LSE Cleaners Victory Party
Burgess Park, London. Sat 24 Jun 2017Mildred Simpson shows
off the 'Masters of Arts' certificates that were presented to the
cleaners at the protest
Cleaners at the LSE held a party in Burgess park to celebrate a
successful end to 8 months of campaigning with United Voices of the
Word and Justice 4 Cleaners, including 7 days of relentless strike.
Their actions have achieved parity of terms and conditions of
employment with directly employed workers and they have been promised
they will be brought in-house by the Spring of 2018.
During the party there were speeches by several of the cleaners and
they were presented with 'Masters of Arts' certificates with First
Class Honours in Justice and Dignity.
One matter was still to be settled, as the LSE and Noonan have so far
not agreed to the reinstatement of Alba, who had an employment
tribunal hearing set for July. The cleaners threatened to go on strike
in July if she was not taken back and an agreement was reached in time
to avoid a further strike.
This is a small selection of pictures that I took and those involved
who want to see more can find them on Facebook.
Withdraw US troops from Korea
US Embassy, London. Sat 24 Jun 2017
67 years after the start of the Korean War, the UK Korean
Friendship Association protested outside the US Embassy calling for
the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea and an end to sanctions
on the the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea.)
Time for PR - Save Our Democracy
Parliament Square, London. Sat 24 Jun 2017
Make Votes Matter campaigners use balloons to
point out the unfairness of our electoral system
Make Votes Matter and Unlock Democracy organised a picnic and
rally after the recent election demonstrated again the unfairness of
our current voting system.
There were speakers from various groups including the Green Party and
the Women's Equality Party and balloons were used to demonstrate the
very different number of votes that each party obtained per MP
elected, getting volunteers from the crowd to wear a rosette and hold
Women protest DUP/Tory talks
Downing St, London. Sat 24 Jun 2017
Women were asked to wear red for the protest
Around a thousand women joined with housing protesters for a rally at
Downing St against the Tories and their talks with the DUP to provide
support for the minority government.
Many protesters were in red for the blood of lives lost without
access to reproductive rights, of those who lost their lives at
Grenfell tower because they were considered too poor or black to need
safe housing, of disabled who have died because of cuts and unfair
assessments, of innocent civilians bombed overseas and by terrorists
here, for the blood shed in Northern Ireland before the peace process
and for the decision to gamble the rights, health and safety of LGBT+
people. As the rally ended they were joined by the UAF who had been
opposing the small march by the EDF.
Football Lads Alliance at London Bridge
London. Sat 24 Jun 2017
Millwall and West Ham fans pose with wreaths on
Well over a thousand supporters of the recently formed Football
Lads Alliance marched to the centre of London Bridge to protest what
they see as the UK government's reluctance in tackling the current
They marched in silence and without banners, posters or placards to a
short rally and moment of silence, after which some stopped to pose
with the wreaths from Millwall, Arsenal, West Ham and Portsmouth
supporters left with the other tributes at the centre of London
Bridge. Police had imposed conditions on the event under Section 12
and 14 of the Public Order Act, 1986, due to concerns of serious
public disorder, and disruption to the community, which prevented them
from marching to Borough Market.
Anti-fascists oppose the EDL
London. Sat 24 Jun 2017
UAF gathered at Trafalgar Square on the corner
of Northumberland Avenue
Several hundred attended Unite Against Fascism's protest against the
EDL, some gathering on the corner of Northumberland Avenue close to
the advertised WDL meeting point at Charing Cross where only a handful
of the EDL turned up, with rather more meeting at the Wetherspoons on
There were a few minor scuffles with EDL protesters on their way to
the pub, but several hundred police kept the two groups apart, moving
the UAF down to their assigned rally point on the Embankment before
escorting the EDL to another location a couple of hundred yards away.
After the EDL had been escorted back to the station, the UAF marched
to join the women's rally at Downing St against Theresa May's
collusion with the UDP to prop up her minority government.
Among those opposing the EDL were a group of four dressed as clowns
who clowned around mainly making fun of the police, who handed them
the same leaflet detailing the conditions imposed on the UAF under
Section 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act, 1986, due to concerns of
serious public disorder, and disruption to the community.
EDL march against terror
London. Sat 24 Jun 2017
EDL come out of the pub and move to the march
surrounded by police
EDL protesters met up at the Wetherspoons pub on Whitehall. Later
police escorted them to Charing Cross and down a back street to the
Embankment where they were to hold a rally.
Earlier police had moved several hundred anti-fascist
counter-protesters organised by UAF from their route down to a
separate area of the Embankment a short distance away where they
continued to protest noisily against the EDL until the police escorted
them back to Charing Cross station.
Both EDL and UAF had conditions for their protests imposed on them
under Section 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act, 1986, due to concerns
of serious public disorder, and disruption to the community.
London University Security officers
Senate House, University of London. Thu 22 Jun 2017
The protesters kept up a deafening noise
outside the Senate House as people went in to the open evening
University of London Security Officers who are members of the
Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) were on strike
demanding talks with the university and contracting firm Cordant
over the restoration of pay differentials.
The IWGB picket had been at Senate House all day from 6am and left at
the end of the day to join for a rally with SOAS Justice 4 Works
campaign. At the end of the rally they marched with students and
supporters from the rally, including the SOAS samba band and a number
of UCU members for a noisy protest at the entrance to the Senate House
where an an open evening was taking place.
Security Officers jobs were outsourced in the early 2000s and they
are currently employed by Cordant. When they gained the London Living
Wage in 2011 they were promised that pay differentials would be
maintained, but since then they have been reduced by 25%.
Earlier this year they approached the University management asking
for talks over pay. The university at first agreed to talks, but then
cancelled them, saying their pay was no business of the university.
Four days of strike in April-May caused massive disruption but failed
to get an offer to talk, so they have again gone on strike. Other
outsourced university staff affected are also balloting for strike
SOAS J4W & IWGB Security Workers Rally
SOAS, Univ of London. Thu 22 Jun 2017
The doors of SOAS are locked as protesters try
to walk inside
SOAS Justice for Workers campaign, some of whom are occupying the
SOAS directorate on the first floor of the main SOAS building held a
rally outside the occupation. They were joined by striking UoL
Security Workers and together briefly occupied the doorway area of
The occupation began after catering staff heard from employer EliorUK
that the main building refectory was to close and workers there would
be made redundant. They demand there should be no cuts, no closures
and no redundancies and that all workers at SOAS should have fair
contracts offering equal sick pay, holiday pay, with zero-hours
contracts being replaced and outsourced workers brought in-house.
They campaign also want a proper consultation with staff and students
over the refectory and catering services and for the agreement for
catering staff agreed with Unison to be implemented - some are now
owed up to £4000 in unpaid wages. They call for a public apology by
management to the workers involved and an undertaking there will be no
legal or disciplinary action against students taking part in the
'Day of Rage' march for Grenfell
Shepherds Bush to Parliament, London. Wed 21st June 2017
There were very few on the protest wearing
masks, but all were angry at government and RBKC
Movement for Justice's 'Day of Rage' march was perhaps unfortunately
named, allowing the right-wing media to indulge in a fantasy
extravaganza imagining violent insurrection about Movement for Justice
which has a long history of peaceful but active protests mainly aimed
at the UK's iniquitous and illegal treatment of refugees and asylum
But there is now a great deal of entirely justified rage over the
systemic failure to care about the provision of safe social housing
which resulted in the deaths of well over a hundred people burnt alive
in Grenfell Tower and which still threatens many others.
Many of the dead at Grenfell were asylum seekers and refugees, and
were undocumented and not recorded as residents on any official lists.
The marchers assured Grenfell residents who came to the start of the
march that the predictions of violence were simply media inventions
and that this was intended as a powerful but peaceful protest, and
those residents present thanked the marchers for their solidarity and
a number joined the several hundreds on the march as it set off to
Police tried to stop the protesters as the ran across Whitehall
towards Downing St, where a line of police stood in front of the
barriers. People from the organising group quickly ran to form a line
between police and protesters and urge them to move on to Parliament
Square, but many wanted to stay and vent their feelings towards the
Prime Minister. After a few minutes MfJ set up a small rally in the
centre of Whitehall, pulling people away from the gates, and after
several speeches the crowd were asked if they now wanted to move on,
and most agreed to do so.
OUtside the Houses of Parliament, most of the crowd of protesters
halted on the street, blocking it to traffic with a noisy, spontaneous
and chaotic protest. Eventually the protesters began to drift away
onto the square and when most had left the street I decided it was
time to go home.
Al Quds march
BBC to US Embassy, London. Sun 18 Jun 2017
Among the many 'Boycott Israel' flags were a few
flags for Hezbollah as a political organisation
The annual Al Quds (Jerusalem) Day march in London was attended
by several thousand from all over the country. Organised by Quds
committee with the Islamic Human Rights Commission and supported by
various groups including the Stop the War Coalition, Muslim
Association of Britain and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods was led
by Imams and Neturei Karta anti-Zionist Jews, it called for 'Freedom
for Palestine', and for all oppressed people's across the world, and
for a boycott of Israel.
As usual in attracted opposition from Zionist groups, with a rally
being held close to the US Embassy where the march was to end with its
own rally. There were protests along the route by a small group
carrying Israeli flags who claim the event supports terrorism by
carrying Hezbollah flags. There were more than in previous years, most
of which carried the message that they indicated support for Hezbollah
as a political organisation rather than its military wing.
Hezbollah uses one flag, and because it is the flag of a Lebanese
political party it is not illegal to fly it in this country. But as
many on the march reminded the protesters, Zionists are in no position
to complain about terrorists. The nation of Israel was founded in
terrorism against the British mandate and is still in breach of
international law in its oppression of the Palestinian people
The march had to stop for some minutes at Oxford Circus because of
the Zionist protesters. I left as they started to go down Oxford St
towards the US Embassy with police moving the Zionists on in front of
them. A larger protest against them had been planned by the Zionist
Federation and others close to the Embassy.
Zionists protest Al Quds Day March
Oxford Circus, London, UK. 18th June 2017
Zionist protesters with Israeli flags block
Regent St at Oxford Circus
A handful of protesters had stood across the road and shouted
insults at the Al Quds march as it formed up close to the BBC. As
the march came close to Oxford Circus, around 30 Zionists holding
Israeli flags moved to block the road.
The marchers stopped, commenting that not being content with
occupying Palestine, Zionists now wanted to occupy Regent St, and
waited patiently for police to clear the road.
When police were very slow to do so, the marchers sat down in the
road and held their planned minute of silence for Grenfell Tower
before getting up and telling police, who by now had moved the
Zionists a few yards further along the march route that if police
didn't clear the road they would take the march - very much a family
event - through them.
Police slowly got the Zionists moving along the street with the Al
Quds marchers following behind. I left the march at this point and
Brian Haw remembered
Parliament Square, London. Sun 18 Jun 2017
Brian Haw's peace camp was here for over 10
On the sixth anniversary of his death, some of those who had
known and supported Brian Haw held a vigil in his memory at the site
of his courageous 10 year long political stand in Parliament Square.
The event was organised by Veterans for Peace, a voluntary
ex-services organisation who say that war is not the solution to the
problems we face in the 21st century and call on everyone to reject
the 'War System' that accepts war and the preparation for war as a
means to achieve status, power and wealth.
Ted Knight speaks for Central Hill
Central Hill Estate, London. Sun 18 Jun 2017
One of the estate's original residents comes to
talk with me as I take pictures
Ted Knight, former leader of Lambeth Council, spoke in support of
the campaign to save the Central Hill Estate, passed for demolition
by the council despite the almost unanimous vote of residents for
plans to refurbish rather than demolish and the plans by Architects
for Social Housing which would achieve the increase in density
desired without demolition.
I arrived early at Central Hill to take another walk around one of
London's finest council estates and to take a few more pictures. A
woman who had seen me from her window came out to talk with me,
telling me she was still living in the house she had moved into when
it was first built, and how much she had loved living here. She was
very worried about possibly having to move if Lambeth Council's plans
go ahead. We talked for a few minutes about how her family had grown
up here and she praised the quality of her home and also the community
on the estate, telling me that the house was still in fine condition
and had never needed any repairs.
Looking at the other homes around I could see that some had minor
improvements from the original - such as double glazing, though her's
still had the original window frames. But all over the estate the
buildings look in good condition, although in some cases the balconies
and paths etc had been badly patched up by the council. But I was in
danger of missing the start of Ted Knights talk or I would have talked
more with her and taken more pictures.
Knight recalled how under borough architect Ted Hollamby the estate
was planned as a living community and was remarkably successful, with
a number of original residents from the 1970s still living there and
wanting to continue to do so. At that time he said that Labour
believed that nothing was too good for the working people and the
estate was built to high specifications and is still in sound
condition. A deliberate process of managed neglect - like that which
had resulted in the Grenfell Tower disaster had - had been carried out
by Lambeth Council to legitimise its demolition. He promised to try to
persuade Jeremy Corbyn to change the party's policies where Labour
councils like Lambeth are only interested in realising asset values
and not in building homes for working class communities.
The meeting was poorly attended with just a handful of the campaigners
from the estate and other friends, but a survey around the estate
carried out by the residents has revealed a very different picture to
the figures published by the council about the feelings of those who
live there, with a very high percentage of both tenants and
leaseholders wanting to remain on the estate and opposed to
demolition. Lambeth council's response to the feedback that it has got
from residents on the estate has been to remove the estate
representatives from the consultative body.
The residents and architects advising them also say that the figures
for refurbishment of the homes here given by the council are
ridiculously inflated, and that the scheme they propose for limited
infill of the site rather than demolition and rebuild would be a much
cheaper solution that would involve far less disruption to the
families who live here and also result in the retention of much-needed
social housing. New build schemes on other London council estates have
often promised social housing but have usually produced only a small
fraction of what was originally promised.
There appears to be only one problem with the alternative scheme
proposed by Architects for Social Housing - it would not generate
excessive profits for the developers.
Class War protest Grenfell Murders
Downing St, London. Sat 17 Jun 2017
Class War protest with a banner and posters in
front of Downing St
Class War came with posters calling for revenge over the Grenfell
fire and calling for action by the people rather than waiting for a
whitewashing public inquiry to report.
Grenfell was an open declaration of class war by the wealthy elite
against the working class, and Grenfell Tower was where Ian Bone first
lived in London and where the first issues of the Class War magazine
were written. He and others in Class War knew at least one of the
residents of the tower.
They took it in turns to stand in front of the gates to Downing St
with the banner with a quotation from the US activist, labour
organizer, radical socialist and anarchist Lucy Parsons (ca
1853-1942), who fought against racism and for the rights of workers
and for freedom of speech from her early years until her death, " We
must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live."
No Tory DUP Coalition of Chaos
Downing St, London. Sat 17 Jun 2017
Some had come to protest about Theresa May and
Gavin Barwell's complicity in the Grenfell outrage
Protesters came to Downing St to oppose a Tory alliance with the
homophobic, climate-change denying, anti-choice DUP and called on
Theresa May to resign.
Mostly made up of vocal supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, buoyed up by the
election results which showed him to be eminently electable, there
were speeches by Labour MPs Marsha De Cordova who gained Battersea
from the Conservatives, Rupa Huq who greatly increased her tiny
majority and Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner.
Others, including several from Northern Ireland spoke in more detail
about the DUP, as a party intrinsically linked with Protestant
terrorist groups and dominated by a homophobic church which represents
a tiny minority of the Northern Irish population. They included
Northern Irish women campaigning for abortion and other women's rights
enjoyed by women in the UK. DPAC spoke about the Tory assault on the
disabled, and there were various others.
North Kensington, London. Sat 17 Jun 2017
Grenfell Tower from beside Notting Hill
Shock, anger, grief were some of the emotions I felt on hearing about
the fire at Grenfell Tower, and the terrible stories of those trapped
in the inferno. But knowing that the area would be swamped by the
media I made a conscious decision not to add to the pressure on the
survivors and the local residents who were traumatised by what they
had seen and heard. And I felt others could do what needed to be done
better than me.
It wasn't until the following Saturday that I went to see for myself
and to spend some time looking at the scene. Others were walking the
same way as I was, many carrying flowers on their way to pay their
respects to the dead, to say a few prayers and to cry a few tears. I
wasn't really going to take photographs, though I did later file just
a few of the images here. They were made with respect and I hope will
not upset any of those affected by the outrage of Grenfell.
Posters on lamp posts, walls and noticeboards display the poignant
images of those missing from the disastrous fire in the tower block
which had been clad with flammable material, and had no working fire
alarm system. The whole area around the tower was still cordoned off,
but the grisly blackened hulk of Grenfell Tower dominates.
Outside the Methodist Church an area has been set aside for candles,
tributes and flowers for those dead and missing, now presumed dead,
whose numbers are now thought to be over 80 and possibly significantly
more. There were thought to be a number of asylum seekers and
undocumented people living in the tower who were not included on any
We don't need an inquiry to tell us what happened - the various
defects that came together are only too obvious, as a number of fire
safety experts are concerned. Someone authorised the use of cheap
cladding that contained flammable foam, someone let that cladding be
applied without fire breaks to save money, Someone approved those
unsafe gas lines, someone employed a consultant so the building didn't
get proper fire inspections and so on. Over the years people at
Kensington & Chelsea Council (and the TMO they set up) turned an
inherently safe building into a firetrap waiting to happen, because to
them it was a place where people they didn't see as people, just
numbers who were a burden on the housing department.
Of course it was just the RBK&C. There were the various
government ministers and others responsible for setting standards that
let inherently unsafe materials pass - which when tested after
Grenfell have given a 100% failure rate. The ministers who dismantled
and privatised safety inspections, relaxed and got rid of safety
regulations, failed to implement the lessons learned from earlier
fires and so on, most but not all of them under the previous Tory
government. And all those pressure groups and 'think tanks' pushing
the ideas of deregulation, of removing what they called 'red tape',
the protections that would have saved the lives of those who died.
The victims of Grenfell - certainly a case of mass corporate
manslaughter if not murder - deserve justice. They died because they
were poor and in council housing and those in authority and the greedy
super-rich didn't think they deserved proper care and decent
standards. They deserve justice - and that means fines and
imprisonment for those responsible as well as changes in the way that
we run things.
Justice for Grenfell Downing St
Downing St, London. Fri 16 Jun 2017
Moyra Samuels, a teacher at a school close to
Grenfell Tower, speaks outside the gates of Downing St
Over a thousand protesters marched to Downing St and pushing past
police who tried to move them to the pavement opposite held a noisy
rally in front of the gates,
There were speakers from the North Kensington community, housing
activists, residents from other tower blocks and Stand Up to Racism.
They called for the resignation of Theresa May and her aide Gavin
Barwell who as housing minister had failed to implement the changes in
regulations recommended after the previous London tower block fire
After a rally there they left to march for further protests at the
BBC and elsewhere, but I left them at Trafalgar Square.
Justice for Grenfell Ministry protest
Dept for Communities & Local Gov't, London. Fri 16 Jun 2017
People listen as Tanya Murat of Southwark Defend
Council Housing speaks outside the Home Office
Around a thousand protesters met outside the Department for
Communities and Local Government calling for urgent action to
identify those responsible for the unsafe state of Grenfell Tower
which led to the horrific fire in which over 150 people were burnt
Speakers included Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union General
Secretary, local residents who had witnessed the deaths, housing
activists who have long called for social housing to meet the same
safety standards as private developments and Stand Up to Racism, and
there was a silence in solidarity with the dead and injured.
After the rally they marched to Downing St, demanding the resignation
of Theresa May and former housing minister Gavin Barwell who failed to
implement the recommendations made after a previous London fire
London Co-operative Housing Group report
Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London. Wed 14 Jun 2017
The report is called Co-operate Not Speculate;
London's Councils are more interest in realising asset values
Members of the London Co-operative Housing Group had brought
copies of their new report 'Co-operate Not Speculate' to photograph
outside the London Real Estate Forum.
Their report calls on Local councils, the Mayor and the GLA, and
organisations like TfL, Network Rail and the London Canal & River
Trust to work with community builders and co-ops who can provide
genuinely affordable properties rather than with property developers
who are making high profits.
Although projects with developers realise the market value of the
land they do not provide the homes needed for ordinary Londoners nor
deliver the long-term financial value and stable communities that only
permanent low rent housing can provide.
Stop demolishing council estates
Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London. Wed 14 Jun 2017
War hold up posters outside the London Real Estate Forum
Campaigners, including members of Class War and the Revolutionary
Communist Group concerned over London's housing problems protest
noisily in Mayfair outside the London Real Estate Forum.
They complained at the scandal of London councils, mainly Labour
controlled, speaking at the event and increasingly conspiring with
estate agents and property developers to sell public land and
transform estates which now house those on low incomes into homes for
the wealthy and investments often kept empty for overseas investors.
They also point to the cosy 'revolving door' with many councillors
and officers who cooperate with the developers ending up in lucrative
jobs with them or in companies set up by councils, as well as enjoying
gifts and hospitality.
They say councils are driving ordinary Londoners out of the capital
and of failing in their duty to ensure safe and decent housing. They
demand social housing not social cleansing.
May has to go! march
Downing St, London, UK. 10th June 2017
People make gestures towards No 10 Downing St
After the rally celebrating the Corbyn's leadership and
performance in the General Election, most of those present walk to
Downing St to celebrate anti-racism and multiculturalism and against
In particular the urged on Theresa May not to make any pact with the
DUP with their close links to paramilitary terrorists and disregard
for human rights. They crowded around the gates of Downing St shouting
slogans before marching to Trafalgar Square and then back down
Whitehall to Parliament Square where I left them.
May has to go! rally
Parliament Square, London, UK. 10th June 2017
People shout slogans calling for May to go and
supporting Jeremy Corbyn
A rally in Parliament Square with speeches, music and dancing
celebrates the remarkable performance against all the odds made by
Labour led by Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election.
Speakers called for support for him inside and outside the Labour
Party and for the fight for Labour values to continue and for all
Labour MPs to get behind a leader who has shown he can grow the Labour
vote. They said Theresa May has to go, and expressed disgust at her
making a pact with the far right DUP with its bigotry and close
connection with paramilitary terrorism. But it was very hot and I
found most of the speakers were in rather predictable ruts.
Irish Abortion Rights
Parliament Square, London, UK. 10th June 2017
A gay couple celebrate after kissing in front of
the abortion rights banner
Shocked by the news that Theresa May is to govern with the help
of the DUP, the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign protest in
Parliament Square against the bigoted views they hold against
abortion, women's rights and gay rights.
The DUP has consistently obstructed basic human rights in Northern
Ireland, where women can still face life imprisonment for abortion, is
opposed to gay rights, believes in creationism and opposes the idea of
evolution and has close links with Protestant paramilitary terrorists.
Protests follow Hung Parliament Vote
Westminster, London. Fri 9 Jun 2017
Class War hold up posters outside the media
village on College Green
After election results showed that no party had a majority, a
few protesters came to Westminster to demand that Theresa May resign
or make points about Brexit.
I had expected there to be more people and more protests on the day
that we woke up to hear that although the Tory Party still had more
MPs than any other party they had lost their absolute majority, with
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn performing much better than the pundits and
most opinion polls had predicted. But perhaps too many had been up
until the early morning listening to the results as they were
announced rather than having the sense to go to bed and get a proper
Avaaz had brought a person with a large caricature head Of Theresa
May to Downing St to pose in front of a banner 'The People Have
Spoken' and lay white roses in front of a gravestone with the
message 'Hard Brexit R.I.P 2016-2017'. There were a few other
protesters there too. And at College Green a couple of Class War
activists, Ian Bone and Sid Skill had come to barrack from the
sidelines the MPs and journalists carrying out interviews in the media
village there. Apart from them and a few other individuals,
Westminster seemed strangely empty.
In the election, the Tories were saved from a more ignominious defeat
by the relatively poor performance of the SNP, expected after their
landslide victory in Scotland in 2015. Had Scottish Labour got behind
Corbyn they might have benefited from this, but instead it was the
Conservatives who were revived from their almost complete death in the
2015 election there.
Theresa May announced she was intending to stay on and try and
govern as a minority government, relying on votes from the Ulster
protestant extremist DUP party, linked to loyalist paramilitaries.
Eventually - with the aid of a £2 billion bribe - she did get them to
agree to support her - in what soon became known as a 'bung'
Street Theatre against LSE Inequality
LSE, London. Wed 7 Jun 2017
Some of the cast of the short play - including a man playing the LSE
director look at the script
'Life Not Money at the LSE' staged a street theatre protest
supporting London School of Economics cleaners who have taken a
series of weekly strikes for equality.
The cleaners complain that the LSE and employers Noonan treat them as
second-class citizens, refusing to recognise their union the United
Voices of the World and giving them low pay and grossly inferior
conditions to directly employed staff.
Two people sprayed a chalk slogans on the road while others
alternated chanting 'London School of Exploitation' in
various silly voices with loud blowing of vuvuzelas, creating a very
strange and alien atmosphere which made many stop and listen,
including those taking their lunch break at the nearby pub.
The campaigners then performed a short play in which a character
playing the LSE director tore the shirts off the backs of several
cleaners and boasted about his huge and rapidly rising salary, while a
student and a lecturer made excuses about not intervening, with the
performance ending with the 'director' being showered with streamers
DPAC Trash The Tories in Maidenhead
Maidenhead, Berks. Sat 3 Jun 2017
Paula points her finger at the officer who is
threatening to arrest her
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) protested in Theresa May’s
constituency against the Tory government, the first in the world to
be found guilty of the grave and systematic violations of disabled
people's human rights by the UN.
The cuts the Tories have made since 2010 have had 9 times the impact
on disabled people as on any other group, 19 times more for those with
the highest support needs.
DPAC say Tory polices are heartless and are starving, isolating and
ultimately killing the disabled and that they regard them as
unproductive members of society - though they axed the Independent
Living Fund which did enable many to make a real contribution. A UN
investigation which found the UK guilty of grave and systematic
violations of disabled people's human rights was rejected by the
The protesters marched from the station to protest on the high street
with a straw effigy of 'Theresa May - Weak and Wobbly' and
the message 'Cuts Kill'. After a hour of protest with
speeches, chanting and handing out fliers calling on Maidenhead voters
to vote for anyone but Theresa May they returned to the station.
It looked as if the protest had finished, and I think some of the
photographers who had taken the train from London had left to travel
back. But I though it unlikely that DPAC would leave without some
further action. Most of the police had also left but they soon
returned when DPAC moved onto one of the busiest roads into the town,
blocking it for around 15 minutes before police finally persuaded them
There was a lengthy argument between police and a man who identified
himself as General William Taggart of the NCA and was claiming a
military privilege which gave him a right to block roads in times of
national emergencies such as these. He founded the Reading-based New
Cyber Army in 2006, though on Facebook he states "We originally were
around in one form or another since the 80's" to "to help represent
the little guy against the onslaught of the corporate indifference to
consumers and consumer rights."
The police then turned to argue with Paula Peters of DPAC, and told
her that she would be arrested if she did not move off the road. She
argued for some minutes with the officer in charge and then moved her
mobility scooter slowly to the pavement.
Police started to move those protesters still on the pavement with
the banner showing the around a hundred names of those killed by
benefit cuts and the protest seemed to be finishing, so I caught the
bus back to Windsor rather than hang around for an hour or two for the
next one. Bus services are infrequent in these areas a little way from
LSE Cleaners strike Day 7
LSE, London. Fri 2 Jun 2017
A smoke flare adds a little colour to the end of
The United Voices of the World Cleaners end the seventh day of
their strike for equal treatment at the London School of Economics
with a rally showing their determination to continue the struggle.
The LSE management had made them an offer some days ago, but withdrew
it after the cleaners accepted it and the dispute appears to be
widening, with students, workers from other institutions and other
unions including the UCU coming to express their solidarity.
There was poetry from Poets on the Picket Line as well as dancing and
some high-energy chanting
Liar, Liar protest at BBC
Broadcasting House, London. Fri 2 Jun 2017
'I am a threat' says the banner about Theresa
Protesters came to the BBC to protest against their refusal to
play Captain Ska's "Liar Liar GE2017" in the Radio One Chart Show
despite announcing that it hard reached No 4 in the chart.
The track is a scathing attack on the Conservative's record in
office, highlighting food banks, the NHS crisis, education funding
crisis and a drop in living standards and the BBC say the law requires
it to be impartial in the election period.
The record's promoter, The People's Campaign Against Austerity point
out that the BBC coverage "has been anything but impartial
throughout the election campaign with a constant bias in favour of
the Conservatives." I suspect that a thorough academic study of
the corporations output will back this up, though probably also
finding that the bias was rather less than usual. It does seem to be a
necessary qualification to work as a political commentator on the BBC
to have been an active member of the Young Conservatives and to have
an essentially right-wing viewpoint and a Westminster-centric
perspective, as well as a penchant for making snide comments about
anyone on the left.
The band arrived after I left and gave a live performance or 'Liar,
Liar' on the stage facing the BBC, who I think ignored the whole thing
- as they do most protests.
LSE Cleaners strike for equality
LSE, London. Thu 1 Jun 2017
Cleaners blow vuvuzelas at the rally outside the
LSE students union
London School of Economics cleaners rally on the 6th day of their
strike calling for the same terms and conditions - annual leave,
sick pay and other benefits - as directly employed workers and to be
treated with dignity and respect.
Cleaners are employed for the LSE by cleaning contractor Noonan and
almost all are members of the United Voices of the World union. After
8 months of their campaign for equality the LSE have only offered
derisory concessions and are refusing to recognise the UVW and and
hold sensible talks with them, or to reinstate a sacked worker. At the
end of a long day of picketing they intended to relax with a Zumba
class on the picket line.
London, June 2017
This months images from my travels around London
includes a bus ride in South London
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