Posts Tagged ‘Lloyd George’

Palestine & Jack the Ripper – 2017

Saturday, November 4th, 2023

Palestine & Jack the Ripper – On Saturday 4th November 2017 thousands marched through London on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration to demand the equal rights for Palestinians which are included in that declaration, but have been disregarded for 100 years. Although the declaration was being celebrated officially in the UK, many see it as shameful and responsible for the years of suffering for Palestinians.

Palestine & Jack the Ripper - 2017

The Balfour Declaration was made following several months of talks with representatives of Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews, but without any consultation with Palestinians. The Prime Minister at the time, Lloyd George, clearly stated in later years that it had come about as a reward for the work on the production of acetone, vital for the war effort, by Chaim Weizmann, although some historians discount this.

Palestine & Jack the Ripper - 2017

But it was clearly seen as a gift to the Zionists, and Weizmann was one of the Zionist leaders deeply involved in the talks, and the declaration came in a letter written on November 2nd, 1917 and signed by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.

Palestine & Jack the Ripper - 2017

The declaration was a single long sentence divided by commas into four clauses, the first two promising the support of the government in the setting up “in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” but it continues in the third “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine“.

Palestine & Jack the Ripper - 2017

Clearly the UK government failed entirely over the years to protect those civil rights in Palestine, and it is hard to believe that they ever seriously intended to do so.

The declaration was also clearly linked to British policy aims in the Middle East as a whole, led by Sir Mark Sykes, MP for Hull and a promoter of both Arab nationalism and Zionism who together with the French diplomat Fran├žois Georges-Picot drew up a secret agreement along with the Russians for the carving up of the Middle East when the Ottoman Empire was defeated.

Sykes had visited Palestine to meed Weismann and had been converted to the Zionist cause and played a part in the drawing up of the Balfour Declaration, though he later changed his views.

The march began with a rally outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square before marching to a longer rally in Parliament Square. The speakers at the embassy were under a red canopy which bathed them in red light making colour photography more or less impossible and I converted the images to black and white for publication.

I left as the march was starting to take the tube to Tower Hill and walk to another protest.

More pictures at Equal Rights & Justice for Palestine.


Class War back at the Ripper – Whitechapel

Class War had protested at the opening of the so-called ‘ Ripper Museum’ in a shop on Cable Street and had continued to hold protests there at intervals outside the tacky tourist trap.

They and many others pointed out that the shop exploits violence against women, making money from images of sexually mutilated women, and encourages the attitudes that lead to violent sexual assaults.

One woman taking part in the protest had recently returned home late at night to her flat in Tower Hamlets to find a 17 year old young woman who had been raped several times on the street collapsed on her doorstep and had saved her from further assaults by calling the police.

They had come here again together with London 4th Wave Feminists wearing cat masks after the tourist attraction had failed to remove shutters and signage which were deemed illegal by Tower Hamlets council a year ago, including a poster which was partly ripped off the shop front in the protest. The council were criticsed for not enfrocing their decision and their opposition to the shop often seemed half-hearted.

Patrick from Class War came to the protest dressed as Father Brannigan, performed a series of exorcisms holding up a hastily improvised cross.

The shop had employed two security guards for the protest and one of them roughly pushed some of the protesters who challenged the few visitors who entered and left during the protest, mainly visiting tourists.

When police eventually arrived half an hour after the protest began they tried with little success to move the protesters further from the shop.

After an hour or so the protesters walked away, with many going to a local pub and I accompanied them. We were disturbed half an hour later by a police raid. Apparently two anti-trans feminists had come to view the protest, hoping to see a person they complained to the police had assaulted one of them at a meeting the
previous month, and had then phoned the police.

The woman behind the bar then declared herself as a special constable, brought out her warrant card and tried to stop me and others taking photographs. She failed, but I decided later not to publish them. It’s a pub I’ll never drink in again.

More pictures Class War back at the Ripper.


Saturday 27th October 2007

Thursday, October 27th, 2022

One of my busier days in London was Saturday 27th October 2007, when I began with a trip to Hoxton to collect and take home some pictures from a group exhibition, then travelled back into the centre of London for a number of events. The main protest I covered was the annual UFFC march against deaths in custody, but there were also Kurds protesting against Turkish army attacks on them in Northern Iraq, campaigners calling for a Brexit referendum, an anti-abortion rally and peace protesters around Parliament where I also photographed a new statue in Parliament Square. I ended my working day with a Halloween Zombie Crawl.

Here’s what I wrote back in 2007, with minor corrections including normal capitalisation and some changes of tense – and I’ve included some headings and pictures. As usual there are many more pictures if you follow the links to My London Diary.


On saturday, everything was happening. I had to run around to start with to collect my unsold pictures from the City People show at the Juggler in Hoxton. Fortunately I’d sold one of my four pictures, so that made them easier to carry, but it was a rush to be back in the centre of London and I had to more or less miss the demonstrators who wanted a referendum on leaving the European Union.

Protest Against Custody Deaths – Trafalgar Square & Whitehall, Saturday 27 Oct, 2007

Instead I started at Trafalgar Square, where the annual event remembering those who have died in custody was taking place, organised by the UFFC, families and friends of those killed.

It’s an occasion that always shocks me by the sheer number of people who have died in such disgraceful or suspicious circumstances, in police cells, in prisons and elsewhere. It’s an event I sometimes find it hard to photograph, both emotionally and physically – thankfully autofocus works even when your eyes are filling with tears.
more pictures

Kurds Demand – Stop Turkey – Trafalgar Square, London. 27 October 2007

While that demo was getting ready to march, a large crowd of Kurds swarmed into Trafalgar Square and held a short rally, protesting against the Turkish government’s approval of incursions into Northern Iraq to attack the PKK there. Both the Kurds and the Armenians have suffered greatly at the hands of the Turks (who in turn have been rather screwed by the EU over Cyprus.)

It was a typically exuberant performance, and one that I enjoyed photographing, but rather a distraction from the family and friends event.
more pictures

Pro-referendum on Europe Rally – Old Palace Yard, Westminster. 27 October 2007

There seems to be hiatus in the UFFC demonstration, so I caught a bus down Whitehall. Walking along to Old Palace Yard I passed a few of the pro-referendum demonstrators, though some others had stayed to join in the anti-abortion protest.
a couple of pictures

Anti-Abortion (Pro-Life) Rally – Old Palace Yard, Westminster. Saturday 27 October, 2007

This was rather smaller than I’d expected, perhaps around 500 people, although it was the only event that made the BBC news bulletins I heard when I got home later in the day.
more pictures

Lloyd George – Parliament Square, London. Saturday October 27, 2007

I listened a little to the speeches, but then went to Parliament Square to take a look at the new statue of Lloyd George – which failed to impress me. Of course he was long before my time – although I did have a landlady as a student in Manchester who had worked as a secretary for him – but somehow I feel the statue trivialises him, looking rather like an enlarged version of a plastic figure you might find in a box of cornflakes rather than a statue of a Prime Minister.
another picture

Peace Train – Parliament Square, Westminster. Saturday October 27, 2007

The Peace Train is beginning to form a protest in Parliament Square and I go along to talk to them and take a few pictures.


I rejoin the ‘Famiilies and Friends’ march now making a considerable protest opposite Downing Street, where a delegation has permission to deliver a letter to the prime minister’s residence at No 10. It takes a lot of argument before the police let them in despite this.

For some reason the police decide not to allow those with press cards into the street in the normal way. I don’t like going in – the security checks are a nuisance and being restricted to a pen on the other side of the street is normally hopeless, but I think its a matter of principle that access should not be unreasonably prevented – as it was for this event, even if personally I don’t particularly want to take advantage of it.

By the time the deputation emerge, the mood on the street is getting rather angry. One young policeman is getting surrounded and insulted and is trying hard to ignore it. A few minutes later a motor-cyclist foolishly stays in the route of the march, and is soon surrounded by angry people. He has to be rescued by his colleagues.

There are police who are racist, who are thugs, who are bullies. Too many who have got away with murder, often thanks to covering up or a lack of diligence in investigation by their colleagues. If it were not so, there would be no demonstration. But there are also officers who do their best to carry out a difficult and necessary job in a decent, reasonable and even-handed way – even though they may sometimes get disciplined for doing so. Those who bear the brunt of considerable and understandable hate directed against the police at a demo like this are not necessarily the guilty.
more pictures


Crawl of the Dead IV – City and Southwark, London. Saturday October 27, 2007

It’s time for me to leave and make my way to the City of London, where this year the zombies are starting their walk at a pub on Ludgate Hill. I go into the pub and talk to some of them and take photographs, and am gratified to find that quite a few have seen my pictures from around Oxford Street last year.

By the time they emerge from the pub it is getting dark, and my flash by now is refusing to work at all. I have to make do either with available light (and there isn’t a lot) or the pretty useless camera built in flash, but I still manage to get a few decent pictures, even though some are rather noisier than I’d like.

There are quite a few people around as we go over the Millennium bridge, and more in front of Tate Modern, where zombies decide to play dead for a while. Then we visit the famous crack in the turbine hall, coming out towards the Founder’s arms, where I made my goodbyes and turned for home.


More pictures on all these on My London Diary:

against deaths in custody
kurds demand – stop turkey
for a euro-referendum
anti-abortion (pro-life) rally
lloyd george statue
peace train
crawl of the dead iv