may in london must mean mayday, and we made the most of this one, dancing
i was more or less next to Macdonalds on Whitehall when demonstrators started to break windows and generally smash it up. it was obvious it was going to happen some time before, and the police made no attempt to prevent it, standing back and letting things happen, although they were massed down a nearby side-street.
i could only conclude they wanted some damage to be able to justify their actions that were to follow, as well as the dire warnings their superior officers had spent some time giving on the media.
the damage could easily have been prevented; action by a handful of police would have been enough to have led the demonstrators on into trafalgar square.
when i saw they were letting it happen, i drew back, making my way through the police lines as they prepared for a massive charge. i watched the first few waves go in and belatedly take up positions. they were hyped up for action and one or two stepped out of line to attack a demonstrator who was offering them flowers with their sticks, knocking him flying and leaving blood pouring from his head. i was just too far away on the wrong side of the charging police to get the picture.
one or two photographers who got close to the police received similar treatment.
at this point i decided to leave the scene before i was trapped in by the
police or assaulted - i had other things i needed to do that evening. if
i had left it a few minutes later i would have been among the several thousand
confined for hours for little reason in trafalgar square. perhaps i would
have got more pictures, but equally likely i would have suffered gratuitous
violence. i wasn't commissioned to be there and decided not to stay.
kingston green fair at the end of the month had a little of the same festive
atmosphere, but was fortunately without the vandalism or police brutality.
some of my work gets put into nice organised websites.
this isn't meant to be like that, but you can see some of the rest at
and you can read what I think about photography at