my london diary index


All pictures Copyright © Peter Marshall 2019, all rights reserved.
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Against the Anti-Muslim pogrom in Delhi

India House, London. Sat 29 Feb 2020

A man holds up a poster based on the cover of the Indian Constitution
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A protest at India House condemns the violence against Muslims which they say is spearheaded by Hindu supremacist BJP-RSS thugs and openly facilitated by the Delhi Police.

Homes, shops and livelihoods have been damaged and mosques attacked, with a rising death toll and many injured people being prevented by mobs from getting medical care. The brutal violence is an attempt by the Modi-Shah BJP regime to stop peaceful protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and in support of the Indian Constitution.
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Earth Strike target Glencore

Mayfair, London. Sat 29 Feb 2020

A heavy shower shortly before the protest ended made everyone crowd together in front of Glencore
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Earth Strike and other climate activists protest at the Mayfair offices of part British-owned multinational mining company Glencore.

One of the world's largest producers of coal, oil, metals and minerals, Glencore profits from its ecological destruction in extracting minerals like cobalt, copper and lithium vital in smartphones, computers and electric cars. A flier from the Oxford Climate Justice campaign gave this summary:

Glencore's Business Model:

Tax Avoidance, bribery, money laundering, conflict material, child labour, slavery, offshore oil drilling, rainforest destruction, coal extraction, anti-climate lobbying, payments to right-wing paramilitaries, neo-colonialism, water pollution in the DRC and toxic gas releases in Canada

All were footnoted with links to 15 articles on various web sites including The Guardian, Telegraph and other reliable sources. But of course there is much more. Their mining activities have destroyed large areas of ecosystems and sacred lands and resulted in the deaths of many indigenous people, and they are alleged to have paid for police and right wing groups to attack and assassinate people who protest against them. Since 2017, Glencore have spent millions bankrolling a secret, globally coordinated campaign to prop up coal demand by undermining environmental activists, influencing politicians and spreading sophisticated pro-coal messaging on social media.

The protesters blockaded the closed offices and held banners and posters while various speakers talked about Glencore's crimes around the world, including a speaker from West Papua where mining activities are poisoning drinking water and from various groups including Earth Strike, RCG, Extinction Rebellion, Free West Papua campaign, Oxford Climate Justice Campaign.

Last December a landmark legal case was begun in the English courts by families suing them over children killed or maimed in their mines, and protesters against their mining in several countries have been violently attacked by police or murdered.

During the protest a giant banner was produced with the message 'Glencore - Blood on your hands' and people made red hand prints over it. After I left at the end of the protest the protesters marched to Piccadilly Circus behind this, handing out leaflets.
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Green Anti-Capitalists Rally Against Capital

Royal Exchange & Stock Exchange, London. Fri 28 Feb 2020
Coloured smoke on the march through the centre of the city
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Green Anticapitalists protest in the City of London against the wilful destruction of the Earth's ecosystems by the capitalist system.

They say this results in a few getting disgustingly rich by destroying the future for everyone and ignoring the plight of the global south as they steal its resources. They met in front of the Royal Exchange and next to the Bank of England and set off marching briskly in the heavy rain. As they went past the front of St Paul's Cathedral they broke into a run up Ave Maria Lane, making for the Stock Exchange entrance on Newgate St.

A small group of police were already guarding the entrance, and more arrived shortly. For the next couple of hours this and the Paternoster Square entrance to the Stock Exchange were closed down with a thin line of police facing the protesters. The police grabbed one young woman and held her on the ground behind their line, roughly manhandling her for some minutes. Her comrades made one determined effort to break through the line and free her but were repulsed, and a long stand-off followed with police unable to take her through either entrance to a waiting van.

This continued for some time after I left, and later there were apparently three other arrests, one said to be of a protester who tried to give the others biscuits. I'm not sure if any of those arrested was charged before being released.
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University teachers march for Education

London. Wed 26 Feb 2020

A woman with a banner 'We Are The University' listing the various jobs needed to keep it running
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UCU members at the end of a 5 day strike marched from a rally outside the offices of university management UCEA/UUK to the City of London and the offices of the USS pension scheme.

They want a pay rise and contracts based on a 35hr working week, the closing of gender and ethnic pay gaps, an end to Zero-hours contracts and outsourcing and proper contracts and greater job security for all staff, and for an end to plans to end guaranteed pension benefits.

They marched through the centre of the University of London, going past Senate House before going down to Aldwych and then east to the centre of the city where the USS pension scheme offices are close to the Bank of England, before returning for a brief rally in front of Royal Exchange.
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City Inter-Livery Pancake Race

Guildhall Yard, London. Tue 25 Feb 2020

There are special white hats for those taking part in the pancake races. Others dress normally
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The City of London's Livery companies take part in the Inter-Livery pancake races in Guildhall Yard, a tradition begun by the Worshipful Company of Poulterers in 2005 supporting the Lord Mayor's Charity.

Poulterers supply eggs for the pancakes, Clockmakers time the races, Gunmakers fire a starting gun and Fruiterers provide the lemons. As well as competitions for Masters and members of the companies there is also a fancy dress class, with some interesting contributions reflecting the livery companies and the charity.
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Enough is Enough XR march

London. Sat 22 Feb 2020

Act Now - Teach Climate Truth - for Your Students
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Several thousand Extinction Rebellion supporters from around the country gather in Russell Square to demand action to combat climate change and the worldwide droughts, floods, storms and wildfires which are resulting from global heating.

They want an end to government failure and climate damaging policies, media distortion, racism and police clampdown against peaceful protest and labeling campaigners as domestic extremists. From Russell Square they marched to Piccadilly Circus and then on to a rally in Parliament Square. The promised act of 'civil disobedience' at Piccadilly Circus did not take place.
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Don't Extradite Assange

Australia House, London. Sat 22 Feb 2020
People on the march to Parliament Square, including one dressed as a polar bear
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People met at Australia House to march to a rally in Parliament Square calling for the release of Julian Assange whose extradition trial begins on Monday.

The Trump administration wants to try him under the US Espionage Act, with a 175-year prison term or death penalty for exposing US war crimes and illegal mass surveillance. Julian's father, the Wikileaks Editor in Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, Roger Walters, MIA, Vivienne Westwood, Brian Eno, Lowkey, Yannis Varoufakis and Chrissie Hynde were among those supporting the event.
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St Georges's Hospital Security Guards

Tooting, London. Thu 20 Feb 2020
UVW organisers Petros Elia argues with police to let the rally continue for a short while
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The UVW protest in support of security guards inside St George's University Hospital in Tooting where the university was holding an Open Day for postgraduate students.

The guards have been striking for three weeks demanding to be directly employed rather than outsourced to a private contractor under the minimum legal terms and conditions. The university has refused to talk with the United Voices of the World union.

UVW members and supporters met opposite Tooting Broadway station and marched to the hospital where they entered the main entrance, pushing past a couple of security guards on duty there and walked along to main corridor, stopping close to where there was an event to recruit postgraduate students.

There they shouted noisily for security guards at the hospital to be brought in house and to get similar terms and conditions as other directly employed staff. There were a number of speeches, including a short statement of support from Drill music star and London Mayoral candidate Drillminister, as well as UVW members who have led successful campaigns for direct employment elsewhere and other trade unionists. Police were called and let the protest rally continue for some time before insisting the protesters leave.
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Wandle Wander

Wimbledon & Tooting, London. Thu 20 Feb 2020
A strange pier leads out to the confluence of the River Graveney and River Wandle close to the railway bridge
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I had time before the protest at St Georges Hospital to walk up towards the former Wimbledon Stadium building site and then follow the trail beside the Wandle back into Tooting.

I'd arrived early as the time of the protest had been changed and I hadn't noticed the change until I looked the event up when I arrived to find nothing happening. I wasn't too annoyed as it was a fine day and a long time since I'd walked around this area. I began by walking up Blackshaw Road and across to Plough Lane, where I used to come as a teenager to watch Speedway (and once when we got the dates wrong, the dogs) and which is now a large building site. But as well as 600 homes and some shops etc the stadium is to be the site of a new stadium for Wimbledon AFC.

A short distance along Plough Lane took me to the River Wandle and a riverside trail which I walked down, eventually coming out at Denison Rd and making my way to Collier's Wood High St, and I eventually met up with the group of UVW supporters opposite Tooting Broadway Underground.
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Youth Strike for Climate

Westminster, London. Fri 14 Feb 2020

Fck Your Valentine Not The Planet
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Youth Strike for Climate march on the anniversary of their first UK strike, with over 80 marches around the country.

Youth Strike for Climate demand a Green New Deal for Climate Justice, that schools teach the future, government come clean on the severe nature of the climate crisis and young people be included in policy making, with proportional representation and a voting age of 16.

The march took place on St Valentines Day and a number of placards and posters reflected the date. The began their march going past the Dept of Education with a brief stop to make their feelings heard before going on to protest outside the Home Office against their racist migration policies.

From the Home Office the walked down to Millbank, turning back to go past the Houses of Parliament and Parliament Square and on to Downing St, where there was a longer stop for the protest. They continued up Whitehall to walk through Trafalgar Square where there seemed to be a little confusion about where to go next and they turned around to go back down Whitehall to Parliament Square.

A small group sat down in the road at Parliament Square and were quickly surrounded by police who stopped others who tried to join them, but there seemed to be no real support for this more direct action. Police issued the usual warnings of arrest and eventually the group stood up and joined the others on the grass in the square and there were no arrests.
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Bermondsey Walk

Bermondsey, London. Wed 12 Feb 2020
A rather red room in the Anchor Tap, the colour helped by balancing for the daylight outside

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A walk around Bermondsey with a couple of photographer friends and a pub meal.

I'd come up to London for a meeting about a forthcoming show, and afterwards joined two other photographers for a short walk around Bermondsey, including a few drinks and a meal.
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Stop Jamaica deportation flight

Downing St, London. Mon 10 Feb 2020

Protesters opposite Downing St as heavy rain begins to fall
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A final protest against the forced deportation charter flight scheduled for Tuesday 11th Feb took place on the evening before the flight.

As I arrived at Downing St for the start of the protest, what had been persistent light rain changed to torrential rain. I tried to shelter next the the trunk of one of the trees, but it gave only minimal protection and I got out my umbrella. A couple of minutes later there was a sudden tremendous gust which snapped one of the ribs of the umbrella rendering it useless.

The protest continued despite the heavy rain, and when it slackened slightly I tried to photograph it. But both cameras quickly became very wet, with one refusing to focus, and the lenses began to get condensation on interior elements making further photography impossible. By this time I was wet and cold and decided to leave. Fortunately after a couple of hours in a warm place my cameras and lenses recovered, but I had managed only a few usable pictures.

A little after I left the protest news came through that a legal challenge had been successful, preventing the flight of the majority who the Home Office had intended to deport on the grounds that the failure to provide working telephone connections had prevented them from getting proper legal support to fight their deportations. Apparently despite this the Home Office continued to take them to the airport before later returning them to detention centres in what appears to have been simply a spiteful reaction to the court decision.
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BP Must Fall!

British Museum, London. Sat 8 Feb 2020
XR's 'Red Brigade' mimes were in black - for oil and mourning - for the event
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Over a thousand protesters tell the British Museum to end sponsorship by BP, a company which is one of those contributing most to climate change and is still investing in yet more fossil fuels.

BP are sponsoring the current Troy exhibition and protesters say BP arts and culture as a Trojan Horse to hide its deadly activities. They brought a Trojan Horse to the museum courtyard and some protesters dressed as Greek Gods and ancient Greeks. The XR mime group usually referred to as the 'Red Brigade' were in black for the event, the colour of 'black gold' crude oil.

XR also called on the museum to return objects looted from around the world including the Parthenon marbles, and indigenous protesters included those from West Papua. There were events in various areas of the museum including the gallery containing the marbles before a final ceremony in the great hall. Some protesters stayed on in the museum after the rest of us left, making plaster casts which were donated to the museum.
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End Jamaican Charter Flight deportations

Downing St, London. Thu 6 Feb 2020

After an hour of speeches Black activists make a call for some action
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BARAC UK and BAME Lawyers for Justice hosted a protest at Downing St calling for an immediate end to charter flight mass deportations.

These deportations tear apart families, including many from Windrush families, some children, who have lived most of their lives in the UK and including people who are still going through appeals with the Home Office.

After an hour of speeches from Black women MPs, activists and family members of deportees, black activists demanded action and led protesters to block traffic in Whitehall. They continued to block the road for an hour or so after I left to go home.
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Tamils Sri Lanka Independence Day protest

Sri Lankan High Commission, London. Tue 4 Feb 2020

20,000 Tamils disappeared - killed by the government
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Tamils protest at the Sri Lankan High Commission on Independence Day against the continued denial of the democratic and national rights of Tamils.

Sri Lanka now admits the 20,000 Tamils 'disappeared' by the authorities in 2009 are dead and Tamils demand justice for their murders and full information about their deaths. They also call for the closure of torture camps, an end to slave-like special economic zones, the return of land, trial of the president as a war criminal and for self-determination for the Tamil people.
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Battersea, Chelsea and Kensington

London. Mon 3 Feb 2020

Sloane Square is perhaps one of London's least interesting squares
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Some pictures taken on my journey from Clapham Junction station in Battersea to the Jamaican High Commission in Kensington and back.

There are many possible routes to the Jamaican embassy from my home, and the quickest would involve cycling from Clapham Junction, but I decided it was a little chilly for that and instead took the train to Battersea Park and then a bus which goes across Chelsea Bridge and through Sloane Square to Knightsbridge and got off at Exhibition Road, just two minutes walk from the Embassy.

And for once the bus had fairly clean windows, though I wasn't quite so fortunate on my return journey, and the train windows were pretty filthy too.
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No To Jamaica Deportation Flights

Jamaican Embassy, Kensington, London. Mon 3 Feb 2020
A woman stands in front of the Jamaican Embassy holding a placard and blowing a whistle
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Movement for Justice lead a protest outside the Jamaican High Commission demanding Jamaica end accepting Britain's racist deportation flights.

They say these flights are a modern equivalent of slave ships, with deportees manacled between guards for the flight. Those seized include many who have lived here since they were small children, some from Windrush families, and some who have families and children here who they are being taken away from.

The government labels them as criminals though many have only been convicted for minor crimes, often years ago, and have served their sentences and settled down and become useful and respected members of society. The act which allows their deportation is shamefully cruel and has never been used to deport white people, even those convicted of serious crimes. The Home Office 'hostile environment' is clear evidence of institutional racism, and is intending to deport many who have been held at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook who have been unable to contact their legal representatives to argue against deportation because the phone network there was unavailable.
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Nine Elms

Nine Elms, London. Sat 1 Feb 2020

A huge redevelopment is in progress around the former Battersea Power Station
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This area is now one of the largest building sites in Europe.

After the power station closed in 1983 there were a number of failed plans for the redevelopment of the area, and some developers deliberately let the Grade I listed building rot, removing its roof and apparently hoping they would be able to claim it was beyond repair and demolish it.

Now it's exterior is being carefully restored as the centre piece of a huge redevelopment plan which includes a new tube extension. Other nearby sites are also under development or already completed, including the new US Embassy and surrounding buildings and sites closer to Vauxhall station.

The protest at the US Embassy ended a little early than I expected and it was a fine day so I took a short walk before catching a bus back to Vauxhall.
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Palestinians against Trump's Deal

US Embassy, Nine Elms, London. Sat 1 Feb 2020
Protesters let the small group of Zionists know what they think
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People including many Palestinians, protest at the US Embassy against Trump's 'Deal of the Century'.

The protesters say the aim of Trump's plan is to liquidate the Palestinian cause and minimise sovereignty for the Palestinian people across Palestine, marginalising them in isolated ghettos in a rigid implementation of the current apartheid regime.

The protest was called by Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), the Palestinian Community Association in London, the General Union for Palestinian Students / British Branch, The Palestinian Youth Foundation in Britain "Olive" and Stop the war and supported by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Friends of Al-Aqsa (FoA) and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). A handful of Zionists came to oppose the protest and police kept them a few yards away from where they shouted insults. more pictures

London Images

Feb 2020

Office Foyer with reflection of St Paul's Cathedral
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For once I don't seem to have taken any pictures from my train journey into Waterloo, but there are some from several bus journeys from or to the station, from Waterloo Bridge, in Holborn and some in the City of London. Also a few from closer to my home in Staines and Laleham.
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