Monday, 30 November 2015

The Anonymous Million Mask March is Back!

Bonfire night in Trafalgar Square meant Anonymous were out in force again this year.  There were many warnings by the Met for the protesters to behave.  They were permitted to organise in Trafalgar Square, proceed down Whitehall, protest in front of 10 Downing Street, and then carry on to Parliament Square, ending in front of the Treasury.  I have a great deal of sympathy for this group - particularly in their fight for economic and social justice as well as using social media to to disempower some IS members on the internet.  One thing I do object to somewhat is the drinking and smoking some followers of Anonymous do before the march.  It leads to some dangerous behaviour and whilst walking to Downing Street, I felt I had to march with the police rather than the demonstrators in order to keep my camera (and myself) safe!

Living Cheek by Jowl

The Evening Standard had an article today about the differences in urban planning between London and Paris, saying that whereas the low income inhabitants live in the banlieues of outer Paris, whilst London is characterised as having a 'multicultural mosaic of rich and poor living cheek by jowl in borough.'  I recently took a little expedition to the Ashcroft Square Estate above the Kings Mall and then on to Buckingham Palace where I knew there would be demonstrators raising awareness of objections they have with the visiting Chinese premier.

The Ashcroft Estate is the one you see when you walk from the car park to the Kings Mall.  Whilst all of Hammersmith is quickly upgrading and resurrecting, the estate appears to stay the same.  I really hope that at some point it will be included in the beautification of the  borough - and allow the residents to stay.

I've never seen the Mall with the home flags of visiting dignitaries so I was looking forward to photographing those.  Little did I know just how colourful and exciting the photoshoot was going to be. 

Powder Keg in Palestine

In light of the increased tension and violence in Jerusalem over the course of the past month (including 30 Palestinians deaths and 7 Israelis), a Protest for Palestine was held on the 17th of October on Kensington High Street opposite Kensington Palace Gardens where the Israeli Embassy is located.  The demonstration was organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Palestinian Forum in Britain and Friends of Al-Aqsa Mosque.  I shot two not dissimilar protests last year (one directed at the BBC and one at 10 Downing Street).  In their demonstration notice, Stop the War Coalition stated:
We have come together to oppose this escalating attack on Palestinians.  We welcome all who stand with us in our opposition to all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.  Supporters of Palestinian rights encompass all faiths and none.  Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Atheist, religions and non-religious people all stand together on this protest….We stand with Palestinians in their struggle for a future free of racism, colonialism and apartheid.  There is no place for racism in a progressive movement fighting for justice and human rights.
I was fortunate at be able to get right into the centre of crowd where several individuals were leading the chanting prior to speeches.  What I find fascinating about these protests are the large range of people participating – from young to old and of all races.  From a photographic point of view, what I found particularly ironic is the juxtaposition of this extremely serious subject with the seemingly carefree posh shopping area of Kensington.