Cambridge, Raihanah & Sam
Cambridge. Sat 30 Jul & Sun 31 Jul 2016
Sam and Raihanah walk up the 'aisle' at Magdalene College
with niece Rose in attendance in matching Saree
I've only put a few of the wedding pictures on My London Diary, mainly
ones that show the setting rather than the people, but family and friends
can e-mail me - or contact Raihanah & Sam - for a link to a much larger
We booked into a cheap(ish) boarding house for a couple of nights a short
walk from the centre of Cambridge, where my elder son and his wife were to
have their civil wedding ceremony on the Sunday.
The ceremony was in Cambridge as Raihanah grew up there and they were married
in a religious ceremony a few months ago at a Bangladeshi restuarant just
outside the city, but the civil ceremony was in Magdalene College. Sam had
spent a year at Clare, but it wasn't possible to arrange for the ceremony
to be there on the dates they wanted.
I'm no wedding photographer, but I'd been asked to take the pictures and
had agreed to do so, but was a little apprehensive. Though I've done a few
weddings for friends and my younger son before and I think the results had
been fine, this was a somewhat more impressive venue. And that it was to be
a dry event didn't help, though I have to say the fizzy whatever was pleasant
enough. But somehow it didn't seem quite so powerful to toast people in something
But it turned out to be such a friendly and welcoming venue, with the two
registrars and college staff all a pleasure to work with, and I really enjoyed
taking the pictures, even the few formal ones that I'd been told were required.
I'd recommend it if you want a fancy setting for a wedding and can afford
it. Linda and I got married at her church and I think all we had to pay was
the marriage licence - which I seem to recall then was cheaper than for a
The only small problem was that I was unable to be in the large group taken
from an upstairs window; for the smaller formal groups where I was required
to be in the picture I simply set up the camera and handed it to one of the
other guests to press the button, and fortunately that worked more or less.
The wedding wasn't entirely conventional and included some fine opera singing
and a speech by the bridegroom's mother and brother after the meal (halal
of course, which restricted the choice of menu) and after coffee and wedding
cake those of the guests who could stay joined bride and groom in three large
punts for a trip on the Cam, with a commentary from a surprisingly knowlegeable
and entertaining man wielding the pole. It was then time to say goodbye to
guests and the happy pair - and they did look happy - and find a pub to drink
a pint to their health.
Solidarity with Rampal protesters
Altab Ali Park, London. Fri 28 Jul 2016
rally and vigil in the corner of Altab Ali Park
The UK branch of National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Port-Power
and Mineral Resources in Bangladesh held a rally in Aldgate against a joint
India/Bangladesh coal-fired power station planned for Rampal, just to the
north of the Sundarbans UNESCO World Heritage site, the world's largest mangrove
forest, home to Bengal tigers and other rich wildlife.
Indian coal would be shipped in up-river through the forest, and this traffic
and effluent from the plant would cause severe environmental damage. The deal
violates agreed environmental guidelines and is widely opposed in Bangladesh.
The rally expressed solidarity with protesters marching to the Prime Minister’s
Office in Dhaka today, who were attacked by police with tear gas and batons.
News reports say around 50 were badly injured and at least six arrested. Later
we heard that the violence against the protesters had been more serious than
was reported by the media.
Reinstate the Wood St Two
City of London. Thu 27 Jul 2016
Cleaners protest at the staff entrance to the CBRE
offices near St Pauls
A rally in the City of London on the 50th day of the longest industrial
dispute in the history of the City of London demanded that the two workers
sacked at 100 Wood St be reinstated.
The strike by cleaners belonging to the United Voices of the World union
employed by anti-union cleaning contractor Thames Cleaning at the CBRE managed
offices has already achieved the London Living Wage for workers. Supported
by Unite the Resistance, the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, the National
Shop Stewards Network and others, the cleaners protested in Wood St before
marching to the CBRE offices at St Martin's Court where they protested noisily
outside the staff entrance on a busy pedestrian way near St Paul's Cathedral.
Eight days later as the next protest was scheduled the union gained a satisfactory
settlement and the protest was called off and the strike ended.
Sam at 40
Milton Keynes. Sun 23 Jul 2016
Friends and family can email me for more pictures
Eltham Cemetery, London. Wed 20 Jul 2016
Friends and family can email me for more pictures
I attended the funeral of friend and photographer Townly Cooke who I first
met around 30 years ago. We met many times over the years and worked together
on various projects including his Greenwich book. Contact me if you want to
see more pictures from the funeral.
Stop Trident emergency protest
Parliament Square, London. Mon 18 Jul 2016
Health workers join in the protest with a die-in as
90% of medical staff in Hiroshima died
As Parliament debated giving the go-ahead to the replacement for the
UK's Trident nuclear submarines, a crowd protested on Parliament Square at
a rally organised by CND.
Speakers included MPs and other politicians, peace campaigners and others
who stressed that the independence of Trident and the idea of deterrence were
myths and the use of nuclear weapons was illegal and immoral. The replacement
would cost over £200 billion, and the weapons have no strategic value
and will almost certainly be obsolete before they are brought into service.
Protesters say their use would be illegal, totally immoral and their use would
have a devastating effect on life on earth.
Speakers included several SNP MPs from the SNP, Hywel Williams of Plaid Cymru,
Diane Abbott, Deputy Green Party Leader Amelia Womack, Unison Assistant General
Secretary Roger McKenzie, Andy Greene of DPAC, Lindsey German of Stop the
War There were speakers from Left Unity, NUS, Quakers, Pax Christi and a final
speech by CND Vice-President Bruce Kent.
Money spent on Trident was a tremendous waste when so much more could be
done with it for jobs, health, education and climate change and a doctor gave
a chilling description of the effects of a nuclear bomb.
Peoples Assembly/Stand Up to Racism rally
Parliament Square, London, UK. Sat 16 Jul 2016
Marchers relax in Parliament Square waiting for the
rally to start
There was a very different atmosphere from that in Hyde Park as people
relaxed in a sunny Parliament Square after the march from the BBC organised
by the People's Assembly and Stand Up To Racism against austerity and racism
and calling for and election soon to defeat the Tories.
There were a number of speeches from the top of the FBU fire engine at the
side of the square at a rally chaired by Romayne Phoenix of the People's
Assembly and Sabby Dhalu from Stand Up to Racism, including by two
Islington councillors, Michelline Safi Ngongo, who had brought a
message from Jeremy Corbyn, and Green Party London Assembly member Caroline
Other speakers included Weyman Bennett from Stand Up to Racism,
Lindsey German of Stop the War, Sam Fairbairn the National
Secretary of the People's Assembly, Zita Holbourne of BARAC
and PCS, Rob Williams of the NSSN, NUS Vice President (Further Education)
Shakira Martin and Antonia Bright from Movement for Justice
who also brought an asylum seeker to speak.
EDL march and rally
Hyde Park, London, UK. Sat 16 Jul 2016
EDL supporter argues angrily with the police surrounding the rally
Less than a hundred EDL supporters had turned up at Marble Arch to march
a few yards down Park Lane and then into Hyde Park for a rally. A few anti-fascists
who had turned up to oppose them had mainly left to join the People's Assembly-Stand
Up to Racism march by the time I arrived.
Police had stopped traffic at Marble Arch as I got there and were escorting
the group down Park Lane. There were several times as many police as marchers
in the area, but their was only a loose cordon around the march.
After going a couple of hundred yards down the road they turned off into
Hyde Park, where police had organised an area with barriers around it for
their rally. As they reached it, they refused to go into the pen, and there
were some heated arguments with the police. Eventually the EDL stewards calmed
down the others and they agreed to hold their rally in front of the pen instead
of inside it.
The rally continued with a large police presence surrounding it, and more
under trees a short distance away, probably four or five times as many as
the protesters. The rally was going ahead peacefully until a woman passing
by shouted 'Black Lives Matter' and was manhandled roughly away by stewards
as police watched but did not intervene. I'd soon had enough and left to go
to the rally in Parliament Square.
Cleaners Flash Mob at CBRE London HQ
Marylebone, London, UK. Sat 16 Jul 2016
United Voices of the World cleaners from 100 Wood St
and supporters inside the CBRE offices
When the People's Assembly / Stand Up To Racism march set off, a small
group of striking cleaners from 100 Wood St and supporters left to stage a
flash mob protest at the nearby HQ Offices of CBRE in Henrietta Place. The
United Voices of the World strike at Wood St for the living wage and reinstatement
of sacked workers was then in its 38th day.
I arrived late as I'd stopped on Regent St to photograph the marchers, and
when I got there I could see the protesters inside the foyer through the large
glass doors and windows, but the doors were locked. I took a few pictures
through the glass, but when the doors were opened to let the protesters out
I was able to go in and photograph them for a short time before they all left
to rejoin the People's Assembly march.
As well as several of the cleaners the protesters included United Voices
of the World General Secretary Petros Elia and Bakers Union (BFAWU) National
President Ian Hodson. After photographing them through the glass door and
windows I was able to get inside and take a few pictures before they left
to rejoin the march.
End Austerity, No to Racism, Tories
BBC, Regent St, London, UK. Sat 16 Jul 2016
Bright of Movement for Justice at the front of campaigners calling for justice
for asylum seekers
The march and rally was organised by the People's Assembly and Stand
Up To Racism as an emergency demonstration following the referendum against
austerity and racism and calling for the Tories to be defeated at a General
The march met outside the BBC in the forlorn hope that they might for once
cover a protest in Britain properly. Many marching and at the rally showed
great support for Jeremy Corbyn as our next prime minister - and the only
hope of a future for the Labour Party.
There were also many on the march showing solidarity with refugees and asylum
seekers and protesting against the upsurge in racism and hate attacks provoked
by the referendum campaign and vote to leave Europe, which was largely conducted
by Brexit campaigners on an anti-immigration platform, although it is far
from clear that leaving the EU will reduce the number of people coming to
work here and make their valuable contribution to our economy and society.
After photographing the several thousands forming up next to the BBC I photographed
the start of the march and continued with it a little way down Regent St where
I waited until I could see the end of the march before rushing off to cover
two other events before rejoining the marchers at their rally.
Falun Dafa march against Chinese repression
Regent St, London, UK. Sat 16 Jul 2016
Marchers hold flower bedecked photographs of some of
those killed in China for practising Falun Dafa
Practitioners of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong), an advanced Buddhist
practice of moral rectitude, meditation and exercise founded by Mr Li Hongzhi
in 1992, marched through London to protest the continuing torture and repression
they have experience in China since 1999.
Practitioners in China are subject to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture
and even execution, allegedly carried out to supply human organs for Chinese
transplant operations. Some on the march carried pictures of the martyrs and
others had large banners against the persecution. There is a small permanent
24hr protest opposite the Chinese Embassy which has continued for a number
Defend our NHS
City of London. Thu 14 Jul 2016
People get ready to march to St Paul's from St Bartholomew's
Healthcare workers and supporters dedicated to saving a publicly funded,
delivered and accountable NHS met outside St Bartholomew's Hospital and after
a short rally marched behind the FBU fire engine to St Paul's Churchyard.
Here people sat down on the large expanse of pavement and there was a longer
rally with speakers including Matt Wrack of the FBU. The event was organised
by NHS Solidarity.
Solidarity for Wood St cleaners
City of London. Wed 13 Jul 2016
UVW cleaners and supporters arrive outside the CBRE
offices at St Martins Court
A rally in the City of London supported cleaners belonging to the United
Voices of the World union employed by anti-union cleaning contractor Thames
Cleaning at the 100 Wood St offices managed by CBRE.
The strike is now the longest running industrial dispute in the history of
the City of London and the protest was supported by Unite the Resistance,
the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Class War and others. After
a rally opposite the offices in Wood St, the protesters marched around the
block and held a rally blocking the street outside the CBRE offices at St
Trident Mad Hatters Tea Party
Parliament Sq, London. Wed 13 Jul 2016
Reverend Nagase from Battersea Peace Pagoda and protesters
with placards from UK churches on Trident
While members and supporters lobbied MPs at Parliament, CND members held
a Mad Hatters Tea Party on Parliament Square against plans to replace Trident
at a cost of at least £205 billion.
Christians stood with placards stating the opposition by churches of the
different denominations to the replacement, and Buddhists from the Battersea
Peace Pagoda added their support.
Disabled PIP Fightback blocks Westminster
Westminster, London. Wed 13 Jul 2016
Peters (right) and others with the MHRN banner outside Parliament
Disabled protesters and their supporters carried out a series of actions
around Westminster on their '#PIPFightback' National Day of Action against
the Personal Independence Payments which have been a totally inadequate replacement
for the Disabled Living Allowance which provided support to enable to work
an live on more even terms with the rest of the community.
Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN), Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)
and Winvisible (Women with Invisible and Visible Disabilities) and other supporters
met outside the Victoria St offices of Capita PLC, one of the companies responsible
for PIP assessments (along with the discredited ATOS) where there were a number
of speeches on the busy pavement before the protesters moved on to the road
to block it and continue their rally there. Shoddy assessments by Capita and
Atos, many of which are overturned at tribunals months later, has led to many
losing essential support. The assessments themselves are flawed, they make
no allowances for many variable conditions and fail to take account of medical
After a few minutes during which a long queue of traffic built up (though
protesters moved quickly at one point to let an ambulance drive through) Paula
Peters announced to the protest that it was time to move on and the protesters
marched along the road past the Met Police HQ at New Scotland Yard and on
the the DWP offices at Caxton House.
Here they again stopped for speeches, blocking the road for some minutes
before continuing to Parliament. There was a short rally on the road outside
the HOuses of Parliament and then the protesters decided to move down the
road to College Green, where a media village was set up with politicians being
interviewed on TV over the appointment of a new Prime Minister.
Police stopped them going on to the green, which although often open to the
public is a part of the Parliamentary estate and often, like today is roped
off for media use. One protester jumped up onto the grass and refused police
requests to move, and a few minutes later others joined her. Eventually the
police allowed protesters to stand on a path in the middle of the area. All
of the TV crews present on College Green will have seen and heard the protest,
but only one or two bothered to come across and find out what was happening
and film it, though the protest will have been visible in the distance in
some broadcast interviews.
NHS Bill protest at Parliament
Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London. Wed 13 Jul 2016
Health Minister Diane Abbot speaks at the protest
Protesters from various campaigns to save the NHS held a protest in support
as Labour MP for Wirral West Margaret Greenwood presented a 'Ten Minute Rule
Bill' with cross-party support to stop the privatisation of the NHS and return
it to its founding principles. Labour Shadow Health Secretary Diane Abbott
came out to speak in support at the protest.
PIP Fightback at Vauxhall
Vauxhall, London. Wed 13 Jul 2016
with banners and posters outside Vauxhall PIP Consultation Centre
One of around 20 protests around the country by disabled protesters
and supporters took place at the Vauxhall PIP Consultation Centre in Vauxhall,
one of the centres where ATOS carry out sham Personal Independence Payments
'assessments' on behalf of the DWP.
Faulty by design and conducted without proper consideration of medical evidence
and with a financial incentive to fail claimants, these sham assessments mean
that many genuine claimants lose essential benefits for months before they
are restored on appeal. Many become desperate and this sometimes leads to
hospitalisation or suicide.
The centre where the protest was held was in a back street and relatively
few people came past, though most who did showed an interest and took flyers.
There were a number actually coming to the centre and some people driving
past who stopped to see what was going on.
Among those taking part in the protest was Gill Thompson, whose brother David
Clapson, a diabetic ex-soldier died in July 2013 after his benefits were 'sanctioned'.
He was left starving without money for food or electricity to keep the fridge
containing his insulin running. Benefit sanctions are often imposed for trivial
reasons as DWP workers can be themselves disciplined if they do not meet targets.
She is crowd-funding to try and get a full and public enquiry into the reasons
why her brother and others like him with severe mental of physical health
problems have been sanctioned and to ensure a fairer system for vulnerable
She is holding a banner with the message 'One death is too many' and on the
reverse it has the names and a few pictures of around 100 claimants known
to have died because of sanctions. This appears to be a relatively small fraction
of the total which runs into thousands.
Harmondsworth, Middx. Mon 11 Jun 2016
trees and the Wraysbury River
We took a short walk around Harmondsworth Moor in the Colne Valley Park,
260 acres of reclaimed land near Heathrow Airport established by British Airways
close to their Waterside HQ building. Harmondsworth Moor is the largest public
park to be created in London for the past 100 years.
British Airways offices are in one corner of the park, and probably they
had to make lots of promises to get permission to build - and perhaps this
park was one of them. Most of the open space around here is green belt, and
doubtless this area, after having been left a derelict tipping ground with
the odd lake following gravel expansion was thus designated. Any hill in this
part of Middlesex is either a railway bridge or landfill - and the railway
is in the industrial estate on the other side of the M25.
Three rivers cross the moor (and there is Bigley Ditch along the west side
by the M25), all streams of the Colne. The Duke of Northumberland's River
was an artificial cut dug around 1530 to take water across to his mills at
Isleworth as the flow from the River Crane was not reliable enough, and it
divrts from the Colne in the north of the park. A little further east is the
River Colne itself, then the Wraysbury River, which leaves the main stream
a little north of the M4, which may be a natural distributary of the Colne
but was more probably dug well before the Norman invasion to power mills;
it's occasionally still called be the older form of its name, the Wyradisbury
River. It rejoins the Colne in central Staines to run into the Thames, though
some of the water goes west along the Polyle Channel to join the Colne Brook,
another stream of the Colne which leaves the main river in Uxbridge and runs
into the Thames at Wraysbury.
I think I've rather simplified the situation - and a little further south
(and north) it does get more complex. But our walk took us across three rivers,
and then up an artificial hill which gives good views of the M25 and is decorated
with some of the larger stones from the old Waterloo Bridge, replaced by a
largely female workforce during WW2, and back across them and along the road
back into Harmondsworth, where we ate a good straightforward (and relatively
cheap) pub meal.
Focus E15 Occupy Police Station for Newham Show
Newham, London, UK. Sun 10 Jul 2016
Jasmin Stone speaks at rally outside Newham Police station
with occupiers and banners on the balconies
Housing action group Focus E15 who in previous years have been assaulted
and ejected from the Mayor's Newham Show today temporarily occupied the balconies
of the former Police Station close to one of the entrances in protest against
Newham Council's housing failures.
Earlier the group had set up a protest stall around the corner on the busy
Barking Road, speaking out and leafleting pedestrians and motorists stopped
at the traffic lights, many of whom were on their way for the second day of
the 'Mayor's Newham Show' held in Central Park. It's perhaps indicative of
Mayor Robin Wales and the monolithic Labour administration that although paid
for by the people and owing its success to the work of all of them that the
event is even named as a PR exercise for the Mayor.
Focus E15, started by young mothers facing eviction and removal from London
after Newham Council axed the grant to the hostel they were living in, have
been protesting against the council's policy of social cleansing for the last
two years, widening their personal campaign into a 'Housing for All' campaign
against Newham and other councils who are failing in their duty to provide
housing for ordinary people across London.
Backed by the East London Revolutionary Communist Group, their weekly street
stall in the centre of Stratford, high profile protests and occupations and
defence of people threatened with eviction have put housing and social cleansing
firmly on the national agenda.
Speaking out against evictions and attacking the council's failure to provide
adequate housing in Newham for long-term residents while hundreds of council
homes have been empty for over ten years and the council encourages the building
of huge areas of luxury flats for overseas investors and rich newcomers has
not made Focus E15 popular with Robin Wales and Newham Council. Attempts -
including the ludicrous 'arrest' of a table, arrests of Jasmin Stone, physical
assaults and intimidation have failed to stop their protests.
As they have been prevented from handing out leaflets inside or outside the
Newham show in the past two years, this year they set up their stall a short
distance away, and, after a hour or so, moved on to the empty former Police
Station opposite Newham Town Hall on the road leading to the show ground.
Two pairs of people had used a ladder to climb to the balconies on the front
of the building and hung banners over them, while the protesters held a rally
outside. Among those who came and spoke was a woman from East End Sisters
Uncut who talked about their occupation of an empty property in Hackney as
a community resource.
Police came and had a look at the protest, and told the protesters that they
were worried about the safety of the two balconies, which looked in good condition
to me. When told that the protesters would leave before very long when the
rally finished they went back across the road and watched from there.
Brixton stands with Black victims
London, UK. Sat 9 Jul 2016
A woman speaks holding a poster that makes it clear
why we should all say #BlackLivesMatter
Local black organisers in Brixton called a rally and march in Memory
of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and to show solidarity with those murdered
by police brutality, both in the US and here in the UK.
The rally took place outside the Tate Library on Windrush Square, under the
gaze of the bust of Sir Henry Tate, one of the great Victorian philanthropists,
who gave Brixton its library, opened in 1893. His money came from sugar, a
Caribbean resource he exploited, though he only entered the trade in 1859,
after slavery had been abolished. This part of the square used to be the Tate
Library gardens, but these were largely destroyed to widen the roads. The
area was renamed Windrush Square on the 50th anniversary of the arrival of
the Empire Windrush, and was remodelled into its current bleakness (Windswept
Square) in 2010 to discourage drug dealers, drinkers and people generally
from making use of it.
What had been intended to be a short rally before a march past Brixton police
station and around the area showed no sign of ending as I left, with speaker
after speaker coming to the open mike in Windrush Square to express their
feelings and call for positive action for justice.
Brixton Police station has been the scene of a number of black deaths in
custody, including that of Sean Rigg, Wayne Douglas and Ricky Bishop, and
one of the organisers who spoke wore a t-shirt listing just a few of those
who have been killed by police in the UK, with young black men in particular
being far more likely to die after arrest - or to be shot rather than arrested.
Last year police stripped the tree in front of the police station of its deaths
in custody memorials on the day of the annual march in central London against
deaths in custody.
The protesters did march some time after I left, and brought traffic to a
halt in Brixton for several hours.
Green Park Brexit Picnic
Green Park, London. Sat 9 Jul 2016
A woman from the Spiked 'picnic for democracy' confronts
Several hundreds came to picnic in Green Park and debate the future
under Brexit, with most of those attending feeling cheated by a vote that
was based on lies and false promises, but wanting to find ways to make it
into something positive for the country.
As I arrived, many had split into small groups spread out across the park
to hold serious discussions about various aspects of the future. There was
a small group of Brexit supporters who had come to counter the protest with
their own picnic for democracy organised by Spiked magazine, and when some
of those who had been at the 'Rise Up For Europe' Downing Street rally arrived
with their placards, some of them came across and picked an argument.
This became a little personal when one a woman from the 'Spiked' group accused
those holding the placards of being unwashed, and there was some vigorous
speaking in response. But people from both sides stepped in to cool things
down, and there was then some fairly good-natured attempts by each side to
compete with their placards for a group of photographers and video cameras
which the argument had attracted.
Europe, Free Movement and Migrants
Downing St, London. Sat 9 Jul 2016
Anna Pichierri of Movement for Justice speaks at the
rally calling for justice for migrants
'Another Europe Is Possible' hosted a rally at Downing St come to the
climate of fear and hatred after the Brexit vote, calling for an end to scapegoating
of migrants and Islamophobia. They want to keep Britain open to migrants,
and for policies and media which recognise the positive contribution that
migration makes to the UK.
I arrived late, as Anna Pichierri of Movement for Justice was talking
about the increasing success of their campaign for justice for migrants and
to protest against Yarl's Wood and other immigration centres which they hope
will soon be shut down as a result of their growing campaign.
Other speakers included Joseph Healy of Left Unity and Syrian activist Muzna
Al-Naib who challenged the UK for its failure to take any action over the
atrocities of the Asad regime or offer real support to the Syrian people,
Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth and Newham Monitoring Project and Sabby
Dhalu from Stand Up To Racism. The Brexit vote led to an immediate increase
in racist attacks, but hate crimes have been encouraged over the years by
the climate of scapegoating of migrants and media Islamophobia as well as
the persistent targeting by police of the Black community for stop and search
and the continuing activities of fascist groups.
At the end of the rally many left to attend the Brexit picnic and discussion
in Green Park.
East End Sisters Uncut on Domestic Violence
Hackney Town Hall, London. Sat 9 Jul 2016
East End Sisters Uncut protest against domestic violence
at Hackney Town Hall
In their first action since Sisters Uncut set up area groups, women from
East End Sisters Uncut met at Hackney Town Hall and demand Hackney Council
abolish all plans to demolish council homes, refuse to implement the Housing
Act and invest money into council housing and refuges for victims of domestic
Currently 60% of women seeking places in refuges in Hackney are turned away
as there is no room for them. After I left the women occupied an empty council
property in Hackney to draw attention to the lack of available council houses
for women fleeing domestic violence and to use as a community space.
Hackney Council claim that the figure they gave earlier this year of 1,047
empty council properties was incorrect, and told the Hackney Citizen (who
strangely described the protest as 'rowdy') that the true figure was 440,
of which 144 were described as 'uninhabitable'. They claim to be replacing
the 915 council homes they are demolishing with a larger number of new council
homes and to have increased their spending on domestic violence. Sisters Uncut
quote a Women's Aid report for 2013-5 which found that over 60% of applications
to women’s refuges in Hackney are refused as no room is available.
Housing Protest at 'Progress' conference
Coin St, London. Sat 9 Jul 2016
A protester holds a poster listing estates socially
cleansed by Labour councils at the conference door
Protesters against the demolition of council estates and their replacement
by luxury flats under 'regeneration' schemes by London Labour councils including
Southwark, Newham and Lambeth make their views known to council leaders arriving
for a 'Progress' Labour conference 'Governing for Britain'.
The Blairite New Labour scheme, now accelerated by the Tory Housing and Planning
Act, makes London too expensive for ordinary workers leading to social cleansing,
while making excessive profits for developers, including housing associations
and estate agents Savills.
The protesters, from the Revolutionary Communist Group, Focus E15 'Homes
for All' campaign and Architects for Social Housing, have been involved in
campaigns against demolition of the Heygate and Aylesbury estates in Southwark,
Newham council's attempts to sell off the Carpenter's estate in Stratford,
where good homes have been left empty for over 10 years despite a desperate
housing crisis with a huge housing waiting list, Lambeth's plans to demolish
the Central Hill Estate and many other similar shameful attacks on council
housing where working-class residents are being forced to move out of London,
with new homes being sold to overseas investors and the rich in a process
of social cleansing.
Among them were women evicted from the Focus E15 hostel in Stratford by Newham
who wanted to rehouse them in run-down private rented accommodation in Hastings,
Manchester and elsewhere who stood their ground and refused to leave London.
Garden Bridge protest at 'Progress' conference
Coin St, London. Sat 9 Jul 2016
Protesters tried to lobby councillors against the wasteful
private Garden Bridge as they went into the meeting
Protesters against the 'Garden Bridge', a private green space to bridge the
River Thames close to Waterloo Bridge, which Lambeth Council have supported
despite the vast cost of £175m for little public gain, protested outside
the Labour Party 'Progress' movement 'Governing for Britain' conference which
Lambeth council leader Lib Peck was attending.
Critics say 'Progress' is an ironically named group within the Labour Party
that supports the discredited Blairite New Labour agenda which lost the party
the last two elections, and is one of the groups leading the attempted coup
against Jeremy Corbyn.
The 'Garden Bridge' has been widely criticised as a complete waste of money
and resources that would not provide a useful link across the River Thames.
It will be run by a private body that will severely restrict activities on
it and limit access. The protesters complain that Lambeth Council and its
leader Lib Peck have failed to listen to the views of Lambeth residents against
End the Israeli siege of Gaza
Downing St, London. Fri 8 Jul 2016
Gaza is in crisis and its time to end the siege and
for the UK to stop arming Israel
A protest at Downing St calls for an end to Israel's almost ten year
siege on Gaza, and an end to the UK's arms trade with Israel.
There have been three major military assaults by Israel military forces on
Gaza in the last 8 years, resulting in thousands of Palestinian deaths, and
making the small area, home to 1.8 million people, mainly refugees and their
families virtually uninhabitable. The blockade prevents materials needed for
reconstruction reaching the area.
A handful of pro-Israeli activists came to the protest, some wearing Palestinian
keffiyeh scarves in an obvious attempt to infiltrate and started to hand out
leaflets. They were quickly surrounded by angry protesters, and had to be
protected by stewards and police, who persuaded them to continue their protest
a few yards down the road, where they stood facing and trading insults and
gestures with a few of the protesters largely unnoticed while the speeches
Soon after a group of anti-Zionist Neturei Karta Jews arrived and formed
a line between the protest and the Zionists who were incensed by their presence.They
argue that the Jewish religion teaches that Jews should not set up a separate
state until the Messiah comes and that Palestine should be returned to the
Among the speakers introduced by Sara Apps Interim Director of the
Palestine Solidarity Campaign were Chris Rose, Director of Amos Trust,
Elizabeth Jadon, speaking for the Israeli Committee Against House
Demolitions UK, John Hilary, Executive Director War on Want,
Bruce Kent, Riya Hassan, European Coordinator BDS (Boycott,
Divestment, Sanctions) national committee, Glyn Secker, Jews for
Justice for Palestinians and captain of one of the boats which attempted to
break the Israeli sanctions, Mizan Rahman of Campaign Against the
Arms Trade, Joyce Onstad from the Lib Dem Friends of Palestine and
Kamal Hawwash, Vice Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Many
listening were left in tears after a moving performance by Shahd Abusalma,
a journalist and singer from Gaza.
Stand Up for PrEP!
Dept of Health, Whitehall, London. Thu 7 Jul 2016
17 protesters stand with posters representing the
17 new HIV cases each day
ACT UP London, I Want Prep Now, National AIDS Trust, Terence Higgins
Trust, Out and Proud Diamond Group and others protest outside the Dept of
Health in Whitehall calling for the NHS to provide Pre exposure prophylaxis
(PrEP) which is almost 100% effective in preventing HIV transmission.
Currently 17 people are diagnosed here with HIV every day. NHS (England)
claims PrEP is a public health strategy and they will delegate it to local
authorities, a decision currently subject to judicial review and which will
result in a postcode lottery for provision. Seventeen protesters wearing red
ribbons stood in a row on low steps holding posters which spelt out some of
the reasons why people become HIV positive.
After a number of speeches, some of the protesters staged a die-in on the
pavement and wrote slogans 'PrEP NO!' and '17 a day = NOT OK!' in blue chalk.
They drew around some of those lying on the ground. After all the protesters
had got up, they moved closer to the Dept of Health building and threw the
blue chalks at it, before further chalking on the pavement.
Blair lied, Millions Died - Chilcot
QE2 Conference Centre, London. Wed 6 Jul 2016
A protester in a Blair mask raises his bloodstained
hands - even if Blair himself is still in denial
Anti-war protesters outside the QEII Centre on the morning the Chilcot
report was being published demanded that Tony Blair who lied and deceived
MPs and the British people to wage an illegal war on Iraq should be impeached
as a war criminal.
The report, published after a 7-year delay, confirmed most of what anti-war
protesters have long said about Blair, and even revealed some new areas where
Blair misled public and Parliament. It confirmed that the decision to go to
war had been taken many months in advance between Bush and Blair. Protesters
now demand that Blair be put on trial as a war criminal.
Among the speakers was MP Caroline Lucas, who had been reading the huge report
since being allowed access at 8am. The protest started with a naming of a
few of the dead, with people coming up to read 5 names of UK forces and 5
of Iraqi civilians who died because of the war. It was only a token gesture,
as over a million Iraqis are generally acknowledged to have lost their lives,
and was ended with a longer speech by SNP MP George Kerevan.
Among others taking part in the event were several from Veterans for Peace,
veteran peace protester Bruce Kent, CDN Chair Kate Hudson, comedian Jeremy
Hardy and Stop the War Convener Lindsey German. Among the more vocal protesters
were a number from Global Women's strike, and there was some street theatre
involving two men with Blair and Bush masks and very bloody hands (and a lot
of oil revenues) with two judges in wigs and red robes.
Police made a nuisance of themselves by insisting on keeping the minor road
by the side of the QE2 where the protest was being held open to traffic in
both directions, although there was very little actual traffic and it would
have caused hardly any disruption to close it. Neither pavement on either
side was really wide enough for the number of protesters, and photographers
certainly resented the unnecessary orders to get off the road that police
There was one small incident where protesters objected to a pro-Israel religious
fanatic dancing Irish jigs to loud music and disrupting the protest. He attends
many protests and makes a nuisance of himself. Eventually police did persuade
him to move a few yards away done the street to avoid clashing with the protest,
but only after some loud arguments with police by protesters.
NUT Strike Day Rally
Parliament Square, London, Tue 5 Jul 2016
An NUT steward wears a life belt on her head next to a giant picture of Nicky
NUT members hold a rally in Parliament Square after their march through London
on the day of their strike against cuts in government funding and the increasing
deregulation of teachers' pay and conditions through the increasing pressure
on schools to become academies.
Speakers included John McDonnell MP and Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary
of the National Union of Teachers.
NUT Strike Day March
London, UK. Tue 5 Jul 2016
Marchers at Piccadilly Circus
NUT members taking strike action against cuts in government funding and
the increasing deregulation of teachers' pay and conditions through the increasing
pressure on schools to become academies march through London from the BBC
to a rally in Parliament Square.
The starting point was chosen as the BBC in the hope that the BBC might notice
that teachers were striking and give some coverage to the march. It did get
a little coverage, but nothing that really discussed the real issues behind
teacher and parent discontent. Conservative policies are aimed at breaking
up the system, and are partly based on previous failed Labour policies.
Supporters Stand Up for Israel
US Embassy, London. Sun 3 Jul 2016
'Peace Not Hate' stated the placards, but there seemed
to be a lot of hate directed at the Al Quds marchers
Sussex Friends of Israel, Zionist Federation and the Israel Advocacy
Movement hold their 'It’s Time To Stop The Hate: Stand With Israel,'
rally close to the US embassy as a counter-demonstration to the annual Al
Quds Day march in London which calls for an end to the Israeli occupation
Several hundreds of people waved Israeli flags, shouted and held placards
calling for 'Peace Not Hate' as the march arrived, with large numbers of police
keeping the two groups apart. There was loud and extremely angry shouting
when they saw the anti-Zionist Neturei Karat Jews standing facing them from
a wall in front of the embassy.
Earlier a small group carrying Israeli flags had harassed the Al Quds Day
march on its march to the embassy through London, but had been kept at a slight
distance by police.
Al Quds Day March
London. Sun 3 Jul 2016
As usual the marchers were joined by anti-Zionist Jews
The annual Al Quds Day march in London calls for an end to the Israeli
occupation of Palestine. Several thousand Palestinians and Muslims from around
the country, as well as activists for Palestinian freedom and Neturei Karta
Orthodox Jews who reject Zionism and the Israeli state marched from the BBC
to a rally at the US Embassy.
A few supporters of Israel tried to protest against the march, holding Israeli
flags and shouting at the marchers, but police kept them away.
Outside the embassy they were met by loud opposition from several hundred
supporters of Israel, who claimed to be standing for peace, and who shouted
particularly loudly at the anti-Zionist Jews when they stood on a wall facing
them from a distance. Clearly both the pro-Israel protesters and the Neturei
Karta Jews were shouting anti-semitic comments at each other.
Arms dealers out of LT Museum
London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London. Sun 3 Jul 2016
CAAT members protest at Thales using the LT Museum for
London Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) picket the London Transport Museum
in Covent Garden demanding it end its sponsorship by the twelfth largest arms
company in the world, Thales, which supplies missiles, drones and other military
products, and has sold to repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Russia,
Colombia, Kazakhstan and the UAE.
Jo Cox banner of love
Parliament Sq, London. Sun 3 Jul 2016
People write tributes on the board in Parliament Square
Few of those coming to write on the board remembering Jo Cox will actually
have heard of her before her tragic death, but the cold-blooded murder outside
her constituency office has affected all of us through the media reports.
Clearly she was a woman who came into Parliament to do what she could for
the people she knew and for the area she had grown up in, something fairly
rare in politics these days.
In particular she will be remembered for her support for refugees, speaking
up for them in Parliament when many older and more established MPs held their
breath or voted against them, either because they lacked compassion or were
scared of antagonising some of their racist constituents.
16-17 Year olds demand the vote
Trafalgar Square to Parliament Sq, London. Sun 3 Jul 2016
make their way down Whitehall
Several hundred protesters, mainly 16-17 year-olds, met in Trafalgar Square
on Sunday morning to express their outrage at not being allowed to vote, particularly
following the EU referendum, which will impact their future most and where
a vote by their age group might have altered the result.
After a short rally they marched down to Parliament Square where there was
a longer rally. Most of the many speakers at the open microphone were teenagers
taking part in the protest.
Rally For Europe against Brexit
London. Sat 2 Jul 2016
People hold posters at the rally in Parliament Square
I left the march at Green Park as the rear of it passed, around 90 minutes
after the front of the march and too the Jubilee Line one stop to Westminster.
There the rally following the march had started some time earlier, and I only
heard the final couple of speakers. Marchers were still arriving when the
March For Europe against Brexit
London. Sat 2 Jul 2016
People with stars and hearts at the start of the march
More than 50,000 people marched through London to a rally in Parliament Square
to show their love for the EU and in protest against the lies and deception
from both sides of the EU referendum campaign. Many feel that the result did
not truly reflect the will of the people and that the majority was too small
to be a mandate for such a drastic change.
Love Islington - NO to Hate Crime
Highbury Fields, London. Sat 2 Jul 2016
A smiling Jeremy Corbyn at the rally
As a reaction to the increase in hate crime against racial, faith and
other minorities following the Brexit vote, Islington Labour Party called
a 'Say No to Hate Crime' Rally in Highbury Fields.
Speakers at the event included local MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry,
London Assembly members Jennette Arnold and Caroline Russell, faith leaders,
including a gay Catholic priest, a leader of the Somali community, Richard
Reiser of DPAC, the leader of Islington council and councillors. Islington
is proud to be a diverse, tolerant and cohesive community with good relations
between all who live there, regardless of race, faith, sexual orientation,
disability and transgender identity, and the rally stressed the need to stand
up against hate crimes and report and for any incidents to be reported to
London, July 2016
Oxford St full of buses
As in previous months I took a number of pictures from the train of the growing
buildings at Nine Elms and at Waterloo of the development of the Shell site,
as well as others on my trips around London.
Bus trips took me to Vauxhall too, as well as to Oxford St and Hackney, and
other train journers were in Battersea and out through Earls Court and on
the way through Harlesden and Kings Langley. Walking I went past Hyde Park
Corner, St Paul's Cathedral, the backstreets of Lambeth and Brixton.
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