Cleaners protest luxury car dealers HR Owen
South Kensington, London. Sat 30 Sep 2017
Angelica blows a vuvuzela as the UVW protest outside
the gates to H R Owen's South Kensington offices
United Voices of the World (UVW) trade union protest against Kensington
luxury car dealers HR Owen and demand they reinstate their two cleaners
suspended without pay because they asked to be paid a the London living
wage for cleaning the Ferrari / Maserati showrooms.
Cleaners Angelica Valencia and Freddy Lopez were supported by the UVW,
and other groups including Class War and the RCG. Around a hundred protesters
marched from South Kensington station, protesting briefly outside the Lamborghini
showrooms and office entrance to HR Owen, before marching down the Old Brompton
Road for a lengthy and noisy protest with speeches, chanting, drumming and
dancing outside the Ferrari showroom, blocking the road for around two hours.
A row of security men from Templewood who employ the Ferrari cleaners
stood outside the building. Both Templewood and HR Owen have denied responsibility
for paying low wages and the UVW is pursuing legal claims for unlawful deductions
from wages and breach of minimum wage legislation on behalf of the two cleaners.
No NHS immigration checks
London. Sat 30 Sep 2017
Protesters hold up a giant banner 'Migrants Welcome
Here' in front of St Thomas' Hospital
Several groups of protesters converged on St Thomas' Hospital to call
for an end to immigration checks and charging of migrants for NHS services
organised by Docs Not Cops.
The Migrants Welcome bloc, Maternity Care bloc and Sisters bloc met opposite
the hospital and marched onto the area around the memorial to Jamaican -born
Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole for a rally at which a number of testimonies
of those who have suffered from these policies were read out.
Checks on immigration status have led to deaths and serious illness because
some have been refused medical services or have not sought treatment because
they fear deportation. Others given NHS treatment have been presented with
large bills they have no means to pay, even though they may have paid tax
and National Insurance while working here.
NHS medical bills are often huge for individuals but their total of such
fees is an insignificant fraction of a percent of NHS costs and campaigners
call for them to be abolished and for an end to the scapegoating of migrants
and for an end to the policy of the deliberate creation of a hostile environment
for migrants and asylum seekers.
No Nuclear War over North Korea
Downing St, London. Thu 28 Sep2017
A protester stands with placards from both CND and
Stop the War
Stop the War Coalition and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament held a
'No Nuclear War over North Korea' rally at Downing St.
A deputation delivered a letter to Theresa May calling on the UK government
to support a peaceful end to the war of insults and provocations between
the USA and North Korea and to prevent any escalation to a nuclear war which
would threaten everyone on the planet.
End outsourcing at London University
Senate House, London. Wed 27 Sep 2017
Security staff inside the Senate House gates hold
them firm against the protesters
Outsourced workers at the University of London, including security
staff who have not received the increases in salary promised to maintain
differentials since 2011, held a noisy protest at the university calling
for an end to outsourcing.
They had marched with other precarious workersfrom an early morning 'End
Precarious Labour!' rally at Transport for London on the day that Uber's
appeal against the ruling that their drivers are workers is being heard
to hold a rally outside Stewart House at the east side of Senate House.
The protesters demand the university acknowledges and takes back responsibility
for all those who work on campus by employing them directly and providing
proper sick pay, holiday pay and pensions. As well as paying low wages and
giving minimal benefits, outsourcing contractors are often very slow to
pay, causing considerable hardship for these low paid workers. After speeches,
the workers and supporters protested noisily at the gates of Senate House
which were locked against them. A few made an attempt to push the gates
open, but did not suceed, perhaps intentionally.
They then marched around the street to the west entrance to Senate House
and protested there for some time, before going on to Birkbeck, where they
entered the foyer and protested for a few minutes inside there before going
back for a final short rally outside Stewart House.
One year of Ritzy strike
Brixton, London. Sat 23 Sep 2017
Ritzy strikers march behind the Precarious Workers
Mobile' Robin Reliant on Brixton Rd
Strikers at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton celebrate a year of strike
action with a rally supported by other trade unionists, including the United
Voices of the World and the IWGB and other union branches.
The BECTU strikers demand the London Living Wage, sick pay, maternity and
paternity pay, for managers, supervisors, chefs and technical staff to be
properly valued for their work, and for the four sacked union reps to be
There were a number of speeches in English and in Spanish, including news
from other campaigns elsewhere, some successful and others ongoing; a minicab
driver involved in the campaign by IWGB to get Uber to recognise the court
judgment that their drivers are workers was critical of TfL and Mayor Khan
for not highlighting Uber's failure to meet their responsibilities to their
The Ritzy had closed for the event taking place outside. A surprise came
with the arrival to cheers of a newly acquired 'Precarious Workers Mobile'
bright yellow Reliant Robin, equipped with a powerful amplifier and loudspeaker,
and after more speeches this led the protesters in a slow march around central
Brixton. I rejoined them as they came out of Atlantic Rd to march down the
Brixton Rd past the Underground station.
Haringey against council housing sell-off
London, UK. Sat 23 Sep 2017
Sid Skill of Class War points out that Labour Councils
are the biggest social cleansers in London
Hundreds marched in North London from a rally in Tottenham to Finsbury
Park against the so called 'Haringey Development Vehicle', HDV, under which
Haringey Council is making a huge transfer of council housing to Australian
This will result in the imminent demolition of over 1,300 council homes
on the Northumberland Park estate, followed by similar loss of social housing
across the whole of the borough.
At £2 billion, this is the largest giveaway of council housing and
assets to a private corporation yet in the UK, but similar schemes have
already resulted in the loss of truly affordable housing and social cleansing
in other boroughs including Southwark, Lambeth and Barnet, and there were
several groups and speakers from estates there as well as from Grenfell
Tower, where cost cutting and ignoring building safety and residents' complaints
by private sector companies including the TMO set up by the council created
a disaster just waiting to happen.
Much of London's housing crisis is the result of these and similar activities
by wealthy foreign investors which groups taking part in this march including
Class War and Focus E15 have down much to bring to public attention. They
stress that in London it is mainly Labour Councils who are in charge and
responsible for the social cleansing of the poor and the loss of social
housing that is taking place on a huge scale.
Jeremy Corbyn a few days later at the Labour Party conference condemned
current practice on estate 'regeneration' and housing of which the HDV is
the prime example stating:
"The disdain for the powerless and the poor has made our society
more brutal and less caring. Now that degraded regime has a tragic monument:
the chilling wreckage of Grenfell Tower, a horrifying fire in which dozens
perished. An entirely avoidable human disaster, one which is an indictment
not just of decades of failed housing policies and privatisation and the
yawning inequality in one of the wealthiest boroughs and cities in the
world, it is also a damning indictment of a whole outlook which values
council tax refunds for the wealthy above decent provision for all and
which has contempt for working class communities."
for Social Housing make the following comment on this:
"Indeed it has. And high in the list of that brutality is the
estate regeneration programme that threatens, is currently being implemented
against, or which has already privatised, demolished or socially cleansed
237 London housing estates, 195 of them in boroughs run by Labour councils,
which vie with each other for the title of ‘least caring’,
and among which the councils of Hackney, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth
and Haringey could give the Conservative-run Kensington and Chelsea council
a lesson in disdain, privatisation, failed housing policies and the inequality
I left the march at Manor House Station, close to its end in Finsbury Park
where there were going to be more speeches, echoing those I had already
listened to in Tottenham.
World Peace Day Walk
London, UK. Thu 21 Sep 2017
The march reaches its end on Westminster Bridge, though
stragglers were still arriving 15 mins later
Several hundred campaigners walk from Borough Market to Westminster
Bridge carrying white flowers in a London for Peace walk in conjunction
with Barcelona, Paris and other cities around the world on World Peace Day.
I met them at the end of their walk for for peace, justice, equality and
dignity for all as they approached Westminster Bridge. They stood on the
bridge and some threw flowers and petals into the River Thames.
The march was organised by Women's March London. The marchers wore black
and walked in silence to grieve for the recent loss of precious life due
to violence in all forms, including terrorist, state, corporate, domestic.
They stated that there can be no peace without justice, equality and dignity
for all and that "We stand together against the forces of hate and
division - for peace."
Trafalgar Square blocked over pollution deaths
Trafalgar Square, London. Thu 21 Sep 2017
People with banners blocked all entrances and this
group held a banner in front of Nelson's column
Campaigners from 'Stop Killing Londoners' cleared Trafalgar Square
of traffic in a short protest against the illegal levels of air pollution
in the capital which result in 9,500 premature deaths and much suffering
from respiratory disease.
In a carefully planned protest they blocked all five entrances to the roundabout
at the square, emptying it of traffic while they spoke about the problem
and handed out leaflets. After successfully blocking all traffic in Trafalgar
Square for a short protest and they rested briefly and then blocked the
east side of the square for a further short action, a 'disco protest', dancing
to loud music on the roadway.
Eventually police came and told them to leave and the protest ended. This
was the 5th protest by campaigners from Rising Up aimed at mobilising people
across London to demand action from the Mayor and TfL who are failing to
confront this pressing problem. Boris laughed at the problem and Sadiq Khan
has yet to take action and the campaigners believe only peaceful and creative
direct action tactics such as this will get the authorities to act.
No More Deaths in immigration detention
Home Office. London. Thu 21 Sep 2017
SOAS Detainee support organised the protest at short
notice after another death in immigration detention
People protest outside the Home Office called at short notice by SOAS
Detainee Support after the announcement of the death of a Chinese man in
Dungavel immigration detention centre.
This followed the death earlier this month at Harmondsworth detention centre
of a Polish man who took his own life after the Home Office refused to release
him despite the courts having granted him bail. There have been thirty-one
deaths in immigration removal centres since 1989.
Britain is the only country in the EU which subjects refugees and asylum
seekers to indefinite detention, and the conditions in the detention centres
have been criticised in many official reports and media investigations.
Campaigners call for and end to immigration detention, which is inhumane
and makes it difficult or impossible for asylum cases to be fairly assessed.
Free forgotten jailed Eritrean Journalists
Eritrean Embassy, Islington, London. Thu 21 Sep 2017
A woman with a black gag holds up the name Temesken
Ghebreyesus, one of the four thought still alive
Ten chairs at the protest opposite the Eritrean Embassy represented
the ten leading journalists arrested there 16 years ago this week, and four
people sit on them for the four of them thought to still be alive.
On September 18th 2001 Eritrean dictator Isayas Afewerki closed all independent
media and began the arrests of journalists and opposition politicians. They
have since been in isolation without charge, without trial and without contact
with the outside world. Nobody knows their whereabouts and only four are
now thought to be still alive.
The protest took place on 21st September, the anniversary of the arrest
of one of the four thought to still be alive, Seyoum Tsehaye, head of television
after Eritrea gained independence in 1993 and, six years after his arrest
named Reporter of the Year by Reporters Without Borders.
Lord Carson Memorial Parade
Cenotaph, Whitehall, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017
Pride of the Hill, Carnmoney, County Antrim band stand
holding their caps at the Cenotaph
The annual Lord Carson Memorial Parade by lodges of the Orange Order
came to the Cenotaph for wreaths to be laid.
As well as various lodges dedicated to the Apprentice Boys of Derry there
were others remembering the Ulster regiments that fought on the Somme. Some
of those at the event had come from Ulster and from Scotland, as well as
those from the Home Counties and London.
Lord Carson became a member of the Orange Order at the age of 19, and was
a leading judge and politician in the UK around the start of the 20th century,
becoming Solicitor General. In 1911 he became the leader of the Ulster Unionists,
determined to fight against home rule for Ireland by "all means
which may be found necessary", and was one of the founders of
a unionist militia that became the Ulster Volunteer Force. But later he
warned Unionists not to alienate Catholics in the north, something which
parades such as this clearly do in parts of Northern Ireland, though in
London they are less controversial.
Black Day for Sabah & Sarawak
Downing St, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017
People, including Sabahan Doris Jones, from Sabah
& Sarawak protest on Malaysia Day calling for freedom
Sabahans and Sarawkians protest at Downing St on Malaysia Day, which
they say is a 'Black Day for Sabah and Sarawak', calling for a restoration
of human rights and the repeal of the Sedition Act and and freedom for Sarawak
and Sabah. They include Doris Jones, the leader of the Sabah Sarawak Keluar
Malaysia secessionist movement in London.
On 16th September 1963 the two independent countries in North Borneo joined
with the Federation of Malaya and Singapore to form Malaysia, with promises,
assurances and undertakings for their future in the federation, including
the '20 points' of an Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, which they
say have been cast aside, with anyone raising them being detained under
a draconian Internal Security Act.
The government has recently increased the scope and penalties of the Sedition
Act, first introduced by the colonial government in 1948 as a measure against
the independence movement, but now used to severely limit free speech and
political opposition. Sabah's hopes that the partnership would bring security,
economic prosperity and development have been dashed and Sabah has become
the poorest state in the region, with Malaya stealing its oil resources
Overthrow the Islamic Regime of Iran
Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017
Let's eradicate prison, capital punishment and torture
The 8 march women's organisation (Iran-Afghanistan) protested in Trafalgar
Square on the 29th anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in
Iraq following a fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the death of all
Mojahedins and leftists as 'fighters against God' and 'apostates from Islam.'
Recent evidence confirms the allegations that over 30,000 political prisoners,
mostly members of the main opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization
of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were executed, largely hanged in groups of six and
buried in mass graves. The protesters call for the overthrow of the Islamic
regime as necessary for the 'litigation movement' can achieve justice and
build a society where such executions cannot occur and no one is suppressed,
imprisoned or tortured for their ideas.
41st monthly Sewol 'Stay Put!' vigil
Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017
People stand in silence in the 41st monthly vigil
in memory of the Sewol 'Stay Put' victims
People stand in silence in Trafalgar Square in the 41st monthly vigil
to remember the Sewol victims, mainly school children who obeyed the order
to 'Stay Put' on the lower decks as the ship went down.
They continue to demand the Korean government conduct a thorough inquiry
into the disaster, recover all missing victims, punish those responsible
and enact special anti-disaster regulations.
Open House & more - Peckham
Peckham, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017
Stairs to the Old Waiting Room at platform level
at Peckham Rye Station
I hadn't gone to Whitehall to visit the Banqueting House, but I had
travelled to Peckham to see various aspects of the Peckham Festival, including
the Old Waiting Room at Peckham Rye station which was housing a photographic
exhibition of old pictures of Peckham.
The waiting room and the staircase leading to it turned out to be more
interesting than most of the photographs, though some were of interest,
though I found myself often wishing they had been better taken or printed.
And although there were some recent images it was a shame to see no real
in-depth projects on the area. There was a more interesting wall of recent
pictures elsewhere in the festival, but again they lacked depth.
From Rye Lane I walked down the narrow passage leading to the Bussey Building
and the former industrial estate Copeland Park where other festival events
were taking place, but I was really too early to find much of interest,
and returned to walk again down Rye Lane, always of interest.
Open House - Banqueting House
Whitehall, London. Sat 16 Sep 2017
People like me take advantage of the free visit
- and that's part of the ceiling in a mirror
Inigo Jones designed (or copied from Andrea Palladio) the Banqueting
House for the Palace of Whitehall, built 1619-22, and the only remaining
building from the palace. It was the first neo-Classical building in England.
It's basically one large room, a double-cube of space with a painted ceiling,
sitting on top of a service floor, which usefully now includes lavatories.
There is a public gallery around the room, originally only accessible by
an outside staircase so the public could watch the King and his mates eat
- and it was also used for receptions, concerts etc. Built for James I,
after his first banqueting house burned down in 1619, in 1625 at his death
it passed to his son King Charles I, who was beheaded outside it in 1649,
stepping out from one of the building's first floor windows (not one in
the hall) to the scaffold. So the building has served at least on useful
purpose over its almost 400 years of existence.
The ceiling is decorated with panels painted by Peter Paul Rubens in his
Antwerp studio and shipped to London. Commissioned by Charles they celebrate
his father and his own birth. There are some large mirror-topped cabinets
on the floor of the hall so you can view them without getting a crick in
I've walked past the building countless times but never been in, and the
normal entrance fee seems excessive, but this was Open House Day in London
and entry was free. I walked past, then thought why not? and walked back;
it was early in the day and there was no queue. It was interesting, but
unless you are a dedicated student of Inigo Jones or RUbens I think you
would feel it overpriced had you paid the normal admission. Pictures
not available commercially.
Cody Dock, West Ham, London. Fri 15 Sept 2017
Cody Dock entrance and Bow Creek
I'd gone to Cody Dock for the launch of their 2018 calendar - I'd been
a judge for the competition to pick the pictures.
After the event - including some welcome refreshments - I went out to take
a look at Bow Creek. I don't often come up to London at night and it seemed
a chance not to miss to take a few photographs.
Derek's Book Launch
Battersea, London. Thu 14 Sep 2017
Projections of pictures by Derek Ridgers were around
the ceiling and on various screens
I hadn’t gone to the launch of ‘In The Eighties, the ninth
or tenth book by Derek Ridgers intending to take pictures, but to celebrate
the occasion and meet up with him again. I first met Derek around 1980 and
we took part in regular group meetings and a number of group exhibitions
together as a part of Framework.
But I had my cameras with me and on entering the The Library Space
(built in 1910 as the Edwin Tate Library, Grade II listed and now a cultural
space hosting workshops, exhibitions etc) I just had to take some pictures
of the place and the event – as too did many others of those present.
It was a good evening, and although I didn't like the look of the cocktails
on offer there was beer too, and I had quite a few interesting conversations.
And I also bought the book – and of course got Derek to sign it –
and I photographed him signing for several others. Some of those at the
event were among those featured in his book.
Eighties by Derek Ridgers is published by Carpet Bombing
Culture, ISBN 978-1908211569.
Air Pollution Protest Blocks Brixton
Brixton, London. Thu 14 Sep 2017
Protesters block the road outside Brixton Station
for a few minutes in a protest against traffic pollution
Campaigners from 'Stop Killing Londoners' met at Windrush Square and
walked to the crossing at Brixton Underground station, walking onto the
pedestrian crossing and stopping traffic in a protest against the air pollution
due mainly to traffic. They told drivers it would only be a short delay
and asked them to cut their engines to prevent more pollution.
Stop Killing Londoners have staged a number of protests on busy roads in
Central London to bring attention to the problem the city has with polluted
air, but this was the first away from the centre in what the organisers
hope will become a London-wide movement. Another protest in North London
which I was unable to attend took place the following day. There are many
hugely polluted streets around the capital.
The air on the Brixton Road breaches the annual pollution limit in only
5 days, roughly 70 times the limit per year. Toxic air pollution results
in 10,000 premature deaths in London each year and is particularly harmful
to the elderly and the very young.
To cut the disruption to traffic they moved out of the road after around
five minutes, allowed the traffic build up to move through and then carried
out a second block on the same crossing, one of the busiest for pedestrians
in London, many of whom benefited by being able to cross without having
to wait so long, although only the south-bound carriageway was blocked.
Some pedestrians and some drivers held up by the protest applauded, but
other motorists blew their horns and one got out of his car to argue with
the protesters. Police arrived and were told the protest would only be short
and they stood a few yards away and watched.
The actual disruption to traffic was minimal - my bus on the way to Brixton
had been held up longer at the Northcote Rd junction largely because of
an inconsiderate and probably illegally parked car which restricted traffic
flow than either of these two short protests. But comments to an article
about the protest on a local web newspaper - I think all by people who had
not experienced it - included some that were so ridiculously hostile that
it was hard to believe they were real. How dare campaigners threaten our
divine right to drive for something so insignificant as 10,000 deaths a
year from traffic pollution?
Croydon, London. Wed 13 Sep 2017
the market gone? Surrey St
I met up with three photographers at East Croydon and we took a short walk
in the town centre. It had been some years since I'd been down Surrey St
(or at least further down than the Dog and Bull) and I wanted to go along
and see it again.
We did manage to get beyond the Dog and Bull (it's a Fuller's pub, nice
in its way but the beer isn't cheap, nor one of my favourite pints), but
hardly found the market. There were a few stalls, but nothing like I remember.
We walked along the length of the street, and then wandered back along the
High St, where somewhat to our surprise we came across a Wetherspoons, and
were magnetically drawn in for lunch and a drink or too many. And afterwards
our thirst for picture taking had dissipated.
Wreath for victims of the arms trade
Royal Victoria Dock, London. Tue 12 Sep 2017
People walk around Royal Victoria Dock with the ELAAF
wreath and peace flags
East London Against Arms Fairs (ELAAF) organised a procession carrying
a white wreath with the message 'Remember Victims of the Arms Trade' around
the Royal Victoria Dock where the DSEI Arms Fair opened at the ExCeL centre
The procession began at Royal Victoria DLR station and walked in silence
around the dock side to the sound of the Buddhist drumming before arriving
opposite the ExCeL exhibition centre where the arms fair was taking place.
There was a short ceremony in which the wreath was floated on the the water
opposite the arms fair followed by silence in memory of those killed by
the arms from deals made at the previous fairs and those who will die from
the weapons being sold at this year's DSEI fair. There were then several
peace songs and a period of prayer by Japanese Buddhist monk Reverend Gyoro
Nagase, the guardian of the Battersea Peace Pagoda and Reverend Sister Yoshie
Maruta from Milton Keynes.
#Arming The World
Woolwich Arsenal, London. Tue 12 Sep 2017
An arms dealer coughs as CS Gas releases tear gas
#ArmingTheWorld, a project
by Ice & Fire theatre and Teatro Vivo with designer Takis, gave their
first satirical performance with a weapons catwalk show spreading information
about Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) to the general
public in London at Woolwich Arsenal with actors dressed as arms dealers,
a Paveway IV Missile, a Eurofighter Typhoon and CS Gas.
They presented a great deal of information about how the arms trade operates,
including massive subsidies from the UK taxpayer and the disastrous effect
of these weapons sold by UK firms to Saudi Arabia, the USA, Libya, Turkey
and a total of 190 countries around the world.
UK made weapons are used in virtually every conflict around the world,
often by both sides, and cause untold suffering and are also used to attack
political opponents, protesters and even refugees.
The UK is the world's second largest arms exporter after the USA. This
was the first of a series of performances at six venues around central London
is timed to coincide with the DSEI arms fair.
DSEI East Gate blocked
ExCeL, London. Sat 9 Sep 2017
Police surround protesters who have linked arms
and are sitting on the road in front of a lorry
I arrived back at the East Gate in the afternoon to find the road blocked
by a lock-in, with two people joined through a pipe which the police were
struggling to remove.
Other protesters sat on the road in front of the lock-in, with a large
group holding a Quaker meeting. Police eventually managed to free to two
joined protesters and then arrested them, after which another protester
tried to lock himself under the lorry wheels and was arrested. They then
tried to clear the road with little success and made more arrests but others
remained sitting in a circle with arms linked after the rest had been forced
off the road.
This group were still on the road when I had to leave half an hour later.
As I went to catch the DLR, East London Against Arms Fairs (ELAAF)were holding
a musical protest at the pedestrian entrance to the ExCeL centre.
Festival of Resistance - DSEI West Gate
ExCeL, London. Sat 9 Sep 2017
Police escort Charlie X to a van after his arrest
Protesters on bicycles arrived in a 'Critical Mass' at the West Gate, and
I arrived just as police had freed Charlie X who had locked himself under
a lorry entering the site.
Charlie X, a Chaplin clone who protests in mime, was then arrested and
taken to a police van. A few minutes later police swooped on cyclist with
a loop around his neck which would be used to prevent wheels being stolen
from his bike and arrested him, perhaps thinking he might also try and use
this to fix himself to a lorry. If carrying a lock or chain for your bike
was an offence, every cyclist in London would face arrest.
There was a sound system on the roundabout and a number of people dancing
and others standing with posters in support, but after the two arrests I
decided to return to the East gate.
DSEI Festival Morning at the East Gate
ExCeL, London. Sat 9 Sep 2017
People listen to a speaker in the centre of the road
Several hundred protesters came to the festival at the East gate of the
worlds's largest arms fair, DSEI, the Defence & Security Equipment International,
backed by the UK government where arms companies and arms dealers sell weapons
to countries around the world including many repressive regimes.
They listened to a programme of speakers, workshops, spoken word, choirs
and groups and stopped lorries bringing arms by walking in front of them
until pushed aside by police.
Things had quietened down at lunch time, so I decided to visit the West
gate where I had heard that someone had locked themselves on to a lorry.
Protest picnic & checkpoint at DSEI
ExCeL Centre, London. Thu 7 Sep 2017
advance on the picnic blocking the road into the ExCeL centre
Protests continue outside the ExCeL centre where preparations are being
made for the worlds's largest arms fair, DSEI, the Defence & Security
Equipment International, backed by the UK government where arms companies
and arms dealers sell weapons to countries around the world including many
The previous show two years ago featured numerous weapons prohibited under
international laws and Veterans for Peace came to set up a banned weapons
checkpoint. Police waved lorries on past their checkpoint, encouraging one
lorry to drive through the protest at a highly dangerous speed, and removed
protesters from the road with threats of arrest.
At lunchtime North London Food Not Bombs moved onto the road and blocked
it to serve protesters with an excellent road-block picnic. After 15 minutes
police moved in to clear the road, threatening the diners with arrest. The
protest continued after I left with a lock-on, workshops and performances.
Protesters block DSEI arms fair entrances
ExCeL Centre, London. Wed 6 Sep 2017
Women hold the London WILPF banner in front of a line
of coffins on the blocked road
Stop the Arms fair protesters carried out a series of lengthy lock-ins
on the roads at both East and West gates blocking access to London's ExCeL
centre where preparations are being made for the worlds's largest arms fair.
DSEI, the Defence & Security Equipment International, is backed by
the UK government and is where arms companies and arms dealers sell weapons
to countries around the world including many repressive regimes. The previous
show two years ago featured numerous weapons prohibited under international
Today's protest theme was 'Arms to Renewables - No to Nuclear' and there
was music, singing, dancing, a free 'bring and share' picnic and a short
theatrical performance urging that instead of arms industry and huge spending
Trident and on wars we should rather provide jobs in renewable energy technologies
and spend the military budget on homes, schools, health and other social
No Faith in War DSEI Arms Fair protest
ExCeL Centre, London. Tue 5 Sep 2017
Four people blocked the road into ExCeL by abseiling down from a bridge
and holding banners
The second day of protests against the world's largest arms fair held
in London's docklands was 'No Faith In War', a series of events organised
by various faith groups.
Before I arrived there had been a lock-in on the approach road stopping
deliveries coming to set up the fair through the East gate. This was followed
by a Quaker meeting at the side of the road during which a number of people
stood or sat to block the road and several who refused to move were arrested.
Then four protesters descended on rope ladders from a bridge over the road,
dangling in mid-air, with each pair holding a banner between them and blocking
the road for around an hour and a half before police managed to remove them.
Others stood in a circle and held a mass on the blocked road closer to the
At the West gate, more protesters gathered and stood in the road in front
of lorries coming in, walking slowly until police removed them - and again
made several arrests. As I left the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship was singing
Peace songs and later there were to be prayers from the Midlands Peace Group
and Pax Christi.
Die-in for cyclist Ardian Zagani
Camden, London. Mon 4 Sep 2017
Cyclists block Camden Rd for a 10 minute silent die-in for killed cyclist
Stop Killing Cyclists held a die-in and vigil for Ardian Zagani, the
6th cyclist killed on London's roads this year where he was killed by a
van on the Camden Rd last Thursday.
After speeches calling for TfL, the London Mayor and borough councils,
especially the London Borough of Islington where this death occurred, to
make London's roads safe for cyclists and for the police to enforce speed
limits, there was a 10 minute silent die-in on the road where he was killed.
McStrike rally at McDonalds HQ
London, UK. 2nd September 2017
Supporters listen as Joe Carolan from Unite union
New Zealand speaks
McDonald's workers who are holding the first UK strike against the
company on Monday, US Labor Day, calling for an end to zero hours contracts,
£10 an hour and union recognition get advance support outside the
company's UK HQ.
Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) President Ian Hodson
led the rally at which organisers from the New Zealand Unite union
as well as strikers and other supporters spoke in solidarity.
McDonald's workers complain about bad management and bullying at work and
the strikers report threats and insults by managers. There was a table with
chairs in front of the McDonald's building calling for them to come and
sit down and negotiate with the BFAWU, but McDonald's refuse to have any
dealings with trade unions.
New Zealand Unite fought a successful campaign which ended all zero hours
contracts and forced McDonald's to recognise the union and pay higher wages
and the BFAWU is determined to do the same.
Vegans call for Animal Rights
Hyde Park, London. Sat 2 Sep 2017
The march leaves Hyde Park
Several thousand vegans marched from Hyde Park through London demanding
an end to all animal oppression in the 2017 Official Animal Rights March,
supported by The Save Movement and HeartCure Collective.
Many carried posters or placards calling for an end to regarding animals
as food or sources of wool and fur, and there were some dressed as animals.
I walked with the march as far as Green Park tube station, and then left
them to go to another protest.
Of course all 'animals have rights', but I still feel that human rights
are different and more important, though not condoning the inhumane treatment
of animals. And while I think we should cut down on eating meat and end
the more wasteful ways of producing it I'd be unhappy to see the total loss
of animals on farms and the consequences of that for the countryside in
There often seems to be an intolerance about vegans that I find difficult,
though if others want to be vegan that's their choice. I'm happy eating
meat - usually reared mainly on grass - a couple of times a week and eating
Canary Wharf from South London
Yet more pictures of the new US Embassy (my train to London goes past it)
and some assorted parts of London, north and south of the river.
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