Posts Tagged ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign’

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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No To Arms Fair At Twickenham

Saturday, January 27th, 2024

No To Arms Fair At Twickenham: This Monday, 22nd January 2024, Richmond & Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised their third annual protest at Twickenham Rugby Stadium which was hosting the International Armoured Vehicles Fair for the third year in a row from 22-25th January. The arms fair claims to be the largest of its type in the world, attracting around a thousand delegates from over 40 nations,

I came to the bus stop outside Twickenham Station to find several people clearly on their way to the stadium, and found more on the bus when it arrived – the bus more or less emptied when we arrived at the stop in front of the stadium. We walked across the road and joined a hundred or so who had already come to protest.

I had to leave after around an hour for a meeting, and people were still arriving to the protest which had another couple of hours to run. This was a considerably larger protest than in the two previous years having become more important because many of the companies selling weapons inside are suppliers of weapons which are being used now to kill Palestinians in Gaza.

Richmond & Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign is an active local group campaigning for the rights of Palestinians, justice and freedom against Israeli occupation and apartheid. Their numbers at this protest were swelled by others who had come from other areas of London to tell the Rugby Football Union to stop hosting arms fairs. As well as the International Armoured Vehicles Fair this week they are also hosting the International Military Helicopter conference from 27th to 29th February 2024.

Many of the posters and placards at the protest called for an end to the Israeli genocide taking place in Gaza now, and there were others more specific to Twickenham, calling for fair play and an end to the promotion of killing by the Rugby authorities.

At the centre of the protest was a large poster with the heading ‘MERCHANTS OF DEATH’ naming companies taking part in the arms fair, including BAE Systems, Elbit Systems and Thales, with cartoons of arms dealers making vast profits from war. Most of the companies involved supply Israel with armoured vehicles and other weapons used in its devastating assault on Gaza and used to repress, terrorise, abduct and kill civilians and children in Palestine as well as in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere around the world. And as some posters and speakers reminded us, Israeli arms manufacturers proudly boast ‘OUR WEAPONS ARE FIELD-TESTED’ – on Palestinians in the killing fields of Gaza and the West Bank.

Standing around the poster were members of Richmond & Kingston PSC, holding up their hands in white gloves stained with fake blood, with one holding a Palestinian flag. Others held posters and banners, ‘CEASEFIRE NOW’, ‘WAR KILLS PEOPLE & PLANET’, ‘STOP BOMBING CHLDREN’

Shortly before I had to leave a group arrived carrying cloth bundles stained with red dye, representing the children killed by the Israeli attacks. A report by Save The Children from Ramallah on 11th January began with the following:

More than 10,000 children have been killed by Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza in nearly 100 days of violence, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, with thousands more missing, presumed buried under rubble, Save the Children said.

Save The Children

By now the number will be many more. As one poster stated: ‘TWICKENHAM DON’T SIDE WITH GENOCIDE’.

More pictures

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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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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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


Israel, Palestine & Syrian Refugees – 2015

Friday, October 13th, 2023

Israel, Palestine & Syrian Refugees: On Tuesday 13th October 2015 supporters of Israel and Palestine faced each other on the street in Hammersmith. From there I went to a candlelit vigil at Parliament calling for the UK to resettle Syrian Refugees.


Zionists and Palestinian protests over killings

Israel, Palestine & Syrian Refugees

The Zionist Federation had come to protest outside the Palestinian Authority UK Mission following a number of stabbings of Jews in Israel. Jewish and other groups supporting Palestinian resistance to the occupation and Israeli terror against Palestinians came to oppose them, calling for an end to Israeli occupation and all violence against both Jews and Palestinians in Israel.

Israel, Palestine & Syrian Refugees

Police kept the two groups well apart though both had powerful sound systems so they could each hear what the others were saying. But while the Palestinian ambassador to the UK Professor Manuel Hassassian quite clearly spoke condemning violence on both sides, a speaker at the Zionist Federation protest continued to insist as the main point of his speech that Palestinians refused to condemn violence against Jews.

Israel, Palestine & Syrian Refugees

I commented then:

“There is of course a great assymetry between violence against Israel and Palestine, with much smaller numbers of Israelis being killed, largely in suicide bomb attacks and knifings. Palestinians have been killed in much larger numbers, by the attacks of the Israeli army, by Israeli police shootings and by the Jewish settlers occupying parts of Palestine; Israeli army and police turn a blind eye to their raids on Palestinian villages in which people are sometimes killed as well as the olive trees on which they depend being uprooted.”

My London Diary
Israel, Palestine & Syrian Refugees

Many of those in both groups were Jewish, with the pro-Palestine counter-demonstration being organised by Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods and supported by The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and the British Committee for Universities of Palestine, as well as other Jewish protesters. There were also some Palestinians and others from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British left which also includes many Jews.

Supporting the Zionist Federation were some right-wing British Groups including some extremist Christian groups. The shouting match was continuing when I left to go to Westminster.

More at Zionists and Palestinian protests over killings.


Citizens UK Vigil for more Refugees – Old Palace Yard, Westminster

Although the British public has been greatly moved by stories of refugees fleeing Syria drowning as they cross the Mediterranean and struggling as they cross Europe the UK government has so far made only a trivial commitment and limited this to admitting a small number from those still in refugee camps in the countries around Syria. Overwhelmingly when people see the actual numbers they think this is nothing like enough, with many individuals, organisations and local authorities making offers to take in refugees.

People fear that many more will freeze to death in the bitter European winter and Citizens UK were calling on the government to take urgent action. Their demand for the UK to take a thousand more Syrian refugees by Christmas and then 10,000 a year for the next five years seemed rather low given the huge numbers now in the refugee camps – where six children froze to death last winter and so many trying to make their way across Europe.

Among the speakers calling for the government to take urgent action to save refugee lives were SNP MP Angus Robertson, Labour MP Yvette Cooper, a leading East London Imam, The Right Reverend Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, Bosnian refugee Zrinka Bralo of Citizens UK and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper

Protests like this fall largely on deaf ears in the government, who are scared of doing anything that might anger the right-wing press and the racist bigots in their own party. But Cameron did later agree to resettle 1000 by Christmas and considerably large numbers were admitted from 2015 to 2019.

Tim Farron

The Tories keep making pledges to cut immigration and keep harassing migrants and imprisoning in detention centres sometimes for several years those who have come to the UK to claim asylum rather than attempting to process their claims in a timely manner. According to a House of Commons Research Briefing there are currently around 140,000 people awaiting an initial decision, a small number appealing there refusal and over 40,000 “Subject to Removal” having had their claims rejected.

Now they complain about the huge costs of housing asylum seekers and resort to extreme plans such as sending them to Rwanda or housing them in crowded barges. Many of those who are currently prevented from working have skills which we need and could be making a contribution to our country – and paying taxes.

Between 2014 and 2020, 20,000 Syrians were resettled in the UK – compared to around 180,000 Ukrainians in 2022-3. The total number of asylum applications in the UK in 2022 was only a little over half the average based on population for the 27 EU countries.

More pictures at Citizens UK Vigil for more Refugees.


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.


Nakba, South Africa, Fair Votes & Iran

Monday, May 15th, 2023

Nakba, South Africa, Fair Votes & Iran: Events I covered in London on 15th May 2023 and one I just missed.


Nakba Protest For Free Palestine – Downing St

Nakba, South Africa, Fair Votes & Iran

May 15 is Nakba Day, remembering the 1948 disaster when Palestinians were expelled from their land and calling for an end to Israeli occupation and breaches of international law.

Nakba, South Africa, Fair Votes & Iran

Over 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed and the 1948 partition of Palestine to create the state of Israel created around 700,000 Palestinian refugees, many of whom or their descendants are still in refugee camps. Protests take place on or around May 15 every year around the world calling for justice for Palestine.

Nakba, South Africa, Fair Votes & Iran

The biggest in London is on the nearest weekend to the 15th, and the 2023 London march organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign together with Stop the War Coalition, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Muslim Association of Britain and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was last Saturday, May 13th, marching from the BBC.

Nakba, South Africa, Fair Votes & Iran

Organisations supporting this rally included Artists’ Union England, BFAWU, CWU, The MU, NEU, PCS, RMT, TSSA, UCU, UNISON and Unite the Union. In most recent years I’ve photographed these protests, but this year the rail strike meant I was unable to do so.

Back on 15th May 2010 the Nakba protest was a static one opposite Downing Street. Last Saturday the march to the rally began at the BBC, deliberately chosen to yet again expose the failure of our major broadcaster to report on protests in the UK, particularly those calling for freedom for Palestine.

It may not be written down anywhere in the BBC, but the broadcaster definitely has a policy of playing down or usually totally ignoring protests in the UK, at least unless it can condemn any acts of violence of criminal damage by protesters. Occasionally any involving major celebrities may also get a mention, though they may need to get arrested for the BBC to notice. You have more chance of your protest getting a mention if it occurs in another country, preferably one with a regime our government disapproves, than under their noses in London.

Other UK media tend to follow the example of the BBC and if you want to know about protests that are happening in the UK you need to follow foreign media such as Al Jazeera or RT, or read left wing publications in print or online. There you may even find out what the protests were about.

Among the protesters were many Jews opposed to the actions of the State of Israel who form a major part of most if not all left wing and anarchist groups. Most obvious were those from the ultra-orthodox ‘Neturei Karta’ who are totally opposed to Zionism and the idea of a Jewish political state. They say the Torah prohibits the use of human force to establish a Jewish state before the coming of the Messiah, and support the right of the Palestinians to their land, which should be returned to them. The say Jews should live in peace and harmony with their Muslim neighbours in Palestine as their ancestors did for many centuries.

Nakba Protest For Free Palestine


South African Right March in London – Trafalgar Square

I arrived in Trafalgar Square too late to see a march by expatriate right-wingers, part of a campaign to persuade football supporters not to go to South Africa for the the World Cup. They say the country is too violent with around 18,000 murders a year.

Unfortunately that high rate is fairly typical among many countries in the global south and lower than in many of them. Perhaps the main difference between South Africa and the others is the large white population who also suffer from the violence and murders.

The march organisers had earlier regretted that police had prohibited any marchers carrying flags or banners of the extreme right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) or other white nationalist groups. The extreme racist AWB protest at the ‘Boer Genocide’ and is committed to setting up an independent Volkstaat on parts of South Africa with extreme apartheid policies.

Although there were only a handful of people in red shirts who had taken part in the march I was able to photograph some of the crosses, posters and banners they had left behind in front of South Africa House before police removed them.

South African Right March in London


Purple Protest Demands Fair Votes – Old Palace Yard

More than a thousand people, mainly wearing purple, had come to Westminster to demand a fair voting system, feeling cheated by the recent election results which failed to produce a government reflecting how people voted.

The 2010 election had clearly failed to reflect the votes cast, particularly for the Lib-Dems who got almost a quarter of the votes but less than one tenth of the seats. Perhaps even more importantly it showed that over a third of the population had so little confidence in our political system that they didn’t bother to cast there vote.

These results had left to a movement springing up rapidly through the Internet, using Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and other social networking sites, and it also attracted the backing of existing electoral campaigning groups such as the Electoral Reform Society, Unlock Democracy (incorporating Charter 88), 38 Degrees and Power2010.

Most of us have experience of elections taking place using the single transferable vote system with give much greater fairness. The Lib-Dems had demanded a UK-wide referendum on the Parliamentary voting system for taking part in the coalition governement, but the proposals were dismissed as more an attempt to defuse the issue than to deal with it. The vague proposal was in any case decisively rejected, though only 42% of the electorate bothered to vote.

This year has seen another attack on the fairness of our elections with the introduction of the need for photo-ID to cast a vote. I don’t know how many were put off from trying to vote by this requirement, but apparently 1.2% of those who turned up to polling stations were not allowed to vote.

Purple Protest Demands Fair Votes


Protest Against Executions in Iran

Around a hundred people demonstrated in Trafalgar Square and then marched for a rally opposite the Iran Embassy following the execution last Sunday of 5 political activists, the latest of many such death sentences.

In the previous year millions in Iran had protested for greater freedom in Iran, with the protests making headlines around the world after the fatal shooting of Neda Agha-Soltan in June 2009. Thousands have been arrested, tortured to make untrue confessions and then condemned in unfair trials and many have been executed.

The death of Jina Mahsa Amini after being arrested by the religious morality police for allegedly not wearing the hijab in accordance with government standards in September 2022 has led to a series of protests in Iran and around the world on an even more widespread scale than those in 2009-10, 2007 and 2019. Again the protests in Iran have been brutally repressed with at least 476 people killed by the end of 2022, and many arrested and tortured and a number of protesters hanged.

The protest on 15 May 2010 came after the executions of five political activists – four men and a woman – on Sunday 9 May; Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Mehdi Eslamian and Shirin Alam-Houli.

The protests in London around the world in 2022-3 have been on a larger scale than in 2010, with large and continuing protests with the slogan ‘Woman Life Freedom’.

Protest Against Executions in Iran


Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters – 2018

Friday, April 7th, 2023

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

On Saturday 7th April 2018 around 2,000 came to Downing Street to condemn the shooting by Israeli snipers of peaceful unarmed Palestinian protesters on the first day of the Great March of Return, a peaceful protest at the separation wall in Gaza on Land Day, 30th March 2018.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

Live fire by the Israeli army had killed 17 and wounded over 750 unarmed protesters on that day. The second protest had taken place a week later on the day day before the London protest in this series of protests planned to continue in Palestine every Friday until Nakba Day (May 15th). Another nine Palestinians, one a journalist had been targeted and killed, and around 1,350 injured.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

Many had been appalled by videos of the shooting, and by seeing Israeli citizens who had gone to watch and support the snipers who were shooting to kill.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

The UK parliament was in recess and there were few UK politicians at the event, with only Baroness Jenny Tonge and a Sinn Fein MP among the speakers, although both Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas had sent messages of support.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

With the current threat of accusations of anti-Semitism being raised against any who speak out to support the Palestinians, perhaps some did not want to speak out in public, but there were many Jews at the protest, including those in Jewish Voice for Labour, many Jewish supports of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others including a group of ultra-orthodox anti-Zionist Neturei Karta members. A speaker from Jewdas recited a prayer for peace in Hebrew and then in English translation.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

Among those who spoke at the event was Glen Secker of JVL, the captain of the Jewish Boat to Gaza in 2010. In 2018 he was suspended from membership of the Labour Party on a vague and unspecified accusation of anti-Semitism. Many other Jewish members of the Labour party, including the sons, daughters and grandchildren of holocaust survivors, have also been expelled from the party for the same reason.

Other supporters of Palestine, including Jeremy Corbyn have been banned from standing as Labour candidates in what can only be seen as a witch-hunt.

A few yards down the road were a handful of right-wing Zionist supporters waving Israeli flags and shouting slogans in support of the shootings and against Hamas. The few protesters who could hear them simply turned their backs on them and ignored them.

At the end of the protest the names of those murdered last week were read out and there was a two minute silence honouring them. The London protest was organised by the Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Palestinian Forum in Britain and Stop the War, and supported by EuroPal, Olive and Muslim Association of Britain.

On My London Diary you can see photographs of many more of those at the event, including most of the speakers at Great March of Return – Stop the Killing.


Egypt’s Arab Spring – 2011

Sunday, February 5th, 2023

Saturday 5th February 2011
US Embassy Rally For Egypt – Grosvenor Square
Egyptian Embassy Demonstration – South St
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain at Egyptian Embassy – South St

Egypt's Arab Spring - 2011
Tariq Ali speaking at the rally at the US Embassy

Egypt’s history is long and complex, going back to the back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE when it was one of the cradles of Western civilisation. Wikipedia has a lengthy article which even so skims over the many details, and certainly I won’t go into much here.

Egypt's Arab Spring - 2011

For many years Egypt was a part of the Ottoman Empire, but after the building of the Suez Canal in 1869 France and Britain played a more important role in its history and in 1882 the UK invaded the country which became occupied and it became a de facto British protectorate, breaking away completely to become a UK protectorate during the First World War after the UK military deposed the ruling Khedive, replacing him with his pro-British brother Hussein Kamel, who declared himself Sultan of Egypt.

Egypt's Arab Spring - 2011

Elections at the end of the war led to a majority for the Egyptian nationalist movement, so the British exiled their leaders to Malta in 1919, starting the first modern Egyptian revolution. The UK caved in and granted Egypt independence, though largely nominally as the country remained under British military occupation until 1936 when the UK withdrew its troops except those around the Suez Canal.

During World War Two, Egypt tried to remain neutral despite considerable UK pressure and the presence of large numbers of British troops, who in 1942 surrounded the palace in Cairo and forced King Farouk to change his government.

Egypt's Arab Spring - 2011

In 1951, Egypt demanded all remaining British troops who were then around the Suez Canal to leave the country, but the UK refused. British soldiers killed 43 Egyptian police officers in an police station at Ismalia and extensive riots followed. On 22-23 July 1952 military officers launched a coup d’état against King Farouk and took power; in June 1953 they declared Egypt a republic, with Gamal Abdel Nasser becoming Prime Minister, becoming President in 1956.

After Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal that year the UK and France together with Israel launched a disastrous attack – the Suez Crisis. The UK and France were humiliated after they were forced to withdraw by pressure from the UN, USA and Russia. The event is widely seen as marking the end of Great Britain’s role as one of the world’s major powers. Perhaps why we cling on to a hopelessly ineffectual “nuclear deterrent”.

Egypt's Arab Spring - 2011
At the Egyptian Embassy

After Nasser’s death in 1970, Anwar Sadat took over as president until 1981, when he was assassinated by an Islamic extremist. Sadat expelled the Soviet advisers and attempted to modernise Egypt, encouraging foreign investment but his policies mainly benefited wealthier Egyptians.

Hosni Mubarak became president in 1981 following a referendum in which he was the only candidate. Under him draconian laws against freedom of expression and association were enacted, and political activities largely outlawed. In 2005 he enacted reforms which allowed for multi-candidate elections of the presidency but with severe restrictions on who could stand – and the candidate who got most votes after Mubarak was imprisoned after the vote.

Human rights organisations in 2006-7 had detailed serious violations, including outine torture, arbitrary detentions and trials before military and state security courts, and naming Egypt as an international centre for torture in the US led ‘War on Terror’. In 2007 the constitution was altered, giving the president dictatorial powers, prohibiting religious political parties and authorising extreme powers of arrest and surveillance by the police, with a new anti-terrorism law.

When the Arab Spring began in Tunisa in December 2010, it was hardly a surprise that it spread to Egypt along with other countries including Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain. It began on 25 January 2011 with massive demonstrations, marches, occupations of public squares, acts of non-violent civil disobedience and strikes, with millions of protesters demanding the resignation of Mubarak.

Wikipedia lists the following causes:

  • Police brutality
  • State-of-emergency laws
  • Electoral fraud
  • Political censorship
  • Corruption
  • Unemployment
  • Food price rises
  • Low wages
  • Demographic structural factors
  • Other regional protests
  • Authoritarianism
  • Political repression.

Tahrir Square became the centre of the revolution, with over 50,000 protesters occupying it on 25 January, and later growing to perhaps 300,000. The revolt continued there for 18 days until finally the military who had held the real power in Egypt at least since 1952 removed Mubarek from office on 11 February 2011.

In London on Saturday 5th February 2011 I photographed three protests related to the Egyptian Revolution. The first was a protest at the US Embassy where speakers from Stop the War, the British Muslim Initiative and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others castigated the USA for its support of the Mubarak government over the years and called for his immediate departure.

From there I went with the protesters to join others at the Egyptian Embassy in Mayfair, to join the Egyptians who had been protesting there all week.

While I was photographing at the Embassy I heard the noise of another protest a hundred yards or so down the street, where supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir had turned up in force. As usual most were dressed in black, but there was a group of men dressed in orange Guantanamo jump suits and wearing the masks of the corrupt rulers of Arab states.

Their rally was not in support of the current protests in Tahrir Square and elsewhere, but for a different Arab revolution, calling on the Egyptian army to remove Mubarek but in its place not to establish democracy and freedom, but to set up a Caliphate, theocratic rule rather like that in Iran.

You can read more about the London protests in the three links below to My London Diary where there are many more pictures. Sadly although Mubarek was removed, events in Egypt have not led to the increased freedoms the 2011 revolution was demanding. You can read more about the Arab Winter and the Egyptian Crisis that followed in various articles on Wikipedia and elsewhere online.

Hizb ut-Tahrir at Egyptian Embassy
Egyptian Embassy Demonstration
US Embassy Rally For Egypt