Stop Trident Rally

Trafalgar Square, Lodnon.Sat 27 Feb 2016

We had a long wait to hear the final speech from Jeremy Corbyn who got a great welcome from the crowd
more pictures

People at a packed rally in Trafalgar Square listened to speakers including Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas, Leanne Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Bruce Kent, Christine Blower, Mark Serwotka, Tariq Ali... They all opposed the spending of an estimated £180 billion or more on renewal of Trident which they dismissed as out of date, totally irrelevant to our defence and a complete waste of money which could be put to so much better use providing proper jobs and services.

It was a long rally, around two hours, as we were waiting for the final address by Jeremy Corbyn who was traveling down from Sheffield where he had been speaking at a conference. He was greeted by a tremendous response from the crowd, many of whom like me were pretty frozen after standing in a cold wind. It was a rousing performance and the protest ended on a high note.
more pictures

Stop Trident March

Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 27 Feb 2016

Marchers go down Piccadilly on their way to a rally in Trafalgar Square
more pictures

Sixty thousand (according to CND) march from Marble Arch to a mass rally in Trafalgar Square against government plans to replace the UK's Trident nuclear weapons at a cost of £180 billion or more. They say Trident is immoral and using it would cause catastrophic global damage; these weapons of mass destruction don't keep us safe and divert resources from essential spending on services like the NHS, schools and housing.

Leading the march behind the main 'Stop Trident' banner were Lindsey German of Stop the War, Kate Hudson of CND, the main group behind the march, SNP's Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas along with others. A second banner at the front was carried by MPs against Trident.

I arrived just at the end of the official photocall on Park Lane, having found it hard to make my way through a dense crowd to the front, and we were soon moved well away from the front by stewards in the usual somewhat unfriendly 'Stop the War' manner. Working over the heads of stewards, in between those cluttering the area in front of the marchers and highly confined by a crowd of others taking pictures I was pleased to see and record Nicola Sturgeon taking a 'selfie' with Kate Hudson.

Just after turning on to Piccadilly the march halted for around ten minutes to make a gap between it and the marchers for Refugee Rights who had come to join them. I went to take a few pictures of this march and then returned to 'Stop Trident'.

I spent some time taking pictures in the body of the march, but soon had to hurry back to the front as I wanted to photograph the speakers at the rally in Trafalgar Square. When this started the tail of the march was still way back around Piccadilly Circus, and I think many gave up before reaching the rally as the streets leading to it became blocked.
more pictures

European March for Refugee Rights

Hyde Park, London. Sat 27 Feb 2016

The march forms up at Hyde Park Corner behind the banner 'Borders Kill - Safe Passage Now'
more pictures

A march from Hyde Park Corner to a rally at Marble Arch on the same day as protests in other cities across Europe demanded that authorities and governments take action now to open secure safe passage routes for all refugees and asylum seekers seeking protection in Europe. They want an end to deaths at borders and for refugees to be allowed to keep their possessions and be reunited with their families.

Among the marchers were those who have been to aid refugees in Lesvos and at the Calais camps and others who had volunteered with Medicins Sans Frontiers in Syria. The protest was supported by the Syria Solidarity Campaign, Solidarity with Refugees, London2Calais, Migrants' Rights Network, SOAS Solidarity with Refugees & Displaced People Soc, Wonder Foundation, Calais Action, UK Action for Refugees, , Refugee Aid Initiative and other groups including No Borders and the Greece Solidarity Campaign.

People from Brighton had brought with them a magnificent banner based on Picasso famous Spanish Civil War painting Guernica, made by a number of refugee action groups there. Others brought placards and posters they had made. Some other marchers carried or wore life-jackets, including some brought back from Greece, discarded by refugees who had made the journey from Turkey or washed up on the shore after drownings. These stressed the need for refugees to be given a safe route and to bring an end to the deaths, particularly by drowning.

Several hundred protesters marched through Hyde Park to Speakers Corner where there was a short rally, most of which I missed. Most then went on to join the much larger Stop Trident march, with a group of them marching in front of the main march to Trafalgar Square despite protests by Stop the War stewards, who eventually stopped the main march for around ten minutes to create a gap between the Refugee March and Stop Trident.
more pictures

Bloomberg sack cleaner after miscarriage

Finsbury Square, London. Thu 25 Feb 2016

'We are not the dirt WE CLEAN' - the protests are also about being treated with dignity
more pictures

IWGB union protest noisily outside Bloomberg London offices calling for reinstatement of pantry cleaner Hanna Abebe who suffered a miscarriage last year, allegedly caused by excessive workload at Bloomberg by employer Compass Group.

Poor conditions of employment forced her to return to work after the miscarriage despite her condition and she has now been sacked, allegedly because of her activities as union rep at Bloomberg. IWGB members are to be balloted for strike action.

Protesters from her union marched around in front of the main entrance to the building as employees went in and out during the lunch hour. Police watched the protest and at one point tried to talk with IWGB President Alberto Durango but the protesters continued.
more pictures

IWGB at Finsbury Circus

1 Finsbury Circus, London. Thu 25 Feb 2016

The cleaners walk in a circle in front of the offices blowing horns
more pictures

Grass-roots union IWGB hold a noisy protest outside CBRE-managed offices at 1 Finsbury Circus against victimisation of cleaners by cleaning contractor CCM. They want better working conditions and management and say CCM have abused disciplinary procedures to sack union rep Teresa Lomba and threaten others who protest. They promise further protests until the victimised rep is reinstated.
more pictures

Hornsea, Brid & Beverley

East Yorkshire, Sun 21-Tue 23 Feb 2016

Hornsea's Floral Hall - with some flowers
more pictures

We'd taken the last Hull train to Hull on Saturday night and stayed the night in a hotel there so that Linda could go and meet people at an early morning service. After that we walked to various key sites in Hull, before taking the bus to Hornsea and booking in to a guest house on the sea front - with a balcony overlooking the North Sea. We were too late for the fish and chip restaurant so visited my favourite Indian restaurant in Hornsea (actually it's the only one, but not bad at all.)

We spent much of Monday traveling to meet friends and relatives in Beverley for lunch and tea-time in Bridlington, before taking the train back to Beverley for another meal as we had two hours to wait for the bus back to Hornsea.

The following morning we walked north along the beach for a mile or two, and then came back. There used to be a cliff-top path, but that has now fallen into the sea. Then along the railway line (closed by Beeching) to Whiteheads for fish and chips. People say it's the best fish and chips around; the fish was delicious, but though the chips were good, I've had better. The restaurant was doing good business - and if you want to eat there it's best to book - even on a Tuesday lunchtime in February.
more pictures

Hull - City of Culture 2017

Hull. Sun 21 and Tue 23 Feb 2016

The late afternoon light was dramatic on Albert Dock
more pictures

This was a kind of nostalgia trip, mainly for my wife who I went with as she met old friends. But also for me, as Hull was the subject of my first extended photo project, which was exhibited at the city's Ferens Art Gallery in 1983. Around 90 pictures from that show are among the roughly 270 in my 2011book which used the title from the show, Still Occupied: A view of Hull. I've written a little more about this visit in a two-part post, City of Culture – Hull on >Re:PHOTO.
more pictures

Peckham Pride

Peckham, London. Sat 20 Feb 2016

'Refugees Are Welcome Here' and protesters called for an end to immigration raids and deportation flights
more pictures

Several hundred marched in Peckham's first Pride March through the centre of Peckham calling for an end to immigration raids, mass deportations and the racist scapegoating of immigrants. From a rally outside Peckham Library they marched down the main shopping street, stopping for short speeches by shopkeepers and others who have come out to stop raids by Border police, informing people of their legal rights.

Peckham Pride was organised by LGSMigrants and Movement for Justice to put the politics of resistance which has for many years been sidelined by the growing commercialisation of Pride marches and events back into Pride. They stated:

Peckham’s FIRST EVER Pride march is for everyone with and without citizenship, papers or no papers. We REFUSE to accept stigma or discrimination over the colour of our passports, the colour of our skin, our gender, our sexuality or our ability.

Peckham was chosen as the most appropriate place for this event as it Peckham has been a target for anti-immigration raids, racist go-home vans, and street harassment by the Home Office. Its Nigerian and Ghanaian community makes it a convenient target for racist raids leading to brutal deportations on cattle-like charter flights to Nigeria and Ghana, but is also a focus of growing popular resistance on the streets to these illegal and immoral activities.

Peckham Pride aimed to underline that when "people come to Britain looking for safety and freedom, opportunity and education, THEY SHOULD FIND IT!" Instead those seeking a safe haven find the government is making the country a racist hostile environment both for them and the vast majority of citizens. The organisers say that this can be defeated if we organise together and act together.

Several hundred protesters from across the community gathered on the square outside Peckham Library where there were some short speeches, including one by a former Yarl's Wood detainee. The march then went slowly down Rye Lane with some loud chanting and accompanied by a samba band.

It stopped on the road a little past Peckham Rye station for several more speakers, including another former Yarl's Wood detainee who told how they had organised and held together to stop a fellow detainee being forcibly deported. A local shopkeeper came to talk about the Border Force raids, including one on his premises and the community opposition to them, and there was a powerful speech from a local resident about the need to organise resistance and oppose these raids. The Home Office employees who carry them out are generally acting in abuse of the law and community resistance is both appropriate and effective.

Unfortunately I had to leave before the end of the march and the performances at the Bussey Centre which followed it.
more pictures

Staines Moor

Staines,Middlesex. Tue 16 Feb 2016

The River Colne flows through the centre of Staines Moor,ancient meadow land also crossed by pylons
more pictures

I'd been ill for around a week, coughing and breathless and unable to go out and take pictures, but I was feeling rather better and it was a truly fine day, warm for February and the sun was shining, and I couldn't resist a short wander.

A footpath leads north from the station close to my home, past the Oast House, now with its windows and doors firmly sealed by Surrey council after having evicted the occupiers who wanted to bring it back into use as a community resource. Now it seems likely just to be left empty to rot for a few more years.

It continues on, across Staines's main street and up Mill Mead, through the dreary Moormede estate and then alongside the River Colne, over the Staines Aqueduct (a faulty gate on which caused many in Staines and Shepperton to be flooded when it poured water into the River Ash two years ago) and on the the start of the River Ash next to the Staines Bypass.

The path continues along the east side of Staines Moor, but instead I went up the slope onto the bypass and crossed the River Colne, turning down to its bank to stoop my way under the bypass and on to the Moor. I felt a little unsteady as I did so, and had to rest a little before continuing.

In better health I might have been tempted to go further, perhaps crossing on to the Moor proper on one of the several trees that have fallen across Bonehead Ditch, a smaller stream of the Colne which runs a few yards from the path. Another mile or so would have taken me across a proper bridge near to Stanwell Moor, but I didn't feel up to it. I used to walk up here with my sons, pushing a buggy when they were small and they would sit admiring the 'big pipe', a pipe bridge carrying gas across the Colne, sometimes with some odd noises. Foolhardy local youths would sit on it and ease their way across, despite the spikes intended to deter them.

Staines Moor is ancient grassland, in parts undisturbed except by grazing animals and burrowing rabbits and ants for a thousand years or more and a site of special scientific interest, which has saved its core from the gravel companies that have dug up almost all the rest of the area. Apart from the town of Staines to its south it is now flanked on two sides by reservoirs, with the M25 running closer down its west. To the north are now low hills created by landfill, and flying across planes taking off or landing from Heathrow. But despite all this it is still remarkably isolated, and today there were no of cows or horses and not a single other person visible.

I left the moor by a bridge under the bypass and walked down to the crossing over the Staines to Windsor railway line, crossing this to the Wraysbury River (aka Wyradisbury River), another stream of the Colne that rejoins it in the centre of Staines shortly before it flows into the Thames. Following it, I was rather pleased to be somewhere where there were other people again, and even more pleased to arrive back home, exhausted from my walk.
more pictures

Kurds march against Turkish State attacks

Edmonton & Tottenham, London. Sun 7 Feb 2016
Women make victory signs as they march holding the banner 'UK Stop Supporting Turkey'
more pictures

Almost 500 Kurds march through North London in protest against attacks on Kurdish cities in Turkey since last June's election which have killed over 400 civilians and against imprisonment of opposition politicians, human rights activists, journalists, students and mayors. They ask for international solidarity to call on Turkey to stop its crimes in Kurdistan, and to end attacks on Kurds who are fighting ISIS.

The marchers, almost entirely from the Kurdish community, met up at Angel junction at Edmonton. The protest had been called by the Democratic Union Initiative, the coalition of the Kurdish Left in Europe, and as usual they came with a wide and rather confusing range of flags. There were the usual pictures of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, held in a Turkish jail since 1999; the Truth and Justice flags with images of the three Kurdish women politicians assassinated in Paris, flags for the PKK, the KKK, the YPG, AvEG-Kon (European Confederation of Oppressed Immigrants) , Federation of Democratic Rights in Europe (ADHK), Socialist Women's Union (SKB), the KJAR (Free Women Society of East Kurdistan), Partizan, Day-mer and Day-mer Youth and almost certainly others I missed or failed to recognise.

Many of the women had traditional Kurdish head scarves and sometimes a scarf in the red, yellow and green of Kurdistan. A few men wore these scarves too, though most were simply dressed in dark or black clothes. Apart from a banner from the Paddington Branch of the RMT there was no presence from the British left, who don't appear to have woken up to what is happening in Turkey and in Kurdistan.

Since the success of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP party in last June's elections there has been an increase in Turkish state actions against the Kurdish areas of Turkey, with curfews and the imposition of martial law, and arrests of anyone opposed to the AKP government. Kurdish areas have been under siege, with attacks by tanks and artillery, and snipers targeting homes. More than 400 civilians have been killed in the last 7 months, and politicians, human rights activists, journalists, students and mayors have been imprisoned- 30 mayors in the last few months. Hundreds of thousands have been threatened and forced to flee their homes.

Britain and the EU support Turkey despite what is happening, turning a blind eye to these attacks and arrests, and also to the Turkish state involvement in the refining and smuggling of oil from ISIS controlled areas which provides ISIS with over a million pounds a day to support their murderous activities and win the fight to gain and hold territory. Turkey has helped too by attacking the Kurds who have been leading the fight against ISIS, and is said also to be attacking Kurds outside the Turkish border.

The banners at the head of the march were carried by women and included two in English, one showing Erdogan as a blood-crazed maniac with the text 'Murderer Erdogan's Turkish Government Killed These People' and the other the simple text "Turkish Military Bombing Kurdish Towns Killing Civilians!!!'.

The march gathered in late afternoon, and darkness was beginning to fall as the march set off. I walked with it to a little past White Hart Lane before I felt tired and had to leave. As it set off I'd listened to the small contingent of police escorting it talking and deciding there were around 300 present. The last thing I did as I left was to stand in one place as the march went past and count those going past. It wasn't easy and I may have missed a few as parts were very densely packed, but I made it around 475. I'd be surprised if I was more than 10 or 20 out, but of course others may well have joined it after I left.
more pictures

Junior Doctors Rally & March

Waterloo Place & Downing St, London, Sat 6 Feb 2016

Doctors fight for the NHS quoting Nye Bevan
more pictures

Several thousand doctors attended a rally in Waterloo place before marching to Downing St for a sit-down in surgical masks against the imposition of new contracts they say will destroy the NHS and make it unsafe for patients.

NHS Doctors already work 24/7 and many carried placards for those unable to attend because they were at work or have left the UK rather than put up with changes proposed by Jeremy Hunt. At the rally various medical staff and researchers showed clearly how Hunt has been misleading the media and public about the need for changes in the contract, carefully selecting evidence that supports his case while ignoring the much wider evidence against it.

The junior doctors were supported in the protest by consultants, GPs, nurses and other medical staff who all see the contract as a part of an attack on the NHS to move towards a privatised medical system - and many leading politicians have financial interests in the companies that are crowding in to benefit as this takes place.

Doctors who have left the NHS to work abroad were asked to contact the march organisers, who printed out their details for around 200 red placards with the message 'You've driven me out Jeremy... Stop bleeding the NHS dry' and giving their name and where they had gone. There were also several times as many blue placards for doctors who would have liked to have been at the protest but were working for the NHS on Saturday afternoon so unable to attend.

Dame Vivienne Westwood and her son Ben, also Vanessa Redgrave came to speak in support of the junior doctors, and there were a number of spirited performances by the National Health Singers. Towards the end of the rally several thousand surgical masks were handed out for people to write messages on and wear when the march reached Downing St.

When the doctors sat down on Whitehall I couldn't see the back of the crowd which was filling the roadway, and although not all were wearing surgical masks, most were, making a rather unusual spectacle. Four of the leaders of the junior doctors protest went to Downing St to deliver their message, but emerged after a few minutes to make the announcement that the people inside No 10 had refused to accept any message from them.

Clearly the government aren't prepared to listen. The junior doctors are on strike again on Wednesday, and it is widely expected that Jeremy Hunt will announce on the following day that he is to impose the contract. I think we are in for a long fight which will bring our health service to its knees. Already overstretched and with huge staff shortages things are about to get much worse.

Of course it isn't just junior doctors; new income rules for immigrant workers are likely to lead to up to 30,000 nurses being deported, and the cutting of bursaries for nurses and now proposed for all other medical courses will have disastrous effects. Add to this the effects of PFI which is bankrupting hospitals leading to privatisations and its hard not to see the end of the NHS as we have known it as inevitable.

It's almost certainly too late to save the NHS in its current incarnation. The only solution is the kind of radical change that happened before under Nye Bevan and others to create a new NHS. But for that we would need a new revitalised Labour party in power - or a people's revolution. Don't hold your breath - and don't get old or ill.
more pictures

Valentines Israeli Blood Diamonds protest

Old Bond St, London. Sat 6 Feb 2016
Customers urged not to buy engagement rings which contain Steinmetz Israeli diamonds
more pictures

Protesters from Inminds.com outside diamond dealers including De Beers and Tiffanys close to St Valentines Day urge people not to buy engagement rings these shops sell using diamonds from Israel's Steinmetz Diamonds Group. They say Steinmetz supports the Israeli Army's Givati Brigade accused of war crimes in Gaza including the massacre of 29 members of the Samouni family in 2009.

There are no diamonds mined in Israel, but it is a major centre for cutting and polishing of raw diamonds which is Israel's largest manufacturing export. The industry's sales of around $10bn a year contributes around $1 bn a year to Israeli military and security industries.

The Steinmetz Diamonds Group which supplies companies including De Beers and Tiffany supports the Israeli Givati Brigade through the Steinmetz Foundation.

I photographed the protest outside De Beers and left as they were moving on to protest outside other stores in the street selling Israeli diamonds, including Tiffany.
more pictures

Kurds protest against Turkish PM

QEII Centre, Westminster.Thu 4 Feb 2016

A woman holds a photograph of a child killed by Turkish government attacks as she shouts
more pictures

Kurds protest outside the QE2 Conference Centre in Westminster where Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu was attending the conference hosted by David Cameron on aid for Syria. Kurds accuse Turkey of atrocities against Kurdish civilians in Turkey and of supporting ISIS by exporting ISIS oil so they can attack Kurds in Syria and Turkey.

I left while people were still arriving with around a hundred protesters there making a great deal of noise and they would probably have been audible across the road in the conference centre. A number wore scarves in the colours of the Rojavan (Syrian Kurdistan) flag and there were other flags with pictures of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, jailed in Turkey since 1999, as well as those of the YPG, AvEG-Kon, (European Confederation of Oppressed Immigrants), the ADHK Confederation for, Democratic Rights, Socialist Women's Union (SKB), KJAR (Free Women Society of East Kurdistan) and others.

One of the banners showed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R.T.E) as a deranged, demonic murderer and a poster accused the Turks of genocide against the Kurds. Many at the protest held large photographs showing the devastation and corpses of children and women killed in the Turkish air raids on Kurdish towns in Turkey.

Another banner from Day-Mer turkish and Kurdish Community Centre showed a figure representing the UK supporting another representing Turkey who in turn was supporting a figure labeled ISIS, with blood dripping from a sword in his right hand and the message 'UK Stop Supporting Turkey'.
more pictures

Syrians protest at donor aid conference

QEII Centre, Westminster.Thu 4 Feb 2016

Syrians with a banner 'Putin Get Out of Syria'
more pictures

Syrians protest outside the QE2 Conference Centre in Westminster where the conference on aid for Syria was taking place. They pointed out Syria as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, displacing 50% of the Syrian population, half of them children, with 5 countries - Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt - taking 95% of the refugees and called for an end to hunger sieges and the Russian bombing of Syria.

There was a high level of security with many heads of government and other leading politicians from around the world attending the event, and Victoria St and other roads around the area were closed to traffic, with the area around the conference centre fenced off, and protests being allowed to take place on the other side of Broad Sanctuary.
more pictures

Close Guantanamo 9th Anniversary

US Embassy, London. Thu 4 Feb 2016

All of those present were people I've often photographed at these protests over the last 8 years
more pictures

London Guantanamo Campaign celebrated the ninth anniversary of their regular protests - at first weekly and now every month outside the US Embassy since February 2007 with a protest in solidarity with prisoners still held there and calling on Obama to keep his promise to shut it down.

Several of those present have also taken part in the weekly vigils outside the Houses of Parliament for Shaker Aamer, now thankfully back with us. But the embassy protests every month - and on special occasions - will continue until Guantanamo closes and indefinite detention ends. And I'll try and photograph them at least occasionally, as I have done over the years.
more pictures

Central Hill Estate

Upper Norwood, London. Tue 2 Feb 2016

London Prospect - and people in the estate are fighting to keep their homes
more pictures

There is only one real problem with the Central Hill Estate in Upper Norwood. Which is that the estate, owned by Lambeth Council, was built in an age when architects and planners were proud to design the best they could and councils keen to house their tenants to the highest standards, but it has lasted into an age where government policy aims to get rid of all social housing and councils are out to join developers in profiting from redeveloping with lower standards and higher densities for private sale.

The estate was superbly designed by Rosemary Stjernstedt (1912–1998) working for Lambeth borough under Ted Hollamby (1921-99) and benefited from their experiences with earlier and socially less successful schemes, several already listed. The 374 houses and flats (more have been added since at one end of the estate to bring the total to 456) were well built by John Laing Construction to plans that made superb use of the site on a hillside with extensive views across Central London and the estate was completed in 1974.

In 'The Buildings of England', Bridget Cherry and Nicolaus Pevsner are perhaps rather grudging in describing it as 'one of Lambeth's most ambitious housing developments' but go on to praise its 'tiers of elegant white-brick terraces', 'ingenious planning' to give all flats front doors at ground level and 'interlocking plans' to 'give each living room a distant view.' The estate also had large areas of open space, play areas, community buildings and a district heating system.

The whole is on a much more human scale than other large developments of the era, with a design that has proved successful in encouraging community. People like living on the estate and all I talked to when walking around taking pictures were very positive - except for the one council employee who came out from the upper Norwood Community Resource Centre to ask me what I was doing. A survey answered by 150 residents recently found only two in favour of it being demolished. It has been a safe place to live, with below average crime levels - perhaps having the police station at its south-east corner has helped.

Like all social housing, the estate has suffered from neglect and poor maintenance, and the properties need refurbishment and bringing up to modern energy standards. Considering the age of the estate the cost per dwelling assessed by Lambeth Council is relatively moderate and only a fraction of that of new building. But so far, Lambeth Council have not been prepared to consider this, and have released no details of the plans they have to demolish all or most of the estate - or what would befall tenants and leaseholders. On the evidence of previous 'regeneration' schemes in London, they can expect a very raw deal, with most or all having to move to areas with cheaper housing.

It all comes down to money, with an apparent complete disregard for the residents from the Labour dominated council (59 of the 63 Lambeth councillors are Labour). The site is one that would make private developers salivate, with its wide views across London. Like most such schemes it would doubtless be approved on the basis of including a proportion of social housing, but such promises then are allowed to disappear or are severely whittled down as it is decided to be uneconomic to provide them. It would be possible to increase the number of houses and flats on the current site without demolition (or with very limited demolition) but the existing high-quality architecture would severely limit the possibility of building large numbers of new housing units on the cheap and the presence of social housing would make it harder to sell them at high prices on the market.

Last year the residents woke up to what Lambeth Council and architects PRP are planning and to the possibility of huge rent increases should they be allowed to stay or rehoused in what will undoubtedly be inferior properties on the current site, and began to fight, forming 'Save Central Hill' with a Facebook group, a web site and protests. They are supported by Architects for Social Housing who are developing alternative plans for the refurbishment and enlargement of the existing estate - which Lambeth have recently stated they would like to see, although it seems unlikely they will give them serious consideration not least because it would be much harder to find the finance for a scheme which retains current tenants and leaseholders.

The pictures I took today show most of the areas of the estate, and include a number of images with a very wide angle of view - typically around 145 degrees. It wasn't my first visit to this estate to take pictures - I had photographed it previously in black and white and colour in 1996, when I had spent some time photographing the considerable display of graffiti - noticeably absent now. The area then had a far less welcoming and friendly feel.
more pictures

IWGB Picket Southwark Court

Southwark Crown Court, London. Mon 1 Feb 2016

The cleaners make a lot of noise to get their protest noticed
more pictures

Striking cleaners in worker-run union IWGB picket noisily outside Southwark Crown Court where they work demanding that cleaning contractor MITIE pay them a living wage.

The IWGB members were there for an all-day picket with drums, horns and placards at Southwark Crown Court, London, during their one day strike. Some had come at 9am and others were expected after I left around 2pm, with the picket continuing until 5pm.

Cleaners who work at the court are employed by MITIE, which supplies various services to the government and have been shown by various investigations to provide an extremely poor record of service, particularly at immigration centres such as Harmondsworth and Campsfield, cutting corners to boost their profits by inadequate staffing and poorly trained and managed staff - all to contribute to their profits of £49m in 2014, and the huge salary of over £1.5m to their boss Ruby McGregor-Smith.

The cleaners they employ to clean Southwark Crown Court are on the statutory minimum wage of £6.70 per hour, £2.70 an hour less than the London living wage set by the GLA as the minimum required to live on in the city. They also say that they are mistreated, humiliated and harassed by MITIE management. As their placards say, 'We are NOT the dust we clean' and they like all workers deserve to be treated with dignity and to be paid enough to live on - the London Living Wage.

The IWGB were in good spirits and determined to continue with their protests and further strikes until their demands are met. A number of those entering and leaving the protest expressed their support and some stopped to sign a petition supporting the cleaners.
more pictures

London Images

London, February 2016

One of London's best-known buildings seen from the bus. Resurgam and a Phoenix
more pictures

I took very few pictures on my journeys around London this month - just five from one bus journey - including the image above - and a few in Upper Norwood on my way to photograph the Central Hill Estate around Gypsy Hill station
more pictures


   top of page

All pictures on this site are Copyright © 1999-2017 Peter Marshall ; all rights reserved.
for licences to reproduce pictures or to buy prints or comment on the work,

contact me

Payment may be waived for acceptable non-profit use by unfunded bodies.
But organisations that pay any staff should also pay photographers.

 

my london diary index
 

Feb 2016

Stop Trident Rally
Stop Trident March
European March for Refugee Rights
Bloomberg sack cleaner after miscarriage
IWGB at Finsbury Circus
Hornsea, Brid & Beverley
Hull - City of Culture 2017
Peckham Pride
Kurds protest Turkish State attacks
Junior Doctors Rally & March
Valentines Israeli Blood Diamonds protest
Kurds protest against Turkish PM
Syrians protest at donor aid conference
Close Guantanamo 9th Anniversary
Central Hill Estate
IWGB Picket Southwark Court
 
London Images

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

Stock photography by Peter+Marshall at Alamy

Other sites with my pictures include
london pictures
londons industrial history
lea valley / river lea
and at my blog you can read
>Re:PHOTO my thoughts on photography.

All pictures Copyright © Peter Marshall 2016, all rights reserved.
High res images available for reproduction - for licences to reproduce images or buy prints or other questions and comments, contact me. Selected images are also available from Alamy and Photofusion

Site search: powered by FreeFind