Occupy- Do you remember

Do you remember when we thought that occupation could change the world?

In 2011 the City was occupied, Billy Bragg played an impromptu gig in front of St Pauls and we thought that there was a chance that the world might change. The Arab Spring had just happened and there was hope in the air.

Ok the Arab Spring turned very sour, and Occupy has changed the City not one jot, but it is sometimes nice to simply remind ourselves that there are people who were willing to make a stand and willing to hope for a different future.

Below are some pictures from that year of Occupation in the City, with 2 sites, one infront of St Pauls, another on Finsbury Square and also of the smaller Occupy Nottingham.

Tahrir Square London


Occupation Times
Heated Discussion observed
Monopoly

Finsbury Square

Capitalism Isn't Working
Tax Havens are Immoral

Nottingham

Occupy Nottingham
Occupy Nottingham

Extinction Rebellion

Tahrir Square London

In 2011 I stood outside St Paul’s Cathedral where the Occupy Movement had set up camp in the forecourt. It was a time of hope, seminars and vibrant discussion. The Arab Spring was happening and revolution was in the air.

Yesterday, I had a slight sense of dejavu when I took my camera to Marble Arch to shoot the Extinction Rebellion occupation of the roundabout and the top end of Oxford St in London.

Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch

The occupation was ordered, happy, a little sweaty after having been in the sun for a sunny Easter Weekend. It was full of happy young people arguing about whether they should end their occupation and come back next week or continue the occupation.

Each workshop was accompanied by posters and tents, then there were the free hugs and t-shirts. You can see the full set of pictures – by clicking the picture below.

Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch

Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch
Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch

Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch
Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch

Of course there were Drag Queens

Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch
Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch
Extinction Rebellion Occupation Marble Arch

Its been a turbulent year

Apparently, there is a Chinese proverb that says – may you live in turbulent times. Or maybe it doesn’t but the last 12 months has been a solid demonstration-fest as the country splits and disagrees about everything. I realised today that I have covered umpteen demos, marches and protests.

Its only March and I have already been to 2 major demos – who knows how many more there will be this year.

I guess the demo year really started with the Anti-Trump demo

Trump Demo July 18
Trump Demo July 18
Trump Demo July 18

Then on the next day there was the Pro-Trump Demo

Pro-Trump Demo

Pro-Trump Demo
Pro-Trump Demo

And to add to the mix there was the Anti-Pro-Trump Demo

Union Anti Racism Demo July 18
Union Anti Racism Demo July 18

Then to add into the mix on the same day there was the Anti-Fa Anti-Trump Demo

Anti-Fa Demo July 18
Anti-Fa Demo July 18
Anti-Fa Demo July 18

And then when you thought that this had all been too exciting there was the People’s March anti-Brexit Demo

People's Vote March London Nov 18
People's Vote March London Nov 18
People's Vote March London Nov 18

It all went quiet over Christmas and then the demonstration anger kicked off again in March with the People’s March Mk2

People's March - 23/3/19
People's March - 23/3/19
People's March - 23/3/19

And finally – and only so far. Was the Pro-Brexit demo on the 29th March.

Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations

29th March – Not Quite Brexit Day

Today, the 29th March was supposed to be Brexit Day. Except, because of 3 failed Meaningful Votes, or perhaps votes with no meaning, in Parliament Brexit has been deferred – and/or cancelled.

Last week I shot the People’s Vote March so this week I decided to go to the Brexit supporting demo in Parliament Square. The People’s Vote march was reportedly 1 million people, the Brexit demo, several thousand.

The demos were materially different, the Remain, full of families and young children. The Brexit demo, full of angry (generally) men. I was frightened, I have to say, there was a definite sense that the media and photographers were not particularly welcome.

The demos filling the square and the bottom of Whitehall were in fact 2 demos. First a Tommy Robinson Brexit Demo and a Vote Leave demo. Plus there was a rather bizarre French Demo in favour of Brexit. The Vote Leave Demo had a number of speakers I had heard of including the arch priest of Brexit – Nigel Farage.

Here’s a selection of pics from the demo – you will want to se the full set which you can see here https://flic.kr/s/aHsmCqFogC

Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations


Brexit Day - Demonstrations

Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations
Brexit Day - Demonstrations

No Sign of Flags

I have just come back from shooting the People’s Vote Demo in London on Saturday. Normally, I would blog about the wacky, snarky, sarcastic and funny placards that I saw. There probably will be a post about that however I wanted to highlight something that I noticed and have noticed at various Remainer demos.

Where are the Union Jacks?

When you go to a Remainer demo it is clear that they are for Europe by the number of EU flags that they carry.

People's March - 23/3/19
Remain Demonstrators in Hyde Park
People's March - 23/3/19
Remain Protestor in Park Lane
People's March - 23/3/19
Remain demonstrator in Park Lane

So there were the odd Union Flag they were out numbered 20 or 30 to 1.

People's March - 23/3/19
A lone patriot on the People\s March Demo

Why is this? When I look at myself, I realise that I really don’t like Brexit, but I am very proud of being British, English and I really love my flag. Many years ago I used to go to an American/International School and would wear a Union Flag badge on my jacket.

But if I compare this with the right-wing demo that I covered last year, you see a sea of Union Flags or St George’s Flags.

Pro-Trump Demo
EDL demo 2018
Pro-Trump Demo
EDL Supporters 2018

I absolutely disagree with the sentiments of the posters, however there is a definite pride in the Union Flag or St George’s Flag. Why is this?

Why do the Remainers feel uncomfortable with showing the Union Flag?

Why are the centre and left uncomfortable with carrying the flag?

I know I am proud of being a Brit and have no fear of standing under the flag. Yes Britain, isn’t. the most worthy nation in the world, however in the Remainers not being willing to stand under the flag, they do rather make the point of the Brexiteers about being more interested in Europe than their own nation.

Vicious Von Vixen Feb 26th

The Central Station pub near Kings Cross is an amazing little venue. I really like going to Vicious Von Vixen’s cabaret and burlesque show. The quality of the show is always very very high and the atmosphere is totally electric. I have been a few times and always say that I will leave as soon as the show is over but I always seem to be on the last train home from Paddington after the show.

Vicious Von Vixen at Central Station
Duchess DeBerry sharing a moment with a member of the audience
Vicious Von Vixen at Central Station
There was an amazing juggler at the shot
Vicious Von Vixen at Central Station
Duchess DeBerry
Vicious Von Vixen at Central Station
Trash Valentine and a cheeky face
Vicious Von Vixen at Central Station
Daniella DeVille closing the show

Busty and Ginger

Another day another shoot at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern where I was lucky enough to be asked to shoot Busty and Ginger’s show.

Busty and Ginger are amazing and the rightful winners of last years Pride’s Got Talent . It was a two hander and they really managed to fill the stage. Gingers performance of playing the piano with her bust has to be seen to be believed.

I probably say this for all the shows I go to, however if you don’t go to their show when you have a chance – you need to have your head examined.

Busty and Ginger
Busty and Ginger
Busty and Ginger
Ginger
Busty and Ginger
Busty playing the piano
Busty and Ginger
A message from Busty
Busty and Ginger
Ginger

Drag At RVT

I was lucky enough to be asked to shoot the Royalz Variety Show at the Royal Victoria Tavern, sometimes just known as the RVT. It was a mind shattering experience, wild, challenging, a bit frightening and even educational – who knew that I would learn about Pakistani Pop Tunes from the 1980s at a cabaret gig.

If you get the chance to see the Royalz you really should go, it is amazing as I hope you will see from the photos.

HOR Presents: The Royalz Variety Show Jan 2019
Dolly Trolley
HOR Presents: The Royalz Variety Show Jan 2019
The astounding Bae Sharam
HOR Presents: The Royalz Variety Show Jan 2019
Rhys Pieces
HOR Presents: The Royalz Variety Show Jan 2019
Veronica Montenegro
HOR Presents: The Royalz Variety Show Jan 2019
Frankly Desire
HOR Presents: The Royalz Variety Show Jan 2019
Eva Wonder



How Many Feet do you see?

My day job is in the City of London, one of the wealthiest places on earth.

Everyday I walk through Liverpool St station with thousands of other people all heading for their jobs. We are all pretty well clothed, pretty well paid and generally pretty pretty.

There is though an undercurrent, amidst the riches of the city. You don’t have to look too hard to find it, but find it you can. The other day when there was snow on the ground a bloke was on the Tube begging. He was wet, dishevelled and smelly. He hadn’t been able to sleep because of the snow.

Last week I took a detour on the way to work to take some photographs. Amongst the colourful signs and witty graffiti I came across the following sight

Street Scenes Shoreditch and the City
Street Sleepers City of London

At first I wasn’t sure what it was, it was only when I looked again that I saw amongst the bundle of rags 3 legs. Yes there were 2 men sleeping in this grotty alcove under one sleeping bag.

It seems that in the wealthiest part of the UK very true that in the midsts of riches we are in poverty.

A Photo A Week

I have been looking for a new project and have settled on a photo a week of the Reading Cemetery at the part of Reading where I live, which is called Cemetery Junction.

I want to try and record a picture a week and see how the the Cemetery changes over the year. I am taking pictures once a week at the weekend.

I hope that there will be lots of changes over the year.

Week 1 January

Photo a week Reading Cemy

Week 2 January

Photo a week Reading Cemy

Week 3 January

Cemy Wk 3 Jan


Wk5 February

– I forgot to take a picture last week, as I was a bit hungover. But have now picked up the ball and been out in the snow.

Wk 5 Feb 1st Reading Cemy

I had said that I would only take 1 shot of the Cemy, however I saw this sight and thought it was worth a picture.

Wk 5 Feb 1st Reading Cemy