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May has to go! march

Downing St, London, UK. 10th June 2017
People make gestures towards No 10 Downing St
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After the rally celebrating the Corbyn's leadership and performance in the General Election, most of those present walk to Downing St to celebrate anti-racism and multiculturalism and against all bigotry.

In particular the urged on Theresa May not to make any pact with the DUP with their close links to paramilitary terrorists and disregard for human rights. They crowded around the gates of Downing St shouting slogans before marching to Trafalgar Square and then back down Whitehall to Parliament Square where I left them.
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May has to go! rally

Parliament Square, London, UK. 10th June 2017


People shout slogans calling for May to go and supporting Jeremy Corbyn
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A rally in Parliament Square with speeches, music and dancing celebrates the remarkable performance against all the odds made by Labour led by Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election.

Speakers called for support for him inside and outside the Labour Party and for the fight for Labour values to continue and for all Labour MPs to get behind a leader who has shown he can grow the Labour vote. They said Theresa May has to go, and expressed disgust at her making a pact with the far right DUP with its bigotry and close connection with paramilitary terrorism. But it was very hot and I found most of the speakers were in rather predictable ruts.
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Irish Abortion Rights

Parliament Square, London, UK. 10th June 2017
A gay couple celebrate after kissing in front of the abortion rights banner
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Shocked by the news that Theresa May is to govern with the help of the DUP, the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign protest in Parliament Square against the bigoted views they hold against abortion, women's rights and gay rights.

The DUP has consistently obstructed basic human rights in Northern Ireland, where women can still face life imprisonment for abortion, is opposed to gay rights, believes in creationism and opposes the idea of evolution and has close links with Protestant paramilitary terrorists.
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Protests follow Hung Parliament Vote

Westminster, London. Fri 9 Jun 2017
Class War hold up posters outside the media village on College Green
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After election results showed that no party had a majority, a few protesters came to Westminster to demand that Theresa May resign or make points about Brexit.

I had expected there to be more people and more protests on the day that we woke up to hear that although the Tory Party still had more MPs than any other party they had lost their absolute majority, with Labour under Jeremy Corbyn performing much better than the pundits and most opinion polls had predicted. But perhaps too many had been up until the early morning listening to the results as they were announced rather than having the sense to go to bed and get a proper night's sleep.

Avaaz had brought a person with a large caricature head Of Theresa May to Downing St to pose in front of a banner 'The People Have Spoken' and lay white roses in front of a gravestone with the message 'Hard Brexist R.I.P 2016-2017'. There were a few other protesters there too. And at College Green a couple of Class War activists, Ian Bone and Sid Skill had come to barrack from the sidelines the MPs and journalists carrying out interviews in the media village there. Apart from them and a few other individuals, Westminster seemed strangely empty.

In the election, the Tories were saved from a more ignominious defeat by the realtively poor performance of the SNP, expected after their landslide victory in Scotland in 2015. Had Scottish Labour got behind Corbyn they might have benefitted from this, but instead it was the Conservatives who were revived from their almost complete death in the 2015 election there.

Theresa May announced she was intending to stay on and try and govern as a minority government, relying on votes from the Ulster protestant extremist DUP party, linked to loyalist paramilitaries. Eventually - with the aid of a £2 billion bribe - she did get them to agree to support her - in what soon became known as a 'bung' parliament.
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Street Theatre against LSE Inequality

LSE, London. Wed 7 Jun 2017

Some of the cast of the short play - including a man playing the LSE director look at the script

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'Life Not Money at the LSE' staged a street theatre protest supporting London School of Economics cleaners who have taken a series of weekly strikes for equality.

The cleaners complain that the LSE and employers Noonan treat them as second-class citizens, refusing to recognise their union the United Voices of the World and giving them low pay and grossly inferior conditions to directly employed staff.

Two people sprayed a chalk slogans on the road while others alternated chanting 'London School of Exploitation' in various silly voices with loud blowing of vuvuzelas, creating a very strange and alien atmosphere which made many stop and listen, including those taking their lunch break at the nearby pub.

The campaigners then performed a short play in which a character playing the LSE director tore the shirts off the backs of several cleaners and boasted about his huge and rapidly rising salary, while a student and a lecturer made excuses about not intervening, with the performance ending with the 'director' being showered with streamers and tinsel.
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DPAC Trash The Tories in Maidenhead

Maidenhead, Berks. Sat 3 Jun 2017
Paula points her finger at the officer who is threatening to arrest her
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Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) protested in Theresa May’s constituency against the Tory government, the first in the world to be found guilty of the grave and systematic violations of disabled people's human rights by the UN.

The cuts the Tories have made since 2010 have had 9 times the impact on disabled people as on any other group, 19 times more for those with the highest support needs.

DPAC say Tory polices are heartless and are starving, isolating and ultimately killing the disabled and that they regard them as unproductive members of society - though they axed the Independent Living Fund which did enable many to make a real contribution. A UN investigation which found the UK guilty of grave and systematic violations of disabled people's human rights was refected by the Conservative government.

The protesters marched from the station to protest on the high street with a straw effigy of 'Theresa May - Weak and Wobbly' and the message 'Cuts Kill'. After a hour of protest with speeches, chanting and handing out fliers calling on Maidenhead voters to vote for anyone but Theresa May they returned to the station.

It looked as if the protest had finished, and I think some of the photographers who had taken the train from London had left to travel back. But I though it unlikely that DPAC would leave without some further action. Most of the police had also left but they soon returned when DPAC moved onto one of the busiest roads into the town, blocking it for around 15 minutes before police finally persuaded them to move.

There was a lengthy argument between police and a man who identified himself as General William Taggart of the NCA and was claiming a military privilege which gave him a right to block roads in times of national emergencies such as these. He founded the Reading-based New Cyber Army in 2006, though on Facebook he states "We originally were around in one form or another since the 80's" to "to help represent the little guy against the onslaught of the corporate indifference to consumers and consumer rights."

The police then turned to argue with Paula Peters of DPAC, and told her that she would be arrested if she did not move off the road. She argued for some minutes with the officer in charge and then moved her mobility scooter slowly to the pavement.

Police started to move those protesters still on the pavement with the banner showing the around a hundred names of those killed by benefit cuts and the protest seemed to be finishing, so I caught the bus back to Windsor rather than hang around for an hour or two for the next one. Bus services are infrequent in these areas a little way from London.
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LSE Cleaners strike Day 7

LSE, London. Fri 2 Jun 2017
A smoke flare adds a little colour to the end of the rally
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The United Voices of the World Cleaners end the seventh day of their strike for equal treatment at the London School of Economics with a rally showing their determination to continue the struggle.

The LSE management had made them an offer some days ago, but withdrew it after the cleaners accepted it and the dispute appears to be widening, with students, workers from other institutions and other unions including the UCU coming to express their solidarity.

There was poetry from Poets on the Picket Line as well as dancing and some high-energy chanting
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Liar, Liar protest at BBC

Broadcasting House, London. Fri 2 Jun 2017

'I am a threat' says the banner about Theresa May
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Protesters came to the BBC to protest against their refusal to play Captain Ska's "Liar Liar GE2017" in the Radio One Chart Show despite announcing that it hard reached No 4 in the chart.

The track is a scathing attack on the Conservative's record in office, highlighting food banks, the NHS crisis, education funding crisis and a drop in living standards and the BBC say the law requires it to be impartial in the election period.

The record's promoter, The People's Campaign Against Austerity point out that the BBC coverage "has been anything but impartial throughout the election campaign with a constant bias in favour of the Conservatives." I suspect that a thorough academic study of the corporations output will back this up, though probably also finding that the bias was rather less than usual. It does seem to be a necessary qualification to work as a political commentator on the BBC to have been an active member of the Young Conservatives and to have an essentially right-wing viewpoint and a Westminster-centric perspective, as well as a penchant for making snide comments about anyone on the left.

The band arrived after I left and gave a live performance or 'Liar, Liar' on the stage facing the BBC, who I think ignored the whole thing - as they do most protests.
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LSE Cleaners strike for equality

LSE, London. Thu 1 Jun 2017

Cleaners blow vuvuzelas at the rally outside the LSE students union
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London School of Economics cleaners rally on the 6th day of their strike calling for the same terms and conditions - annual leave, sick pay and other benefits - as directly employed workers and to be treated with dignity and respect.

Cleaners are employed for the LSE by cleaning contractor Noonan and almost all are members of the United Voices of the World union. After 8 months of their campaign for equality the LSE have only offered derisory concessions and are refusing to recognise the UVW and and hold sensible talks with them, or to reinstate a sacked worker. At the end of a long day of picketing they intended to relax with a Zumba class on the picket line.
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