Posts Tagged ‘violence against women’

Bread & Roses, Morales & Russian anti-fascists – 2019

Friday, January 19th, 2024

Bread & Roses, Morales & Russian anti-fascists: Three events I photographed on Saturday 19th January 2019.

Bread & Roses is again relevant now in January 2024, with the release of a new version of the song a few days ago by the ‘Orchestra of Cardboard‘, part of the amazing ‘Every street a POWER STATION campaign‘, a project of Walthamstow’s community interest company Optimistic Foundation CIC set up by artist and filmmaker Hilary Powell and filmmaker and musician Dan Edelstyn. The recording is a part of their fundraising campaign and your can read, see and hear more about it and their other campaigns which are already having an effect in the area on their crowdfunder page.

But back to January 2019, five years ago today.


Women’s Bread & Roses protest

Bread & Roses, Morales & Russian anti-fascists - 2019

Inspired by the Bread & Roses protests which revolutionised workers’ rights for women in 1912, Women’s March London marched from the BBC to a rally in Trafalgar Square against economic oppression, violence against women, gender pay gap, racism, fascism, institutional sexual harassment and hostile environment in the UK, and called for a government dedicated to equality and working for all of us rather than the few.

Bread & Roses, Morales & Russian anti-fascists - 2019

The London march was part of an international day with women marching in many countries around the world, particularly in cities across the USA.

Bread & Roses, Morales & Russian anti-fascists - 2019

At the start of the march was opposite the BBC on the steps of Langham Place a few of the women organising the event were being directed and filmed by a BBC film crew. Supposedly this was a documentary but it seemed to be more a scripted drama closely controlled by the director and with the women involved holding orange folders from which they read.

Bread & Roses, Morales & Russian anti-fascists - 2019

But there were a rather larger group of women (and just a few men with them) standing around outside the BBC building and largely ignoring the filming that was taking place. Many had made placards especially for the event, with some using words from the poem ‘Bread and Roses‘ written by James Oppenheim and published at the end of 1911. The phrase ‘Bread and Roses’ came from a speech the previous year by Helen Todd, speaking about the need for laws to regulate wages, working hours and conditions.

A few days later a strike was started by textile workers, largely immigrants, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The strike was organised by the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World, led largely by women and they took up Oppenheims poem and sang it at their meetings and marches, as well as apparently marching with a banner ‘We want Bread, and Roses too!’ during their three-month strike.

Eventually, when the BBC had finished making their movie the women gathered for a march and I walked with them to Trafalgar Square.

Many more pictures on My London Diary at Women’s Bread & Roses protest.


Bolivians protest against Morales – Trafalgar Square

A small group of Bolivians had come to protest following a decision in December by the Electoral Commission that President Evo Morales could stand for a fourth term in office in the October 2019 elections which were starting with primaries at the end of January 2019. But I was not convinced that this was truly a protest about democracy rather than simply against his socialist policies.

Morales, Bolivia’s first president to come from the indigenous population was first elected in 2005. He supported the 2009 constitution which allowed only two consecutive terms in office but was able to stand for a third term as his first term had been before the limit was imposed. In 2016 tried to increase the limit to three terms by a referendum which was narrowly defeated. But after this the courts ruled that the limitation infringed the human rights of citizens, allowing him to stand for a further term.

Morales won the October 2019 but their were widespread protests alleging electoral fraud, although later investigations suggested he had indeed gained the 10% lead required for a first-round victory. But the protests grew and he was endangered by armed groups; eventually he resigned on 10th November 2019, fleeing to Mexico where he was granted political asylum. Allegations made against him of sedition and terrorism were later found to be politically motivated and in 2020 a Bolivian court found his rights had been violated and judicial procedures breached.

His successful policies which reduced poverty and illiteracy and combated the influence of the USA and multinational companies made him very unpopular among the middle class and particularly the groups accustomed to running the country. Many in the USA encouraged and financed the opposition to him as he was widely seen to have shown a successful alternative to the growth of international capitalism.

Bolivians protest against Morales


Solidarity with Russian anti-fascists – Whitechapel

Finally I went east to the Cable Street Mural where anarchists and anti-fascists were meeting l to oppose racism, xenophobia, fascism and the upsurge of far-right populism and to show solidarity with Russian anti-fascists who have been arrested, framed and tortured in a brutal wave of repression.

Russian and Ukranian comrades spoke at the rally. telling us of the persecution taking place. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested six in Penza in 2017, charging them with belonging to a non-existent organisation, ‘The Network’. Beatings and torture before their trial were used to make them give false confessions.

Two others were arrested in 2018 in St Petersburg and charged with belonging to the same fictional network and again tortured into making confessions and further similar arrests have followed. A total of 11 where then in prison for belonging to’The Network’, facing 5 to 25 years in jail.

The date for the protest was chosen as the anniversary of the brutal murder of two Russian anti-fascists, journalist Anastasia Baburova and lawyer Stanislav Markelov, by fascists in broad daylight on the streets of Moscow on January 19th 2009. Russian anarchists and anti-fascists hold events to remember them on this day every year.

There was then a march to a further rally in Altab Ali Park, named for the 24-year-old clothing worker murdered in a nearby street on 4 May 1978.

More pictures at Solidarity with Russian anti-fascists.


FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis
London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

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


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 François 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.


One Billion Rising, Chaplin & MI6

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

Three sets of photographs I made in London on a wet day nine years ago, Friday 14th February 2014.


One Billion Rising – End Violence Against Women – Trafalgar Square

One Billion Rising, Chaplin & MI6

This was the second worldwide annual ‘One Billion Rising’ with events taking place in 168 countries and women had come to Trafalgar Square to strike, dance and rise in defiance against the injustices suffered by women around the world.

One Billion Rising, Chaplin & MI6

In England and Wales, the Home Office reports that there are an average of 85,000 women raped each year, and 400,000 women sexually assaulted. They report that 1 in 5 women (aged 16 – 59) has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.

One Billion Rising, Chaplin & MI6

I arrived in time to photograph the start of the event, and stayed to watch a little dancing on the stage. The dancers there were under a canopy but I and much of the audience got rather wet watching. I wasn’t sorry that I had to leave shortly for an appointment at Downing Street.

One Billion Rising, Chaplin & MI6

More at One Billion Rising – End Violence Against Women.


Charlie Chaplin Climate Chaos – Downing St

My Downing Street appointment was not with the Prime Minister David Cameron, but with a rather better known figure, Charlie Chaplin, or rather his look-alike mime and activist Charlie X.

Given the weather he had abandoned the black trousers for waterproof yellow ones, but otherwise the was dressed as usual with his whited out face, small moustache, bowler hat, black bow tie and jacket. Sensibly as well as his walking stick he had brought an umbrella and had some hazard tape to keep his bowler in place in the high winds.

He was there to make a one-person silent protest over the failure of governments including our own to take real measures to combat carbon dioxide emissions which are causing global warming and climate chaos. At the time many of us across the country were suffering from flooding, with my own home having been under severe threat for almost a week – and left without mains drainage we were having to walk several minutes to a friends to wash and use a toilet that could still be flushed.

Charlie X was also there to draw attention to the dangers of fracking in the UK and show solidarity with communities who are fighting against it in their area. His mimed protest called on Cameron to act green not just talk green and stop listening to the highly funded lobbying by the dirty fuel companies.

Charlie Chaplin Climate Chaos


‘Justice Demands the Truth’ Vigil – MI6, Vauxhall

I was pleased to be able to dry out slightly and get just a little warmer on the bus to Vauxhall were I joined the Save Shaker Aamer campaign who where protesting opposite the well-known MI6 offices there on the 12th anniversary of the British resident’s illegal rendition to Guantanamo in February 2002.

On My London Diary I give more details of the case of this Muslim charity worker who was kidnapped by bandits and sold to the US army and tortured before being taken for rurther torture at the prison camp.

MI6 officers were present during some of the torture and his return to this country would be embarrassing for them. They were widely thought to have been secretly briefing against his return and telling lies to Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary from 2001-6 and later Secretary of State for Justice which he apparently or perhaps conveniently believed.

Shaker’s release to the UK would also embarrass the US security agencies responsible for his continuing torture at Guantanamo where he stood up for his rights and those of other prisoners. Although the US security agencies including the CIA, State and Defense Departments cleared him to be released six years ago, they wanted to release him to his native Saudi Arabia, knowing that as a former dissident he would quickly disappear there without trace.

Because of the continuing rain, after posing for photographs and a short vigil in front of the MI6 building the protesters moved a little further away for a rally on the pavement under one of the railway arches before going to try and hand in a Valentine card for the head of MI6, Sir John Sawer, which stated:

MI6, we would love you to … help us bring Shaker Aamer home. Shaker Aamer, unlawfully imprisoned and tortured in Guantanamo for twelve years – he faces no charge or trial- he has been cleared since 2007 to leave Guantanamo. So why is Shaker Aamer still there? Shaker Aamer would love to be at home with his wife and family in the UK. M16, you could help. Tell the truth about torture! MI6 have a heart, don’t block Shaker Aamer’s release to the UK from Guantanamo.”

Security on the gate refused to accept the card, but eventually the protesters simply pushed it through a gap in the gate and left for a final protest opposite the building.

More at ‘Justice Demands the Truth’ Vigil.


Women March, Bolivians Protest, Antifa Solidarity

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

Women March, Bolivians Protest, Antifa Solidarity
Saturday 19th January 2019 was another day of protests in London.

Women’s Bread & Roses protest

Inspired by the Bread & Roses protests which revolutionised workers’ rights for women in 1912, Women’s March London marched from the BBC to a rally in Trafalgar Square. The march was a part of an international day with women marching in many countries across the world and particularly in the USA.

Women were marching against economic oppression, violence against women, gender pay gap, racism, fascism, institutional sexual harassment and hostile environment in the UK, and they called for a government dedicated to equality and working for all of us rather than the few.

It began rather oddly outside the BBC with a carefully organised and scripted rally by a TV crew working for the BBC to produce what they called a documentary, though it seemed to have little real connection with the event that was taking place.

I walked with the women photographing them as they marched to another hopefully less scripted rally in Trafalgar Square where I left them to go to another event.

Bolivians protest against Morales

While in Trafalgar Square I photographed another protest taking place on the North Terrace, where Bolivians from the 21F movement had gathered against the ruling by Bolivia’s Electoral Tribunal that President Evo Morales could stand for a fourth term in office. Morales was first elected president in 2005, and supported the 2009 constitution which only allowed two consecutive terms in office. But later he tried to change this and the matter was put to a national referendum on 21st February 2016 which narrowly rejected the change.

Morales then went to the courts and they ruled that the limitation to two terms was an infringement on human rights and allowed him to stand again,, and he won a third term in office. The protesters were from the 21F movement, named from the referendum debate who accused him of corruption and interfering with the court system and say he is behaving as a dictator by trying to remain in power for a fourth term. He stood and won in October 2019, but a coup attempt in November 2019 forced him to flee the country, though he was able to return after MAS candidate Luis Arce won a clear victory in the 2020 general election and was sworn in as President.

Morales, the head of the Movement for Socialism party (MAS) while in office implemented leftist policies, reducing poverty and illiteracy and combating the influence of the United States and multinational corporations in Bolivia which has made him very unpopular with many of the middle class who were used to running the country – as well as the USA who have encouraged and financed opposition to him. Perhaps the 21F protest was really more about his policies than a concern for the integrity of the constitution.

Solidarity with Russian anti-fascists

From Trafalgar Square I made my way to the Cable Street Mural on the former Stepney Town Hall in St George’s Gardens Shadwell, where Anarchist and Anti-fascists were gathering to march to oppose racism, xenophobia, fascism and the upsurge of far-right populism and to show solidarity with Russian anti-fascists who have been arrested, framed and tortured in a brutal wave of repression.

There were speeches by Russian and Ukrainian comrades and a message from some of those under arrest in Russia. Six were arrested in 2017 by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and charged with belonging to a non-existent organisation, ‘The Network’. They have been and beaten and tortured in the pre-trial detention facility using electrical torture and hanging them upside down to get them to sign confessions, which they were forced to memorise.

Five more anti-fascists have been arrested since and also tortured to admit they were members of ‘The Network’, which the FSB claims were planning explosions during the Russian presidential elections and the World Cup. They could be jailed for up to 20 years for membership of the fictional group.

Stanislav Markelov, murdered by fascists in broad daylight on January 19th 2009.

January 19th was the 10th anniversary of the brutal murder on a Moscow street in broad daylight of two Russian anti-fascists, journalist Anastasia Baburova and lawyer Stanislav Markelov. Russian anarchists and anti-fascists hold events to remember them on this day every year.

From the fine mural celebrating the 1936 Battle of Cable Street, when the East End rose up to fight the police who tried to force a way for Mosley’s Blackshirts to march through the Jewish East End, the protesters marched to Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel, re-named after a young Bengali textile worker, 24 year old Altab Ali, who was murdered here on May 4th 1978 in a brutal unprovoked racist attack by three teenage boys as he walked home from work.

More on all three protests on My London Diary:
Solidarity with Russian anti-fascists
Bolivians protest against Morales
Women’s Bread & Roses protest


Million Women March

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

I photographed the first of these all-woman Million Women Rise marches in London in 2008, and have covered the event in most or all years since, always on a Saturday close to International Women’s Day. It’s an event that is supported over a hundred human rights and women’s groups around the country and is “led and organised by a majority of black women” and also includes many from other minority ethnic communities.

It’s an organisation that welcomes support from men in various ways, but on the day of the march asks them to “come and stand on the pavement and cheer us on.” And I do, though most of the time I’m too busy taking pictures to actually cheer.

Their web site has a list of ten demands, beginning with:

To acknowledge the continued discrimination faced by all women, the additional discrimination faced by Black women and women from other minority groups, and reflect this in all public policy in the UK and internationally

Million Women Rise web site- http://www.millionwomenrise.com/demands.html

I took pictures in the side road where the march gathered, where the marchers spill over onto the pavement and I could mix a little with the marchers before the march began, but for the march itself I stayed on the side as requested.

One slightly different aspect of this years march was the Pan Indian Dance Group who danced their way along Oxford St at the rear of the march – and I think went on to dance at the rally in Trafalgar Square, but by then I had left the event.

More pictures: Million Women March against male violence


There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

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

To order prints or reproduce images