Sudanese protest against al-Bashir
Trafalgar Square, London. 27th January 2019
A man waves a Sudanese flag -like Palestine's in the
Sudanese citizens rally in Trafalgar Square in solidarity with the
protests which began on 19th December in the Sudan, calling for 'freedom'
and 'justice' and for Omar Hassan al-Bashir to be tried in the International
On 20th January a protest by thousands in Omdurman was attacked using excessive
amounts of tear gas and a security service vehicle was driven at high speed
into the crowd, causing extensive injuries.
Protesters in cities across Sudan have been detained, harassed and tortured
and the death toll now exceeds 50. There are night-time curfews and emergency
laws and some protesters have had their heads shaved by security forces.
Many journalists have been arrested as the regime tries to impose a media
blackout on the protests.
al-Bashir seized power in a military coup in 1993, and members of the regime
have become extremely wealthy, continuing the British colonial and post
-independence Sudanese policies of plundering the southern regions to enrich
The protesters call for Bashir to be sent to the International Criminal
Court to stand trial on the warrants isuued against him on multiple charges
of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in 2009 and 2010.
Defend Rojava from Turkish invasion
London. 27th January 2019
A police officer talks to women who are unfurling
a PKK flag
Kurds and supporters held a rally in front of the BBC before marching
to Trafalgar Square in solidarity with hunger strikers and in support of
Rojava, the Kurdish Democratic Federation of Northeast Syria, under threat
of Turkish invasion after Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops.
Kurdish forces, with US air support, have defeated the Islamic State and
liberated much of Syria, including Kobane. Without air support they would
be vulnerable to attack by Turkish forces, who have much heavier arms and
a powerful air force and one of NATO's largest armies.
Turkey has been an important supporter of ISIS, smuggling oil out to fund
its activities. It occupied Afrin, a Kurdish area close to its borders with
the aid of Islamist forces, and aims to destroy the Kurds and ethnically
cleanse the whole region.
Most of the rally and the start of the march was in pouring rain, though
it slackened off later. There was a large police presence, and a when some
of the marchers displayed PKK flags, police made an attempt to rush in and
snatch the people holding them, but were prevented by other protesters who
protected them. Police brought in a larger snatch squad and for some minutes
in Regent St there was an uneasy standstill as the protesters stopped marching
and gathered to protect a further attempt at arrest by police.
Eventually the march moved slowly on, with yet more police arriving and
following closely on both sides as it moved to Piccadilly Circus, where
it stopped Mark Campbell made an impassioned speech, reminding the police
squad who were watching that the Kurds had led the fight against ISIS, with
many, including some fighters from Britain becoming martyrs for the cause.
He told the police how shameful it was that some who had gone from the UK
to fight where now being harassed and prosecuted for being prepared to risk
their lives to defeat the Islamist state. The police should be ashamed for
allowing themselves to be used in such a political way.
The PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) was banned as a terrorist organisation
in 2001 in the UK, though the UN has not recognised it as such, some regarding
the Turkish state as being at least as responsible for the violence which
has occurred in the country. For some years in Turkey it was illegal to
use the words "Kurds", "Kurdistan", or "Kurdish"
and the use of the Kurdish language, as well as the Kurdish language, names,
dress and folklore were banned, despite Kurds making up a fifth of the Turkish
Over the years more than 40,000 people, mainly Kurdish civilians, have
been killed in the unrest over the attempt to supress the Kurds, and many
Kurdish writers and politicians have been arrested and executed. PKK leader,
Abdullah Öcalan, has been held in solitary confinement in a Turkish
jail since 1999, and seems widely revered by Kurds as the leader of their
Yellow Jackets in Westminster
Westminster, London. Sat 26 Jan 2019
Yellow jacketed protesters with a banner 'Justice
for Our Boys'
People wearing yellow jackets protested in Whitehall and around Parliament
for several hours, walking along the street and disrupting traffic, accompanied
by a large force of police.
They are angered by the failure to deliver Brexit and the failure to deal
with Muslim grooming gangs. They carried banners including 'Justice for
our boys', three young Londoners killed by a reckless drunken driver in
Far right groups claim it was a Islamic terrorist attack, though the driver
was of Indian Hindu heritage with no terrorist connections. The driver,
who was chased and caught when he tried to run from the accident scene,
pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
A few taking part had anti-Muslim messages written on their jackets, and
there were some loud anti-Muslim chants while I was with them.
Balochs protest abductions by Pakistan
Downing St, London. Sat 26 Jan 2019
A man holds a picture of a young woman on hunger strike
and a Balochistan flag
The Baloch Republican Party UK protested opposite Downing St demanding
the release of missing persons in Balochistan, abducted by the Pakistan
army and to support the mothers and sisters of missing persons on hunger
strike in the Quetta Press Club.
They say Baloch people from every intellectual field are being abducted
and mutilated dead bodies being discovered on a daily basis. Balochistan
is the largest of Pakistan's four provinces and its incorporation into Pakistan
was highly contested after independence. There have been long periods of
insurgency, with groups seeking autonomy, the latest since 2003.
'No Whaling' rally and march
London. Sat 26 Jan 2019
A rather bloody protester says 'Stop Killing Whales'
A rally in Cavendish Square opposed the Japanese government's decision
to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and resume commercial
whaling in July 2019. This could result in many species of whales becoming
Speakers included Dominic Dyer, Will Travers of Born Free, John Flack,
MEP, Stanley Johnson and Boris's girlfriend Carrie Symonds (who attracted
far too much attention from a group of papparazzi who were unfortunately
rewarded by a great many pictures in press articles that hardly mentioned
the whales), and a remarkable young girl Bella.
It was in several respects a very conservative occasion, bringing together
mainly politically Conservative groups concerned with conservation with
very few from the more radical and active groups concerned with animal welfare.
There were no speakers from the Green Party, Lib Dems or Labour. The numbers
attending also seemed well down from previous protests about the kiling
of whales and dolphins.
After the rally the campaigners then marched to deliver a letter to the
Japanese Embassy where the protest was to continue on the opposite side
Lambeth protest Children's Centre cuts
Windrush Square, Brixton, London. Sat 26 Jan 2019
A child flies in the air at the protest
Protesters including many with children protest in Windrush Square,
Brixton against Labour Lambeth Council's plans to close 5 children's centres
and cut provision by half at another seven.
They say the centres are a lifeline for parents, carers and children in
the borough, providing vital services for all families, but especially those
most in need of support. As well as speeches there was singing and dancing
with Peppa Pig.
Marzieh Hashemi arrest protest
US Embassy, Nine Elms, London. Fri 25 Jan 2019
Protesters at the street entrance to the Embassy garden
Protesters at the US Embassy condemn the arrest of African-American,
Muslim journalist Marzieh Hashemi in the US on January 13th. She was held
without charge under the controversial “Material Witness” law;
her hijab was removed and she was refused halal and vegetarian food.
Although released yesterday without charge, she asked for global protests
today to continue, calling for an end to FBI harassment of the Muslim community
and an end to imprisonment without charge in the US. The protest outside
the London embassy was supported by a number of UK groups including 5 Pillars,
AIM, CAGE, IHRC, IMCD, InMinds, Islamic Students Association, Muslim Public
Affairs Committee, Shabab Al Sibtayn, The Muslim Vibe and Project Zainab.
Stop Arming Saudi while Yemen starves
Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Wed 23rd Jan 2019
Police dump one of the protesters in the gutter
Stop The Arms Fair and Campaign Against Arms Trade protested outside
the Aerospace, Defence and Security dinner in Mayfair to demand the UK end
its export of almost £5 billion of weapons to the Saudi regime since
their bombing of Yemen began in 2015, making 14m Yemenis at risk of famine
Arms trading which was being celebrated at the luxury dinner causes death,
starvation and devastation across the world, and protesters shouted angrily
at those attending the obscene celebration.
Police dragged, hit and threw down protesters trying to block the entrance
and there was considerable confusion on the narrow pavement. Although I
wasn't directly attacked by police, I was knocked over at one point by a
protester who they had sent flying. The sheer crush of Police, protesters
and hotel security often made it difficult to get a clear view of what was
happening, and the light was low so some pictures without flash were blurred
during more active moments.
After reinforcements arrived, the police slowly pushed the protesters of
from the pavement in front of the hotel into an area of the busy Park Lane
which they had screened from traffic with their vans and cones.
Solidarity with Russian anti-fascists
Whitechapel, London. Sat 19 Jan 2019
On the march from Cable St to Altab Ali Park
Anarchists and anti-fascists met at the Cable St mural to oppose racism,
xenophobia, fascism and the upsurge of far-right populism and to show solidarity
with Russian anti-fascists who have been arrested, framed and tortured in
a brutal wave of repression.
There were speeches by Russian and Ukrainian comrades, and a message was
read out from a representative of some of the prisoners. Six were arrested
in autumn 2017 in Penza by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and
charged with belonging to a non-existent organisation, 'The Network', and
beaten and tortured in the pre-trial detention facility using electical
torture and hanging them upside down to get them to sign confessions, which
they were forced to memorise.
Two more anti-fascists were arrested in St Petersburg at the end of January
2018 and similarly tortured to admit they were members of the fictional
'The Network', and since then a further person there and two more in Penza
have also been arrested and charged with membership. The FSB claims that
the group planned explosions during the presidential elections and the World
Cup to "further destabilise the political situation in the country".
Other Russians have been arrested and tortured for expressing solidarity
withothose arrested by taking part in protests. A total of eleven are in
prison facing the fabricated charges of belonging to a fictional organisation
which could see them sent to jail for five to twenty years.
The London rally took place on the anniversary of the brutal murder on
the street by fascists of two Russian anti-fascists, journalist Anastasia
Baburova and lawyer Stanislav Markelov, were murdered by fascists in broad
daylight in Moscow on January 19th 2009. Russian anarchists and anti-fascists
hold events to remember them on this day every year.
After the speeches there was a march to Altab Ali Park, enlivened by setting
off a number of flares en route, particularly as they passed under a railway
bridge. There was a short rally in Altab Ali Park, but two of the speakers
expected had failed to arrive.
Bolivians protest against Morales
Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 19 Jan 2019
I'm not convinced this was a protest about democracy
Bolivians protested in Trafalgar Square against President Evo Morales
after Bolivia's Electoral Tribunal ruled in December that he could stand
for a fourth term in office in the November 2019 elections, for which there
are primaries on January 27th.
Morales was elected in 2005 and later supported the 2009 constitution that
allows only two consecutive terms. He then tried to change the constitution
to allow more than two terms, but this was narrowly rejected by a referendum
on 21st Feb 2016.
Morales then took the matter to the courts, who ruled that the limitation
to two terms infronged the human rights of citizens, and this allowed him
to stand as the candidate in the forthcoming elections. Protesters in the
21F movement say he is a false democrat and behaves as a dictator, and accuse
him of corruption and interfering with the court system.
It is hard to know how much this truly reflects a concern for the integrity
of the constitution and how much reflects opposition to the policies of
his government. Morales, widely regarded as the country's first president
to come from the indigenous population, is the head of the Movement for
Socialism (MAS) party, and his administration has implemented leftist policies,
reducing poverty and illiteracy and combating the influence of the United
States and multinational corporations in Bolivia.
His policies have made him unpopular with many of the middle class and
particularly the groups accustomed to runnning the country, but have been
been extremely successful, though critcised by both the far left and extreme
right, as well as by many in the United States, who have encouraged and
financed opposition to him. Morales is seen by many around the world to
have shown a succesful alternative to the growth of international capitalism.
But though he has acheived much, expectations at the start of his presidency
among many were extremely high, and thirteen years later many have become
disaffected by the slow speed of progress.
Women's Bread & Roses protest
London, UK. Sat 19 Jan 2019
One of my favourite sets of placards at the BBC
Inspired by the Bread & Roses protests which revolutionised workers’
rights for women in 1912, Women's March London marched from the BBC to a
rally in Trafalgar Square.
The march was against economic oppression, violence against women, gender
pay gap, racism, fascism, institutional sexual harassment and hostile environment
in the UK, and called for a government dedicated to equality and working
for all of us rather than the few.
The march was a part of an international day with women marching in many
countries across the world and particulalry in the USA. It began in a rather
odd way with the initial rally on the steps of All Souls Langham Place opposite
the BBC being directed and filmed by a crew working on a documentary for
the BBC about a small group of women who were taking part, although it looked
more like a scripted drama than documentary practice as I understand it.
Bus Day of Action for disabled
Dept of Transport, London. Fri 18th Jan 2019
Capaigners pose for a photograph in front of the Dept
Transport for All (TfA) marked the 2nd anniversary of Doug Paulley's
5-year battle to get the Supreme Court decision that bus drivers must require
non-wheelchair users to make space for wheelchair and mobility scooter users
who have a primary claim to the space.
Refusal to do so is now legally anti-social behaviour and bus drivers need
to be trained and supported by companies in enforcing the ruling. Disabled
people have a right to travel like others and more needs to be done to make
this possible. The space on buses is provided for them, and passengers with
buggies etc should be prepared to fold these and move them out of the way
Until recently it was generally the rule that parents had to fold push-chairs
etc to take them onto buses, and people should only expect those capable
of folding to be conveyed even if they will not always need to be folded
when wheelchairs do not require the space.
The protest began 45 minutes late as the group of wheelchair users faced
typical travel problems on their way. Many of those taking part had stories
to tell about being turned away from buses because the wheelchair space
was occupied by buggies, as well as problems when they have been taken past
their stop. The Supreme Court made the law clear 2 years ago and more needs
to be done to make sure it is put into practice.
Earth Strike Kickoff Protest
Parliament Square, London. Tue 15 Jan 2019
This was the launch of the campaign for a global Earth
Earth Strike UK campaigners in Parliament Square began their call
for a global General Strike on 27th September 2019.
They urge everyone on that day to leave work & school, boycott non-necessary
consumption and protest in our streets to demand urgent change to halt global
mass extinction, the destruction of our world by catastrophic climate change
caused by greenhouse gases, mainly from using carbon fuels, coal, oil and
This was the first of a series of international actions which will culminate
in the General Strike to Save the Planet, with April 27th being the Halfway
Earth Day protest and August 1st the FInal Warning Protest.
The protest was supported by Extinction Rebellion (XR) and other groups
including Rising Up, Stop Killing Londoners and IWW groups.
Brexit protest against May's Deal
Parliament, Westminster, London. Tue 15 Jan 2019
Brexiteers try to shout down EU Supergirl Madeleina
Kay (Alba White Wolf)
Groups against leaving the EU, including SODEM, Movement for Justice
and In Limbo and Brexiteers Leave Means Leave and others protested opposite
Parliament as Theresa May's Brexit deal was being debated.
There was no support for May's deal from any of the protesters as it has
beenl, dismissed both by remainers and leavers. Remainers want to stay in
the EU, or at least keep in a close union, including a customs union with
the EU,while Brexiteers who were protesting reject any deal and were calling
for us to simply leave and refuse to make any payments. They fail to see
that such an approach would be disastrous for for the country, labelling
any such arguments as simply fear-mongering.
While the two groups mainly kept apart, a small group, some in yellow jackets
came to shout insults at pro-EU campaigners, while police tried to keep
the two groups separate.
Vedanta Zambian pollution appeal
Supreme Court, London. Tue 15th Jan 2019
Campaigners stand with posters and banner outside
the Supreme Court
Foil Vedanta campaigners outside the Supreme Court where British mining
company Vedanta is appealing High Court and Court of Appeal rulings that
1,826 polluted farmers from Zambia can have their case against the company
and its subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines heard in the UK.
The farmers say Konkola Copper Mines have polluted the River Kafue since
2004 with excessive levels of copper, cobalt and manganese causing sickness
and deaths, damage to property and loss of income.
Several campaigners went inside to attend the hearing in the pubic gallery,
while a couple stayed outside with the banner. At the lunchtime recess some
posed briefly with banners and placards. Vedanta continue to claim that
the case should not be heard in the UK as KCM is a Zambian company but both
the High COurt and the Court of Appeal have ruled that Vedanta is responsible
for the activities of its subsidairy and since Vedanta is a British company
can be taken to court here.
If the Supreme Court decides the action can go ahead it well set a precedent
as the first reported case in which a parent company would have been held
to owe a duty of care to a person affected by the operations of a subsidiary
who is not an employee of the subsidiary. This would be an important decision
for all communities affected by the crimes of UK multinationals who have
hitherto been denied justice in British courts. The case was continuing
the following day and a verdict ws not expected for several weeks after
Berkshire. Mon 14 Jan 2019
Brunel's viaduct, HELCH, and a castle
We went for a walk around Eton Wick and the River Thames and had lunch
in a pub there.
Eton Wick is a village, originally built for the workpeople who provided
the services that kept the school at Eton running and for local farm workers..
It used to be in Buckinghamshire but was put into Berkshire in 1974 and
is now part of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
It is surprising isolated for somewhere so close to Windsor and Slough,
probably becuase much of the land around is owned by Eton College. The main
feature of the area apart from the river is the long viaduct by Brunel build
to carry the branch line from Slough to Windsor. The pub is good; unpretentious
and friendly with decent beer and cheap pub food.
Vigil marks 17 years of Guantanamo torture
Trafalgar Square, London. Fri 11 Jan 2019
One of the campaigners wore a Trump mask and held
a poster 'A Really Bad Dude'
Members of the Guantanmo Justice Campaign, London Guantanamo Campaign
& others mark the 17th anniversary of the first prisoners arriving at
the illegal US camp with a display, tableau, vigil, readings and speeches
in Trafalgar Square to highlight the abuse, torture, lack of human rights,
force-feeding and indefinite detention still continuing there.
The campaigners demands are for truth and justice and they say:
- no to illegal or secret prisons
- no to torture and complicity in torture
- no to cruel, inhuman treatment
- no to degrading treatment or punishment
- no to denial of human rights
- no to indefinite detention
President Obama vowed to close the camp down, but didn't carry out his
promise although the number of prisoners fell considerably during his presidency.
A total of 780 prisoners have been held there. Around 500 were released
during the Bush presidency, and 242 under Obama, but 40 men remain there,
all now held for over 10 years. Only one has left Guantanamo since Bush
came to power and he has promised to fill up the prison with 'Real Bad Dudes'.
Most of those who have been held have been innocent men who happened to
be in the wrong place at the wrong time, many seized by militia groups to
claim bounties from the US military. There has been little or no real evidence
against the very great majority of them, and most that there is has been
obtained under extreme torture and is entirely unreliable. The Pentagon
is thought only to intend attempting to take a total of 14 to military tribunals
(which do not meet civil standards for a fair trial) out of the initial
780; two of those still held have been convicted and 7 are awaiting hearings.
Five of those still held have been cleared for release but remain in prison,
with the others on indefinite detention without charge or trial.
Brexit Protests continue
Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London. Fri 11 Jan 2019
Steven Bray talks with a woman who has come to thank
him for his campaign and make a donation to SODEM
SODEM and pro-Brexit campaigners continue to protest opposite Parliament.
Things were much quieter today, with no sign of the extreme right yellow
jackets on the two times I made brief visits. The two groups of protesters
were standing a few yards between them beside the road, and there were even
some quiet discussions taking place between leavers and remainers.
Pro- and Anti-Brexit protests at Parliament
Westminster, London. Wed 9 Jan 2019
A yellow-jacket wearing extreme right protester harassing
SODEM s ignored by police
Protests by stop Brexit group SODDEM (Stand of Defiance European Movement)
and pro-Brexit campaigners continue opposite Parliament.
Among the pro-Brexit campaigners were again some extreme-right 'yellow
jackets', most of whom were fairly subdued. One man led a few others in
shouting insults at SODEM protesters rather than and sensible protest, but
some other Brexiteers had come to support Brexit rather than cause trouble.
Police still seemed reluctant to act against possible breaches of public
order when SODEM protesters were harassed, but there were few if any MPs
to be seen.
Solidarity with Wet'suwet'en Pipeline Protesters
Canada House, London. Wed 9 Jan 2019
The protesters went to all three entrances of Canada
Campaigners at the Canadian Embassy protest in solidarity with the
Wet'suwet'en of British Columbia, 14 of whom were arrested at gunpoint for
stopping the construction of a pipeline to carry fracked gas across their
These indigenous people have never signed treaties with Canada or given
up rights and title to these lands and they say Canada is violating Anuk
Nu'at'en (Wet'suwet'en law) as well as it's own colonial laws. They claim
the Natural Gas pipeline project will add 8.6 million tonnes of carbon pollution
per year by 2030 adding hugely to the climate crisis.
There have been large protests in British Columbia, and more attacks by
armed police are expected. As well as in London, solidarity protests are
taking place all round the world.
Stand Up for the Elephant
Southwark Council Offices, London. Mon 7 Jan 2019
Protesters and an elephant outside the council offices
Residents of Southwark protested outside their council offices before
a planning committee meeting urging them to demand further changes in Delancey's
plans for The Elephant Shopping Centre.
The protesters say the market traders have still not been properly consulted
on relocation to a temporary box park where the proposed stalls are too
small and rents too high, or on a final permanent relocation, that the needs
of the Latino community have not been catered for and that there is insufficient
housing at council rents.
There were speeches from a councillor, representatives of the community,
market traders and council tenants, trade unionists and the local law centre
before some of those protesting went in to the planning meeting.
Tower bridge & Shad Thames
Southwark, London. Mon 7 Jan 2019
Bridge is well floodlit at night
Some pictures from a walk around Shad Thames and the south end of Tower
Bridge in the dark.
Shad Thames has changed dramatically since I first photographed there over
35 years ago, but a little of its character remains, particularly at night.
I also took a few pictures of the river and Tower Bridge, as well as the
newly developed area close to its southern end.
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