Thursday, April 02, 2009

Pictures of April 1st City of London

Below is a selection of photos from the protests in the City of London yesterday. As I was at work during most of the day, these were taken in the evening. The low quality is due to the fact they were taken on a mobile phone camera. Nonetheless I think they give a flavour of the scenes around the City yesteray.

Protestors gather in Poultry, City of London

Crowded scene outside the Bank of England, 5.30pm Wednesday 1st April. Two hours later a man died in this area.

"Castle Greyskull" aka RBS HQ in Bishopsgate, City of London.

Anarchists and Police face each other in the approach to the Bank of England.

Police "centurion" overlooks the crowd near the Bank of England.

"Climate Campers" underneath Tower 42 (formerly the Natwest Tower).

A line of riot police. Anarchists wanted !

Chit chat. The lady on the left is dressed identically to her male colleague.

Not so much "bobbies on the beat" as "bobbies ready to beat". The uniform is both intimidating and dehumanising. British Police increasingly "don riotgear" when so much as a papercup gets thrown. While it can save lives, the use of riot gear should be proportionate to prevent ordinary people becoming alienated.

THe much reviled RBS is protected by a line of police. This very branch had been attacked round the corner by anarchists a few hours earlier.

A crowd is "kettled" (blocked in) outside the Bank of England.


cw-patriot said...

Thank you SO much for the fascinating pictures and captions. I am overcome with an odd combination of anger and sadness at seeing them.

Your coverage of this event, just through these pictures, is actually far better than anything I've seen on American television. Thank you, Luis!

Luis said...

Thank you for your kind comments Joanie. This was one story I did not need to go out of my way to cover as I walk past the Bank of England twice daily !

I found my sympathies rather torn by this event. On the one hand I had no natural sympathy with many of the protestors. On the other hand mistakes have clearly been made by government as well as some of the banks and it seems legitimate to challenge the basis on which the "bail out" is being made.

Also the presumption on protests seems to be changing in a negative way. My understanding of democracy was that the ability to protest and express a contrary view would always be protected. In practice though on "security grounds" the ability to protest is increasingly restricted and many in London were herded together and not allowed to move for hours on end. Hardly a model example of free speech. The violent disorder was greatly exaggerated from what I saw and overall I was saddened that the ability to and act of protesting appears so undervalued these days.