Rip Down the Ripper Facade!

Cable St, London. Sun 19 Jun 2016

A little smoke gets in police eyes as they defend the Ripper tourist rip-off shop.
more pictures

Following the 'Jack the Ripper Museum' tourist attraction on Cable St being refused planning permission for its facade and shutter, Class War and supporters, including London Fourth Wave Femninists in cat masks, protested outside with toy plastic hammers offerering to take it down as the owners have not yet complied with the decision.

The so-called museum is a tacky tourist attraction that glorifies the killing of working class women, and the protesters put Class War Womens Death Brigade stickers across the frontage as police stood in front to protect the property.

The protest got a little livelier and more visual when some black clad young protesters came with a red smoke flare. Like some of the police I had to move to escape the smoke and also to take pictures as it became too thick to see anything but a red blur.

Before coming to the protest I paid a visit to a temporary exhibition in St George in the East church nearby, which shows some of the real history of women in the area, rather more interesting than the gory speculation in the shop where the protest was held - and which was granted planning permission as a museum to show exactly the kind of stories in the exhibition.

A billboard opposite the shop which advertised the exhibition was vandalised, presumably by friends of the 'museum', though police appear to have taken no action over this. It isn't yet clear when or how (or even if) Tower Hamlets council intend to enforce their planning decision, and their stated opposition to the grisly shop seems rather half-hearted.
more pictures

Central Hill Open Gardens Estates

Crystal Palace, London. Sat 18 June 2016

Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood Helen Hayes storms out after questions from Simon Elmer of ASH
more pictures

Today council estates across London under threat of demolition by Government Housing policies, council regeneration programmes and property developers welcomed visitors to open day events as a part of the Open Garden Estates initiative by Architects for Social Housing.

At the Central Hill estate in Crystal Palace, a popular and well-planned estate of architectural interest in good condition under threat of demolition by Lambeth Council, there was a display of alternative plans, food, book and other stalls, a music performance, film show and a Marxist puppet show as well as estate tours.

Among those attending was Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood Helen Hayes, who stormed out after being questioned why she was attending when she had given her backing to Labour councillors behind the plans to demolish the estate. A by-election in the area last week saw a large Labour majority cut to only 36 votes over the Green Party in a 27.4 percent swing, largely because of library cuts and the planned estate demolition.

Central Hill Estate is yet another clear example of why the Labour Party needs to rethink its whole approach to council-owned housing. Although the policy of 'regeneration' introduced under New Labour soon after their election made some sense and was probably made with good intentions, its results have often been disastrous. Partly because local authorities simply have never had the expertise to deal with the developers, who are able to run rings around them - and to find legal ways to bribe some, but also because of the changing economic and political situation. Some councillors have done quite nicely out of it, moving into highly paid jobs in housing associations which have become hard to distinguish from commercial property developers etc.

'Regeneration' has resulted in huge transfers of public assets into private hands, in a wholesale loss of social housing, and in social cleansing, with people being forced outwards from London, unable to afford either the laughably named 'affordable' properties or those at market rates. It has meant the dispersal of functioning communities, in widespread and arguably fraudulent under-compensation of leaseholders, and in a great deal of sub-standard buildings, often to lower specifications of space and worse design than those they replace.

On show at Central Hill were alternative plans to develop the site without demolition that would acheive a similar increase in housing units to the planned regeneration. The costs would almost certainly be far less, but Lambeth Council were not interested. 'Homes for Lambeth' isn't about homes for Lambeth residents, but about making hefty profits by selling at market prices.
more pictures

UCL Rent Strike Victory

London. Sat 18 June 2016

Students called off protests at UCL after their victory
more pictures

UCL students called off their advertised Open Day Manifestation acter the Complaints Panel decided that the residents of Campbell House West will be compensated in full for the final term last year - up to £1,368 per student.

The panel determined that UCL Management "Not only demonstrated a lack of empathy towards students’ circumstances and an understanding or appreciation of what would be an acceptable student experience, but was disingenuous to the students concerned." Instead of the expected mass protest, a small group of students assembled to celebrate their victory, and to show their determination to continue their campaign to cut student rents.

I didn't stay long as I wanted to make the journey to another event, but after I left, the students went on a rather lively march around the West End, clebrating their victory with flares as well as the helium balloons, which I was sorry to have missed.
more pictures

Axe the Housing Act March

Piccadilly, London. Sat 18 June 2016

A woman carries a placard stating the reality of Southwark's regeneration - demolition of 7,639 homes
more pictures

Protesters marched from Hyde Park Corner to Parliament against the Housing and Planning Act passed last month, demanding that it be repealed as it make the current housing crisis much worse, removing security from many tenants, and will result in the demolition and selling off of almost all social housing. Tenant and housing groups, councils, academics, trade unions and communities all oppose the Act.

The protesters urge councils to refuse to implement the Act and call on people to stand together to boycott the pay-to-stay tax, resist evictions and block regeneration and estate demolitions. There were a number of speeches before the march started, and perhaps surprisingly given their appalling record on housing one was a councillor from the London Borough of SouthwarkRichard Livingstone, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Financial Inclusion and formerly responsible for housing in the borough.

Not surprisingly there was noisy shouting when he spoke, with many protesters calling their demolition of the Heygate and Aylesbury estates by Southwark a shameful example of exactly the kind of social cleansing this protest was against. Some people tried to get the protests to stop, arguing that we need to unite to fight the Tories, but until Labour councils stop carrying out policies like this, it is hard to see anything to be gained from collaborating with them.

It's time we saw the shift in the Labour movement represented by the huge leap in membership inspired by Jeremy Corbyn standing as leader began to be reflected in the boroughs, with new councillors that care for their people replacing the careerists, and for new policies that stand up for the values of the Labour movement rather than working with developers and others - and often apparently driven by personal gain.

After speeches at Hyde Park Corner, the march moved off to a rally outside Parliament, but I left for UCL.
more pictures

Municipal Journal Awards

Hilton Hotel, Mayfair, London. Thu 16 Jun 2016
An Aylesbury estate resident gives her opinion of Southwark Council
more pictures

Housing protesters including Focus E15, the Revolutionary Communist Group Class War and Architects 4 Social Housing protested noisily outside the Municipal Journal Local Authority Awards at the Hilton Hotel castigating the nomination of Southwark and Newham for awards.

They complain Southwark is nominated for 'Best London Council' despite having demolished 7,639 units of social housing, sold off public land to developers, and evicted people unlawfully and accuse Newham of social cleansing, rehousing people in distant parts of the country while council properties remain empty, and of causing mental health problems through evictions, homelessness and failure to maintain properties.

Police tried to persuade the protesters to move to the pavement on the other side of the access road in front of the hotel, pushing some across the road, but they simply returned to protest on the pavement in front of the hotel, though leaving the entrance to the hotel and a bar open. Some did for some time stand opposite, so that they could be seen from the windows from those at the award ceremony, and greeted those arriving by taxi at the hotel, though police continually argued with them to keep off of the road.

One police officer continued to try and get the protesters to move, but the others soon gave up and stood in a line between the protesters and the hotel entrance. There were a few minor incidents when police pushed a protester holding a banner and again when several protesters held banners and placards in front of the restaurant windows. A manager came out to argue with them, and blinds were pulled down, though the diners inside didn't seem too concerned - and some paused from eating (expensively, with fish and chips about the cheapest meal on the menu at £21) took out their phones to photograph the protesters.

I was pleased the protesters stayed put, as light rain was falling much of the evening and we were under the hotels canopy which kept it off us, as well as giving some interesting reflections in its shiny metal surface. After around an hour and a quarter the protesters decided to leave. As they walked past the garden of the Saudi Embassy, Jane Nicholl of Class War stopped to pose outside the gates (the pair without the two armed police officers) for a few pictures of her holding a Class War Womens Death Brigade sticker. We walked away as the armed police approached.
more pictures

Advance to Mayfair - London Real Estate Forum

Berkeley Square, London. Tue 14 Jun 2016

Protesters outside the London Real Estate Forum where London Councils were pitching to developers
more pictures

Campaigners concerned over London's housing problems protested noisily in Berkeley Square 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.

Protests had started earlier in the morning and I arrived just as Class War were coming for a protest at lunchtime, and the numbers outside grew. Among other groups present were the Revolutionary Communist Group and supporters of Focus E15 from Newham and protesters from the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark.

Under the guise of New Labour regeneration, Southwark spent large amounts of council money in demonising the Heygate Estate, employing PR consultants to invent surveys, deliberately moving in problem tenants, running the estate down both physically and through the media to justify its demolition. A highly awarded scheme with its trees coming to maturity, and popular with many residents despite the lack of necessary maintenance was emptied over a period of years and finally destroyed. It took years to get some residents to move, as few were offered suitable alternative accommodation and the compensation on offer to leaseholders was derisory.

The Heygate was extremely valuable because of its good transport links, next to the Elephant and Castle, and as a well planned relatively low density scheme provided an opportunity to cram in many more units. But it has been something of a financial disaster for Southwark council (though doubtless not for some councillors) and certainly for the people of Southwark, as the Heygate, built with around 1700 social housing units has been replaced by Elephant Park, with less than a hundred, along with a large number of high price apartments which very few locals can afford.

After than disastrous scheme, Southwark moved on to attack the Aylesbury estate, carrying out a similar programme of converting public assets into private profit, with yet more Southwark residents being forced to move out to cheaper areas on the outskirts of London or beyond, in what housing activists describe as social cleansing, driving ordinary Londoners out of the capital.

In Newham, the council started getting rid of people living in the Carpenters Estate close to Stratford Station over 10 years ago. They tried hard to sell it to UCL, but protests were important in changing UCL's mind. Many homes on the estate have now been empty for over 10 years, despite the huge problems with housing in the borough. When they stopped funding for the Focus E15 hostel they tried to get the residents to move to private rented accommodation in distant parts of the country, but the young women decided to stay and fight together - and became involved in many other housing campaigns, including that on the Carpenters Estate, where they highlighted the situation by occupying a small block of four flats for several weeks.

Lambeth is another Labour council engaged in similar schemes, demolishing sound homes (though often poorly maintained by the council) at various estates, and similar things are happening in both Labour and Conservative boroughs across London and elsewhere. Events such as this bring together councils with developers and estate agents to plan further sales of public assets to make profits for developers; councils appear to regard the estates they own as liabilities rather than seeing them as providing vital homes meeting the needs of the people who elect them.
more pictures

London Traffic Deaths Vigil

City Hall, London. Fri 10 Jun 2016

Some chose to stand while others 'died-in' for the 11 minutes of silence for the 11 dead
more pictures

A vigil at City Hall remembered 11 road users killed on London streets since the mayoral election last month, including three cyclists.

Organised by London Women on Bikes (LWOB), #LondonBusWatch, Westminster Living Streets and BMX Life and attended by a number of family members of those killed, the vigil introduced by Nicola Branch of LWOB began with speeches by transport campaigners; founding member of LWOB Deborah Willemen, Peter Hartley of Westminster Living Streets, Dr Rachel Aldred, Senior Lecturer in Transport at the University of Westminster, Tom Kearney of #LondonBusWatch, who became involved after narrowly escaping death when hit by a bus on Oxford St and Green Party London wide Assembly Member Caroline Russell, a member of the GLA Transport Committee who was the host for the protest, allowing it to take part outside City Hall, one of London's privately owned public spaces.*

The protest was called for a month after the election of a new mayor of London, and it was a month in which 11 people, 3 cyclists and 8 on foot, died after being hit by vehicles on London's streets. Sadiq Khan is being urged to take urgent action to protect pedestrians and cyclists in London. It's wrong to think of these deaths as accidents; they happen because road users make mistakes, often made harder to avoid because of poor vehicle or road design. Many of them result from a lack of proper facilities for pedestrians and cyclists in a road system which prioritises getting motorised vehicles from A to B as fast as possible rather than safety. Some are caused by the failure of police to enforce road traffic law - for example on advanced stop lines at traffic lights.

One of the three cyclists killed was a BMX rider on a charity ride last weekend organised by BMX Life. Dan 'Cash' Stephenson was hit by a bus on the Strand and died later in hospital. Many of the other BMX riders had come to the vigil as well as members of his family. Some wore tartan ribbons or had fixed them to their bike as a gesture of respect for a man who always wore tartan on the rides. At the end of the formal speeches, a man from BMX Life came up to say a few words about him.

Nicola Branch then read out the names of all eleven who die in the last month, with brief details of when and where they were hit by vehicles. Some of their names were not known, just their gender and age. One was only three, and there was a small bear on one of the roses, but some others were in their 80s and the eldest 91.

I think the following list is correct. But astonishingly TfL and the Met police often fail to issue data on deaths accurately and apparently a third of pedestrian road deaths go completely unreported:

Marie Scott, 75, killed by a moped rider in Holloway;
Christopher Holt, 58, killed by a car driver in Rainham;
Magda Tadaj, 24, killed by a lorry driver in Croydon;
Baroness Marion Lambert, 73, killed by a bus driver in Oxford St;
Basant Lal Sharma, 91, Wanstead, killed by a car driver in Wanstead;
Unknown man, 18, killed by a car driver in Poplar;
Unknown man, 50s, killed by a lorry driver in Victoria;
Mircea-Stefan Ivanescu, 3, killed by a 4x4 driver in Queensbury;
Unknown woman, 76, killed by a car driver in Queen's Park;
Paul Weidlich, 54, killed by a car driver in Deptford;
Dan 'Cash' Stephenson, 45, killed by a bus driver in Aldwych;

Having read the list, Nicola Branch called for one minutes silence for each of them, eleven minutes in all, and invited those at the vigil to stand in silence or to lie down, with or without bikes, in a silent 'die-in'.

At the end of the vigil everyone stood around and were thanked for coming, and were slowly beginning to move off when we were all called back, for a highly emotional moment when Dan 'Cash' Stephenson's daughter spoke through tears about her father.
more pictures

*Like City Hall itself, the open space around it is a part of the Kuwaiti-owned and misleadingly named 'More London'. St Martins Property, also misleadingly named as it is a company representing the state of Kuwait's property interests, had first acquired much of the area some time after 1969, the year when Hay's Wharf, the largest business on this part of the riverfront, announced its Bermondsey wharves were to close. Other wharves, including Mark Brown's Wharf on the area where the vigil took place, close at around the same time. After several ridiculous pastiche plans for developing the area had been turned down, St Martins sold it to London Bridge Holdings in 1998. This Bahamas based company developed the site we now know as More London, and sold it back to St Martins at the end of 2013 for £1.7bn.

 

Day 3 UVW Wood St Cleaners Strike

100 Wood St, City of London. Fri 10 Jun 2016

Ewa Jasiewicz speaks and Jane Nicholl of Class War holds a poster at the strike rally
more pictures

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, mainly let to Schroders and J P Morgan, held a rally at the end of their picket on the third day of their strike.

Thames spent over £20,000 trying to get an injunction to stop the strike against sackings and low pay, but failed though the union was hit by strict conditions and crippling legal costs.

Among those who came to speak in support of the cleaners were Ewa Jasiewicz, an organiser of low paid workers in hotels and restaurants, Candy Udwin, PCS rep who led the long strike at the National Gallery against privatisation, two workers from the ongoing PCS strike at the Welsh National Museums and Jane Nicholl of Class War, who announced their intention to march to the offices of Thames Cleaning in Sidcup next week in support of the strikers.

Three of the striking cleaners also spoke against the dismissals and extra workload at 100 Wood St, along with UVW General Secretary Petrol Elia.
more pictures

Hoxton Mini Press Book Launch

Broadway Market & Bethnal Green, London. Thu 9 Jun 2016

On my walk from the bus stop to Broadway Market
more pictures

A large crowd filled the pavement in front of F Cooke's pie and mash shop on Broadway Market, where tonight they were selling copies of books from the Hoxton Mini Press and serving Five Points Pale, brewed in a railway arch close by. Not only was it rather more the real London (if an iconically gentrified part of it) but it was the real ale London. I was pleased to find a few people I knew to talk with as I consumed several bottles and an alcoholic ice-lolly, very welcome on a still warm evening.

I took a few pictures as I walked away towards Mare St and the bus, of the Ada St workshops, and Beck St, and some more in Museum Gardens where I got off at Bethnal Green, too late for the opening there of the Triumph Pavillion 2016 which was perhaps better for being almost deserted. In Hackney Dreams on >Re:PHOTO I've written a little more about Broadway Market, Hoxton Mini Press and the Five Points Brewery and included a few of my pictures from the 1970s and 80s.
more pictures

Punk London 1977

Paul Smith, Mayfair, London. Thu 9 Jun 2016

Derek Ridgers, an old friend of mine, poses with a woman who is on the cover of his new book
more pictures

Photographs from the opening of an exhibition of pictures from 'Punk London 1977', the latest book by Derek Ridgers, an old friend of mine, in the basement of a Mayfair clothes shop. The show, on for three days only - was certainly the only part of 'London Collections Men' that I attended or photographed. I had a good look at the pictures, talked a little with Derek, had a few glasses of fizz (avoiding the drinks stuffed with vegetation,) took a few pictures and left to go back into the real London.
more pictures

No Red Arrows Over Pride

Trafalgar Sq & Ministry of Defence, London. Thu 9 Jun 2016
Protesters with RAF coffin at Ministry of Defence say Pride is about peace and love, not war
more pictures

'No Pride in War' protesters, including military and gay pride veterans, marched with a 'RAF coffin' from Trafalgar Square to a rally outside the Ministry of Defence in protest about the military flyover by the RAF's Red Arrows announced for Pride 2016.

They demanded the cancellation of the flypast and the withdrawal of arms manufacturer BAE Systems from the parade stating that celebrating and promoting institutions of war and those who profit from warfare globally is an affront to the values that Pride was built on.
more pictures

Capita Racism Protests Continue

Gresham St, London. Thu 9 Jun 2016

CAIWU Cleaners make a lot of noise calling for justice as workers leave for home
more pictures

Grass-roots cleaners union CAIWU (Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union) continued their series of protests outside the offices of Capita in the centre of the City of London against the cleaning contractor Mitie.

The CAIWU accuse Mitie of racism for cutting hours and sacking of African workers among the cleaners, and for victimising those who have protested for the London living wage in protests and by their strike on 3 June. They blame Capita for putting pressure on Mitie to cut costs and have published a recording of a Mitie manager saying that Capita have banned the CAIWU from 65 Gresham St.

The CAIWU are not the only union having problems with Capita. Unite members in Capita have been campaigning against poverty pay too, with an overtime ban, and have just announced their first one day strike for June 16th after Capita management told ACAS that they were not prepared to enter into talks to resolve the dispute.
more pictures

UVW Cleaners on Strike in City

100 Wood St, London. Wed 8 Jun 2016

The UVW measure carefully the 10 metres required by the £20,000 injunction obtained by Thames Cleaning
more pictures

Cleaners belonging to the United Voices of the World union employed by anti-union cleaning contractor Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited at the 100 Wood St offices managed by CBRE, mainly let to Schroders and J P Morgan, began a strike today against sackings and poverty wages.

Rather than talk with the cleaners union, Thames went to the High Court and spent over £20,000 trying to get an injunction to prohibit the strikes and protests but failed to stop them. But they were awarded an injunction which set down strict conditions for the picket and protest and left the UVW with crippling legal costs.

The injunction is a worrying move that has severe implications for the right of workers to engage in disputes, and it is important that the UVW continues its campaign despite the restrictions to which it has to comply. The UVW is a grass-roots union with no paid officials and little or no money to run its activities which include educational workshops as well as supporting its members in the workplace and at employment tribunals. It has launched an emergency appeal for financial support, and everyone concerned with issues of low pay and worker's rights should consider donating.

As well as a legal picket from early morning by striking workers and UVW officials, a lunchtime protest took place in support, but to keep within the terms of the injunction had to stay at least 10 metres from any doorways to the offices. At the start of the protest the UVW carefully measured the distance from the door to where the protest could be held. Class War who had come to support the protest had a more direct method, bringing with them a 10m length of yellow hazard tape with the message 'Crime Scene - Do Not Enter' which they held along the 10 metre line in front of the protest, though it might have been more appropriate to have held it the other way round - in front of the offices at 100 Wood St.

After a protest on that 10 metre line, during which several cleaners spoke with determination and there was support from cleaners elsewhere and Class War, the cleaners and some of their supporters marched around the building so that those at the back - mainly working from Schroders and J P Morgan - would be aware of the protest. Workers in 100 Wood St had been sent an email by management the previous day advising them that there would be a protest (though giving no information as to why it was happening) and that the whole building might need to be in lock-down for the whole day, but the protest was well-ordered and people were able to enter and leave without any problems. Many of them took leaflets or paused to read the banners and posters, some expressing sympathy with the cleaners. Probably rather few people feel happy about anyone working in the same building being badly treated and on miserable pay.

Several cleaners at the building have already been dismissed and others served with notices of dismissal, with those remaining expected to increase their already high workload. The strike which began today continues, and at least one of the strikers has committed himself to go on hunger strike if there is no resolution after several weeks.
more pictures

10 Years of Cleaners' Struggle at SOAS 100

SOAS London. Mon 6 Jun 2016
Consuelo Moreno with an air horn in front of the Justice for Cleaners banner on SOAS steps
more pictures

As London University SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) celebrates it centenary, cleaners, students and staff celebrated 10 years of their Justice for Cleaners campaign, aimed at getting SOAS to directly employ the cleaners and give them decent conditions of service.

Outsourcing, currently to contractor Bouygues UK, means low pay, poor management and poor conditions of service, and the Cleaners4Justice campaign calls for 'One Workplace, One Workforce', arguing the exploitation of low paid staff is inconsistent with the aims of SOAS.

Speakers regretted that while management remained intransigent, and allowed this example of blatant injustice at the core of the institution, staff and students at SOAS were unable to join in what should have been a united celebration of a proud history of fighting against exploitation around the world.

As one of the official activities of the day, a time capsule was to be buried, which will be dug up in a further 100 years. Among the items included at the request of Ed Emery who can be seen playing the fiddle in some of today's pictures is a photograph of him playing at a rally against the the suspension (later retracted) of SOAS trade unionist Sandy Nicoll for his support of the cleaners.
more pictures

Syrians demand break the siege of Alwaer

Downing St, London. Sat 4 Jun 2016
Syria Solidarity Campaign protest opposite Downing St calls for an end to 'starve or kneel' regime strategy
more pictures

Syrians at Downing St called on the UK and international community to take urgent action to end the siege of Alwaer and 50 other besieged towns in Syria. People are without electricity, drinking water, food, fuel, and medical care and are at risk of dying from malnutrition.

Many at the protest had family who have died or are still under attack and say the Syrian regime is guilty of a war crime by systematic and deliberate starving of civilians. In Alwaer, more than 100,000 people have been under siege by the Syrian regime for more than 3 years. Around 1,500 people inside Alwaer are suffering from diseases as a result of the siege. Seven people were killed by Syrian regime shelling on May 29th. There are over 50 similar sieges taking place in Syria, mainly by the Syrian regime and its allies. The systematic and deliberate starvation of civilians is a war crime in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
more pictures

Congo Massacre protest

Downing St, London. Sat 4 Jun 2016

Protesters call on the UK to stop supporting the brutal murder of Congolese for coltan for phones & laptops
more pictures

Africans from the Patrice Lumumba Coalition protested opposite Downing St after the massacre last month of 120 people in Beni, North Kivu, Congo. They say that since 2014, 1000 people have been horrifically murdered in the region, despite the presence of a UN army and the Congolese armed forces.

They say the massacres in Congo, where over 10 million have been killed, come from the US-backed overthrow of the Mobutu regime and the unconditional support by the US, UK, Belgium and Canada of President Museveni in Uganda and President Kagame in Rwanda, from where proxy armies and militia groups attack the Congolese. Behind this is the need by multinational corporations for the mineral reserves of the Congo, gold, oil, tin and particularly coltan, essential for the production of smart phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets.

They say that Kagame has been responsible for the integration of Rwandan and Ugandan mercenary groups into the Congolese arm and that they freely murder people in Eastern Congo. They say that the UK spends £500m a year in support of Congo's President Kabila, and £90m to prop up the Rwandan regime and demand an end to this funding and want all those responsible for backing the genocide - including Tony Blair and the Clintons as well as African leaders - to be held to account.
more pictures

Call for a Greater Hungary

Downing St, London. Sat 4 Jun 2016

Protesters with various flags and a large banner
more pictures

The protesters appeared to be calling for the restoration of Hungary to its pre-1920 borders. This claim has re-emerged in recent years mainly as a result of the rise of the right-wing Jobbik party in Hungary where this ' Movement for a Better Hungary' is now Hungary's third largest party in the National Assembly.

There was no sign on the flyer being handed out or on the banner at the event of who was organising the protest, but several of those taking part carried the blue and gold Székely flag and the flyer mentioned the new administrative regions in Romania, saying these "break the historic Szekler heartland into fragments".

To an outsider, the boundaries set by the 1920 treaty of Trianon (and largely re-instated after WW2) seem surprisingly reasonable, encompassing those areas with an ethnic Hungarian majority, but they did leave significant Hungarian minorities in other states. The protesters claim that there has been 'cultural genocide' in countries including Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine and Serbia and that in the local areas in which there is a Hungarian majority they should be allowed to speak there language and have some autonomy.
more pictures

Rally against axing NHS student bursaries

Dept of Health, London. Sat 4 Jun 2016
Danielle Toplady (right) supports Helen Corry as her mother makes a passionate speech in support of nurses
more pictures

Speakers at the rally at the Dept of Health against plans to axe student bursaries, included Dame Vivienne Westwood and Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett as well as medical professionals, students, patients and disablement activist Paula Peters, and there wa a performance by the National Health Singers including their latest song.

Speakers stressed the vital role that nurses play in the NHS and the need to ensure that bursaries continue to support their training, during which they carry out work placements that support the NHS. It is only fair that they be paid for the vital work that they do while on their courses, which makes it difficult for them to have the part-time jobs that many other students take on to support themselves. The NHS bursaries also make it possible for more mature students, particularly those with family responsibilities to train.

We currently have a great shortage of nurses and other medical professionals, with a high proportion of NHS workers now being migrants who trained abroad, often in countries far less able to support medical training than our own. Jeremy Hunt seems to think that by cutting the bursaries he can increase the number of students, while those in the medical profession (and common sense) suggest it will lead in both a drop in numbers and in the suitability of entrants. Many also see it as a part of a plan to carry further the privatisation of the NHS and healthcare, with trained nurses being in part replaced by workers on low pay and with only minimal on the job training.
more pictures

March to save NHS student bursaries

London. Sat 4 Jun 2016
Many of the student nurses had '#Bursary or Bust' on their faces
more pictures

NHS students and supporters marched to a rally at the Dept of Health against plans to axe student bursaries. They say these are essential as student nurses spend 50% of their course working in the NHS and unlike other students are unable to work part-time to support themselves. Student Bursaries also make it possible for mature entrants to train.

The march gathered opposite St Thomas's Hospital, and made its way along Belvedere Rd to Waterloo Bridge, keeping to a single lane so that traffic continued moving alongside it. Halfway across the bridge there was a brief sit-down on the roadway. It continued along the Strand to Charing Cross, where disabled protesters and others unable to march the full distance joined it for the final length down Whitehall to the yard in front of the Dept of Health at Richmond House for the rally.
more pictures

Boycott HP against Israeli apartheid

PC World, London. Sat 4 Jun 2016


Handing out 'Boycott HP' postcards outside PC World
more pictures

A protest outside PC World on Tottenham Court Rd was one of around 20 actions around the UK held to raise awareness of Hewlett Packard's heavy involvement the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people and encourage a boycott of HP.

HP provides the biometric system used for ID cards used to control movement of Palestinians inside Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory, technology for the Israeli military and supporting the illegal settlements.
more pictures

Capita Cleaners strike against racism

Gresham St, City of London. Fri 3 June 2016

The CAIWU protested outside the offices calling for an end to discrimination and a living wage
more pictures

The CAIWU held a lively rally outside Capita Symonds in the heart of the City of London in support of cleaners striking against the dismissal and unfair treatment of African workers there by contractor Mitie and for a living wage.

Speakers included CAIWU General Secretary Alberto Durango, RMT Regional President Glenroy Watson and NSSN Chair Rob Williams; other well-known trade unionists sent messages of support or came during the day to support the picket. Further strikes and actions are promised unless Capita pressures Mitie into meeting the union's demands. Images available for repro from Images Live.
more pictures

Guantanamo Diary author remembered

US Embassy, London, UK. Thu 2 Jun 2016
A campaigner holds up a heavily redacted spread of Slahi's 'Guantanamo Diary'
more pictures

Today's monthly 'Shut Guantanamo' protest at the US Embassy in London featured readings from the heavily redacted best-selling 'Guantanamo Diary' by Mauritanian prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi, arrested following an identity mistake in 2002 and subjected to savage beatings, death threats and sexual humiliation in Guantanamo detailed in his 2005 book.

Still held in Guantanamo, his case comes up for review today. He has not yet been allowed to read his own book. Images available for repro from Images Live.
more pictures

 

London Images

London, June 2016

coming later

   top of page


All pictures on this site are Copyright © Peter Marshall 1999-2016; all rights reserved.
for licences to reproduce pictures or to buy prints or comment on the work,

contact me

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

 

my london diary index
 

June 2016

Rip Down the Ripper Facade!
Central Hill Open Gardens Estates
UCL Rent Strike Victory
Axe the Housing Act March
Municipal Journal Awards
Advance to Mayfair
London Traffic Deaths Vigil
Day 3 UVW Wood St Cleaners Strike
Hoxton Mini Press Book Launch
Punk London 1977
No Red Arrows Over Pride
Capita Racism Protests Continue
UVW Cleaners on Strike in City
10 Years of Cleaners' Struggle at SOAS 100
Syrians demand break the siege of Alwaer
Congo Massacre protest
Call for a Greater Hungary
Rally against axing NHS student bursaries
March to save NHS student bursaries
Boycott HP against Israeli apartheid
Capita Cleaners strike against racism
Guantanamo Diary author remembered

London Images

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

Stock photography by Peter+Marshall at Alamy

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

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

Site search: powered by FreeFind