Posts Tagged ‘XR’

Goodbye and Good Riddance – April 2023

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024

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

Goodbye and Good Riddance
Good Friday in Staines. 7 April 2023.
Christians in Staines, as in many other towns and cities across the UK, take part in a Good Friday procession of witness through the town centre. Led by a man carrying a large wooden cross and the Staines Salvation Army Band people from churches in Staines, Ashford and Laleham walked past shops and market stalls to an outdoor service in the Two Rivers Shopping Centre with hymns, prayers, religious songs and a short address. Peter Marshall
Goodbye and Good Riddance
Fight4Aylesbury Exhibition – Friday 14 April 2023
An exhbition in Aysen’s council flat on the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark to celebrate 20+ years of housing struggles for housing justice and against gentrification, social cleansing and demolition of social housing. Her flat has been transformed into a living exhibition with flyers, posters, video, audio and installations on housing struggles. Peter Marshall
Goodbye and Good Riddance
Extinction Rebellion’s ‘The Big One’ London, UK. 21 Apr 2023.
On the first day of Extinction Rebellion’s ‘The Big One’ people march past Parliament calling for an end to airport expansion. Air travel is hugely polluting and expansion would make it impossible to meet the targets needed to prevent disastrous global warming and climate change. Peter Marshall
Goodbye and Good Riddance
Care 4 People & Planet, London. 21 April 2023.
On the first day of Extinction Rebellion’s ‘The Big One’, women hold an open speakout opposite Downing St with the banner ‘Care 4 People & Planet – Pay US NOT billionaire polluters”. Women are being targeted by government cuts in mothers and disabled benefits to force them back into employment while they support fossil fuel polluters and other destructive industries. Young people and women have been at the forefront of the movement for climate justice around the world. Peter Marshall
Peoples’ Pickets for ‘The Big One’, London. 21 April 2023.
On the first day of Extinction Rebellion’s ‘The Big One’ people picketed at a number of short protests outside government ministries and other government buildings in central Westminster. Peter Marshall
More From ‘The Big One‘, London. 21 Apr 2023.
Many thousands came to Westminster to take part in the first of 4 days of Extinction Rebellion’s protest demanding the government reverse policies that are fuelling climate change with new coal mines and oil fields and encouraging aviation. The protesters say their corruption has wrecked the economy, education system and our NHS, increased fuel costs and cut living standards while they blame poor families, people of colour, and new immigrants. Peter Marshall
XR Earth Day Unite For Nature March, London. 22 Apri 2023
Many thousands of Extinction Rebellion supporters march from a rally outside Westminster Abbey on Earth Day to honour and respect the natural world and all endangered species. Led in blocks by drummers they stopped at several points to play birdsong loudly on all their phones. So many took part that the silent die-in for species lost and under threat planned for Parliament Square spread from Lambeth Bridge to St James’s Park. Peter Marshall
Extinction Rebellion Procession Against Incinerators, London. 24th April 2023.
A procession sets off from the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) to march to DEFRA calling for plans to build more waste incinerators to be dropped and existing ones to be closed down. The call for a massive reduction in waste through reuse, recycling and composting and an end to polluting carbon dioxide producing waste burning. The procession included a Stop HS2 elephant, mimes, drummers and a large model incinerator. Peter Marshall
XR End Fossil Fuels March, London. 24 April 2023.
Greenwash Carbon Capture & Storage team. On the final day of XR’s The Big One, several thousands marched from Parliament Square past Downing St and along the Strand, crossing over Waterloo Bridge to end with a protest in front of the Shell Centre. The march demanded no future for fossil fuels. Peter Marshall
Black Lives Matter Protest State Racism, London, 29 April 2023.
The march begins. Black Lives Matter lead a rally and march from Home Office to Whitehall calling for unity and action against the state racist Borders Act, the anti-democratic Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act and the fascist Public Order Bill. They were joined for the march by Just Stop Oil. Among the speakers were Holly, the partner of Marcus jailed for 2yrs 7months for his protest on the Dartford Crossing, who also sang. Peter Marshall
Iranians Continue Protests For Regime Change, London 29 Apr 2023.
Several thousand Iranians and supporters marched to Whitehall and formed a dense crowd opposite Downing St for a rally in solidarity with protesters in Iran calling for the end of rule by Mullahs. The called for the UK to declare the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC a terrorist organisation. Peter Marshall
Sudanese Call For Peace in Sudan, London 29 Apr 2023
The Sudanese Revolutionary Movement protest opposite Downing St, calls for an end to the war between generals in Khartoum and the genocide in Darfur. The people want peace, democracy and justice in Sudan. Peter Marshall

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


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Climate, Pay & Pensions – 2019

Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

Climate, Pay & Pensions – Friday 29th November 2019 was ‘Black Friday’ for some but for others it was ‘Buy Nothing Day’ and Climate Strike students were on the march, while separately University lecturers and others in the UCU along with students and other supporters were marching to Parliament in support of their 8 day strike over pensions, pay and conditions.


Youth Climate Strike March

Climate, Pay & Pensions

Over a thousand mainly school students met in Parliament Square to demand the government and other governments world-wide take urgent action to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

Climate, Pay & Pensions

They demanded a Green New Deal to save their future and for the school curriculum to make clear the urgent need for changes in attitudes and action.

Climate, Pay & Pensions

Of course their protest fell on deaf ears in the Tory government, and although it did seem for some time that the Labour opposition was beginning to think seriously about the environmental crisis, as it seems more likely they might get into power their climate polices for a https://www.labourgnd.uk/gnd-explained Green New Deal are rapidly being abandoned and it now seems they are “unlikely to meet its £28bn green pledge at all.”

Climate, Pay & Pensions

Well over a thousand marched up Whitehall and on through Trafalgar Square to Regent Street, intending to go to Oxford Street on ‘Buy Nothing Day’, but police stopped them on Regent Street and diverted them into Mayfair and eventually back to Whitehall and Parliament Square.

Earlier they had been met by a group of XR’s ‘Red Brigade’ mimes who had come to salute the student march.

Many more pictures at Youth Climate Strike March.


UCU March for Planet, Pay and Pensions

The UCU march from London University was on the 4th day of their 8 day strike over pensions, pay and conditions and in solidarity with the Youth Climate Strike also taking place in London the same day.

Some had been on the picket lines since the early morning before the march began in Malet Street.

I saw the march as I came back from Regent Street where I had left the student march as I came on to the North Terrace of Trafalgar Square, and ran down to catch up with the front of the march on Whitehall, close to Downing St.

The march stopped there for some time, lining the road opposite the entrance to Downing St and shouting towards it, before moving on towards Parliament.

As well as their call for proper working conditions and better pay many of the marchers also came calling for changes in what is taught and with posters and placards about climate change. Some had already marched to support the students.

They then marched on to Parliament Square, where I left them as they moved towards a rally.

More pictures UCU March for Planet, Pay and Pensions.


BEIS Birthday Strike, Ecocide and XR Procession

Saturday, July 15th, 2023

BEIS Birthday Strike, Ecocide and XR Procession: Monday 15th July 2019


BEIS workers begin indefinite strike, Westminster

BEIS Birthday Strike, Ecocide and XR Procession

Low paid cleaning and catering workers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on Victoria Street celebrated the third anniversary of their fight for proper pay and conditions with cakes as they walked out on the first ever indefinite strike at a government ministry.

BEIS Birthday Strike, Ecocide and XR Procession

The workers are demanding the London Living Wage and to be directly employed by the department rather than outsourcing companies ISS and Aramark.

BEIS Birthday Strike, Ecocide and XR Procession

As the workers came out on strike hey got a rousing reception from a crowd of around 100 with speeches from one of the strikers, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash, newly elected UCU general secretary Jo Grady , Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Labour MP Mary Glindon, National Vice-President of the PCS Zita Holbourne, Sam Gurney, TUC Regional Secretary, Kiri Tunks, Joint President of the NEU and Sandy Nicoll of SOAS Unison who led the succesful campaign to bring workers there back in-house. and one of the strikers.

BEIS Birthday Strike, Ecocide and XR Procession

I stayed long enough to eat a piece of one of the cakes which had been made for the protest, but then had to leave as the party continuned outside BEIS.

More pictures at BEIS workers begin indefinite strike.


XR call for Ecocide Law – Royal Courts of Justice, Strand

BEIS Birthday Strike, Ecocide and XR Procession

Extinction Rebellion was beginning another series of protests in five major cities against the criminal inaction by the government on climate and ecological collapse.

The main theme of the day’s protest was to call for a law making ecocide a criminal offence.

The protesters brought a yacht named after Polly Higgins who fought for years for an Ecocide Law to the Royal Courts of Justice.

They continued her fight blocking the Strand all day with performances, discussions, speeches, music and ceremonies in front of the yacht.

We need urgent action and our government along with most others has failed, continuing with policies which seem designed to make the situation worse and bring life on earth to an end, and XR is certainly bringing that to people’s attention, even if our media are still largely ignoring it and concentrating on trivia. But although I fully support the aims of XR I do find some of XR’s activities – yachts and new-age mumbo jumbo – off putting. In part I guess it’s a class thing – much of their activity seems insufferably middle class. Its probably an age thing too.

XR call for Ecocide Law


XR Summer Uprising procession

Having occupied the street across the front of the Royal Courts of Justice all day, the protesters and their yacht moved on around afternoon tea time to their home for the next three days, on Waterloo Millennium Green, a park area just south of Waterloo Station.

At the front of the procession were banners and a large crowd of people with XR flags, more banners, posters and placards, as well a large pink dodo. Bringing up the rear was the blue yacht named for the late Ecocide Law protester Polly Higgins, on a boat trailer, escorted by police.

When the procession was all on Westminster Bridge it came to a halt and people sat down blocking the road for a short protest against the police violence towards peaceful protesters when they were arresting people during the ‘Garden Bridge‘ occupation of the bridge in April.


There were a few short speeches there and the procession moved on. It came to a halt a little further on after police tried to block it on from moving onto the Millennium Green.

By this time the back of the procession was on its way around the IMAX Waterloo roundabout, and the rush hour was beginning. I hung around for around half an hour before deciding it was time to get on a train home. But by stopping the protest police had brought a large area of south London quite unnecessarily to a standstill.

Many more pictures at XR Summer Uprising procession.


XR – The Big One

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

Friday 21st April 2023 is the start of ‘The Big One‘, a four day action ending on Monday 24th April organised by Extinction Rebellion when people from a huge range of groups and movements, not just XR, will gather throughout Westminster and at the Houses of Parliament.

The Big One
Emma Thompson at XR’ Sea of Protest, 19 Apr 2019

XR say “The climate, nature and humanity face disaster. We know it’s time to act. Do you trust politicians to do the right thing for us? For the planet? Join 100,000 people holding them to account.

The Big One

More than 200 organisations are supporting the action, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and PCS, although when I checked with a week to go only around 26,000 people had actually registered to come. I imagine many like me are loath to sign up publicly to protest, or just lazy or haven’t got around to it.

The Big One

The events are planned by XR to be family friendly, accessible and welcoming, creative and engaging “with People’s Pickets outside government departments and a diverse programme of speakers, performers and workshops, awash with colour and culture. There will be art and music, talks from experts, places to listen and engage, and activities for the kids.”

I hope to be there and recording the events, though these days I’d having to take things a little easier than I used to and may need to rest, perhaps on the Sunday when The Big One’s Running Out of Time! coexists with the London Marathon. But please come if and when you can to join in. More at the Extinction Rebellion web site.

Four Years ago, Extinction Rebellion was coming to the end of a week of protests that shut down much of London, having occupied Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, Mable Arch and other key sites on Monday 25th. I’d photographed a number of their actions and you can read about them and see pictures on My London Diary.

On Friday 19th April 2019 the ‘Sea of Protest’ was still occupying and blocking Oxford Circus with a large pink yacht named for the Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres assassinated in 2016. As a part of activities planned to show ‘Love For The Earth’ on the 5th day of the occupation there, actress Dame Emma Thompson arrived from New York to speak.

Parts of the press and media with interests in fossil fuels and giving support to climate deniers criticised here for flying here to speak. But though we need to drastically cut our dependence on aviation, this isn’t about ending journeys like these for which there is no real alternative, but for making huge cuts in the total numbers of flights. We need to end the subsidies to aviation and levy taxes on flying – a system with per person annual carbon allowances and heavy penalties for exceeding these would be more fair.

Police stood and watched the crowd as Thompson spoke, but a few minutes later after I had left the area for a short break, police surrounded the pink yacht and put a ring of officers around Oxford Circus.

Slowly police persuaded protesters to leave by threatening them with arrest and cutting off those who were locked on around the bottom of the yacht. There were a number of arrests of those who had refused to leave. XR organisers persuaded people not to physically oppose the police action as this went against the non-violent principles of Extinction Rebellion.

XR’s policy of non-violence and encouraging as many people as possible to get arrested has led to criticism from many more militant groups, and puts a great stress on those who give legal assistance, including Green and Black Cross, “an independent grassroots project set up in the spirit of mutual aid to support social and environmental struggles within the UK”.

More from April 19th 2019 on My London Diary:
Police clear XR from Oxford Circus
Emma Thompson speaks at XR


Extinction Rebellion Hackney Street Party 2019

Thursday, February 9th, 2023

Extinction Rebellion Hackney Street Party
Kingsland High St, Dalston, London. Sat 9 Feb 2019

Extinction Rebellion, XR, was founded in May 2018 by a small group who met in Stroud, including Gail Bradbook, Simon Bramwell and Roger Hallam along with others from the direct action network Rising Up. I’d photographed some of these people before at protests against Heathrow expansion and over air pollution on the streets of London.

Extinction Rebellion Hackney Street Party

Roger Hallam in particular had played a leading role in the ‘Stop Killing Londoners’ protests which perhaps had some influence on getting Sadiq Khan to take some action on this with the setting up of low emission zones, whose planned extension to the whole of Greater London is now exciting considerable controversy. I’d also photographed him at his campaign to get King’s College to divest from fossil fuel companies and supporting the campaign for better pay and conditions for low paid workers at the LSE

Police arrest Roger Hallam at the LSE
Police arrest Roger Hallam for decorating the LSE, April 2017

Since helping to form XR, Hallam has gone on to take part in other high profile protests and spent time in prison over breaching bail conditions by holding a toy drone without batteries close to the airport. The whole plan to fly drones in the Heathrow exclusion area had been a publicity stunt, never a serious attempt to disrupt or endanger flights, but gained a huge amount of media publicity, which perhaps helped to increase public awareness of the contribution to climate change and pollution of air transport.

Extinction Rebellion Hackney Street Party

XR continues to attract wide support for its non-violent protests highlighting both the devastating effects of global heating and the continuing failure of governments including our own to take action on the scale needed to combat it. It’s large public protests began with a mass reading of its ‘Declaration of Rebellion‘ in Parliament Square in October 2018 with Greta Thunberg as one of the speakers and continued with mass protests in London and elsewhere, becoming a global movement.

Its announcement at the start of 2023 that it was taking a rest caused some consternation among its supporters, but XR soon made clear that this was for a ‘100 days’ campaign to prepare for ‘The Big One’ on 21 April 2023, https://extinctionrebellion.uk/the-big-one/ when they intend that 100,000 people will gather outside the Houses of Parliament “To demand a fair society and a citizen-led end to the fossil fuel era.”

The street party in Hackney on Saturday 9th February 2019 was rather smaller, with perhaps a thousand taking part. Unlike in some later protests the police decided to facilitate the event rather than try to block or disperse it, closing the road and setting up diversions for traffic as people blocked the usually busy A10 for two hours with speeches, music and spoken word performances, t-shirt printing, face painting and free food, with dancing to a samba band.

At the end of the two hour party after a brief march up and down a short section of the road, the protesters moved off the street to continue their protest party in Gillett Square, and shortly after this I went home.

Police after all do facilitate other large events which block our streets, in particular sporting events such as the London Marathon, some cycling events, the Chinese New Year, Notting Hill Carnival and more. But later XR protests have been more widespread and longer lasting and clearly the police’s political masters have put considerable pressure on the police to take a more draconian approach – and at times to go beyond the law to do so.

The response of the government has been to produce new laws. The Public Order Bill currently going through parliament gives much more extreme powers to police and courts, including Serious Disruption Prevention Orders which will restrict the movement of people, who they can meet and even their use of the internet, an expansion of stop and search powers, enabling them to search without any suspicion, various new protest-related offences, some vaguely defined allowing almost anything to be an offence and even police powers to shut down protests before they begin.

Free food at the party

The Public Order Bill re-introduces most of the amendments that were rejected by the House of Lords in January 2022 and so did not form part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

The march ended in Gillett Square, freeing the road for traffic

Many more pictures at Extinction Rebellion Hackney Street Party on My London Diary.


Extinction Rebellion Funeral, Iran Protest – 2018

Thursday, November 24th, 2022

Saturday 24th November 2018 was the second day of action in London by Extinction Rebellion calling for urgent action over the climate crisis which threatens the future of life on Earth. After photographing their protest I walked through Trafalgar Square where Iranian activists were calling for the release of political prisoners in Iran.


Extinction Rebellion Parliament Square

Extinction Rebellion campaigners gathered in Parliament Square and set up road blocks to prevent traffic moving on the roads leading into the square.

Police tried to move the protesters who were blocking the road, but they refused to move and some had ‘locked on’ to make their removal more difficult and time-consuming.

On the grass in the middle of the square a rally began with the mass reading of XR’s Declaration of Rebellion, which was followed by a number of speeches and musical and poetry performances related to the forthcoming environmental collapse.

Many had come with flowers for a funeral and eventually grave-diggers began to dig a hole in the centre of the crowd for the coffin. They carefully cut the turf and set it aside in squares to avoid damage before beginning to dig down into the hardened earth.

Then the police pushed their way in from one corner of the square through the crowd who had linked arms to stop them approaching. They trampled the area, destroying the carefully piled up turf and pushing the protesters back. The crowd remained non-violent but tried to hold their ground, standing and facing the police who pushed them roughly and shouted in their faces.

Soon the police were in the centre of the large crowd, standing on the area where XR had begun to dig the grave.

Pall bearers arrived in the corner of the square carrying a black coffin with the text ‘OUR FUTURE’ on its side and lilies on top. Police stopped this and were again soon surrounded by a large crowd of XR supporters as well as photographers and legal observers.

Eventually the XR organisers decided it was time to abandon plans for the burial in Parliament Square and began a funeral procession.

Extinction Rebellion Parliament Square


Extinction Rebellion Funeral Procession – Whitehall & The Mall

Campaigners formed up behind the behind the coffin, with its message ‘OUR FUTURE’ for a funeral procession, led by drummers and a trumpeter.

The procession made its way slowly up Parliament Street to Whitehall coming to a halt at Downing Street where there was a silent sit in for several minutes.

After the main body of campaigner moved off, some stayed behind and lay on the roadway to form the XR symbol for a few minutes before getting up to rejoin the procession.

There were several arrests on Whitehall as a few protesters sprayed slogans or wrote on walls of government buildings and a memorial. A few police tried to stop the procession as it turned into The Mall, but soon gave up as people simply walked past them, continuing on its way to Buckingham Palace.

Extinction Rebellion Funeral Procession


Extinction Rebellion Buckingham Palace

The coffin halted in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace, where the bearers lifted it high in the air – but the gates were much higher.

They put it down on the ground and began shouting for climate action.

XR posed for a group photo in front of the palace and then

Gail Bradbrook read out a letter calling on the Queen to get her government to take the urgent action needed to save her country – and the world

before the crowd was led again in reading their Declaration of Rebellion. After this there were a few more speeches and a silence to remember those already killed by global warming, and the species that have become extinct.

During the silence those who had brought flowers, wreaths and other objects then laid them on the coffin in front of the palace gates. After this ceremony there was music and dancing but I was tired and walked back to catch a bus in Trafalgar Square.

Extinction Rebellion Buckingham Palace


Free Political Prisoners in Iran – Trafalgar Square

As I walked across Trafalgar Square to catch a bus in Duncannon Street I met activists from the Worker-Communist Party of Iran – Hekmatist who were protesting in solidarity with the Iranian People’s Struggle and calling for the release of all political prisoners.

Many opposition politicians were arrested earlier in 2018 following widespread protests in cities across Iran, and there have been many executions. The protesters called for all of the political prisoners to be released and the executions to stop, and for there to be properly independent trade unions in Iran.


NHS, Parental Leave & Fridays For Future

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Scrap the ICP Contract, Keep the NHS Public – Westminster, Fri 26 Oct 2018

Later on Friday 26th October 2018 Eleanor Smith’s private members bill calling for the scrapping of plans for Integrated Care Providers which break up the NHS into smaller business units which can be competed for by private sector organisations was due for its second reading.

Eleanor Smith MP

ICPs were planned by NHS England whose CEO Simon Stevens was previously a senior executive of the giant US healthcare and health insurance company United Health Group, to be a way for the backdoor privatisation of our National Health Service.

The rally outside parliament had already begun when I arrived. It’s expensive for me to use the trains in the rush hour and in any case I don’t like getting up early now, but I had run much of the way from Waterloo and only missed the first few minutes. Speakers at a rally by Keep Our NHS public, Health Campaigns Together and We Own It included Eleanor Smith MP and Green Party Health spokesperson Larry Sanders (Bernie’s older brother) as well as other health campaigners.

The petition from ‘We Own It’ with 31,870 signatures to scrap the ICP contract

At the end of the rally campaigners marched to deliver a petition to the Dept of Health, which had recently moved to offices on Victoria Street. It isn’t easy to spot and the march at first went past it before I and others realised, and had to turn around and go back to it. There was only a very small notice outside and it was only by looking through the large glass windows that it was clear that this was the building.

There was then a short protest on the pavement outside before a small group went inside to hand over the box containing the petition which had over 31,000 signatures.

As we walked in a security man told us that we were not allowed to enter the building and could not take photographs. The campaigners told him he could not be serious and ignored him as they handed the petition over at the desk.

There was then a final speech on the pavement outside by Tony O’Sullivan of Keep Our NHS Public and the event ended with a group photograph in front of the Ministry offices. As expected the private members bill failed to get a second reading and the privatisation of the NHS continues.

More pictures on My London Diary at Scrap ICP Contract, Keep NHS Public.


Support self-employed parental leave – Old Palace Yard, Fri 26 Oct 2018

I returned to Old Palace Yard outside Parliament where a photocall was taking place for the second reading of another private member’s bill. Tracy Brabin MP’s #SelfieLeave bill was listed, which would give self-employed parents access to shared parental leave and pay.

Tracy Brabin had appeared in several soap operas including Coronation Street, EastEnders, Casualty and Emmerdale before becoming MP forBatley and Spen from 2016 to 2021. In May 2021 she became the first elected Mayor of West Yorkshire. Her bill was supported by members of Equity, UK Music, the Music Producers Guild and the Musicians Union. Currently women are forced to be the main carer, regardless of circumstances and fathers are denied any paid leave to look after their children, reinforcing outdated stereotypes and causing stress for thousands of families.

Although there would be no additional cost to the exchequer as the existing entitlement to Maternity Allowance for self-employed women would simply be shared with a partner, this bill too failed to get its second reading. I did my best, but I think the pictures are generally rather uninteresting and demonstrate why I don’t usually bother with such photocalls.

Support self-employed parental leave


Fridays for Future – act on climate change – Parliament Square, Fri 26 Oct 2018

Elsie Luna who produces The Politics Podcast for Young People in the UK

In August 2018 Greta Thunberg instead of going back to school at the end of the Summer break protested outside the Swedish Parliament, breaking the law to start the School Strike For Climate.

This was the first protest in London hosted by Extinction Rebellion as a part of a #FridaysForFuture movement taking place in many cities and towns across the world inspired by her example. The group announced weekly protests would take place here in London.

Elise Luna with a message for Angela Merkel – Watch out – I see your dirty coal

They began the protest where I met them in front of the statue of Millicent Fawcett at the back of the square, but were soon told by the GLA heritage wardens they were not allowed to protest there and moved to the pavement at the front of Parliament Square which is not covered by the GLA bylaws.

Among the protesters was Elsie Luna who produces the remarkable ‘The Politics Podcast for Young People in the UK’. Few had come today, but it was the first protest and the organisers hope it will grow week by week.

Fridays for Future – act on climate change


Police Ban London Protests – 2019

Sunday, October 16th, 2022

Police Ban London Protests - 2019
Police arrest protesters in Whitehall

After a week of protests which brought much of central London traffic to a standstill in October 2019, the Metropolitan Police, egged on by Tory politicians, announced a ban on any Extinction Rebellion protests anywhere in Greater London under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986. This draconian measure across the whole of London meant that any two or more people coming together anywhere across London to protest over the climate crisis would form an illegal assembly and would be subject to arrest.

Police Ban London Protests - 2019

XR continued to protest and also began legal action challenging the ban which was later ruled illegal; the police probably knew that this was the case, but also knew they could put it into effect and use it until the court came to its decision in a cynical but rather typical misuse of their powers.

Police Ban London Protests - 2019

XR did continue their planned ‘No Food No Future’ protest on Tuesday 15th, immediately after the illegal ban was announced, and there were a few arrests, and the police began clearing the XR camp at Vauxhall. At short notice the Green Party organised a protest in Trafalgar Square against the ban where speakers included Labour MP David Drew, Green Party co-leader Sian Berry, peace activist Angie Zelter and Extinction Rebellion’s Rupert Read as well as three British Green MEPs and an Irish and German MEP.

A couple of hundred XR protesters also came to the square and took part in this protest, clearly in breach of the Section 14 Order, but while police watched and photographed the event they made no arrests. But XR’s big emergency protest against the ban came following day,


XR defies protest ban – Trafalgar Square, Wednesday 16th Oct 2019

Police came and warned some of those sitting in the square before the start of the event that they were committing an offence and might be arrested, but I saw no actual arrests, though police did come and take away a tent from one man as carrying camping equipment is banned in Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square under laws made against Brian Haw’s protest and the Occupy Movement.

There were speeches, speeches and more speeches to a crowded audience in Trafalgar Square, with speakers including XR members, prominent environmentalists, politicians and a former police Chief Superintendent and Green Party MEP Ellie Chowns who had been arrested defending the right to peaceful public protest in Trafalgar Square the previous day.

The XR ‘Red Brigade’ made a spectacular entrance during the speeches, making their way slowly up through the crowd to stand at the top of the steps where they remained for some time responding to the occasion.

In his speech George Monbiot expressed his resolve to get arrested when the protest and XR General Meeting which was to follow it ended. He invited others to join him then and walk into the road in Whitehall and sit down.

Monbiot carried out this intention and was arrested by police along with a number of others including the Green Party Mayor of Woodbridge Eamonn O’Nolan who had worn his Mayoral robes for the event.

More on My London Diary at XR defies protest ban


XR demands Murdoch tell the truth – London Bridge Wednesday 16th Oct 2019

The same evening Extinction Rebellion continued with their planned vigil at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp HQ at London Bridge demanding that his papers tell the truth about the climate crisis.

Much to their surprise this XR protest turned out to be legal as the blanket ban imposed by the Metropolitan Police on protests by XR across London only applies to public places and not to the private area here in front of the offices.

They came to protest here as the Murdoch press has a particularly bad record of climate denial and the support generally of fossil fuel interests.

Speakers called on the press to end its support of fossil fuel extraction, climate deniers and unnecessary consumerism and instead actively promote lifestyle changes to combat the climate emergency.

More at XR demands Murdoch tell the truth.


Rainy London – XR Strength in Grief Procession

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

Rainy London - XR Strength in Grief Procession

Saturday 12th October 2019 was a rainy day in London, but that didn’t stop people coming to take part in Extinction Rebellion’s Strength in Grief procession from Marble Arch to Russell Square, although probably it rather kept the numbers rather lower. I don’t like photographing in the rain, but in London you have to be prepared for it, though I still have problems.

While you can try to keep cameras dry, you can’t take pictures without exposing the front of the lens to the weather. It’s less of a problem if you work with long lenses that have lens hoods that help to keep raindrops off the lens, but if like me you mainly use wide-angles anything that would help much to keep the lens surface dry would be in the picture.

I work clutching a cloth or chamois leather in my hand and try to wipe off any drops immediately before taking each picture, but still a proportion of them are ruined as rain falls before I press the shutter release. But worse still, with humidity high lenses steam up on inner elements and become unusable – zoom lenses more so as zooming draws in or expresses air from the lens. On some occasions I’ve been left only able to use a fixed focal length fisheye, or simply have to go somewhere warm and dry for to restore lenses to use.


Trade Unionists join the Rebellion – Trafalgar Square

Rainy London - XR Strength in Grief Procession
Ian Hodson, National President of the Baker’s Union BFAWU

My working day began in Trafalgar Square, where trade unionists were holding a rally to show their solidarity with Extinction Rebellion and the school climate strikers. Unlike the government they recognise that the climate and ecological emergency means that the very future of life on this planet is at stake and we need to take radical action without delay to avoid catastrophe.

Rainy London - XR Strength in Grief Procession

They joined the huge number of scientists and others in what Liz Truss has now stigmatised as the ‘anti-growth coalition’ of those who haven’t firmly buried their heads in the ground to realise that we need deeds not words urgently. As David Attenborough put it, “Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a physically finite planate is either mad, or an economist.” Though a shortsighted economist. Many of those present went on to join XR’s procession later.

Trade Unionists join the Rebellion


Brexit unfair for EU citizens – Trafalgar Square

Also in Trafalgar Square were protesters from the 3million organisation who had come to express their love for the UK and to remind the Prime Minister of the broken promise made to them on 1 June 2016 when Vote Leave had stated “There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present.”

Instead they have had to apply for permission to remain, and many who have applied have not been granted settled status. Recently Government minister Brandon Lewis had stated that they are at risk of deportation.

They had come prepared for the weather with ponchos in the blue and yellow colours of the European flag. They held up copies of Vote Leave’s broken promise and tore it up.

Brexit unfair for EU citizens


XR Strength in Grief Procession

October 12th is the Day of Indigenous Resistance on the anniversary of Colombus’s landing in the Americas. The procession began with a rally at Marble Arch where speakers included those from various indigenous communities and women from the Global Women’s Strike who spoke about the climate crisis which is already killing thousands in the Global South as well as others who spoke on the power of grief.

Eventually the funeral procession set off past Marble Arch and along Oxford St, led by XR’s Red Brigade.

Behind them came skeletons, a jazz funeral band and many people carrying coffins, banners and placards and expressing their profound grief at the extinction of species taking place due to global warming and which threatens the future of human life.

I began at the head of the procession, then stopped on Oxford Street to photograph the rest of the marchers as they came along the street.

By now I was wet, my cameras were getting wet, and I was getting cold and I decided to leave rather than continue with the procession to its final rally in Russell Square.

Much more at XR Strength in Grief Procession.