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HomeUK PhotographyConscientious Objectors, Olympics, Cleaners, Iraq & An Opening – 2008

Conscientious Objectors, Olympics, Cleaners, Iraq & An Opening – 2008

Conscientious Objectors, Olympics, Cleaners, Iraq & An Opening – Again in 2008 I had reasonably extra stamina than now and my day on Thursday 15 Might 2008 included three protests and a stroll across the outskirts of the closed Olympic web site, ending with attending an exhibition opening in Brixton.

Worldwide Conscientious Objector’s Day – Tavistock Sq.

I’ve simply checked on a site which occasions are marked on fifteenth Might, and though it lists 9, together with Nationwide Nylon Stocking Day, it fails to say an important of all, that that is Nabka Day remembering the Palestinian Disaster, the violent ethnic cleaning of Palestinians from their land, belongings and houses following the institution of Israel in 1948.

Lengthy commemorated by supporters of Palestian rights, the commemoration of the seventy fifth anniversary in 2023 was recognised by a UN Basic Meeting decision. At the moment many are marking this world wide with occasions in lots of UK workplaces and Saturday 18th Might there’s a nationwide march in London for Nabka 76 calling for and ent to the genocide in Gaza and for the UK to cease arming Israel.

Conscientious Objectors, Olympics, Cleaners, Iraq & An Opening

Much less well-known (and likewise not talked about on that site), Might fifteenth is Worldwide Conscientious Objector’s Day, first noticed in 1982 as a European day and in 1985 adopted by Struggle Resisters’ Worldwide. In London as we speak (15 Might 2024) there shall be a ceremony in Tavistock Sq. as there was in 2008, although beginning an hour later at 1pm.

In 1987 the United Nations Fee on Human Rights recognised “the appropriate of everybody to have conscientious objection to army service as a respectable train of the appropriate of freedom, thought, and faith“. Nonetheless in lots of nations world wide this proper remains to be denied.

Conscientious Objectors, Olympics, Cleaners, Iraq & An Opening

Tavistock Sq. has a variety of memorials together with on the centre of the backyard a statue of Mahatma Ghandi given to town of London in 1967 by the Indian Excessive Commissioner, and a cherry tree planted by the then mayor of Camden Millie Miller in 1967 to commemorate the victims of the Hiroshima bombing, in addition to a memorial to the holocaust. On the railings of the sq. is a memorial plaque to these killed within the bus destroyed within the sq. by the London suicide bombing of seven July, 2005.

On the north finish of the backyard, near the cherry tree, is a big gray rough-hewn boulder of Cumbrian slate was unveiled in 1994 as a memorial to conscientious objectors by composer Sir Michael Tippett, himself a conscientious objector, and folks gathered on the grass in entrance of this.

Conscientious Objectors, Olympics, Cleaners, Iraq & An Opening

After speeches and songs Invoice Hetherington of the Peace Pledge Union learn out the names and gave temporary particulars of particular person COs, previous and current, from over 80 nations world wide, as a small illustration of those that, because the phrases engraved on the memorial learn, “…have established and are sustaining the appropriate to refuse to kill.

Because the names had been learn, these collaborating introduced up white carnations – an emblem of the peace motion – and laid them on the stone. Every had on it a label with the nation and title of a CO. The inscription on the stone continues: “Their foresight and braveness give us hope.”

On My London Diary at Worldwide Conscientious Objectors’ Day you may learn extra in regards to the audio system and the occasion.

Stratford – Bow: Olympic Website

I had time earlier than the following protest to go to Stratford and make my manner across the southern fringe of the Olympic web site, now surrounded by a tall blue fence.

I went so far as the Lea Navigation the place I photographed the discover closing the doorway to the Bow Again River channels which run by the positioning to navigation.

From the Greenway I might see enormous piles of earth that are having to be processed due to their contamination from years of commercial manufacturing on the positioning. The positioning space was roughly unrecognisable though the Metropolis Mill River nonetheless flowed by it. It was a dismal day, with gentle rain or drizzle and every little thing appeared bleak.

Extra photos Stratford – Bow: Olympic Website.

Justice for cleaners display at AON

Justice for Cleaners introduced collectively London’s largely migrant cleaners in a marketing campaign for a dwelling wage, sick pay, holidays, commerce union rights and respect and was backed by main unions together with Unite (and the TGWU which had then lately merged with Amicus to kind Unite.)

On Might fifteenth 2008 they’d deliberate a protest outdoors the RBS places of work in Bishopsgate, the place cleaners had been employed by Pall Mall, however negotiations had led to some success and the demonstration had been switched to AON in Devonshire Sq., EC2, a brief stroll away.

AON, based mostly in Chicago, is among the world’s main corporations in insurance coverage, with a primary quarter internet revenue for 2008 lately introduced as $218 million. The cleaners at its Metropolis of London places of work take dwelling lower than it takes to stay on in London.

Their places of work are on non-public property the place I’d beforehand been prevented from taking photos by safety officers, and the protest befell in entrance of the gates on the road.

Noisy public protests reminiscent of these are efficient as a result of they draw consideration to the shameful manner these employees are handled although they work to scrub the places of work of prestigious corporations – which is why the Tories introduced in extremely restrictive legal guidelines in an try to cease them.

Watching them by the gates had been a variety of safety males in addition to Metropolis of London police. Employees in Devonshire Sq. had been strolling publish the protesters and people contained in the places of work may have been capable of hear the protest which befell with numerous whistle blowing, shouting and a strong megaphone used to specific the cleaners’ calls for.

Though Unite had been supporting the cleaners right here, migrant employees in London quickly largely misplaced confidence in them and different main unions, who they felt had been at instances making offers with administration that weren’t really reflecting their pursuits, significantly in some workplaces the place they gave the impression to be extra fascinated about preserving wage differentials than getting good offers for the poorest employees. The cleaners – and plenty of different low paid employees – are actually largely represented by grass roots unions reminiscent of United Voices of the World.

Justice for cleaners display at AON

Iraqi Democrats In opposition to the Occupation – US Embassy

Cease the Struggle Coalition and Iraqi Democrats In opposition to the Occupation protested on the US Embassy in Grosvenor Sq. calling for an finish of actions in opposition to the Iraqi folks and the withdrawal of US forces.

They handed in a letter condemning the persevering with US occupation which had brought on an “unimaginable stage of loss of life and destruction to the folks and nation prior to now 5 years” and noting the similarity between US actions and the Israeli repression of Palestinians, with the constructing of concrete partitions to divide Baghdad into what Pentagon sources have described as “30 killing zones“.

Iraqi Democrats In opposition to the Occupation

Photofusion opening – Altering Areas

On my manner dwelling I took a number of photos of Brown Hart Gardens in Mayfair earlier than going to Brixton to view the opening of the ‘Altering Locations‘ present.

This image wasn’t posed – I simply walked up to take a look at the {photograph} by Simon Rowe and noticed the younger girl standing there together with her head at a really comparable angle. You’ll be able to see a number of extra image from the opening on My London Diary.

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All images on this web page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
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