May has to go! march
Downing St, London, UK. 10th June 2017
People make gestures towards No 10 Downing St
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.
May has to go! rally
Parliament Square, London, UK. 10th June 2017
People shout slogans calling for May to go and supporting
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
Irish Abortion Rights
Parliament Square, London, UK. 10th June 2017
A gay couple celebrate after kissing in front of the
abortion rights banner
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.
Protests follow Hung Parliament Vote
Westminster, London. Fri 9 Jun 2017
Class War hold up posters outside the media village
on College Green
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.
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
'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
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
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.
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
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.
LSE Cleaners strike Day 7
LSE, London. Fri 2 Jun 2017
A smoke flare adds a little colour to the end of the
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
Liar, Liar protest at BBC
Broadcasting House, London. Fri 2 Jun 2017
'I am a threat' says the banner about Theresa May
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.
LSE Cleaners strike for equality
LSE, London. Thu 1 Jun 2017
Cleaners blow vuvuzelas at the rally outside the LSE
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
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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