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Lord Carson Memorial Parade

Cenotaph, Whitehall, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017

Pride of the Hill, Carnmoney, County Antrim band stand holding their caps at the Cenotaph
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The annual Lord Carson Memorial Parade by lodges of the Orange Order came to the Cenotaph for wreaths to be laid.

As well as various lodges dedicated to the Apprentice Boys of Derry there were others remembering the Ulster regiments that fought on the Somme. Some of those at the event had come from Ulster and from Scotland, as well as those from the Home Counties and London.

Lord Carson became a member of the Orange Order at the age of 19, and was a leading judge and politician in the UK around the start of the 20th century, becoming Solicitor General. In 1911 he became the leader of the Ulster Unionists, determined to fight against home rule for Ireland by "all means which may be found necessary", and was one of the founders of a unionist militia that became the Ulster Volunteer Force. But later he warned Unionists not to alienate Catholics in the north, something which parades such as this clearly do in parts of Northern Ireland, though in London they are less controversial.
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Black Day for Sabah & Sarawak

Downing St, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017

People, including Sabahan Doris Jones, from Sabah & Sarawak protest on Malaysia Day calling for freedom
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Sabahans and Sarawkians protest at Downing St on Malaysia Day, which they say is a 'Black Day for Sabah and Sarawak', calling for a restoration of human rights and the repeal of the Sedition Act and and freedom for Sarawak and Sabah. They include Doris Jones, the leader of the Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia secessionist movement in London.

On 16th September 1963 the two independent countries in North Borneo joined with the Federation of Malaya and Singapore to form Malaysia, with promises, assurances and undertakings for their future in the federation, including the '20 points' of an Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, which they say have been cast aside, with anyone raising them being detained under a draconian Internal Security Act.

The government has recently increased the scope and penalties of the Sedition Act, first introduced by the colonial government in 1948 as a measure against the independence movement, but now used to severely limit free speech and political opposition. Sabah's hopes that the partnership would bring security, economic prosperity and development have been dashed and Sabah has become the poorest state in the region, with Malaya stealing its oil resources and revenue.
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Overthrow the Islamic Regime of Iran

Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017

Let's eradicate prison, capital punishment and torture for ever
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The 8 march women's organisation (Iran-Afghanistan) protested in Trafalgar Square on the 29th anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in Iraq following a fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the death of all Mojahedins and leftists as 'fighters against God' and 'apostates from Islam.'

Recent evidence confirms the allegations that over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the main opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were executed, largely hanged in groups of six and buried in mass graves. The protesters call for the overthrow of the Islamic regime as necessary for the 'litigation movement' can achieve justice and build a society where such executions cannot occur and no one is suppressed, imprisoned or tortured for their ideas.
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41st monthly Sewol 'Stay Put!' vigil

Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017

People stand in silence in the 41st monthly vigil in memory of the Sewol 'Stay Put' victims
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People stand in silence in Trafalgar Square in the 41st monthly vigil to remember the Sewol victims, mainly school children who obeyed the order to 'Stay Put' on the lower decks as the ship went down.

They continue to demand the Korean government conduct a thorough inquiry into the disaster, recover all missing victims, punish those responsible and enact special anti-disaster regulations.
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Open House & more - Peckham

Peckham, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017

Stairs to the Old Waiting Room at platform level at Peckham Rye Station
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I hadn't gone to Whitehall to visit the Banqueting House, but I had travelled to Peckham to see various aspects of the Peckham Festival, including the Old Waiting Room at Peckham Rye station which was housing a photographic exhibition of old pictures of Peckham.

The waiting room and the staircase leading to it turned out to be more interesting than most of the photographs, though some were of interest, though I found myself often wishing they had been better taken or printed. And although there were some recent images it was a shame to see no real in-depth projects on the area. There was a more interesting wall of recent pictures elsewhere in the festival, but again they lacked depth.

From Rye Lane I walked down the narrow passage leading to the Bussey Building and the former industrial estate Copeland Park where other festival events were taking place, but I was really too early to find much of interest, and returned to walk again down Rye Lane, always of interest.
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Open House - Banqueting House

Whitehall, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017

People like me take advantage of the free visit - and that's part of the ceiling in a mirror
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Inigo Jones designed (or copied from Andrea Palladio) the Banqueting House for the Palace of Whitehall, built 1619-22, and the only remaining building from the palace. It was the first neo-Classical building in England.

It's basically one large room, a double-cube of space with a painted ceiling, sitting on top of a service floor, which usefully now includes lavatories. There is a public gallery around the room, originally only accessible by an outside staircase so the public could watch the King and his mates eat - and it was also used for receptions, concerts etc. Built for James I, after his first banqueting house burned down in 1619, in 1625 at his death it passed to his son King Charles I, who was beheaded outside it in 1649, stepping out from one of the building's first floor windows (not one in the hall) to the scaffold. So the building has served at least on useful purpose over its almost 400 years of existence.

The ceiling is decorated with panels painted by Peter Paul Rubens in his Antwerp studio and shipped to London. Commissioned by Charles they celebrate his father and his own birth. There are some large mirror-topped cabinets on the floor of the hall so you can view them without getting a crick in your neck.

I've walked past the building countless times but never been in, and the normal entrance fee seems excessive, but this was Open House Day in London and entry was free. I walked past, then thought why not? and walked back; it was early in the day and there was no queue. It was interesting, but unless you are a dedicated student of Inigo Jones or RUbens I think you would feel it overpriced had you paid the normal admission. Pictures not available commercially.
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Cody Dock

Cody Dock, West Ham, London. Fri 15 Sept 2017

Cody Dock entrance and Bow Creek
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I'd gone to Cody Dock for the launch of their 2018 calendar - I'd been a judge for the competition to pick the pictures.

After the event - including some welcome refreshments - I went out to take a look at Bow Creek. I don't often come up to London at night and it seemed a chance not to miss to take a few photographs.
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Derek's Book Launch

Battersea, London. Thu 14 Sep 2017

Projections of pictures by Derek Ridgers were around the ceiling and on various screens
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I hadn’t gone to the launch of ‘In The Eighties, the ninth or tenth book by Derek Ridgers intending to take pictures, but to celebrate the occasion and meet up with him again. I first met Derek around 1980 and we took part in regular group meetings and a number of group exhibitions together as a part of Framework.

But I had my cameras with me and on entering the The Library Space (built in 1910 as the Edwin Tate Library, Grade II listed and now a cultural space hosting workshops, exhibitions etc) I just had to take some pictures of the place and the event – as too did many others of those present.

It was a good evening, and although I didn't like the look of the cocktails on offer there was beer too, and I had quite a few interesting conversations. And I also bought the book – and of course got Derek to sign it – and I photographed him signing for several others. Some of those at the event were among those featured in his book.

In The Eighties by Derek Ridgers is published by Carpet Bombing Culture, ISBN 978-1908211569.
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Air Pollution Protest Blocks Brixton

Brixton, London. Thu 14 Sep 2017

Protesters block the road outside Brixton Station for a few minutes in a protest against traffic pollution
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Campaigners from 'Stop Killing Londoners' met at Windrush Square and walked to the crossing at Brixton Underground station, walking onto the pedestrian crossing and stopping traffic in a protest against the air pollution due mainly to traffic. They told drivers it would only be a short delay and asked them to cut their engines to prevent more pollution.

Stop Killing Londoners have staged a number of protests on busy roads in Central London to bring attention to the problem the city has with polluted air, but this was the first away from the centre in what the organisers hope will become a London-wide movement. Another protest in North London which I was unable to attend took place the following day. There are many hugely polluted streets around the capital.

The air on the Brixton Road breaches the annual pollution limit in only 5 days, roughly 70 times the limit per year. Toxic air pollution results in 10,000 premature deaths in London each year and is particularly harmful to the elderly and the very young.

To cut the disruption to traffic they moved out of the road after around five minutes, allowed the traffic build up to move through and then carried out a second block on the same crossing, one of the busiest for pedestrians in London, many of whom benefited by being able to cross without having to wait so long, although only the south-bound carriageway was blocked. Some pedestrians and some drivers held up by the protest applauded, but other motorists blew their horns and one got out of his car to argue with the protesters. Police arrived and were told the protest would only be short and they stood a few yards away and watched.

The actual disruption to traffic was minimal - my bus on the way to Brixton had been held up longer at the Northcote Rd junction largely because of an inconsiderate and probably illegally parked car which restricted traffic flow than either of these two short protests. But comments to an article about the protest on a local web newspaper - I think all by people who had not experienced it - included some that were so ridiculously hostile that it was hard to believe they were real. How dare campaigners threaten our divine right to drive for something so insignificant as 10,000 deaths a year from traffic pollution?
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Croydon Walk

Croydon, London. Wed 13 Sep 2017
Where's the market gone? Surrey St
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I met up with three photographers at East Croydon and we took a short walk in the town centre. It had been some years since I'd been down Surrey St (or at least further down than the Dog and Bull) and I wanted to go along and see it again.

We did manage to get beyond the Dog and Bull (it's a Fuller's pub, nice in its way but the beer isn't cheap, nor one of my favourite pints), but hardly found the market. There were a few stalls, but nothing like I remember. We walked along the length of the street, and then wandered back along the High St, where somewhat to our surprise we came across a Wetherspoons, and were magnetically drawn in for lunch and a drink or too many. And afterwards our thirst for picture taking had dissipated.
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Wreath for victims of the arms trade

Royal Victoria Dock, London. Tue 12 Sep 2017

People walk around Royal Victoria Dock with the ELAAF wreath and peace flags
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East London Against Arms Fairs (ELAAF) organised a procession carrying a white wreath with the message 'Remember Victims of the Arms Trade' around the Royal Victoria Dock where the DSEI Arms Fair opened at the ExCeL centre today.

The procession began at Royal Victoria DLR station and walked in silence around the dock side to the sound of the Buddhist drumming before arriving opposite the ExCeL exhibition centre where the arms fair was taking place. There was a short ceremony in which the wreath was floated on the the water opposite the arms fair followed by silence in memory of those killed by the arms from deals made at the previous fairs and those who will die from the weapons being sold at this year's DSEI fair. There were then several peace songs and a period of prayer by Japanese Buddhist monk Reverend Gyoro Nagase, the guardian of the Battersea Peace Pagoda and Reverend Sister Yoshie Maruta from Milton Keynes.
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#Arming The World

Woolwich Arsenal, London. Tue 12 Sep 2017

An arms dealer coughs as CS Gas releases tear gas
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#ArmingTheWorld, a project by Ice & Fire theatre and Teatro Vivo with designer Takis, gave their first satirical performance with a weapons catwalk show spreading information about Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) to the general public in London at Woolwich Arsenal with actors dressed as arms dealers, a Paveway IV Missile, a Eurofighter Typhoon and CS Gas.

They presented a great deal of information about how the arms trade operates, including massive subsidies from the UK taxpayer and the disastrous effect of these weapons sold by UK firms to Saudi Arabia, the USA, Libya, Turkey and a total of 190 countries around the world.

UK made weapons are used in virtually every conflict around the world, often by both sides, and cause untold suffering and are also used to attack political opponents, protesters and even refugees.

The UK is the world's second largest arms exporter after the USA. This was the first of a series of performances at six venues around central London is timed to coincide with the DSEI arms fair.
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DSEI East Gate blocked

ExCeL, London. Sat 9 Sep 2017

Police surround protesters who have linked arms and are sitting on the road in front of a lorry
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I arrived back at the East Gate in the afternoon to find the road blocked by a lock-in, with two people joined through a pipe which the police were struggling to remove.

Other protesters sat on the road in front of the lock-in, with a large group holding a Quaker meeting. Police eventually managed to free to two joined protesters and then arrested them, after which another protester tried to lock himself under the lorry wheels and was arrested. They then tried to clear the road with little success and made more arrests but others remained sitting in a circle with arms linked after the rest had been forced off the road.

This group were still on the road when I had to leave half an hour later. As I went to catch the DLR, East London Against Arms Fairs (ELAAF)were holding a musical protest at the pedestrian entrance to the ExCeL centre.
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Festival of Resistance - DSEI West Gate

ExCeL, London. Sat 9 Sep 2017

Police escort Charlie X to a van after his arrest
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Protesters on bicycles arrived in a 'Critical Mass' at the West Gate, and I arrived just as police had freed Charlie X who had locked himself under a lorry entering the site.

Charlie X, a Chaplin clone who protests in mime, was then arrested and taken to a police van. A few minutes later police swooped on cyclist with a loop around his neck which would be used to prevent wheels being stolen from his bike and arrested him, perhaps thinking he might also try and use this to fix himself to a lorry. If carrying a lock or chain for your bike was an offence, every cyclist in London would face arrest.

There was a sound system on the roundabout and a number of people dancing and others standing with posters in support, but after the two arrests I decided to return to the East gate.
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DSEI Festival Morning at the East Gate

ExCeL, London. Sat 9 Sep 2017

People listen to a speaker in the centre of the road
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Several hundred protesters came to the festival at the East gate of the worlds's largest arms fair, DSEI, the Defence & Security Equipment International, backed by the UK government where arms companies and arms dealers sell weapons to countries around the world including many repressive regimes.

They listened to a programme of speakers, workshops, spoken word, choirs and groups and stopped lorries bringing arms by walking in front of them until pushed aside by police.

Things had quietened down at lunch time, so I decided to visit the West gate where I had heard that someone had locked themselves on to a lorry.
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Protest picnic & checkpoint at DSEI

ExCeL Centre, London. Thu 7 Sep 2017
Police advance on the picnic blocking the road into the ExCeL centre
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Protests continue outside the ExCeL centre where preparations are being made for the worlds's largest arms fair, DSEI, the Defence & Security Equipment International, backed by the UK government where arms companies and arms dealers sell weapons to countries around the world including many repressive regimes.

The previous show two years ago featured numerous weapons prohibited under international laws and Veterans for Peace came to set up a banned weapons checkpoint. Police waved lorries on past their checkpoint, encouraging one lorry to drive through the protest at a highly dangerous speed, and removed protesters from the road with threats of arrest.

At lunchtime North London Food Not Bombs moved onto the road and blocked it to serve protesters with an excellent road-block picnic. After 15 minutes police moved in to clear the road, threatening the diners with arrest. The protest continued after I left with a lock-on, workshops and performances.
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Protesters block DSEI arms fair entrances

ExCeL Centre, London. Wed 6 Sep 2017
Women hold the London WILPF banner in front of a line of coffins on the blocked road
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Stop the Arms fair protesters carried out a series of lengthy lock-ins on the roads at both East and West gates blocking access to London's ExCeL centre where preparations are being made for the worlds's largest arms fair.

DSEI, the Defence & Security Equipment International, is backed by the UK government and is where arms companies and arms dealers sell weapons to countries around the world including many repressive regimes. The previous show two years ago featured numerous weapons prohibited under international laws.

Today's protest theme was 'Arms to Renewables - No to Nuclear' and there was music, singing, dancing, a free 'bring and share' picnic and a short theatrical performance urging that instead of arms industry and huge spending Trident and on wars we should rather provide jobs in renewable energy technologies and spend the military budget on homes, schools, health and other social benefits.
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No Faith in War DSEI Arms Fair protest

ExCeL Centre, London. Tue 5 Sep 2017

 

Four people blocked the road into ExCeL by abseiling down from a bridge and holding banners

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The second day of protests against the world's largest arms fair held in London's docklands was 'No Faith In War', a series of events organised by various faith groups.

Before I arrived there had been a lock-in on the approach road stopping deliveries coming to set up the fair through the East gate. This was followed by a Quaker meeting at the side of the road during which a number of people stood or sat to block the road and several who refused to move were arrested.

Then four protesters descended on rope ladders from a bridge over the road, dangling in mid-air, with each pair holding a banner between them and blocking the road for around an hour and a half before police managed to remove them. Others stood in a circle and held a mass on the blocked road closer to the Excel Centre.

At the West gate, more protesters gathered and stood in the road in front of lorries coming in, walking slowly until police removed them - and again made several arrests. As I left the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship was singing Peace songs and later there were to be prayers from the Midlands Peace Group and Pax Christi.
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Die-in for cyclist Ardian Zagani

Camden, London. Mon 4 Sep 2017

Cyclists block Camden Rd for a 10 minute silent die-in for killed cyclist Ardian Zagani

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Stop Killing Cyclists held a die-in and vigil for Ardian Zagani, the 6th cyclist killed on London's roads this year where he was killed by a van on the Camden Rd last Thursday.

After speeches calling for TfL, the London Mayor and borough councils, especially the London Borough of Islington where this death occurred, to make London's roads safe for cyclists and for the police to enforce speed limits, there was a 10 minute silent die-in on the road where he was killed.
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McStrike rally at McDonalds HQ

London, UK. 2nd September 2017
Supporters listen as Joe Carolan from Unite union New Zealand speaks
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McDonald's workers who are holding the first UK strike against the company on Monday, US Labor Day, calling for an end to zero hours contracts, £10 an hour and union recognition get advance support outside the company's UK HQ.

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) President Ian Hodson led the rally at which organisers from the New Zealand Unite union as well as strikers and other supporters spoke in solidarity.

McDonald's workers complain about bad management and bullying at work and the strikers report threats and insults by managers. There was a table with chairs in front of the McDonald's building calling for them to come and sit down and negotiate with the BFAWU, but McDonald's refuse to have any dealings with trade unions.

New Zealand Unite fought a successful campaign which ended all zero hours contracts and forced McDonald's to recognise the union and pay higher wages and the BFAWU is determined to do the same.
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Vegans call for Animal Rights

Hyde Park, London. Sat 2 Sep 2017

The march leaves Hyde Park
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Several thousand vegans marched from Hyde Park through London demanding an end to all animal oppression in the 2017 Official Animal Rights March, supported by The Save Movement and HeartCure Collective.

Many carried posters or placards calling for an end to regarding animals as food or sources of wool and fur, and there were some dressed as animals. I walked with the march as far as Green Park tube station, and then left them to go to another protest.

Of course all 'animals have rights', but I still feel that human rights are different and more important, though not condoning the inhumane treatment of animals. And while I think we should cut down on eating meat and end the more wasteful ways of producing it I'd be unhappy to see the total loss of animals on farms and the consequences of that for the countryside in various ways.

There often seems to be an intolerance about vegans that I find difficult, though if others want to be vegan that's their choice. I'm happy eating meat - usually reared mainly on grass - a couple of times a week and eating diary foods.
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London Images

September 2017


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