my london diary

may 2000

may in london must mean mayday, and we made the most of this one, dancing around
parliament square.
 more pictures

i was more or less next to Macdonalds on Whitehall when demonstrators started to break windows and generally smash it up. it was obvious it was going to happen some time before, and the police made no attempt to prevent it, standing back and letting things happen, although they were massed down a nearby side-street.

i could only conclude they wanted some damage to be able to justify their actions that were to follow, as well as the dire warnings their superior officers had spent some time giving on the media.

the damage could easily have been prevented; action by a handful of police would have been enough to have led the demonstrators on into trafalgar square.

when i saw they were letting it happen, i drew back, making my way through the police lines as they prepared for a massive charge. i watched the first few waves go in and belatedly take up positions. they were hyped up for action and one or two stepped out of line to attack a demonstrator who was offering them flowers with their sticks, knocking him flying and leaving blood pouring from his head. i was just too far away on the wrong side of the charging police to get the picture.

one or two photographers who got close to the police received similar treatment. at this point i decided to leave the scene before i was trapped in by the police or assaulted - i had other things i needed to do that evening. if i had left it a few minutes later i would have been among the several thousand confined for hours for little reason in trafalgar square. perhaps i would have got more pictures, but equally likely i would have suffered gratuitous violence. i wasn't commissioned to be there and decided not to stay.
 more pictures

kingston green fair at the end of the month had a little of the same festive atmosphere, but was fortunately without the vandalism or police brutality.
more pictures




some of my work gets put into nice organised websites.

this isn't meant to be like that, but you can see some of the rest at

london pictures
londons industrial history

and you can read what I think about photography at


All pictures on this site are © Peter Marshall 2002;
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May day gets celebrated in Parliament Square

May Day in Parliament Square.      more pictures

Woman harangues demonstrator from behind police lines

Kingston Green Fair      more pictures

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