london diary

february 2005

 

my london diary

february continues...

When i talked about the dangers of increasing co2 emission and the need to cut down use of fossil fuels 35 years ago, i was a crank. now everyone except the usa oil lobby and their political poodles recognises that climate change is for real. even blair has recognised it as the most vital issue facing us, threatening the future of the planet, although actually taking effective action still is a step too far for him. however he did call for a conference to examine the problem, which told him and us that we had perhaps ten years to take action before it would be to late.

kyoto is history now thanks to the US boycott, (although it comes into effect this week), but it should have been the first inadequate step on the road to action. every journey has to start somehow, and even a half-hearted step is better than none, and would have led the way to others. what got in its way was texan oil interests, whose political face is george w bush.

i've photographed most of the campaign against climate change's kyoto marches over the past few years. this one was probably the largest, and certainly excited more media interest, truly a sign that the issue has become news.

starting in lincoln's inn fields, the march stopped first outside the uk offices of exxonmobil, on the corner of kingsway, for a brief declaration, then for a longer demonstration outside the australian high commission in aldwych (with guest appearances by 'john howard' and an australian 'grim reaper' with cork decorated hat), before making its way past trafalgar square and picadilly circus to the us embassy.
more pictures

i left them in picadilly and returned to eros, where o-i-l, one in love, were organising a small gathering to "reclaim love" and "send love and healing to all the beings in the world" on the eve of valentine's day. it's something we could all do with, and it was good to see people enjoying themselves around the statue of eros, in what is usually one of the most depressing spots on london's tourist circuit.

there was the samba band again, rhythms of resistance, (hi guys) and dancing and people generally being happy and friendly and free reclaim love t shirts and apart from the occasional showers it was harmless fun. rather to my surprise, the police either didn't notice it or decided to ignore it, an unusually sensible strategy.
more pictures

sunday 13 london was celebrating the chinese new year of the rooster which started the previous wednesday. happy 4702 to all. as a rooster myself i was pleased to read my horoscope for the coming year. not that i believe such superstitions for a moment.

i used to enjoy the rather anarchic celebrations in chinatown, but its now more of and ordeal, with far too many people coming in to watch and too much organisation. ken may be proud of having got something done about trafalgar square and be keen to have as many official events with various communities as possible, but it was better when various groups just did what they wanted to.

this year we had a procession down the charing cross road with crowds penned behind barriers. spectacle rather than event. i did the official bit in trafalgar square last year - dotting the eyes on the dragons and all, decided to give it and those horribly ingratiating speeches from local dignitaries and politicians, all keen to say "kung hei fat choy!", a miss.
more pictures

however, if developers rosewheel get their way, chinatown may not survive for much longer. today in chinatown things were much as before, swirling crowds and lots of excitement. i joined them to photograph a couple of lions in action, then felt i'd had enough and went home.

st valentine somehow got made the patron saint of lovers, and from there moved to being the patron of card and gift producers. personally i'd take anything but a hand-made card produced with loving thought as an insult, but it's a while since i've had to worry about it.

however it was a good day for the kiss-it! XX campaign to stage a march against the inhumanity of forced drug treatment and psychiatric assault. wearing injection plasters making two X's on the seat of their pants they marched first to downing st to hand tony blair a valentine, then past the department of health, the houses of parliament, and st thomas's hospital.

drugs, often in the form of forced injections or tablets that melt in the mouth, are used to control patients rather than cure them. many of those used actually worsen the patients mental health, and make it harder for them to lead normal lives. mental health drugs are making large profits for the drug companies, and together with other treatments are often used for the convenience of doctors and institutions rather than to improve the health of the patients.

in a statement, artist aidan shingler, who conceived the protest states that "... psychiatry implements ... incarceration, physical restraints, pain compliance techniques, forced drugging, compulsory electro-convulsive 'therapy', psychosurgery, coercion, and brainwashing ... control under the guise of care."

over a hundred protestors, many of whom were survivors of psychiatric assaults, made their feelings clear in the march, which was accompanied by the samba band, and ended with impromptu addresses in the gardens of the imperial war museum, formerly bedlam (it moved to the new building there in 1815 from its ancient site in the city.) several of those speaking gave powerful witness of the insensitivity and inhumanity of current treatment regimes.
more pictures

tuesday i trained the brompton to waterloo, along with my new 6x12 panoramic camera, deciding to take a few pictures in some favourite places along the thames i've not visited for a year or so. a bitterly cold wind was blowing along the river, and despite the sun it was icy.

loading 120 film into a widepan turns out to be near impossible with frozen fingers (its a pig in perfect conditions). the back catch is less than positive, and the instructions to check it really is closed are really vital (one film ruined, the focus and aperture scales are impossible to read without glasses on, and can't be set without taking your gloves off. it really is a great camera, but as user friendly as a camel. having taken several rolls i went back to shooting on digital.

at deptford creek i realised i only had 25 minutes to get to parliament square, where a 'mass die in' against the war in iraq was scheduled. considerably out of breath, i just made it, but nothing much seemed to be happening, just a hundred or so students, mainly also from greenwich where i'd just been, in a pen not doing very much. I leant my bike on a lampost next to a line of police for safety and took a few pictures.

then one of the officers politely suggested I might move it, just in case it got damaged. I took his advice, and rode around the square to the other side of the pen. soon demonstrators were milling around and arguing with the police exactly where i had first parked it, and other photographers seemed to be getting excited and taking pictures, but I couldn't be bothered and took the train home. perhaps i missed an opportunity to demonstrate or photograph, but it didn't look promising for either.

february continues
feb page 1

january
february
march
april
may
june
july
august
september
october
november
december

 

2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999

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

london pictures
londons industrial history

and you can read what I think about photography at

>Re:PHOTO

All pictures on this section of the site are © Peter Marshall 2005;
to buy prints or for permission to reproduce pictures or to comment on this site, or for any other questions,

contact me

your comments may be added to the site - or not.
Payment may be waived for acceptable non-profit uses.

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

london pictures
londons industrial history

and you can read what I think about photography at

>Re:PHOTO

All pictures on this section of the site are © Peter Marshall 2005;
to but prints or for permission to reproduce pictures or to comment on this site, or for any other questions,

contact me

your comments may be added to the site - or not.
Payment may be waived for acceptable non-profit uses.


Campaign against Climate Change Kyoto Climate March

London, 12 Feb, 2005


Uncle Sam as the grim reaper in Trafalgar Square

Police stand guard as Lucy Wills berates ExxonMobil for their lies on climate change which drive US policy
more pictures

O-I-L One in Love

Reclaim Love, Eros, Picadilly Circus, London, 12 Feb, 2005
Samba at Eros, Piccadilly Circus, London

more pictures

Chinese New Year

Soho, London, 13 Feb, 2005
Chinese New Year Parade

The Lion prepares to pounce
more pictures

Kiss-It! XX March Against Psychiatric Assault

London, 14 Feb, 2005

Marchers passing the Houses of Parliament

Plasters and hearts sent the message to stop forced drugging.
more pictures


London Pictures

Hungerford (Jubilee) Bridge

Steps up to the new Hungerford (Jubilee) Bridge, and view of the Thames from it

Deptford





Troops Out of Iraq!

Parliament Square, London. 15 Feb, 2005
  

february continues

Site search Web search

powered by FreeFind