Police clear XR from Oxford Circus
Oxford Circus, London. Fri 19 Apr 2019
Police carry away a protester after arresting him
Soon after Emma Thompson spoke at Extinction Rebellion's Sea of Protest,
while I had left the area for a few minutes, police surrounded the pink
yacht and put a ring of officers around Oxford Circus.
They began the slow process of persuading protesters to leave by threatening
them with arrest and cutting off those who were locked on around the bottom
of the yacht. There were a number of arrests of protesters who refused to
A few tried to get the large crowd to protect the yacht, but XR organisers
persuaded them not to physically oppose the police action as this went against
the non-violent principles of Extinction Rebellion. Many other radical groups
have criticised their attitudes to the police, and their strategy of getting
as many people as possible to be arrested at the protests.
The large number of arrests has put a great deal of stress on existing
organisations which provide legal observers and arestee support, and although
XR has provided some training for volunteers in these areas, much of the
work duing their protests has fallen to Green and Black Cross, "an
independent grassroots project set up in the spirit of mutual aid to support
social and environmental struggles within the UK" whose members
were handing out bust cards at the protest.
Green and Black Cross will also be supplying much of the legal assistance
needed when the cases of those who are charged come to court, although probably
many arrested will not be charged. Although XR has received rleatively large
sums in donations, so far they have made no contributions for these services,
somehing which has led to considerable criticism.
Emma Thompson speaks at XR
Oxford Circus, London. Fri 19 Apr 2019
Thompson shows her 'There is no planet B' bag
Dame Emma Thompson came to speak at Extinction Rebellion's Sea of Protest
in Oxford Circus around the large pink yacht, names after the Honduran environmental
activist Berta Cáceres, assassinated in 2016.
Emma Thompson was a part of the day's activities to show 'Love For The
Earth' on the 5th day of the occupation, but these were interrupted by police
shortly after she spoke.
Some have criticised XR because she flew from New York to speak here; critics
like to pick on irrelvancies such as this to attack the movement. There
is little alternative to flying to travel from America to this country,
and although Emma tries to fly as little as possible, some flights are necessary
for her work. And as she says, she is in the fortunate position of being
able to offset the carbon produced by paying for schemes such as planting
Cutting our dependence on aviation isn't about individual journeys such
as hers which are made for good reasons, but for making large cuts in the
total numbers of flights.The cost of flying should reflect the actual costs
by removing the current subsidies and imposing in their place a tax on journeys;
a system with per person annual carbon allowances and heavy penalties for
exceeding these might be more fair.
XR's protest continues demanding the government tells the truth and takes
the urgent actions needed on the global climate and ecological emergency
to avoid the extinction of life on Earth.
Knife crime campaigners Operation Shutdown
Westminster, London. Wed 17 Apr 2019
Reality TV star Sandi Bogle's 23-year-old nephew Bjorn
Brown was stabbed to death in Croydon 2 years ago
Knife crime campaigners Operation Shutdown, a consortium of mums, dad's
and other bereaved family members and loved ones supported by other campaigners,
called for the community to unite and demanded more urgent action by the
government to halt the growing epidemic of knife crime.
They held a rally at Downing Street and made a long list of demands, calling
for new laws and stiffer penalties for knife and gun crime, as well as an
end to cuts to local services including youth work and the restoration of
these to pre-austerity levels, along with police budgets and numbers. They
demand adequate safeguarding, a coordinated approach to trafficking and
grooming and abuse of children and young people and a proper sharing of
information and accountability for recently announced public health approach
to knife crime.
At the end of the rally there where many representatives of bereaved families
spoke, they marched the short distance to Bridge Streetwhere they presented
two wreaths to the police close to where PC Keith Palmer was murdered before
going on to block Westminster Bridge for more speeches.
Drax Protest at BEIS
BEIS, London. Wed 17 Apr 2019
Axe Drax protesters and XR supporters outside BEIS tell it to stop rewarding
the country's major polluter
Axe Drax protesters against burning wood at Drax come to protest at
the Dept for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy demanding an end
to environmental subsidies for massive pollution.
Drax burns more wood each year than the UK produces, and it comes mainly
from environmentally disastrous clear-felling of US forests. Drax also burns
coal from opencast mining, again with huge environmental damage. The mining
activities also disrupt some communities and lead to human rights abuses,
particularly in Colombia.
Drax's latest plans are to move from coal to buring natural gas - another
carbon-based fuel, and likely to be produced by environmentally harmful
fracking with a huge 3.6-Gigawatt gas plant - 2.7 times larger than the
UK's existing largest gas-fired generator slated to come on line in 2015,
the year by which XR says we need to aim for Zero carbon. And for all its
incredibly polluting activities Drax is currently awarded huge environmental
subsidies. You just could not make this up.
XR around Parliament Square
Parliament Square, London. Wed 17 Apr 2019
A theatrical group of protesters in red for the blood
of extinct species parade in front of Parliament
Two days after Extinction Rebellion blocked the roads in Parliament
Square it remained closed to traffic.
Activities continue in and around the square with new protesters arriving.
They intend to continue the protest until the government takes urgent real
action on the global climate and ecological emergency, tells the truth about
the imminent disaster, halts biodiversity loss, cuts greenhouse gas emissions
and is led by a Citizen's Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
Drax wood burning must end
Grocers Hall, London. Wed 17 Apr 2019
Drax gets rewarded with a £789m subsidy for
producing excessive amounts of carbon dioxide
Protesters at the Drax AGM in the City of London demand an end to
burning wood at Drax power station, the UK's biggest carbon emitter.
Drax emitted over 13m tonnes of CO2 from burning wood in 2018, and plans
to become the largest gas powered generating station in the UK. AxeDrax
demand an end to the environmental subsidies for burning wood for which
Drax got £789m in 2018 and for an end to the nonsensical accounting
sustem which makes it qualify for any subsidy despite the huge contribution
wood burning makes to climate change.
The money for the subsidy comes from our electricity bills and is intended
to combat climate change not contribute to it. These subsidies and more
should be used to encourage genuine renewables including solar and onshore/offshore
wind and more grants for home insulation and other energy saving measures.
XR Waterloo 'Garden Bridge' continues
Waterloo Bridge, London. Wed 17 Apr 2019
Protesters sit on Waterloo Bridge behind a row of
Two days after Extinction Rebellion closed Waterloo Bridge turning
it into a 'Garden Bridge' it remained closed to traffic despite a couple
of hundred arrests.
Activities continue on the bridge with new protesters arriving. They intend
to keep the bridge closed to vehicles until the government takes real action
on the global climate and ecological emergency, tells the truth about the
imminent disaster, halts biodiversity loss, cuts greenhouse gas emissions
and is led by a Citizen's Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
Save Lambeth Children's Centres
Brixton, London. Mon 15 Apr 2019
Mothers, fathers, children and staff call on Lambeth's
Labour council to drop its plans
Campaigners in Brixton, including staff, families and children protest
opposite the council offices against plans by Lambeth Council to close 5
children's centres and make drastic cuts in another 7, with many staff losing
A huge backlash from parents had delayed a decision until today's council
Cabinet meeting, but no details of any suggested revisions to the cuts have
Extinction Rebellion at Shell
Shell South Bank, London. Mon 15 Apr 2019
Two protesters on the glass porch, one taking a rest
as they protest against Shell's ecocide
Extinction Rebellion activists forced their way into the Shell offices
to protest at the companies activities, both in making a huge contribution
to greenhouse gases through its promotion of fossil fuels, but also its
terrible human rights record.
I was too late for the initial action which had been kept secret, but the
protest was continuing when I arrived. Two protesters were occupying a glass
porch above the main entrance and others had daubed slogans across the front
of the building using spray chalk, and broken the glass in one of the doors.
The damage was deliberate, though fairly minor, with the protesters hoping
that this would mean that their trial would be held in a court with a jury
rather than by magistrates, enabling them to present the reasons for their
action. There had been 3 arrests before I arrived.
Extinction Rebellion Funeral Procession
Parliament Square, London. Mon 15 Apr 2019
The funeral procession with coffin and the blood of
extinct species and XR flags on Parliament Square
Extinction Rebellion closed the roads at Parliament Square for a New
Orleans funeral procession with jazz band and a group of mourners in red
to represent the blood of species made extinct and many others followed
the coffin around the square.
After several circuits of the square the procession came to the centre
of the square and was laid on the grass. After a silence there were improvisatory
XR intend to stay in the square until the government takes necessary action
on the global climate and ecological emergency. They say it must tell people
the truth about the disaster we are facing, halt biodiversity loss, reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and set up and be led by a
Citizen's Assembly on climate and ecological justice. They occupied the
square and kept the roads blocked for over a week despite police efforts
to remove them.
Extinction Rebellion Marble Arch
Marble Arch, London. Mon 15 Apr 2019
One of the four or five road blocks that stopped all
traffic in the area for over a week
Extinction Rebellion environmental campaigners close the whole area
around Marble Arch to traffic, with a stage and performers, various tents
and activities and road blocks on the streets leading to the gyratory system.
Many had been there overnight and they intend to stay and block traffic
until the government takes necessary action on the global climate and ecological
emergency. They say it must tell people the truth about the disaster we
are facing, halt biodiversity loss, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net
zero by 2025, and set up and be led by a Citizen's Assembly on climate and
ecological justice. It was only after ten days that police managed to get
the traffic moving again, and XR decided to call an end to the camp there
the following day.
Anti-capitalist environmental action
St Paul's Cathedral, London. Mon 15 Apr 2019
Anti-capitalists were slow to arrive for the protest
and I gave up waiting
A small group met in front of St Paul's Cathedral for a protest organised
by the Green Anti-Capitalist Front, Earth Strike and London Students for
While supporting the environmentalist actions by Extinction Rebellion they
wanted to go to workplaces at the heart of the capitalist system in the
City of London to make it clear that climate struggle is class struggle.
People were slow to arrive and the protest didn't seem to be likely to start
for some time, and I left before anything happened, missing the action.
Extinction Rebellion Sea at Oxford Circus
Oxford Circus, London. Mon 15 Apr 2019
A dance theatre group in red to represent the blood
of species extinct or under threat
Extinction Rebellion campaigners close Oxford Circus to traffic and
create a "sea of protest" around a large pink yacht, named after
the Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader, Berta Cáceres,
assassinated for her activism in 2016.
XR intend to keep the roads closed until the government takes necessary
action on the global climate and ecological emergency. They say it must
tell people the truth about the disaster we are facing, halt biodiversity
loss, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and set up and
be led by a Citizen's Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
Extinction Rebellion Garden Bridge
Waterloo Bridge, London. Mon 15 Apr 2019
A band plays on Waterloo Bridge and marches past the
Waterloo Bridge was closed to traffic by Extinction Rebellion activists
who were bringing trees and plants and to turn it into a 'Garden Bridge'.
They intend to keep the bridge closed to vehicles until the government
takes necessary action on the global climate and ecological emergency. They
say it must tell people the truth about the disaster we are facing, halt
biodiversity loss, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025,
and set up and be led by a Citizen's Assembly on climate and ecological
justice. Despite many arrests the bridge remained occupied by the gardeners
and closed to traffic for over a week.
Brexiteers march at Westminster
Westminster Bridge, London. Sat 13 Apr 2019
One woman is one of very few Black faces among the
Extreme right Brexiteers, many wearing yellow jackets, continue their
protests walking around London every Saturday holding up traffic.
As well as Union flags and England flags they have flags and banners supporting
members of the armed forces and also for the Islamophobic campaign 'Our
Boys' which seeks to have a drunk driver of Hindu origin who killed three
young men prosecuted as a terrorist.
Sewol Ferry Disaster 5 years on
Trafalgar Square, London. Sat 13 Apr 2019
Sewol Ferry Disaster - 16/04/2014, 304 killed, 250children
Five years after the Sewol Ferry Disaster of 16 April 2014 campaigners
meet for the 60th monthly vigil in remembrance of the victims and in support
of their families.
They call for a full inquiry, the recovery of all bodies of victims, punishment
for those responsible and new laws to prevent another similar disaster.
They tie cards on lines with the class and name of the 250 high school children
who were drowned after being told to 'stay put below deck'. The tragedy
has claimed 304 lives.
Love the Elephant
Elephant & Castle, London. Sat 13 Apr 2019
'Demolish Delancey' and 'Love the Elephant - Hate
A rally and procession by Southwark Notes, Latin Elephant and Up the
Elephant at the Elephant & Castle shopping centre keeping up the pressure
on Southwark Council and developers Delancey to improve their plans for
the redevelopment of the area.
The campaigners, who are seeking judicial review, say the Elephant should
be developed for the existing population and users, rather than as social
cleansing to attract new, wealthier residents and shoppers. They would like
to see a development that retains the existing character of the area which
has become very much a centre for South London's Latin community many of
whom live in the surrounding area.
They say the development should include more social housing and call for
fairer treatment of the market traders, who should be provided with 'like
for like' new spaces at affordable rents and be given adequate financial
compensation for the disruption in business the development will cause.
After a rally with several speakers including local councillor Jack Buck
and Tanya Murat of Southwark Defend Council Housing, a brief procession
went up to the centre entrance and then back through the market area, where
there were a couple of speeches from the traders before security officers
came to move the protesters on.
Against extinction and trophy hunting
Cavendish Square, London. Sat 13 Apr 2019
Quite a few on the protest came as elephants
People meet in Cavendish Square to march through London to a rally
opposite Downing St as a part of the 2019 Global March for Elephants and
The marchers called on the UK government to impose a ban on the import
of hunting trophies of endangered species to the UK, and supported an increase
in the protection under CITES for elephants and opposed attempts to downgrade
protection of endangered species or reopen trade in ivory and other body
Times end transphobic articles
News Corp, London Bridge, London. Thu 11th Apr 2019
Protesters outside the offices of The Times say stop
publishing transphobic articles
Campaigners from Transmission, a group supporting the rights of trans
people, protest outside the offices of The Times newspaper against their
publication of transphobic articles.
An unfair article criticised The Tavistock Centre and all medical services
for trans children, which the protesters say are vital and clinically proven
to help cure gender dysphoria and lower mental health and suicide rates.
They say journalist Lucy Bannerman has earlier targeted the trans charity
Mermaids and ostracised trans athletes for competing in sports, and call
on The Times to end publishing transphobic propaganda.
Bethnal Green & Hackney, London. Thu 11th Apr 2019
Graffiti under the railway bridge and a view of the
Photographs from the Regent's Canal on the Bethnal Green and Hackney
border close to Cambridge Heath Road.
I walked up The Oval to the canal, photographing on the route. What was
once an industrial area next to the gas works is now part of a creative
area, with the former car park a mixed use arts and event space with a stock
of containers in use as artists' studios. The buildings which used to serve
as offices for Empress Coaches in Corbridge Crescent are still standing
but the yard around them is currently under development.
An alley leads down from under the railway bridge back to the Oval, and
I walked down there before coming back and along Hare Row onto Cambridge
Heath Road. I walked back up towards Mare St, turning down Andrews Road
to access the tow path, and then walking along that at first to the east,
then turning around to come back to Broadway Market before heading back
to catch a bus on Mare St.
Scrap Universal Credit Jobcentre protest
Tottenham Jobcentre Plus, London. Thu 11 Apr 2019
A cyclist rides through the protesters outside the
Activists protested at lunchtime outside Tottenham Jobcentre Plus,
speaking and handing out leaflets calling for Universal Credit to be scrapped.
The introduction of Universal credit by the DWP has inflicted great misery
on many of those who have been forced to claim it, often leaving them for
weeks or months with absolutely no money to live on. Most have had to rely
on food banks, which have seen a huge rise in people seeking help because
of UC, even in relatively affluent areas such as Surrey. Some have starved
or died because they cannot afford to heat their homes.
Those hardest hit have been the working poor, single mothers and those with
disabilities. From the start it has been marked by delays and inconsistencies
by the DWP and a harsh benefits sanction regime that has unfairly penalised
many, causing great suffering, huge rent arrears and making 1 in 38 new
claimants last year homeless.
The protesters handed out leaflets calling for UC to be scrapped to people
walking past and those entering and leaving the job centre; some stopped
to talk and shared some of their experiences of hardship.
Tottenham and Spurs
Tottenham, London. Thu 11 Apr 2019
Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium which opened a week
or so earlier
Spurs have a new stadium which opened recently, and I took a few pictures
of this from the road, as well as others on my way from Seven Sisters.
The new stadium looks impressive, but Spurs have annoyed many Tottenham
residents and other Londoners by wanting the change the name of the nearby
Overground station from White Hart Lane to Tottenham Hotspur. TfL apparently
wants to sell off the station name and Spurs are said to be paying £14.7m.
Many years ago in 1932, Gillespie Road on the Piccadilly Line had its name
changed to Arsenal, though that seems a little silly now when Arsenal have
moved to a new stadium which now is called Emirates.
It's a rather annoying piece of corporate branding. The station will remain
where it is in White Hart Lane (though I imagine some of that £14.7m
will go on giving it a rather necessary facelift) and I'm sure Spurs fans
will keep calling there station White Hart Lane (or perhaps for a while
New White Hart Lane.)
Spurs had rather hoped to get another corporate deal and for the new stadium
to carry the Nike name, but that branding fell through. Many hope this one
Parliament, London. Wed 10 Apr 2019
Pro and anti-brexit protesters were protesting side-by-side
without arguments getting out of hand
Just a few pictures taken walking past Parliament. Things were very
quiet with no yellow jacketed protesters and no insults, just the occasional
good-natured exchange of views and mild banter.
Living wage at Dept of Business
BEIS, Westminster, London. Wed 10 Apr 2019
Protesters on the pavement in front of the Dept
or Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Campaigners at the government department for Business, Energy and Industrial
Strategy (BEIS) show solidarity with catering workers at the end of their
three day strike for a living wage and decent terms and conditions.
The workers are on poverty pay, outsourced by BEIS to Ararmark who have
responded with threats of redundancies to the workers and their PCS BEIS
London and South branch representatives. Many are also struggling financially
because of their employer withholding of some of their pay following a change
to their pay cycle.
Staines, Middx. Sun 7 Apr 2019
The Swan Hotel is just across the river from Staines,
in Egham Hythe
We took a short walk going across Staines Bridge to the towpath and
Going downriver the tow path ends jut before Staines Railway Bridge. Boats
would be towed along and the horses unhitched, the boat steering across
to the opposite bank and the horses going across Staines Bridge and down
Thames St to rejoin the towpath under the railway bridge. We just went down
a footpath to Chertsey Lane and walked along this to the Hythe the back
across Staines Bridge towards home.
Brunei Sultan gay sex stoning protest
Dorchester Hotel, London. Sat 6 Apr 2019
Class War pushed aside the barriers and the other
protesters followed them to the hotel steps
People protested outside the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair against the
multi-billionaire Sultan of Brunei who has announced death by stoning as
a punishment for gay sex, adultery and blasphemy.
They demonstrated against this barbaric abuse of international law and
human rights and calling for a boycott of his hotels around the world. After
speeches and around an hour of noisy protest behind barriers keeping them
away from the hotel, Class War took the initiative and pushed the barriers
aside to protest directly in front of the hotel doors, and were quickly
followed by the other protesters.
Sudanese for Freedom, Peace and Justice
Sudan Embassy, London. Sat 6 Apr 2019
A Sudanese woman makes a victory sign for me to photograph
Thousands of Sudanese gather outside their embassy on the 34th anniversary
of the 6th April revolution in the Sudan that overthrew dictator Jaafar
Nimeiri in 1985 to support the revolutionary movement in Sudan that has
protested for 17 weeks demanding freedom, peace and justice.
The peaceful protests in the Sudan have been met with extreme violence
with over 70 protesters being killed and thousands injured. The protesters
in London joined them in calling for an end to the violent and corrupt Sudanese
regime and for president Omar al-Bashir to 'Just Fall' and stand trial by
the ICC for genocide in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and South Blue Nile.
I left before they began their march to Downing St to demand the UK government
end support for the Sudanese regime.
Private hire drivers protest congestion charge
London Bridge & City Hall, London. Thu 4 Apr 2019
After blocking London Bridge the drivers went to protest
at City Hall
Private hire drivers parked their cars to block London Bridge in protest
against TfL making them pay the congestion charge from April 8th.
The drivers accuse TfL of discriminating against private hire drivers who
are largely from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups while black cabs,
whose drivers are largely white are still exempt. They have taken their
legal case to the HIgh COurt, who today decided to hear their Judicial Review
in July, but refused an order to delay charging until them.
After blocking both carriageways of London bridge they left their cars
in place and marched to a noisy protest at City Hall, where an officer came
out to speak, telling them he understood their problem and promised to do
what he could for them.
Clewer, Windsor, Berks. Mon 1 Apr 2019
Cowslips in bloom
A short family walk around a part of Windsor Great Park on the edge
Clewer is at the west of Windsor, and we parked on a road at the south,
next to Windsor Cemetery in a short road, Hermitage Lane, with a gate onto
Windsor Great Park. Most of the others walking around here were obviously
professional dog walkers. A footbridge took us across the Bourne Ditch and
we made our way to a densely wooded area (Queen Mary's Plantation.) We followed
a path through the trees, which eventually gave out, but were able to make
our way back to the Bourne Ditch at the point where it turns north from
We walked along a path roughly parallel to the ditch to a footbridge, and
crossed that to a bank, probably a flood barrier, that was spotted with
clumps of cowslips in bloom, before walking back to where the car was parked
and making for a nearby pub for a couple of pints of a decent local brew
and an unexciting meal.
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