Save Aleppo, Stop Airstrikes

Russian Embassy, London, Sat 30 Apr 2016

Many of the protesters had Syrian Freedom flags
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Protesters close to the Russian Embassy were calling for an end to Russian and Syrian air strikes on Aleppo after a raid on the Al-Qudus hospital there last Wednesday night killed tens of civilians including children and three doctors.

The protest was organised by the Syria Solidarity Campaign. The bombing killed the last paediatrician and the last dentist in Aleppo, as well as targetting the building used by civil defence volunteers. Air strikes continue to kill civilians, and the hospital was known for its policy of only treating civilians.
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Save Upper Norwood and all Lambeth Libraries

Upper Norwood, London. Sat 30 Apr 2016

'Council of Idiots' by Lambeth council leader Lib Peck and 'Crimes Against the Community' by Cllr Jack Holborn on these book jacket posters
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Campaigners at Upper Norwood Library against the ending of this vital public service demand Lambeth council scrap its destructive plan to close ten libraries. The library, on the Croydon/Lambeth border and jointly funded, is being handed to the Upper Norwood Library Trust to run as a community hub. Pressure from protesters has led to the council agreeing to one member of staff for a transitional period, but the library currently has five professional staff.
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Stop Air Pollution Killing Cyclists

Dept of Transport, London. Wed 27 Apr 2016

Cyclists stage a 15 minute die in at protest against 9,500 early deaths a year in London
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A die-in outside the Dept for Transport by cyclists and others calls for urgent action to reduce the pollution from transport which leads to over 9,500 Londoners dying prematurely in the capital as well as many more living in suffering from lung diseases, heart problems, cancers, asthma, emphysema and lung infections. Protesters say the government is responsible for actions which have destroyed progress on efforts to reduce this horrific toll.

The demands by the protesters are:

  1. Fair funding for cycling: * Invest £15 billion in a National Segregated Cycle Network over the next 5 years. (Dutch £24 per person x 64 million (UK pop) x 2 to start catching up on 40 years failure to invest).
    * Invest 10% of TfL Budget by 2020 in safer cycling infrastructure and a similar investment in all major English cities.
  2. Ban all non-zero emission private cars from cities on days where pollution levels are predicted to rise above EU safety levels.
  3. Ban all diesel powered vehicles in city centres within 5 years.
  4. Ban all fossil-fuel powered vehicles within city centres within 10 years.
  5. Instigate a programme of regular car-free days in England’s major cities, along the model of Paris.
  6. Stop the Killing of children – set up a national multi-billion pound programme to convert residential communities across Britain into living-street Home Zones with an end to dangerous polluting through-routes.
  7. Stop the Killing of pedestrians – establish a national programme to fund of pedestrianisation/cyclisation of our city, borough and town centres, including the nation’s high-street – Oxford Street.
  8. Allow city councils and TfL to limit the total number of private hire vehicles in their cities and promote the usage of zero emissions pedicabs with legal pedicab stands etc

The London Mayoral candidates were all asked to respond to this list of demands, and it was disappointing to hear of an almost total lack of support from Zac Goldsmith and little better from Sadiq Khan, the two most likely to be elected. Sian Berry was the only candidate who really took them on board - and had even gone beyond some.
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Downing St rally for Junior Doctors

Downing St, London. Tue 26 Apr 2016


People applaud junior doctor Yannis Gourtsoyannis

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Thousands of health professionals, teachers and supporters attended a rally opposite Downing St in support of the junior doctors at the end of the first day of their two day strike. Speakers at the rally included Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Green Party MP Carolyn Lucas and prominent trade unionists, as well as doctors leaders and patients.
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Doctors & Teachers march together

St Thomas' Hospital to Downing St, London. Tue 26 Apr 2016

John McDonell and Jeremy Corby on the march, and a large bear in scrubs
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Junior doctors and teachers walk together from St Thomas' Hospital to Downing St in a joint march and rally organised by the NUT and BMA after the first day of the two-day strike by Junior Doctors. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell joined at the front of the march.
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Windsor Great Park Walk

Windsor Great Park. Mon 25 Apr 2016
From Snow Hill, next to the guy on a horse there was an extensive view, but there was a little haze
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Pictures from this walk are not available for commercial use.

It was one of our regular family walks and we parked in the car park of the Fox and Hounds on Bishopsgate Rd and walked through the main gates into Windsor Great Park, bearing right to go through the gate in the deer fence and walk up to the statue of King George III at the top end of the Long Walk from Windsor Castle. It was fairly clear and we could vaguely make out the Wembly stadium arch in the distance, but the air is seldom really clear, perhaps because of London's high pollution levels. It needs a heavy shower to scrub the dirt out of the air to really see clearly to the far distance.

We walked on to the village, where the others sat down and had coffee while I wandered off and took a few photagraphs, before taking the road out to the east in the direction of Cumberland Lodge, but taking the path along the south edge of the large Royal Lodge enclosure and continuing until we were within sight of the gate to the park.

I can't particularly recommend the Fox and Hounds, though I enjoyed the pint of beer despite paying almost a fiver for it. The food on the bar menu also seemed overpriced and there was little choice, but it was OK. Just OK, not great, and while the chips were probably triple cooked, and nice in their own way they weren't quite real chips. I guess you pay a royal premium for the location on the edge of the royal park. The restaurant - more expensive - does get good recommendations and paying £13 for a burger or fish and chips isn't stratospheric by posh London standards. Just I feel I have better things to do with my money.
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St George in Southwark Procession

St George's Cathedral to St George the Martyr,
Southwark. Sat 23 Apr 2016

The dragon goes down the steps to its lair under St George the Martyr
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A procession for St George's Day, led by St George, a Roman Emperor, the Mayor of Southwark and others and with a dragon at its rear made its way from the St George's RC Cathedral to the Church of England St George the Martyr in Borough High Street. It was a part of 'A Quest for Community' with the aim of 'Taming the dragon of difference' and was followed by a play outside St George the Martyr telling the true story of St George, a Roman solider from Palestine who chose death rather than give up his Christian faith.

The route went past a former public library with a bas-relief of St Geaorge and the Dragon, and a number of blocks of council flats carrying the crest of the City of London, with a dragon at St George's cross on its shield. Unfortunately the event ran late and I had to leave shortly after the start of the play.

In part this was because we got taken into the Cathedral before the procession began and were treated to a history of the building, properly known as The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George. Designed by Augustus Pugin, it was opened in 1848 and four years later became one of the first four Roman Catholic cathedrals in England and Wales since the Reformation. Gutted by incendiary bombing in 1942 which left it with only walls and one chapel standing, it was rebuilt to the same plan, the work finishing in 1958.
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Peace Garden at War Museum

Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, London. Sat 23 Apr 2016


The centre of the Tibetan peace garden next to the Imperial War Museum
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The Samten Kyil (Garden of Contemplation) was commissioned by Tibet Foundation, designed by sculptor Hamish Horsley.and opened by the Dalai Lama in 1999. It is in the park just a few yards from the Imperial War Museum and across a crossroads from the Romamn Catholic St George's Cathedral.
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St Georges Day in London

Trafalgar Square & Borough High St, London. Sat 23 Apr 2016

One St George in Southwark has a friendly dragon to hold his pint
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Images from Trafalgar Square and the Kings Head in Borough High St celebrating St George's Day.
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Sierra Leone Blood Diamonds at Tiffany

Tiffanys, Sloane Sqaure, London. Sat 23 Apr 2016


Police tell protesters they cannot protest on the wide pavement outside Tiffany but must go across the road
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fter protesting outside Selfridges, the protesters from Kono district in Sierra Leone came to Sloane Square to demonstrate outside Tiffanys. Police told them they could not protest on the wide pavement there but must go across to protest in a pen set aside for them in the square opposite.

After some argument they did so, although there seemed to be no reason other than lessening the impact of the protest for the police to move them. Why UK police should take the side of Tiffany and support illegal diamond mining by Octea that defies all national and international legal norms and ethics is hard to understand.
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Sierra Leone Blood Diamonds at Selfridges

Selfridges, Oxford St, London. Sat 23 Apr 2016

Octea mine diamonds in Sierra Leone, Tiffany sell them in Selfridges and people in Kono die
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People from the Kono district of Sierra Leone protested at Selfridges on Oxford St as part of a global demonstration against the financial partnership of Tiffany & Co with Octea, the largest diamond mining company in Sierra Leone. They say people in Kono suffer and die because of Octea's diamond mining.

They say it defies all national and international legal norms and ethics that the company, wholly owned by Israeli billionaire, Benny Steinmetz and operated by former mercenaries has been allowed to operate without a licence and tax free, harming the local community who live around its diamond mines in the Kono district. Diamonds from Kono funded both sides of the of the disastrous civil war. Selfridges refused to accept a letter from the protesters.
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Stop Refugees Drowning

Downing St, London. Thu 21 Apr 2016

An emergency protest was called after news came of the tragic drowning of over 400 people
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Shocked by the news of over 400 people being drowned when their boat capsized, campaigners at a Downing St vigil call for urgent change in policy British and other European governments to provide safe passage for refugees and for the UK to take a fair share of those coming to Europe. Speakers called for the British people to put more pressure on our government to act.
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Drax AGM Biomass opposition

Grocers Hall, London. Wed 20 Apr 2016

The 'Grim DECC' attacks a Drax cooling tower with his axe

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Protesters including a Drax dinosaur and cooling tower and 'Grim DECC' staged a lively protest outside the Drax AGM at Grocers' Hall opposite the Bank of England, handing shareholders a warning advising they disinvest as the conversion to imported biomass is risking their money and the planet.

Subsidies for biomass use are certain to be cut, particularly as studies show its carbon impact to be 3 times that of coal. Digging coal for Drax uses causes extreme environmental impacts at opencast mines in Colombia and the UK
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Cleaners in-house now, not later

SOAS, London. Mon 18 Apr 2016

Cleaners' leader Consuelo Moreno
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Despite last month's optimism and a report showing that taking the cleaners at London University SOAS in house - employing them directly rather than through a contractor - would be revenue-neutral, SOAS management went ahead to sign a new cleaning contract. The decision incensed students and staff at all levels who have backed a ten-year campaign for 'one workplace, one workforce' to get justice for the cleaners.

The management appear to have accepted that at some point the cleaners will become directly employed but were not prepared to do so at the present time. The protesters demanded management bring the cleaners in-house now with a rally which ended with blue and yellow smoke cloaking protesters who painted their demand across the entrance and threw paint on its frontage. Students then made their way inside waving flags.
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Family Wedding

Cambridge, UK. Sun 17 Apr 2016

 

Family and friends may contact me for link to more pictures

 

UVW Topshop & John Lewis Protest

Topshop, Oxford St, London. Sat 16 Apr 2016
Jane Nicholl of Class War stretches out 'Crime Scene Do Not Enter' incident tape in front of the police

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After their protest at Topshop on the Strand, the UVW led protesters on a march to Oxford St, where they protested outside Topshop at Oxford Circus, before going on to briefly protest at John Lewis. I left as they returned to Topshop.

Police rushed to stand in line outside the main door of Topshop's flagship Oxford St store as the protesters arrived. There was a little pushing and shoving, and after a few minutes the protesters decided to go round to a side entrance in Upper Regent St.

The confrontation between police and protesters ther briefly became rather angry when police decided to push protesters forefully away, but after a few minutes things calmed down, and the protesters moved back to the Oxford St entrance, where they were again blocked by police. Class War brought their banner up to the police line and there was a standoff as the two groups eyed each other from a couple of feet away. After a few minutes, Class War produced some yellow 'Crime Scene' tape and stretched it across in front of the police line, which left some officers looking rather perplexed.

The UVW then decided to move on to protest outside John Lewis, where cleaners have long been in dispute with management over pay and conditions, with protests led by the IWGB, demanding equal treatment with other workers in the store. As they walked towards the doors, police began to push them back violently, knocking one of the women protesters flying. People rushed to help her up and UVW General Secretary Petros Elia protested angrily at the officer who had pushed her.

Eventually a senior officer came to hear his demands that the officer concerned apologise, and listened to what Petros had to say. He then asked to officer to apologise and he did so. This was a surprise, as police rarely listen to protesters and this is the first time I've ever known them to apologise for their actions.

The protest at John Lewis continued for a few minutes with some short speeches, before they moved off to return to Topshop, and I left them at Oxford Circus to take the tube home, already late for dinner.
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UVW Topshop 2 protest - Strand

Topshop, Strand, London. Sat 16 Apr 2016
Police guard Topshop from a small and peaceful if noisy protest
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United Voices of the World hold a further protest against Topshop, demanding the reinstatement of 2 workers suspended by cleaning contractor Britannia for calling for the London Living Wage of £9.40 an hour for all those working at Topshop. Britannia and Topshop both make large profits. The UVW say Brittania is systematically victimising, bullying and threatening cleaners and Topshop refuse to intervene.

A smallish crowd protested noisily outside the shop as security men blocked the entrance. Class War stood with their 'new homes for the rich' banner in front of the shop. After a short while a large crowd of police arrived and began to try and move protesters, with an officer filming them. People held up placards and banners in front of his camera and police began to push people around, but soon stopped as they resisted being moved.

A smoke flare was let off, and the protest continued, wreathed in blue smoke. When police pulled one protester to the side and started to ask questions a crowd formed around them. The man refused to answer police questions and eventually the officer concerned gave up.

Susanna, one of the two cleaners victimised by Britannia and Topshop spoke briefly but soon broke down in tears. After a few minutes she again addressed the protest and was loudly applauded. The protesters then decided it was time to move away and marched off past Trafalgar Square, where I left them briefly.
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Palestine Prisoners Parade

Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 16 Apr 2016

Protesters entertain passers-by with juggling and other displays
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Stop Clowning with Justice was the message from the Palestine Prisoners Parade who after taking part in the march were attracting attention with juggling, hula hoops and speeches to the often arbitrary detention without proper trial suffered by many Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Many are on rolling detention orders, released and immediately re-arrested and put back in prison.

Those held in this way, sometimes in solitary confinement, include a number of young boys, often arrested for allegedly throwing stones; others held have simply objected when settlers have stolen fruit or land. Human rights organisations have protested about the imprisonment and treatment of many of them, and some have taken part in hunger strikes against their continued incarceration.
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Dancing for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education

Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 16 Apr 2016

Dancing on the North terrace

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While the rally with its large number of speakers was taking place in the body of the square, some of the marchers preferred to dance to the 'dig it sound system', which carried a message from Tom Paine: "The World is my country - All people are my brethren - To do good is my religion".
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Homes, Health, Jobs, Education Rally

Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 16 Apr 2016

'Stop Cuts' was the message on one woman's face and arms
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Trafalgar Square was crowded for a rally after the Peoples Assembly Against Austerity march demanding an end to privatisation of the NHS, secure homes for all, rent control and an end to attacks on social housing, an end to insecure jobs and the scrapping of the Trade Union Bill, tuition fees and the marketisation of education. Speakers included leading trade unionists and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and many others, most of whom are in the pictures.
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Ahwazi protest against Iranian repression

Parliament Square, London. Sat 16 Apr 2016
Iran: Stop Ethnic Cleansing Ahwazis
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Ahwazi Arabs in London demonstrated in solidarity with anti-government protests in Iran every April since 2005, on the anniversary of the peaceful Ahwazi intifada in which many were killed and hundreds arrested by the Iranian regime.

Ahwaz is a mainly ethnically Arab province that was an autonomous state until 1935; Iran had occupied it in 1925, killing many thousands and in 1935, anounced it was a part of Iran, and changed its name the following year to Khuzestan. Since then they have persecuted the Ahwazi, attempting to eliminate their culture and have brought in many Persian settlers. The motive for the conquest was undoubtedly the rich oil reserves which were for many years exploited by the British Anglo-Iranian Oil Company which became BP in 1954.

Iran nationalised its oil in 1951, leading to the Abadan crisis, but the MI6 and the CIA engineered a coup in 1953, and oil began to flow again, with the National Iranian Oil Company now supplying a consortium of major oil companies including BP as the major partner.

There had been various protests and insurgency in the area against Iran since 1925, and after the Iranian revolution an uprising in which over 100 people were killed. Further widespread uprest erupted in 2005, lasting 4 days in April, and was put down by the Iranian military with consderable force and at least 12-15 deaths as well as many injuries and arrests. A further uprising in April 2011 at the time of the 'Arab Spring' was also violently suppressed, and the repression of the entire community continues, with arbitrary arrests and executions.

The protest today was by the Ahwazi Arab People's Democratic Popular Front and the Democratic Solidarity Party of Alahwaz whose leader Jalil Sharhani was at the protest.
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March for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education

Goodge St, London. Sat 16 Apr 2016

People line up behind the main banner and wait for the march to start
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Many thousands come to march through London in the Peoples Assembly Against Austerity march demanding an end to privatisation of the NHS, secure homes for all, rent control and an end to attacks on social housing, an end to insecure jobs and the scrapping of the Trade Union Bill, tuition fees and the marketisation of education.

The march formed up in Goodge St, which soon became packed with people up to the Euston Rd, and it got difficult to move. I phtoographed a couple of speakers at the pre-march rally, which most marchers were too far back to hear, including Baker's union (BWAFU) General Secretary Ian Hodson and Kate Hudson of CND, and then managed to make my way through to the front, where although everyone was ready, they were still waiting for police to tell them the road was clear.

I left as I wanted to get down to Whitehall to cover another protest, and took the tube to Charing Cross.
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Streets Kitchen March with Homeless

Downing St to BBC, London. Fri 15 Apr 2016

Solidarity Not Charity banner at Oxford Circus
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Direct action group Streets Kitchen which which supports homeless on London streets hold a silence in memory of those who have died at Downing St before marching in the rain around central London in solidarity with London's growing homeless community. A giant banner called for 'No More Deaths On Our Streets'. They brought tents, sleeping bags and food intending to join the Kill the Housing Bill sleepout in Southwark and collected donations.

The event began with a rally opposite Downing St, and then moved on to Whitehall, blocking the roadway for the silence. Although many blamed the goverenment for the recent huge increase in homeless, London Labour COuncils like Southwark and Newham were also blamed for turning people out of council estates in order to 'regenerate' them largely for the benefit of private tenants paying much higher rents, as well as allowing private developers to evade their responsibilities to build 'affordable' or social housing.

The protesters then marched up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, where I missed a small group of them breaking away to briefly hang a banner from the top of the steps into the National Gallery. The rest of the protesters stopped to let off a blue smoke flare and then continued up the Charing Cross Rd, and they soon rejoined them. At Tottenham Court Rd the march turned down OXford St, blocking the west-bound lane.

The march halted at Oxford Circus, where more flares were set off, filling the area with red smoke and blocking all traffic for a few minutes. They then moved on towards the BBC, where a line of police blocked the entrance, and the marches kept on going up Portland Place. They had walked some way in the opposite direction from their final goal, Southwark Council's offices in Tooley St, and I had walked far enough, and left them.
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Vauxhall and Nine Elms

Vauxhall, London. Thu 14 Apr 2016

Much of the area between the river and the railway at Vauxhall and Nine Elms is now a huge building site
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Recent years have seen an unprecedented spurt in buildings in this area, much of which has been for long a fairly run-down industrial area. Although some riverside sites have long been developed as luxury flats, but they are now joined by many other tall buildings, changing the nature of the area completely. It is the largest regeneration scheme in central London since the Docklands.

The GLA London Plan of 2008, published months before Ken Livingstone's election defeat, identified the ‘Vauxhall/Nine Elms/Battersea' area of 195 hectares (482 acres) as a major 'opportunity area'. Much of the more recent spurt appears to have been prompted by the decision in late 2008 to move the US Embassy to the area. A large and impressive building (which will have a moat for security replacing the ugly fencing of the current Grosvenor Square monstrosity) it will be surrounded by the towers of Embassy Gardens and other developments in the area. The lack of any real planning control has turned the area into a wild west for developers.

The images here include a number of extreme wide-angle views, some of which are presented in a 1.9:1 panoramic format. Others such as the image above, with a horizontal angle of view of around 145 degrees also have a large vertical angle of view and a standard aspect ratio. The pair of images above illustrates the difference in presentation.
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Make Tips Fair

Dept of Business, Innovation & Skills, London. Thu 14 Apr 2016

Ewa Jasiewicz, Dave Turnball and others at the Unite Hotel Workers protest
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The Unite Hotel Workers Branch protest at the Dept of Business, Innovation & Skills demanding minister Sajid Javid ends his procrastination and introduces mandatory rules on tipping in hotels and restuarants that give 100% of tips to staff. Currently many restuarant groups make deducations from service charges to cover administration costs, breakages, till shortages and customers who leave without paying.

The union said delays to a report over tipping malpractice promised last year by business secretary Sajid Javid was unacceptable. The union wants the Government to introduce mandatory rules on tipping so that waiting staff are given 100%. The restaurant groups that have come under fire for their tipping policies include Côte; Las Iguanas and Turtle Bay; PizzaExpress; and Bill's. Similar practices of management stealing tips in hotels are rife, and the union says the amounts concerned are much larger, and they want an end to this too.

Union regional boss Dave Turnbull said Javid had made “all the right noises”, but failed to take action and they fear he that lobbying and promises by highly profitable companies in the hospitality sector have led to an abandonment of upholding the rights of workers.
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End Killings in Colombia

Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 9 Apr 2016

Shadows and banners on the North Terrace against massacres in Colombia
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The UK Congreso de los Pueblos and Marcha Patriotica supported by the Colombia Solidarity Campaign held an emergency protest in Trafalgar Square on the same day as protests in Colombia against political persecution and calling for an end to paramilitary killings. They want peace, human rights and democracy in Colombia.
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Party against Cameron

Downing St, London. Sat 9 Apr 2016

Two pigs are adamant that Cameron has to go
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By the end of the afternoon the mood at the Downing St party calling for David Cameron to resign had changed, with most of the protesters having left leaving a much smaller group continuing to block Whitehall. Some were dancing around a live group playing and it had become more a real street party. Police were still standing back and watching.
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Don't Criminalise Abortion in Poland

Polish Embassy, London. Sat 9 Apr 2016

People crowd to hand coathangers on the embassy door
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Several hundred Poles and supporters attended a rally at the Polish Embassy and hung wire coat-hangers, a traditional crude tool of back-street abortionists, on the embassy door and fence. The London protest followed large protests in Poland against the bill proposed by the Law and Justice Party (PiS) which will outlaw abortion in all cases, protecting the life of the unborn child even where this may cause extreme distress or even death for the mother.
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Stop Grand National horse slaughter

Channel 4, London. Sat 9 Apr 2016

Protesters call the Grand National a National Disgrace and demand it ends
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Animal welfare protesters gathered outside Channel 4's London HQ to protest against the cruelty to horses involved in the Grand National and other similar races. Already 4 horses have been killed this year in the current races at Aintree, and at least 46 following accidents at the annual meeting there since 2000. More protesters were expected to arrive later.
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Cameron must go!

Downing St, London. Sat 9 Apr 2016

People party on Whitehall outside Downing St with the message 'Cameron Must GO'
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Around 2,000 protesters held a rally blocking Whitehall outside Downing St, calling on Cameron to resign because of the lack of trust about his financial affairs following the revelations in the Panama papers. Many protesters had come in party mode, with flowered garlands, Panama hats and suitably Central American dress or pig flavoured posters.
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March to Save Lambeth's Libraries

Herne Hill, London. Sat 9 Apr 2016

The marchers included the twins who hit the headlines over the occupation
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Over a thousand campaigners, led by the occupiers of the Carnegie Library, marched from there via the Minet library, also closed on March 31, to a rally at Brixton. The campaigners who were forced to leave the Carnegie by an injunction obtained by Lambeth council, object strongly to LB Lambeth's plans to replace community-based libraries by fee-charging gyms with just a token few books in an unstaffed lounge area.
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Carnegie Library Occupation Ends

Carnegie Library, Herne Hill, London. Sat 9 Apr 2016
The gates are opened and the occupiers emerge to applause
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The remaining occupiers of the Carnegie Library since March 31st fighting Lambeth council's plans to turn the building into a fee-charging gym run by Greenwich Leisure Ltd with an just unstaffed lounge with books emerged this morning to a huge welcome from over a thousand campaigners. Their occupation has given the campaign national news coverage and huge support from around the country.
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Bursary or Bust Die-In & Rally

Dept of Health, Whitehall, London. Wed 6 Apr 2016

Sisters Uncut at the die-in outside the Dept of Health
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Supporters of the 'Bursaries or Bust' campaign by student nurses against the axing of NHS Student Bursaries stage a 'die-in' and rally on the yard in front of the Ministry of Health.

NHS students need bursaries as their long hours of study and placements prevent them taking part-time jobs while studying; they deserve them because their placements involve real work in hospitals and are a vital source of labour for the NHS. Cutting bursaries will stop many more mature entrants and those from less affluent from training to become nurses and midwives.
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Bursary or Bust march to Dept of Health

London. Wed 6 Apr 2016

Danielle Tiplady of Bursary Or Bust leads the march in front of Florence Nightingale over Westminster Bridge
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People at the picket outside St Thomas's Hospital marched from the Junior Doctors picket line at St Thomas' Hospital across Westminster Bridge to the Department of Health in Whitehall led by DPAC and student nurses from the 'Bursaries or Bust' campaign to take part in a rally and die-in starting at noon.

As well as the student nurses the march included Sisters Uncut, trade unionists, students, medical professionals and DPAC members. The junior doctors on the picket stayed behind until their picket ended at noon before coming to join the protest on Whitehall.
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Support for Junior Doctor's Picket

St Thomas' Hospital, London. Wed 6 Apr 2016

Sisters Uncut watch from behind a wall while one of them is speaking behind me as I take the picture
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Supporters, including Sisters Uncut, trade unionists, students, student nurses, medical professionals and DPAC members join the picket line on the southern end of Westminster Bridge to show their solidarity in the fight against the imposition of a new contract which they say is sexist, racist and classist, and aimed at easing the takeover of the NHS by private healthcare companies which is currently taking place. The contract will reduce safety in hospitals, removing safeguards on overwork and unsocial hours.

There were speeches from the Junior Doctors and others including Sara Tomlinson of Lambeth Teachers Association who announced that the NUT would be coordinating its strikes with further actions by the doctors, and Danielle Tiplady, President of King’s College London Nursing and Midwifery Society and an organiser of the 'Bursary or Bust' campaign against the government's intention to axe NHS student bursaries. Paula Peters of DPAC pledged their support too as well as a speaker for Sisters Uncut. Cuts and privatisation and the effects of the proposed contract will particularly effect the disabled and women in general, both as workers in the NHS and as users of its services.

The picket by the Junior Doctors which had begun at 8am was to finish at noon. A little before that the others supporting the protest left to march to a protest beginning then at the Dept of Health in Whitehall.
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Immigration Bill - racist attack on human rights

Lunar House, Croydon. Tue 5 Apr 2016

'Blood on British Imperialist Hands' : a poster with red handprints behind MfJ speaker Anna Pichierri's hand
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The protest outside Lunar House, the Home Office UK Visas & Immigration HQ in Croydon, condemns the Immigration Bill as a racist attack on civil rights, introducing unprecedented powers to detain people, seize property and earnings and invade privacy, and making spying on each other a public duty. Its deportation of asylum seekers before proper process will be in breach of the Human Rights Act and international agreements.

The protest was organised by the Croydon Revolutionary Communist Group and supported by other organisations including the All African Women's Group, Black Women's Rape Action Project, Class War, Defend Asylum Seekers and Migrant Workers, the IWGB, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary, the Revolutionary Communist Group and Women Against Rape.

There was an open invitation for people to speak and many took advantage of the opportunity. Most of them stressed the racist nature of our present immigration legislation and its implementation, and that the current bill makes this worse.

Britain through its empire grew vastly on its exploitation of resources from overseas, and continues through the activities of multinational to extract considerable wealth from its former colonies and other countries. The impoverishment that this creates is one of the driving forces behind people wanting to come to this country, and the wealth creates jobs here for them to do.

Behind most of the conflicts around the world are the economic interests of the west and our multinational companies, interfering behind the scenes in their politics and selling them arms in an attempt to maintain our economic dominance.

People leave their homes and become migrants and asylum seekers out of desperation and our country has a moral obligation to accept them which we are currently largely refusing to recognise, instead putting up barriers which are immoral and at times seem against international law.

New rules mean that those allowed to come and work here, for example as nurses, will face deportation after six years if they are earning less than £35,000; the Royal College of Nurses say that 6,620 nurses will be liable to be deported by 2020. And for some years many families have been broken up with income limits preventing people bringing in overseas spouses unless they earn £18,000 - and more for each dependent child. It seems to many of us a clear breach of our human right to family life.
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International Pillow Fight Day

Kennington Park, London. Sat 2 Apr 2016

The pillow fight in full swing
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Hundreds come armed with pillows to take part in a giant pillow fight despite official attempts to stop this annual event, moved at 24 hours notice to Kennington Park. A few left when police told them the event was cancelled, but most stayed to enjoy the fight.

This was the 9th year of similar massive pillow fights in over 50 other cities around the world inspired by the urban playground movement, claiming cities as public spaces for people.

It isn't quite clear why the police and other authorities in London have tried to prevent this event happening. It does create a little mess, but the amount of cleaning up required isn't great, confined to a fairly small area compared with many other events. Feathers and down aren't a real problem to clear, and in a park they would probably mainly blow away even if left - after all there are quite a few feathers that are naturally shed in our parks, and they bio-degrade.

I'm not sure whether it is just a kill-joy reaction, about so many people obviously having a great deal of fun - and perhaps the resolutely anti-capitalist nature of the event upsets some.

Probably the police would talk about safety issues, but these are really pretty minimal. It isn't an event without rules and I've seen no serious injuries on the several occasions I've attended - certainly less dangerous than a football or rugby match. The important parts of the rules are kept, with self-policing of dangerous activities. Although I got considerably battered around the head, chest and lower as I got in close to take pictures, most people apologised, as the rules do say not to hit photographers - and the one time today I was deliberately attacked by a man with a pillow, others around immediately protested on my behalf, telling him it was not allowed.

There is a health and safety issue, which is around the dust when feathers start flying. They are not meant to, but it seems inevitable; there is only so much battering the sturdiest of pillows can take. And of course those taking part - and photographers in particular - revel in the air being full of them. The truly health-conscious should wear masks, but I just make sure to keep my mouth shut and breathe through my nose. But it does still irritate my eyes.

Trafalgar Square, the venue for the last few years, was today occupied by a much more static game show, a giant monopoly board celebrating the UK's record in producing video games. It was pretty boring, and hardly interactive - about all you could do was have your picture taken next to a giant plastic car. A trade production, it was really the opposite of the active fun of pillow-fight day.

The organisers had rescheduled the pillow fight for one of central London's parks, but those are Royal Parks, and the police soon made it clear to the organisers that it would not be allowed on that sacred turf. So we were left in the dark about where it would take place until Friday evening when the location was announced.

I was a little late arriving, having travelled down from Walthamstow, and was surprised to see nothing happening. On the path at the side were are few people talking to police and park officials, while scattered around a wide area were several hundred people in small groups, some sitting holding pillows and others keeping them in their bags.

Obviously things were at some point going to kick off, and the handful of police were at least 50 officers short of what would be needed to stop it, but it appeared no one was prepared to make the first move. Another photographer asked me if I had a whistle, and I took one out of my camera bag, but decided against blowing it. Then a group of 3 young women near us got up and started a pillow fight. Slowly other groups began to follow them, and soon there was a heaving mass in the middle of the park - and the police walked away.

It was a little over 10 minutes before the first pillow broke and feathers began to flow, but after another ten there was an area deep in feathers in which some women and children were playing, soon surrounded by a whole ring of photographers getting in each other's way.
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Butterfields Won't Budge Pavement Protest

Walthamstow, London. Sat 2 Apr 2016

Butterfields tenants and supporters on the march through Walthamstow
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Tenants from the Butterfields estate in Walthamstow and supporters held a rally and march, determined to fight attempts to evict them. They say 'Butterfields Won't Budge'.

The protesters met up around several protest stalls at the corner of Walthamstow High St and Hoe St, where there were speeches from a number of tenants and supporters, including from the Socialist Party, Green Party Housing Spokesperson Samir Jeraj, local trade unionists and a Labour local councillor. As he commented, local MP Stella Creasy had not come to the event, and he suggested she was not really standing up for the tenants. A month or so ago in her awards for best and worst estate agents in the borough Creasy did give an special award for the 'most outrageous behaviour' to the charity, Glasspools, 'for the mass eviction of the residents of the Butterfields Estate', but they are fighting not to be evicted.

Until the end of 2015 the homes on the estate were owned by the Glasspool Charitable Trust and gave relatively affordable tenancies. Then without any notice all 63 homes were sold off to a private developer and have now been put up for auction as vacant properties with the tenants still inside; some have already received eviction notices complete with threats of expensive legal claims if they do not leave quietly. But many of the residents are determined not to move - and would find it impossible to afford property at market rents - or even so-called affordable rents - in the area.

Unfortunately for the tenants, there is little or no security of tenure now for those in private rented property. Their Butterfields Won't Budge campaign,with an on-line petition and Facebook page, has gained a considerable publicity, and they hope that the rising public opinion may force the new owners to change course, as happened at the New Era Estate, with possibly the estate being sold on to a new owner who would treat them more fairly.

Walthamstow has long been seen as a hotspot for gentrification, with articles about the rising property values and the area has the highest concentration of estate agents in the entire universe, with the march down Hoe St starting off past a whole block of them. Leading the march and the chanting of slogans was trade union activist and anti-cuts campaigner Nancy Taaffe, a local resident who stood as TUSC candidate against Stella Creasy. There were around 70 people on the march with a smaller group staying with the stalls on the High St.

At the Bakers Arms junction the march turned to the east down Lea Bridge Rd, walking down a little under half a mile to a green just around the corner from Butterfields where the was another rally. I took a couple of pictures of Butterfields before hurrying away to catch a bus back to Walthamstow
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Ban Canned Hunting of Lions

Westminster, London. Sat 2 Apr 2016

A rally after the march to Trafalgar Square called for an end to the breeding of lions for captive trophy hunting
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Protesters in London marched to a rally in Trafalgar Square as a part of the Global March for Lions, calling for an end to the breeding of lions for petting zoos and the hunting of captive lions bred for slaughter on farms in Southern Africa by tourist trophy hunters.

I met the protesters as they marched away from Downing St to go for a rally on the North Terrace in Trafalgar Square, but could not stay long as I was on my way elsewhere.
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Christians protest Lahore bombing

Pakistan High Commission, London. Sat 2 Apr 2016

A deputation takes a wreath and petition to the High Commission
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Pakistani Christians and others held a rally and delivered a petition and a wreath to the Pakistan High Commission. Others joined them, including Nepalese and British Christians in calling for an end to the blasphemy laws and for the protection of all religious minorities in Pakistan.

The bomb, detonated by a suicide bomber from Jamaat ul-Ahrar, a Pakistani Taliban faction was aimed at Christians picnicking in the park during their Easter celebrations, including many women and children. Christians are only a small minority in Pakistan, and most of those in the park were Muslims. The bomb killed at least 75 and injured 280, with most victims being women and children. Of those killed, 14 were said to be Christians and the rest Muslims.

One of the speakers at the event was Lyn Julius, who co-founded Harif, an association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. She spoke about Fishel Benkhald, apparently the one remaining Jew in Pakistan, fighting to have his religion stated on his Pakistani passport, as well as for the restoration of Karachi's Jewish cemetery.

I left as they packed up before going on to Downing St.
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Act Up protests Gilead's naked greed

Gilead Sciences, Holborn, London. Fri 1 Apr 2016


'Lobbyists' in the window of Gilead's offices spell out the word 'GREED' in 'Pharma Greed Kills'
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Naked protesters from Act Up London stand in the front window of the offices of American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences with letters on their backs reading 'GREED'. They call for huge cuts in prices of drugs which cost the NHS up to 1000 times the cost of production - around £39,000 per patient for a 12 week course of hepatitis C pill Harvoni. They say prices reflect naked greed far beyond anything justified by research costs.

Protesters on the pavement outside held placards and two large banners, one at each side of the naked group, so that together the protest read '#Pharma Greed Kills'.

The London protest was part of an international day of action with protests across six continents. The hashtag #PharmaGreedKills trended internationally.
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London Images

London, January 2016
coming soon


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my london diary index
 

Apr 2016

Save Aleppo, Stop Airstrikes
Save Upper Norwood and all Lambeth Libraries
Stop Air Pollution Killing Cyclists
Downing St rally for Junior Doctors
Doctors & Teachers march together
Windsor Great Park Walk
St George in Southwark Procession
Peace Garden at War Museum
St Georges Day in London
Sierra Leone Blood Diamonds at Tiffany
Sierra Leone Blood Diamonds at Selfridges
Stop Refugees Drowning
Drax AGM Biomass opposition
Cleaners in-house now, not later
Family Wedding
UVW Topshop & John Lewis Protest
UVW Topshop 2 protest - Strand
Palestine Prisoners Parade
Dancing for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education
Homes, Health, Jobs, Education Rally
Ahwazi protest against Iranian repression
March for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education
Streets Kitchen March with Homeless
Vauxhall and Nine Elms
Make Tips Fair
End Killings in Colombia
Party against Cameron
Don't Criminalise Abortion in Poland
Stop Grand National horse slaughter
Cameron must go!
March to Save Lambeth's Libraries
Carnegie Library Occupation Ends
Bursary or Bust Die-In & Rally
Bursary or Bust march to Dept of Health
Support for Junior Doctor's Picket
Immigration Bill - racist attack on human rights
International Pillow Fight Day
Butterfields Won't Budge
Ban Canned Hunting of Lions
Christians protest Lahore bombing
Act Up protests Gilead's naked greed

London Images

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may
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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

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