the elected government of Venezuela and insists the gold belongs to the opposition led by Juan Guaido whose interim presidency has been dissolved by the democratically elected National Assembly. Peter Marshall
Save The NHS, Support Strikers and Welcome Migrants. London, UK. 11 Mar 2023.Thousands marched in London from a short rally at Warren Street calling for decent pay for all NHS workers. They demand an end to NHS privatisation and a return to a publicly funded public service. Migrants Are Welcome with and have played a vital role in the NHS, with large numbers of nurses, doctors and other staff from abroad, and they supported Gary Lineker in his description of the substance and tone of Government policies. Peter Marshall
Iranians Continue Protests For Regime Change. London, UK. 11 Mar 2023. Iranians continue their protests in London in solidarity with protesters in Iran calling for the end of rule by Mullahs. In Parliament Square a group held placards against the gassing of schoolgirl protesters and Iran and calling for Twitter to ban the Taliban, as well as pictures of those killed and held Iranian flags and banners supporting the mourning mothers and fathers of Iran. Peter Marshall
Save Our Schools Carnival, London, UK. 15 Mar 2023. Striking teachers, parents and supporters march to a carnival event in Trafalgar Square organised by the National Education Union as a huge Budget Day show of strength to demand the Chancellor and ministers deliver a fully-funded above inflation pay rise to #SaveOurSchools. They demand action to end poor pay, low funding, the SEND crisis and excessive workload, to support pupils in poverty and end inappropriate inspection and tests. Peter Marshall
UN Anti-Racism Day March. London, UK. 18 Mar 2023. Women Life Freedom, Iran. Thousands march through London to make clear that refugees are welcome and oppose the government’s racist policies against immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. They demand safe routes for migrants and an end to institutional racism in policing and an end to Islamophobia, anti-semitism, and prejudice against Black, Chinese, Asians, gypsies, Roma, travellers and other communities in the media and government. Peter Marshall
UN Anti-Racism Day March. 18 Mar 2023. Thousands march through London to make clear that refugees are welcome and oppose the government’s racist policies against immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. They demand safe routes for migrants and an end to institutional racism in policing and an end to Islamophobia, anti-semitism, and prejudice against Black, Chinese, Asians, gypsies, Roma, travellers and other communities in the media and government.
Peter Marshall

More pictures from these and other protests in March 2023 in my Facebook Albums.


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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.


Occupy & Women’s Equality – 2011

Sunday, November 19th, 2023

Occupy & Women’s Equality – On Saturday 19 November 2011 Occupy London was in full swing in St Paul’s Churchyard and elsewhere and the Fawcett Society were protesting against government cuts that were reversing the movement to greater equality for women.


Don’t Turn The Clock Back – Temple to Westminster

Occupy & Women's Equality

The Fawcett Society were angered by government’s cuts which they said were putting the clock back on the advances which women have made towards equality since the 1950s, and had organised a march in protest with a 1950s theme.

Occupy & Women's Equality

Many of the marchers, mainly women, had come dressed in 1950s styles “ranging from the most elegant of Paris fashion of the day to aprons, hairnets and curlers. Others carried brushes or brooms, wooden spoons or other kitchen implements as symbols of what they felt was the only role our government can envisage for women, the ‘good little wife’.”

Occupy & Women's Equality

Many women had been particularly angered by the sexist and patronising putdown in parliament made by then Prime Minister David Cameron, a man who a few days ago made a surprising return to a leading role in UK politics. Probably insulated as he has been from normal life by an education at Eton and Oxford and wealth he thought little about his sexist and patronising put-down ‘Calm Down Dear!’ to Labour’s Angela Eagle in the House of Commons, but it enraged at least half the nation.

Occupy & Women's Equality

On the march people chanted ‘Calm Down Dear!’ followed by the deafening response ‘No We Won’t!‘ The marchers also had some caustic comments directed at the press (though not us journalists covering the march) for their “belittlling labelling of some groups of women in public life – such as ‘Blair’s Babes‘ – as well as the general predominance of semi-pornographic imagery and demeaning attitudes to women.”

But it was the cuts that really were the focus of the march, particularly the cuts in public services. A majority of those who will lose their jobs are women, employed in the NHS and elsewhere. And women depend more on the various services that will be cut, and will also have disproportionally to provide unpaid services such as care to make up for those cut. Finally the cuts in pensions will also have a larger effect on women who were already seeing a raise in their pension age.

The Fawcett Society was founded in 1866 to campaign peacefully for votes for women and remains a powerful campaigning organisation for equal rights. It had called on a wide range of speakers for its rally including journalist Tanya Gold, Estelle Hart, NUS Women’s Officer, comedians Kate Smurthwaite and Josie Lond, Heather Wakefield of Unison, Vivienne Hayes from the Women’s Resource Centre, Chitra Nagarajan of Southall Black sisters. Aisha Mirza from UK Uncut and a spokesperson for the Turkish and Kurdish Refugee Women’s group.

More at Don’t Turn The Clock Back.


At Occupy London

Morning at St Pauls

I’d visited Occupy in St Paul’s Churchyard briefly before going to photograph the Fawcett Society march and returned later in the day to visit the ‘Bank of Ideas’ in Sun Street and Occupy Finsbury Circus before returning to St Pauls to hear a range of speakers on other campaigns both in London and around the world, including news of the Occupy movement from the USA and Bristol, where the occupation seems not to have attracted the opposition shown by the City authorities and sections of the church in London.

A meeting in progress in the Bank of Ideas

The Bank of Ideas was an empty former UBS bank building in Sun Street that was occupied and used for a wide range of meetings and discussions.

Occupy Finsbury Square
People listen to a wide range of speakers on the steps of St Pauls
Jeremy Corbyn
Vivienne Westwood

Later a group who had taken part in the non-Stop Picket of South Africa House started by the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group on 19 April 1986 shared some of their songs and their experience.

They had defied defied the attempts of British police, the British government and the South African embassy to remove them for almost 4 years until Mandela was released in 1990. There had been around a thousand arrests, but 96% of the cases brought to court were dismissed. Before this they had organised a number of shorter non-stop protests outside the embassy, the first of which in 1981 lasted 86 days and resulted in South African political prisoners including David Kitson being moved to better conditions.

The official Anti-Apartheid Movement opposed their actions and expelled them from the movement, warned trade union and local anti-apartheid groups not to have anything to do with them and asked Westminster Council to remove them. It wanted to avoid any confrontation with the British Government and opposed the City of London group’s support for other African liberation movements as well as the African National Congress.

More from the day at Occupy on My London Diary:
City of London Anti-Apartheid Group
Speakers At Occupy London
Bank of Ideas & Finsbury Square
Saturday Morning Occupy London