Posts Tagged ‘safe routes’

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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Red Cross, School Cuts and Dead Cyclists

Friday, May 26th, 2023

Red Cross, School Cuts and Dead Cyclists: Six years ago on Friday 26th May 2017 I phototographed a vigil outside the Red Cross HQ, the Fair Funding for All Schools’ ‘School Assembly Day’ in Walthamstow and a protest against the hege toll of deaths due to air pollution and lack of proper cycling infrastructure.


Red Cross act for Palestinian Hunger Strikers – Moorgate

Red Cross, School Cuts and Dead Cyclists

Human rights group Inminds were holding a vigil at UK Mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Moorgate, London, demanding the organisation end its complicity with Israel’s violation of the rights of Palestinian prisoners.

Red Cross, School Cuts and Dead Cyclists

The vigil with flags, banners and some live music came as a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were on the 40th day of a hunger strike and Israel was making preparations to force-feed them.

Red Cross, School Cuts and Dead Cyclists

Inminds also called on the ICRC to restore the twice-monthly family visits and uphold the Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of prisoners. They chalked the outline on the pavement of one of the underground cells in which some Palestinian child prisoners have been held for many days in solitary confinement, adding a soft toy to the chalked outline of a child.

Red Cross, School Cuts and Dead Cyclists

Although quite a large proportion of those who saw the vigil read the display and came to sign the petition, the ICRC headquarters building is on a back street and not widely visible.

Red Cross act for Hunger Strikers


E17 Protest Against School Cuts – Walthamstow Town Square

Students, parents and teachers from 17 schools in London E17 marched to a rally in Walthamstow Town Square in protest against the cuts in school funding on Fair Funding for All Schools’ ‘School Assembly Day’.

City areas like Walthamstow will be disproportionately affected by the cuts and schools in the borough will lose over £25m from their annual budgets with the loss of around 672 teachers. On average schools will lose £672 per pupil, with some expecting cuts of over a thousand pounds per pupil.

I left the crowded square as people were listening to a long series of speeches from teachers, parents, educationalists, local politicians and education experts.

E17 Protest Against School Cuts


Cyclists Tory HQ die-in against traffic pollution – Westminster

Stop Killing Cyclists were holding a protest vigil and die in outside the Tory Party HQ a short distance from Parliament against the huge number of avoidable deaths from air pollution and the failure to encourage cycling since the Tories came to power in 2010. They had carried out a similar protest outside the Labour party HQ the previous week over their failure to take action when in power.

Statistics suggest that over the seven years of Tory government around 280,000 people have died prematurely due to the effects of air pollution, largely due to traffic on our streets. The campaigners called for a ban on diesel vehicles in city centres within 5 years, and on all fossil-fuel powered vehicles within 10 years, for all non-zero emission private cars to be banned from cities on days where pollution levels are predicted to rise above EU safety levels, and for regular car-free days in major cities following the example of Paris.

Cyclists particularly suffer from the effects of traffic pollution as they are exercising on city roads, breathing in the dust and fumes. As well as illegally high levels of gaseous pollution from exhausts, including nitrogen oxides, there are also dangerous levels of particulates from tyres and brakes. The carbon emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles also contribute massively to the global rise in temperature.

People also die early from a lack of exercise, and estimates suggest that proper provision for cycling in cities and elsewhere could have cut these deaths by 168,000 over the period of Tory rule. As well as deaths, more people cycling and cleaner air would also greatly reduce the stress on the NHS from respiratory and related illnesses. A report by the Royal College of Physicians in 2016 estimated that currently treatment for transport pollution related conditions costs the NHS £20 billion a year, around a sixth of the total NHS budget.

Many people are put off from cycling as they do not feel safe in the heavy traffic on many city roads and the protest called for an increase in providing safe routes including separate protected cycle routes. The point out that Holland spend £24 per head on cycling, twelve times as much as the UK. The UN has called for an increase to spend 20% of the transport budget by 2025, which would be roughly £3 billion per year.

Spending on cycling infrastructure benefits everyone across the country whether or not they cycle, and would reduce pollution on city streets to greatly improve life for all who live and work here. It would particularly be of benefit for child health, giving them more exercise but also in reducing the dangerous effects of pollution. Children are less tall and pollution levels are higher the closer you are to road level.

Cyclists Tory HQ die-in against pollution


For Refugee Rights and Against Trident

Sunday, February 27th, 2022

For Refugee Rights and Against Trident. I covered two marches in London on 27th February 2016, the first calling for safe passage for refugees seeking protection in Europe and following this a much larger march against government plans to waste £180 billion or more on replacing the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons.

European March for Refugee Rights

The European March for Refugee Rights was part of a day of protests in cities across Europe demanding action by governments to provide secure safe passage routes for all refugees and asylum seekers seeking protection in Europe. They want an end to deaths at borders and drownings and for refugees to be allowed to keep their possessions and be reunited with their families.

Among those taking part were people who had been to aid refugees in Lesvos and at the Calais camps and others who had volunteered with Medicins Sans Frontiers in Syria. The protest was supported by many groups including 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.

This was a short march taking place unusually inside Hyde Park, gathering at Hyde Park Corner and walking up to Speakers Corner where there was a rally. This made it possible for those taking part to join the Stop Trident Rally which was starting from Marble Arch, and going down Park Lane on its way to Trafalgar Square. Some of the marchers decided to form a block to march in front of the main Stop Trident banner and march on to Trafalgar Square.

Stop Trident march stewards tried briefly to stop them but then gave up and halted their march for around ten minutes to create a gap between the two groups.

European March for Refugee Rights


Stop Trident March

According to CND there were 60,000 people marching from Marble Arch to a mass rally in Trafalgar Square, and although their estimate may have been a little on the high side, this was definitely a very large protest, starting with a densely packed crowd on Park Lane. When the rally began in Trafalgar Square the tail of the march was still around half a mile away, and I think many gave up before reaching the rally as the streets leading to it became blocked.

Few people outside the military and arms manufacturers – probably the most powerful of all lobbies in the country can really believe the expenditure of £180 billion or more on replacing the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons is either necessary or cost-effective. The huge majority of nations in the world have no nuclear capability, and by December 2021, 59 states had ratified or acceded to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which entered into force on 22 January 2021.

Lindsey German, Stop the War, Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, SNP First Minister, Scotland and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas hold the Stop Trident banner

A national survey by Survation at the start of 2021 for CND showed 59% of the public supported the UK government signing up to the TPNW, including 50% of Conservative voters and 68% of Labour voters. An even higher 77% supported a ‘total ban on all nuclear weapons globally’ with majority support from young and old, in all regions of the country, from Conservative as well as Labour voters, leavers and remainers. The government remains resolutely opposed to the treaty.

This widespread opposition to nuclear weapons isn’t largely a matter of their cost but on both moral and pragmatic grounds. As CND say, using nuclear weapons 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 and “it is clearer than ever that real security for Britain requires addressing the risks posed by the climate emergency and pandemics on a global scale.

Stop Trident March


Stop Trident Rally

Trafalgar square was unusually packed for the long rally that followed the march, with people listening and applauding a long list of speakers, including Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas, Leanne Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Bruce Kent, Christine Blower, Mark Serwotka and Tariq Ali, as well as many less well-known names. There were many marchers who found it impossible to get into the square.

Nicola Sturgeon First Minister Scotland

All the speakers opposed the spending of an estimated £180 billion or more on 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.

It was a long wait, around two hours standing in the cold for the final speech by Jeremy Corbyn who had earlier in the day been speaking in Sheffield and whose train had been a little delayed. He was greeted by a tremendous response from the crowd, and gave a rousing speech to end the protest on a high note. Despite the dismissive remarks from many political commentators on the media, Corbyn is one of the most powerful political speakers of current years.

Stop Trident Rally