Saturday, 10 January 2009

Peaceful but passionate..


..that was what the BBC reporter said in the 8pm news. An estimated 20,000 people from all backgrounds, including Jews, Christians and Muslims (plus a jolly elderly Irish 'elf') and a handful of vocal celebrities and politicians in the likes of Annie Lennox, Eno, Lauren Booth (Cherie Blair's half-sister) and Ken Livingstone rallied for support on a stage to start the protest march against Israeli aggression in Gaza. The location : the aptly named Speaker's Corner in London's Marble Arch. I got off the Central Line train at Marble Arch a little after 1pm, and followed the crowd straight up to the rallying point with the help of stewards and the Metropolitan Police. It was -1C, grey and cold, and snow flakes began to fall..


































6 comments:

An-Nimr said...

Steven!

What fantastic pictures! I wish you could capture the bloodshed going on in Gaza and elsewhere.

That 'elf" is just so cute. Look at her sign! The black and whites are so stark and wintry, WW2 atmosphere.

That moment of prayer on the road by that family was really something else too.

I am heartened to see that many are outraged and speaking out.

These war criminals must be brought to justice...

svllee said...

Hi Tehsin, glad you liked the pictures. It was pretty cold and my fingers were pretty frozen at the end despite wearing gloves! The Teh tarek break helped!

The 'elf' us a he actually!

Cristi said...

Great series Steven, the b&w pictures work very well. It is funny that you took exactly the same two first pictures in the tunnel. I have them in color and took them with the GRD.
It was a very cold day and at some point I could barely press the shutter since I had no gloves on.

As for the protest, aside from some very close minded remarks from some of the speakers and pople wanting support for Hamas or shouting at the police, I think it was a good demonstration. The mess they've made at the Israeli embassy was unnecessary though.
It would be nice to see people that engaged when it comes to things a lot closer to us though.

svllee said...

Hey Cristi, thanks for visiting. Yes, the tunnel pictures had some significance to me. It felt like a 'long road', walking with people towards a similar ending..sort of symbolic and hence that was what triggered to to grab some shots.

I felt there was a lot so cameraderie at the protest, where strangers were talking to each other, and I like that. There were some 'extremists' I would call but by and large they were a handful. What With anyform of demo like this there will be two or even three sides to the arguments. Like you said in your blog, it is difficult to summarise a tragedy like this with over 50 years of historical baggage into a day of marching. I was there to support the innocent victims, many of whom were women and young children needlessly killed, from both sides. It is after all a Stop The War coalition event. Did you see the Irish dancer? I suppose he equated the Hamas struggle with the IRA.

Cristi said...

I did like the spirit of most people at the potest and aside from a few 'stupid people' everyone was there for the right reasons. I did talk to people and some were happy for me to take their pictures.
Like you, I believe stopping the war should have been the main focus and religion should not have been dragged into this. Also, I think there should have been less speeches directed against Israel but more against the war and against both sides for dragging this on for 60 years now. Neither side is better and equally responsible for being in this situation now. It is a shame since it is always the civil population suffering from this.
Unfortunately, I missed the Irish dancer, your picture of him is very good though.

Tom said...

Nice Pics Steven,

I was also there yesterday lugging around my old-RD1 and it got very cold. I actually found the GRD to be much more useful for me.
I was there at the beginning and I thought this was a demonstration against the killings and the war. I'm pretty sure no-one wants to see children being slaughtered or people being shot but what i noticed on the demonstration was a terribly graphic biased opinion of the situation and promoting Hamas. Also some of the speakers were religious leaders. I don't think religious dogma and politics make a good mix and will just make the situation all the more complicated. The conflict is complicated so I'd rather not take sides, all I want is for people to stop killing each other and get on with their lives.