Police seize Class War banner
One Commercial St, Aldgate, London. Thu 12 Mar 2015
Police pull the 'Political Leaders' banner out of the
hands of the demonstrators
Class War protested outside One Commercial St against separate doors
for rich and por. When they refused to put away their banner calling political
party leaders 'f***ing wankers'*, citing their right to freedom of speech,
police seized it, arresting one man who had kept hold of it.
The protest began as usual, with protesters standing in front of the rich
door with their Lucy Parsons and Political Leaders banners, and a couple of
police officers standing in front of the rich door. The protesters got out
their flaming torches, lighting several of them, and a green flare rolled
across the pavement. An officer came across to look at it, but sensibly left
it to burn out harmlessly; another questioned some of the protesters trying
to find out who had lit it, but apparently nobody knew anything about it,
and the protest continued.
Then, after the Political Leaders banner had been on display for around 15
minutes, two officers came up and demanded it be put away as it was offensive.
When asked if anyone had complained about it they said that they found it
offensive. There was some argument and when the protesters refused to remove
it, the officers then warned individually each person holding it that they
were committing an offence and might be arrested, after which they seized
There was then a short struggle as three officers came and pulled the banner
out of the hands of those holding it. One man, who had kept holding on to
it longest was then led a few yards away and police talked to him. After a
few minutes, with other protesters shouting to let him go, they handcuffed
Police reinforcements, including a senior officer, then arrived. Protesters
complained to him about the seizure of the banner and holding of a protester,
and after listening for a few seconds he went to talk with the officers holding
the man. They then led him away down the alley past the poor door and then
out along the road at the rear of the building to a waiting police van in
Commercial St, which drove away.
Later I learnt that the police are keeping hold of the banner as evidence
if the man arrested decides to go to trial rather than accept a fixed penalty.
Over two weeks later they still had it. Probably police have had legal advice
that a prosecution is likely to be unsuccesful.
The protest outside the rich door continued with one less banner for the
*I'm not offended by the actual text on the banner,
but my ISP could be - or use it as a pretext should they wish to terminate
my contract. The banner might be thought to be in poor taste, but I find it
hard to think it offends anyone. It certainly amused many who saw it - and
many clearly agreed with the sentiments. Police
in East London who made a man take down Class War posters at the last election
which had pictures of the party leaders and the word 'Wankers' on them later
wrote a letter to apologise and paid compensation.
Viking longship invades Tate steps
Tate Britain, Millbank, London. Sat 7 Mar 2015
A very wide view of the Viking Longship on the steps
of the Tate
'Art Not Oil' activists took their Viking longship and banners to the
steps of Tate Britain from the climate protest to tell the Tate to stop giving
BP, a major world polluter, huge positive publicity for relatively minor sponsorship
The Longship first sailed to the British Museum when they were having a BP
sponsored show on the Vikings, but was also on September's climate march.
The plastic oil spills are a lot easier to clean up than the real ones BP
has created such as Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, and which could
be truly catastrophic in the Arctic.
Climate Change Rally
College Green, Westminster, London. Sat 7 Mar 2015
Tina-Louise Rothery and others from 'Frack Free Lancashire
at the rally - 'And the Oven gloves are Off'
The Time to Act climate change march through London ended on College
Green, close to the Houses of Parliament where speakers from various groups
including the anti-fracking nanas from Lancashire spoke and performed to an
audience filling the area.
Among the speakers were John Sauven of Greenpeace UK, Kat Hobbs from CAAT,
Bert Wander of Avaaz, Pete the Temp, Fatima-Zahara Ibrahim of the Youth Climate
Coalition, Pete Deane from Biofuelwatch, Guy Shrubsole from Friends of the
Earth, FBU leader Matt Wrack, Rumana Hashem an evironmental activist from
Bangladesh, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Tina-Louise Rothery who spoke toegther
with a Frack Free Lancashire crowd, Dennis Fernando, UAF, Chris Baugh, PCS,
John McDonnell, MP, and comedian Francesca Martinez. A woman from Paris (whose
name I missed) invited us all to go there to protest at the climate talks
there this December, and a 12 year-old read an excellent speech she had prepared.
There was then a performance by a large choir, Voices United, and the event
concluded with John Stewart of HACAN who came on stage together with some
polar bears from a protest earlier in the day at Heathrow who received prolonged
We were then invited to take part in two further protests that were continuing
the day's theme, with some protesters going on to take direct action around
Parliament and 'Art Not Oil' proceeding with their Viking longship to protest
on the steps of Tat Britain against the gallery accepting sponsorship to greenwash
climate wrecker BP. Although the direct action was perhaps more newsworthy
(and ended up with some clashes in which at least one journalist was injured
and arrested, as well as some protesters) I decided there would be less coverage
of the Tate action and so went that way. It was also on the way to Vauxhall
station, a convenient place to catch a train home.
Time to Act on Climate Change
Lincoln's Inn Fields to Parliament. Sat 7 Mar 2015
Tina-Louise Rothery from 'Frack Free Nanashire' and
others from Lancashire sitting down on the Strand
Over 20,000 protesters marched through London demanding action on climate
change with divestment from fossil fuels, an end to fracking and damaging
bio-fuel projects and for a 100% renewable energy future which would create
a million new jobs.
The marchers met up in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and were led by a group of cyclists
as the set off for Parliament. On the Strand, some of those present surged
towards McDonalds, which was protected by a line of police, who had earlier
largely avoided the large protest, after the organisers had said they were
unwilling to pay for any policing of the event.
Hundreds then sat down in the Strand for around 15 minutes, including a large
block from Frack Free Lancashire, led by the Nanas. The march then restrarted
with a sizeable black bloc making itself noticed in Whitehall. When the march
reached King Charles St, they peeled off from the main march and rushed down
it, with a number of police following. I took a few pictures as they started,
then decided to rejoin the main march as it went past Parliament to College
Poor Doors Zero Police
One Commercial St, Aldgate, London. Thu 5 Mar 2015
briefly block Whitechapel High St with their banners, including the 'Party
Last week Class War were threatened with arrest as an officer found their
'Party Leaders' banner offensive. They came back to protest against separate
doors for rich and poor ready to defy police, but for the first time in 20
protests no police arrived for the protest.
The protest continued as usual on the pavement outside the 'rich door' on
Whitechapel High St, with speeches against social segregation and chanting
of slogans against separate doors for the wealthy and the social housing residents.
As well as displaying the 'Party Leaders' banner which had led to a threat
of arrest by police, they also had their Lucy Parsons banner, with its quote
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live".
People were also holding the posters "Class War - You are now entering
the Peoples' Republic of Aldgate'.
Towards the end of the protest, people took briefly to the roadway and held
up traffic for a few minutes with their banners, before returning to the pavement
and continuing the protest. As the protesters were packing up, a small group
of protesters arrived late, having been held up in the congestion at Oxford
Circus, where crowds queued for up to an hour to be let into the underground
Apparently after the rest of us had left and security on the 'rich door'
had relaxed, this small group rushed inside through the door while a resident
was entering and protested inside for a few minutes before being evicted.
But by that time I was well on my way home.
Homeless Persons Matter
US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London. Tue 3 Mar 2015
Protesters hold up the message '# No More Deaths On
'Homeless Persons Matter' say activists shocked by video and eye-witness
reports of Los Angeles police shooting and killing an unarmed homeless man
on Skid Row in an impromptu protest outside the US Embassy called by the group
Love Activists. The protest was called at very short notice and there were
Eye-witnesses say the man was unarmed but there was a scuffle when police
tried to grab him. They got him to the ground, possibly using a tazer, and
then, according to an onlooker "When they couldn’t apprehend him
that’s whey they backed up and just started shooting. Pow, pow, pow.
There was five of them."
The protesters at the US embassy had posters with the hashtags #NoMoreDeathsOnOurStreets,
#homelesslivesmatter and #ACAB.
Mexican President told Stop the Killing
Downing St & Parliament Square, London. Tue 3 Mar 2015
'Donde Estan?' - Where are they? ask the protesters
about the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students
Several hundred, many Mexicans, protested against President Peña
Nieto outside Downing St, and in Parliament Square after he spoke in the House
of Lords. They blame him for over 100,000 deaths and disappearances including
the 43 Ayotzinapa students.
It was a colourful rally at Downing St, including some people with faces
painted in traditional Mexican designs with people angered at the continued
violence and killings in Mexico, and in particular about the disappearance
of the 43 students, thought to have been abducted by police under the orders
of the local Mayor and handed over to drug cartels. People held giant pictures
of the students faces and shouted 'Alive they took them; Alive we want
them back' and the whole crowd recited slowly in Spanish the numbers
from one to 43.
Speech bubbles held by some stated 'Mexico has a skeleton in the closet'
and a banner listed '110K killed, 22K disappeared' since 2006, deaths
and disapperances they blame on the Mexican President Peña Nieto
who was visiting the UK and speaking to Parliament in the House of Lords.
The protesters marched from the rally to Parliament Square, and the shouting
came to a crescendo when a motorcade sped out and away, presumably including
the president. They then marched back chanting as they went along Parliament
Street the numbers 1-43, and the rally opposite Downing St continued,. As
I left, Jeremy Corbyn MP was speaking.
Shut Down Yarls Wood
Home Office, London. Tue 3 Mar 2015
for Justice protesters outside the Home Office
On the day that a parliamentary report was published condemning the UK
immigration system, Movement for Justice protested at the Home Office demanding
immediate closure of Yarls Wood following exposure of systematic brutality,
racism and sexism.
The report by a committee, led by Sarah Teather Liberal Democrat MP for Brent
Central and a former Minister of State for Children and Families vindicates
the struggles of detainees and ex-detainees for justice, freedom and respect
and is a public nondemnation of immigration detention. It finds that the Home
Office has abused its powers and that there must be must be an end to the
torture of indefinite detention and a statutory 28-day time limit to detention,
with every decision to detain subject to judicial oversight.
The report came the day after a damning Channel 4 undercover investigation
of Yarls's Wood exposed systematic brutality, racism and sexism against the
women held there.
Called at very short notice, the protest was not huge, but there was no doubting
the determination of those present, some of who had been held in Yarl's Wood
and other detention centres, that "Yarls Wood must be SHUT DOWN and the
entire racist, sexist, corrupt system of immigration detention comes to an
Maximus - Same Circus, Different Clowns
Westminster, London. Mon 2 Mar 2015
Kilburn Unemployed Worker’s Group Choir wore masks
to sing "David Cameron is a W******“
DPAC and other activists held a circus-themed protest at the London HQ
of Maximus, who are taking over Work Capability Assessments for sickness and
disability benefits from Atos, going on to the Dept of Work and Pensions before
blocking Victoria St.
A sustained and militant campaign by DPAC and other disabled activists had
both completely discredited Atos and persuaded them to quit running the Work
Capability Assessments (WCAs) which had been used to deny a large proportion
of claimants the sickness and disability benefits they were entitled to in
order to meet money-saving targets. Although many claimants got their benefits
restored on appeal, some were unable to cope with the stress and committed
suicide, desperate when they were left with no oney at all by the system.
Despite the computer-based tests having been found to be unfit for purpose,
Iain Duncan Smith has continued to insist on their use, awarding US firm Maximus
a lucrative contract to continue the harassment of the sick and disabled.
Maximus are also involved in the growing privatisation of the NHS, running
the it for Work occupational health service designed to bully and harass people
on sick leave into going back to work. In some areas they also run the Work
Programme, forcing claimants into workfare to keep benefits; they also run
similar welfare-to-work style schemes for the brutal Saudi Arabian government.
The protest began outside the offices of Maximus in Queen Anne's Gate, and
then moved on to take over the nearby mini-roundabout in Petty France as a
'circus ring', with various circus-styled performances, including a hula hoop
display by Alice Rose and singing from Rockin’ Paddy who performed 'Battle
of Whitehall' and the Kilburn Unemployed Worker’s Group Choir wearing
David Cameron masks sang their 'David Cameron is a W******'.
From there the protest went on to the Dept of Work and Pensions at Caxton
House, and after a rally on Tothill Street outside there most of those present
continued to the pedestrian crossing in front of Westminster Abbey on Victoria
St, positioning wheelchairs on it and blocking the street for some minutes.
top of page
All pictures on this site are Copyright
© Peter Marshall 1999-2015; all rights reserved.
for licences to reproduce pictures or to buy prints or comment on the work,
Payment may be waived for acceptable non-profit
use by unfunded bodies.
But organisations that pay any staff should also pay photographers.