Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The weariness of the long distance snapper

Energy, chaos and anger fuelled one fast march today. Starting suddenly from Trafalgar Square with a Whitehall sprint a few thousand annoyingly fit students reversed, ran through the park and headed off towards St James leaving a trail of puffing photographers and red faced cops.

Then they sped up, Vauxhall Bridge Road, back to Westminster, Piccadilly, Regent Street, Oxford Street, Holborn, Aldwych, a few futile attempts by police to block the way were simply ignored. Then St Pauls, Barbican and back to Trafalgar Square. Quite a workout.
The sense of betrayal over the LibDems broken promises is getting stronger, not diffusing. Perhaps the Christmas break will let the pressure drop but there's still a couple of weeks to go and I wouldn't bet on it.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Schoolgirls try to save police van in violent protest

For some strange reason a rather old police van was left on its own, unguarded in the middle of the march. The results were predictable.

Then the schoolgirls arrived!
They were protecting the police van - apparently left in middle of demo by police to be trashed for the cameras. The girls were saying it was just to discredit the protest and were trying to stop the attacks on the van. 

Monday, 22 November 2010

EDL leader charged with assault on police

With one conviction for assaulting a police officer behind him the English Defence League's leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (with V-sign) who prefers to be known by the more marketable name of Tommy Robinson was up before the beak today once again charged with assaulting a police officer.
 The EDL are one of the most threatening groups seen on the streets for many years, Their 'literature' repeats again and again that they are not a racist group yet they march past mosques yelling "Allah is a paedo" and "Allah, Allah. Who the f**ck is Allah". They never miss an opportunity to insult Muslims by burning religious texts and selectively distorting Koranic quotations.
It's pretty clear that the EDL are intent on provoking violence by British Muslims and will continue to make trouble around the country in hope of kindling sufficient anger to attract white British racists to their number. They are the most unpleasant, corrosive and dangerous political group I've covered in 35 years of photographing Britain's pond life.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Soft demo, no rain.

An energetic and confident Stop the War march today but smaller than I'd expected. And largely policed by the City police, not the Met. Some speculated that this was a friendly desire on the Met's part to share the overtime with Christmas coming, others that the Met were in the doghouse after Millbank Towers and our multimillionaire cabinet wanted a more reliable concierge service. Slightly more likely is that they were keen to get a lot more PCs experienced in public order work PDQ. I'd expected more nervous policing and glad to be disappointed.

 Remember the energy and determination of the 2003 march? Why was there no political group ready to organise that?