Art Not Oil Rembrandt Against Shell

National Gallery, London. Thu 16 Oct 2014

'Art for People - Not Profit' and not to sanitise companies like Shell, G4S, BP and Serco
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After their gate-crashing performance at the press launch of the National Gallery's Rembrandt exhibition against oil sponsorship of the arts and privatisation of gallery staffing, the Art Not Oil coalition returned to repeat their protest outside a gala evening for special guests and highly ranked staff.

The exhibition is being guarded by a private security firm - not the gallery's own staff - at a time when the gallery is making plans to privatise up to two thirds of the gallery staff, many of whom were on strike the previous day as PCS members protetesting with other gallery and museum staff.

Art Not Oil state:

The presence of unethical sponsors like Shell and the contracting of external security firms shows the growing influence the private sector is having over our arts and culture. With its meagre contribution to the gallery, Shell is buying social legitimacy for its dodgy deeds worldwide, including:

- its failure to clean up its multiple spills in the Niger Delta
- its reckless plans to drill in the Arctic for yet more oil
- its tar sands projects in Canada that are undermining Indigenous    people's rights

As well as holding banners and placards and handing out flyers against the sponsorship by Shell, the protesters sang a number of specially written songs and performed the short playlet they had previously given inside the gallery during the press launch, although with some changes in cast.
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Bermondsey Thames Panoramas

City Hall to Angel Wharf, London. Thur Oct 16 2014

Dramatic lighting on St Saviour's Dock, Bermondsey
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I had time before going to another event to take a short walk along the Thames Path, starting at the gardens around City Hall, close to the Southwark Council offices I had been photographing at, and making my way very slowly east.

Just past Tower Bridge I went down the stairs onto the foreshore, as the tide was very low, and walked around a little before coming back up to Shad Thames, a painful pastiche of its former industrial past. Quickly I made my way to the path beside the river and walked on, to be halted as usual at the footbridge across St Saviour's Dock.

I'd decided to take a walk rather than go and sit in a café or pub partly because of the changeable weather with sunny periods and showers and some interesting clouds and lighting. Perhaps here it became a little too interesting, giving the pictures an unreal quality, like some 'special effect' produced in software, but here it really was like this.

Eventually I tore myself away and continued my wander, realising when I got to West Lane that I was in danger of arriving late at Trafalgar Square and running down to the bus stop on Jamaica Road.
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CPOs for Southwark Councillors

Elephant to Southwark Council Offices, London. Thur Oct 16 2014

A fine 'Social Housing Not Social Cleansing' banner with bulldozer and elephant
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Protesters marched to Southwark Council Offices to serve 'People's Compulsory Purchase Orders' on the homes of the Council leader and other councillors who they say have accepted gifts from developers to sell off council estates at knockdown prices.

Mismanagement of their misconceived policies is costing the people of Southwark dear. Not only has the demolition of over 1200 homes in and close to the well-designed and largely popular Heygate estate caused suffering and loss to the families concerned, the costs of the 'decanting' of the tenants were apparently considerably greater than the proceeds of the sale to developers, despite the fact that leaseholders were only offered around half the true market value of property in the area. Most have been forced to move some way out into the suburbs to buy property in far less convenient areas giving them long and expensive work journeys.

The development of the estate as 'Elephant Park' means the loss of over a thousand social housing units. The new properties on the site have already been advertised to overseas buyers in Singapore and elsewhere as second homes, investment properties, homes for wealthy overseas students studying here, buy-to-let etc. There may be a small number of so-called affordable units at 80% of market rates, still well above what most Londoners can actually afford.

Other developments in Southwark also offer little to the largely low-income population of the borough. One The Elephant, currently going up close to where the protesters met is a 44 storey block of luxury flats with no social housing, and is being sold abroad, with 'studio flats' starting at around £320,000 or 640,000 Singapore dollars.

The protesters met at the base of the Strata Tower (one of London's uglier new towers, with an entirely greenwash three wind turbines on its roof, making it look like an ugly electric razor. They produce no electricity as running them produces excessive vibration in flats at the top of the building.

The Southwark campaigners were joined by members of the Focus E15 Mums Housing for All campaign. From Strata they marched first to the Elephant Park Sales Office on the Walworth Rd for a brief protest, then walked on the road through the now demolished Heygate estate, turning north to walk through some of the 1930s and later council estates to the north of the New Kent Road. All the estates around Falmouth Road, Rockingham St and Bath Terrace are attractive targets for developers. Getting rid of the council tenants, demolishing the social housing and replacing it with higher density high price 'luxury' flats would generate huge profits and without some drastic change in the council seems inevitable.

The march went on to an area around Long Lane and Tennis St, where again similar changes - gentrification labelled as regeneration - seem bound to take place, before making its way through Guy's Hospital and London Bridge Station to Tooley St and the Council Offices. Security stopped the marchers from entering the Council Offices to deliver the letters for Southwark Council Leader Peter John and two other councillors containing 'People's Compulsory Purchase Orders' for their homes, but after much argument and the presence of police Liliana Dmitrovic of the 'People's Republic of Southwark' and another protester were allowed in. As Southwark residents they had a right to enter the council offices.

They went to the reception desk asking to see the John and the two councillors to had over the letters, and were told to take a seat and wait. They waited. Eventually Stephen Douglas from Southwark Council came to tell them that all of the three councillors named on the letters are currently in meetings and unavailable, but promising that if the letters were given to him he would personally deliver them to the councillors. The letters were handed over and the protesters left.
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Class War Poor Doors Week 12

One Commercial St, Aldgate, London. Wed Oct 15 2014

Rhythms of Resistance samba band plays outside the rich door
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Heavy rain didn't stop the 12th weekly protest on the pavement at One Commercial St over different doors for rich and poor tenants of the prestige block, although numbers were a little down on last week, but the samba band kept the spirits up.

But rain did make photography rather difficult, with flash lighting up the rain drops unless I stayed under the canopy extending out from the building - where most of the protesters including the band were.
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London Transport Museum Arms Protest

Covent Garden, London. Tue 14 Oct 2014

Campaign Against the Arms Trade protest because the museum is sponsored by Arms Maker Thales
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As darkness fell, a small group of protesters from London Campaign Against Arms Trade gathered outside the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden Piazza to protest against arms company Thales sponsorsing the museum.

Prosters handed out leaflets to those entering the London Transport Museum where Kate Adie was speaking on how women's lives changed in World War One explaining why they were protesting. Thales is the eleventh largest arms company in the world, and supplies missiles, drones and other military products.

The sell arms to repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Colombia, Kazakhstan and the UAE. London CAAT wants the museum to end their deal with Thales and to agree not to take money from arms companies in the future.
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Thorpe Walk

Thorpe, Surrey. Mon Oct 13 2014

Former gravel pit next to M25 at Thorpe
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Thorpe is a village now best-known for the theme park built around some nearby unfilled gravel pits, to which thousands make there way to stand in queues for the various rides. I've been twice, once when it was opening and they had a free day for those in the area,and another time when dragged along by some foreign visitors. Like Hell if less warm.

But Thorpe itself is a pleasant enough village, or would be but for the M25 and the theme park, with a picturesque centre with an ancient church, the area largely having been bought by an American school. Our walk didn't taken us to this part, though we dropped in for a brief look in the rain on our way home after a pub meal. And it was a very good pub meal.

This was one of our family walks, and I think the route came from the web - perhaps the pub web site. It was raining slightly, but not enough to stop us walking. After getting just a little lost on some footpaths in the village we came to a path on the village edge and found it was pretty overgrown, mainly with stinging nettles for the next quarter of a mile, before coming out onto a road, and across that to a footbridge across the M25. We then walked down roughly parallel to the motorway on a not very clear path which took us to a gravel pit.

Huge areas around the borders of Greater London have been dug up for gravel over the years, and it is cheaper to leave them full of water as recreational lakes than to fill them in. Look out south as you fly into Heathrow from the west and you will see a patchwork of reservoirs and disused gravel pits like this. Looking at the map reminds me of lace or a leaf that has suffered severe attacks by caterpillers. Of course during the floods earlier this year event more was under water.

This particular lake is called Longside Lake, and is around half a mile long, going down to Thorpe Green. For much of the way we had water on both sides of the strip a few yards wide we were walking on, with the lake on our left and a stream, covered in places with a bright green floatiing plant on our right. We could hear the M25, just a couple of hundred yards away across the lake, but there were a lot of trees by the lake edge, and only the occasional glimpse of the top of a lorry. There were a few fallen trees to walk round or clamber over, and a rather flimsy plank bridge across a channel with water flowing down from the stream to the lake. This went up and down several inches as I crossed, precipitating a panic attack and I felt myself fainting, but fortunately just managed to make it to solid ground and began to recover.

After that it was fortunately a fairly short and easy walk to the pub, though I did have to stop and rest a couple of times when I felt weak again. Things like this never used to worry me, but are often a problem now. Probably its part of getting old. And I revived quite well in The Red Lion, particularly with a good pub meal and a pint of beer or two.
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Support the Defenders of Kobane

Parliament Square, London. Sat Oct 11 2014
Ocalan's face appears on top of the placard 'Support Kobane, Support Democracy' in front of Big Ben
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Thousands came to Parliament Square to support the Kurdish fight against ISIS in Kobane, calling for support for the Kurdish fighters condemning Turkish support for ISIS. As they marched away, scuffles broke out and police grabbed several protesters and the march sat down in Whitehall.

Most of those attending the protest were Kurds or Turks and the event brought together many different groups, united in their support for those defending Kobane and the remarkable democracy of Rojava, which has a constitution giving equality to men, women and all ethnic and religious groups.

Everyone castigated Turkey for supporting the ISIS miltants who many see as hiving been invented, trained and funded by the CIA and Mossad, as well as some Arab states including Qatar. Turkey is seen as hoping that ISIS will defeat the Kurds and thus ease Turkey's own problem of those living in Turkey who have long been fighting for greater autonomy, although in recent years peacfuilly.

There were strong calls for the lifting by the UK of the ban on the PKK, the Kurdish Workers Party, whose leader Abdullah Öcalan has been held in jail in Turkey since 1999. In recent years he has been attempting to negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict, declaring a ceasefire at the Kurdish New Year in March 2013.

Although most of the protesters at the rally were Kurds, there were many speakers from the mainsteam UK community, including a number of trade unionists, London Green MEP Jean Lambert, and human rights lawyer Margaret Owen.

At the end of the rally, the march formed up and made its way up Parliament St towards Whitehall, intending to go on and march aroudn the West End. After the first thousand or so had left the square, loud shouting came from the northeast corner and I rushed there to find a large group of protesters confronting police around the statue of Palmerston. The situation was very confused, with much pushing and shoving, and I got knocked off the low wall I had stood on to take pictures as a mass of police and protesters surged in my direction.

At one point police formed a corridor to carry out one man to a police van and I assumed he was being arrested. But a few minutes later I photographed him a little way down the street and minutes after that he was back joining in the fracas.

Apparently the trouble had started when police tried to stop and search some of the protesters and then tried to arrest one of them. Onlookers then joined in and the situation rapidly escalated. When the marchers heard of the arrest they sat down and blocked Whitehall. Police began negotiations but the road was still blocked when I returned from photographing the moTTIP banner drop over half an hour later.

The march restarted shortly after when police had released one of those detained, but apparently two men where held in custody. Having been held up for so long ther marchers gave up the planned march and instead returned to end their day in Parliament Square where they dispersed, by which time I was already on my train home.
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#NoTTIP - Hands off our democracy

Parliament Square, London. Sat 11 Oct 2014
The full banner read 'Hands off Demoocracy #noTTIP and was really too long for Parliament Square
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Protesters say the EU-US Trade Deal (TTIP) would let corporations sue governments, lock in privatisation of our schools and NHS, undermine protection for privacy, workers and the environment and allow fracking and other harmful activities.

After the Parliament Square rally, those present marched to Westminster Bridge for a 'banner drop'

#NoTTIP - Banner Drop

Westminster Bridge, London. Sat 11 Oct 2014

the #noTTIP Hands Off Democracy banners on Westminster Bridge
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The low sun made it difficult to get good pictures of the #noTTIP Hands Off Democracy banners on Westminster Bridge, and there also seemed to be no clear plan as to where they should be let down. There was also just enough breeze to occasionally lift up the banners and make them hard to read.

I'd rushed ahead to get to a suitable place to photograph the banner several hundred yards down the opposite bank where it was possible to get a good view of the Houses of Parliament behind it. But as soon as I started taking pictures, the banners were lifted up and carried further onto the bridge, probably at the phoned request of the rather lazier official photographer for the group.

And shortly after I'd started photographing them in their second position they were up and on the move again. I walked back towards the bridge for some final pictures in the third position.
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Global Frackdown at HSBC

London . Sat 11 Oct 2014
Frack Off London erect their fracking rig at the Regent St HSBC with a banner 'Fracking is a dirty business'
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Activists took a mock 'fracking rig' to two branches of HSBC in central London, the bank that supports Cuadrilla in the UK and fracking in Algeria and the US as their part of protests around the world, with participants from Romania and Algeria.

The London protest organised by Frack Off London was part of a Global Frackdown by communities around the world against this environmentally destructive industry which leaves a legacy of water contamination, air pollution and health problems. And as a dirty fossil fuel it deepens the climate crisis.

HSBC was targeted as it provides banking services for Cuadrilla, and funds fracking around the world. In Algeria, they are helping to bring this water intensive process to the Sahara and in the US, they underwrite the BG Group responsible for fracking in large parts of the country.

A small crowd of activists gathered in Golden Square, Soho watched by police, with police liaison officers desperately trying to find information about what the group intended, but with little success. Eventually the group packed up their mock fracking rig and marched out of the square to the nearby HSBC branch in Regent St. The bank had clearly been reading Facebook and presumably had received a warning from the police as the bank doors were being locked as we got within sight. Ont he pavement outside the rig was erected the rig and banners held up for a short rally with several speakers.

Then it was time to pack up and move on, marching at first along the pavement before taking to the street again. It seemed a long way to the next stop in the Strand and I think they missed a few HSBC branches. Again the rig was erected, and banners held up across the front of the locked bank. As well as speeches by the Algerian Solidarity Campaign and others there was a short piece of street theatre performed by Romanian anti-fracking activists.

The protesters made their presence heard by some loud drumming and blowing of whistles and plastic horns as they made their way down Whitehall to Parliament Square for a final short protest and photographs. In Parliament Square most of them intended to join in the protest against TTIP, which will hand over important aspects of democracy to the dictates of large corporations under the guise of free trade.
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Solidarity with the Umbrella Revolution

Chinese Embassy, London. Fri 10 Oct 2014

Protesters kept on the pavement in front of the Chinese Embassy and ignored police requests to move
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The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts organised a protest at the Chinese Embassy in solidarity with the 'umbrella revolution' of the students and workers of Hong Kong in their fight for democracy. Many of the protesters carried umbrellas and others had small yellow paper umbrellas as well as their posters and placards.

The protesters who included a number of Chinese and some who had been at the protests in Hong Kong gathered across the road from the embassy, but after a short introductory speech they decided to go across the road and protest on the pavement outside the embassy door.

Police tried to persuade them to move back across the road, but Daniel Cooper and the others ignored officers who tried to talk to them and continued with the protest. Speakers called on the Chinese Government to honour the promises they had made about democracy in Hong Kong. In solidarity with the students and the workers of the HKCTU they called for the immediate release of all the arrested, an end to the suppression of peaceful assembly, replacing the "fake universal suffrage" formula with the genuine political reform workers have been demanding, and the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying.
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Palestine protest at Hewlett Packard

Wood St, London. Fri 10 Oct 2014
Protesters with Free Palestine umbrellas hand out leaflets opposite HP
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The Palestinian Prisoners Campaign continued their campaign against Hewlett-Packard, which boasts of 'a massive presence' in Israel and are the IT backbone for the Israeli war machine with a picket outside their London offices.
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City Panoramas

City of London. Fri 10 Oct 2014

A cement mixer goes down Aldersgate St
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I had a little time to spare between events and took a short walk in the City, including along one of the remaining areas of 'highwalk' at the southwest of the Barbican site, part of the post-war plan to segregate pedestrians from traffic.

The rather ugly brickwork at the west end of London Wall had some strange characters on it, which were explained in a display above by the Museum of London, although fans of Sherlock Holmes may need no explanation.

At Wood St, the remaining highwalk overlooks a large building site which used to be an area of highwalk, but is now being developed to make much greater use of the land, doubtless for more offices.
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Free Ghoncheh Ghavami - SOAS action

SOAS, London. Fri 10 Oct 2014

Students hold posters showing the former student jailed in Iran for trying to watch a volleyball match

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Protesters called for the release of former SOAS Law student Ghoncheh Ghavami, held in prison for 104 days and on hunger strike for 10 days after being detained in Iran with other women after she went to watch a volleyball match. Among those who spoke at the protest was Ghavami's brother.

Among those present at the protest were a number of Iranian students, one who told us that she was unable to return to her country because she had been seen on television watching a volleyball game in Rome when the TV camera showed the audience reacting to a score.

The rally was supported by staff and the SOAS staff unions UCU and Unison, as well as by the SOAS Student Union. As well as the rally I photographed, some of the students were taking part in a day's hunger strike in solidarity with Ghavami, and there was a candlelit vigil in the evening.
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Solidarity for Care UK Strikers

Care UK, Southwark, London. Fri 10 Oct 2014
Protesters outside the offices in Great Guildford St with banners
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NSSN, TUSC and Southwark Unison protested at the Care UK offices in the nation-wide day of solidarity with Doncaster Care UK workers striking for 81 days after huge cuts in pay and services by a private equity company taking over a part of the NHS.

The protest here was one of many pickets and protests around the country outside Care UK offices and those of Bridgepoint, the private equity firm that owns Care UK, or at shops such as Fat Face and Pret a Manger also owned by Bridgepoint.

Their strike is not just about their own cuts in wages, but a stand against the principles involved and the whole idea of a values-based health service. The workers at Care UK are no longer able to proudly address the needs of those with learning disorders in their own community, but are simply required to meet minimum needs at the lowest possible cost - and the greatest profit to Bridgepoint and the company to which they will be sold on once the private equity company has slimmed services and pay to the bone.
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Deptford to Greenwich

Deptford and Greenwich, Thu 9 Oct 2014
The sun had gone and the heavens were about to open at Greenwich
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I was meeting a couple of photographers for lunch and a chat in Greenwich, and when I looked out of the window it was a fine day, so I grabbed my camera bag and took an early train, getting off a stop early at Deptford with a couple of hours to spare to wander along mainly on the Thames Path.

The forecast seemed ideal for making some panoramas, as the last thing you need for these in open locations like the wide views along the Thames are empty blue skies. The forecast promised sunny periods and showers laterm but wasn't entirely accurate, as a shower came almost as soon as I got out of the station.

A little rain is a good thing too, as the air over London is seldom too clean, with a combination of particulates and photochemical smog making the distance hazy. Rain scrubs the air, and after a good pour it can seem unnaturally clear.

The first pictures I took were actually during a shower, and the diesatnce is hazy because of the rain in the air, but it soon stopped, leaving some clear views and dramatic skies as the rain cleared. Pictures taken in different directions within seconds of each other sometimes showed dramatic differences.

The sunny weather that followed was sometimes too sunny, and at times there was harely a cloud to disturb the boring blue. With panoramic images like those I was mainly making there can be quite a shift across the frame from deep blue to hard to keep within bounds white, which often looks odd in a photograph. Most of these images, though within the 'normal' 1.5:1 aspect ratio of the 35mm frame are panoramic in view, with a horizontal angle of view of over 145 degrees and a vertical view of almost a 100 degrees. Extreme angles of view such as this make it impossible to maintain rectilinear perspective and some straight lines appear curved.

1+I was particularly interested in the area around Deptford Creek which has changed so radically since I photographed it in the 1980s. The power station, the scrap metal and almost all of the industry has gone, replace by blocks of often expensive flats, Stowage, which always seemed to be a workshop on the fringes of hell hardly exists, and there is just one small area of Deptford Creek still at work,

I got engrossed and arrived at the pub rushing and a little late to enjoy a curry and a couple of pints of an excellent real ale. When I finally left, the weather had changed again, now dull and threatening, the clouds grey upon grey, and towards London an almost menacing dark, but with a bright light still making the river shine and lighting the tower blocks theatrically.

At first the rain was fairly light, but driven by a gusting wind that made holding an umbrella difficult. Then the rain became torrential. My umbrella was intruding uncontrollably into some of my pictures and I had to find some shelter. As soon as it slackened off a little I set out again, taking more pictures on my way to the DLR to Canary Wharf and the way home.
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Poor Doors Musical Protest

One Commercial St, Aldgate, London. Wed 8 Oct 2014

Cosmo plays and sings, the Class War banner and Marina dancing
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The 11th weekly protest on the pavement at One Commercial St over different doors for rich and poor tenants of the prestige block was the largest to date, with almost a hundred Class War activists dancing and singing to Cosmo and Different Moods.

The protests at the block next to Aldgate East station are continuing to grow, and this week's felt a powerful event with the a great atmosphere, with powerful contributions from the two groups and some stirring speeches. Cosmo, who had come from Cardiff to perform here was impressive - his web page calls him a one-man anarcho-folk-punk-hiphop phenomenon - and I think I heard him back in the 90s at some Reclaim the Streets events.

People meeting at a nearby pub before the protest had noticed there was a strong police presence, with around a dozen officers standing inside and outside the 'rich door' as well as Redrow's own staff. So they decided to start the protest on the opposite side of the road to One Commercial St, only coming across after a few minutes as the rain got heavier. One Commercial St has a wide glass porch which keeps the rain off the pavement immediately in front of the building, but unfortunately doesn't protect photographers who stand a little further out to take pictures.
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Unstone Grange & Chesterfield

Unstone and Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Sun 5 Oct 2014

Finally I came to something that really looked like it was a canal
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It had long been dark by the time we arrived at Unstone Grange, a small conference centre a few miles north of Chesterfield. We had actually missed most of the weekend conference, but Linda had some business to sort out and it was good to meet friends again.

I woke up early and went for a walk before in the half hour or so before breakfast, around the grounds and then up the lane into Apperrknowle before it was time to go back.

We got a lift into Chesterfield after lunch and arrived well over an hour before our train was due. We'd bought advance tickets at a small fraction of the full fare and they were only valid for that particular train. Chesterfield station isn't a great place to wait, so we took it in turns to go for a walk while one of us sat with the luggage in the station and read.

I took rather more than my share of the time, as I found the start of the Chesterfield canal and decided to have a quick explore. It turned out to take me rather longer than I expected, and I had to run most of the way back.
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Hull and Hornsea

Hull & Horsea. Fri 3 & Sat 4 Oct 2014

Its a mistake to actually go to the Land of Green Ginger,so much better left in the imagination
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Part of the reason we'd come up to Hull early for the wedding was to meet some of the other wedding guests, more old friends who had come over from Germany for the event and were arriving on Friday morning. But before they came we said hello to Philip Larkin who was standing - looking rather bronzed - outside the hotel door and went for another walk around parts of the Old Town, including a visit to Holy Trinity, before meeting them to have coffee in the Ferens Gallery.

It really is a good gallery (and many years ago gave me my first solo show - which included many of the images in my book 'Still Occupied - A View of Hull' and it was a pity we didn't have time to look at the exhibitions there. But as well as Hull, we had to take a trip to Hornsea, and the buses are not too frequent and take over an hour each way.

There really isn't a lot to do in Hornsea but look at the sea. So we looked at it, walked along the front and then back and waited for another bus back to Hull, pausing briefly to look at the patch of grass where my wife's aunt had owned a small cottage. Every year her family had their holiday there, until the council made a compulsory purchase order on the long-condemned property. The development they intended for the site fell through, so it is now just a bit of grass and a flower bed or two.

We wanted to be back for a French film that was showing in the Hull Film Festival, a miniature event getting ready for a larger festival next year and of course working up to more for 2017 when it is the turn of Hull to be UK City of Culture. Like many other northern cities it has always been a city of culture - for those who wanted it.

On Saturday I took a few more pictures as we walked in the rain the mile and a half to the church for the wedding, which are also on line. I wasn't the official wedding photographer (they didn't want one, but the husband of the bride's sister, a retired photographer took some pictures as they signed the register) but had been asked if I would take some pictures of the guests at the short celebration at the church after the wedding and later at the reception in a hotel a few miles away. Which I enjoyed doing and it stopped me getting bored when I wasn't eating or drinking. But I won't post the pictures here.

The rain was a shame, as the hotel had what looked like some fine gardens, and the sun came out just as we had to leave to catch a bus and a train and then another bus to make our way to another event at Unstone Grange in the country between Sheffield and Chesterfield.
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Hull at Night

Hull. Thur 2 Oct 2014

The new bridge across theRiver Hull in the Old Town
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We travelled to Hull a couple of days early to attend the wedding of an old friend, who had been at primary school with my wife. As we travelled by train, the Royal Station Hotel was a convenient place to stay, with an entrance on the station forecourt.

After we'd settled into our hotel room overlooking Paragon Square we were getting hungry, and went to look for somewhere to eat. We walked along Princes Avenue looking at all the places before deciding to try a Malaysian restuarant, and it turned out to be an excellent choice, and by London standards very reasonably priced and a pleasant atmosphere.

By the time we left I was in a very good mood (the wine helped) and we took a long walk around the Old Town and a lot of pictures - all handheld.
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Class War Poor Doors Week 10

One Commercial St, Aldgate, London. Wed 1 Oct 2014

One of the two vases that Class War had brought to One Commercial St
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Over 60 people came to the 10th weekly protest at One Commercial St over separate doors for rich and poor tenants of the prestige block at Aldgate.

Class War brought with them two vases of flowers to replace the one broken during last week's protest, though they were perhaps a little plastic and tacky looking compared to the one that had been broken the previous week.

I wasn't entirely clear how the vase had been broken during the Class War occupation of the reception area behind the 'rich door'. Ian Bone had been standing next to the reception desk on which it was standing, and had been speaking and waving his walking stick around. Possibly he just meant to rest the stick on the desk, but somehow the vase was sent crashing to the floor, leading to his later arrest as he tried to leave the area.

Possibly too his action may have been recorded on CCTV as police claimed, and given the luxury nature of the Redrow block, they may even have CCTV with a high enough resolution to show what happened. But I understand that the replacement cost him 70 quid.

The two replacement vases brought to the protest looked rather cheaper, although I doubt if that is why the building manager refused to take either of them when first offered. But later, as he was letting in a resident through the rich door, one of the vases was thrust into his face and he took hold of it, probably by reflex. His face when he found himself holding it was interesting, and he quickly put it down, placing it on the desk in the reception area in the same place as the one knocked off last week, complete with its with a 'Toffs Out!' Class War card.
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All pictures on this section of the site are Copyright © Peter Marshall 2014; to buy prints or for permission to reproduce pictures or to comment on this site, or for any other questions, contact me.

my london diary index
 

Oct 2014

Art Not Oil Rembrandt Against Shell
Bermondsey Thames Panoramas
CPOs for Southwark Councillors
Class War Poor Doors Week 12
London Transport Museum Arms Protest
Thorpe Walk
Support the Defenders of Kobane
#NoTTIP - Hands off our democracy
#NoTTIP - Banner Drop
Global Frackdown at HSBC
Solidarity with the Umbrella Revolution
Palestine protest at Hewlett Packard
City Panoramas
Free Ghoncheh Ghavami - SOAS action
Solidarity for Care UK Strikers
Deptford to Greenwich
Poor Doors Musical Protest
Unstone Grange & Chesterfield
Hull and Hornsea
Hull at Night
Class War Poor Doors Week 10

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february
march
april
may
june
july
august
september
october
november
december

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