Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 2, 2009

Category: Photos

A small selection of photos I took when out and about today.

In other news, Iain Dale is waving the ‘fascist’ tag about, and David Cameron throws like a girl.








Posted by Tim Ireland at May 1, 2003

Category: Consume!, Photos, Uncategorized

May Day London 2003

The day started out simply enough with a trip to Canary Wharf. I must say the police presence surprised me. These were the first three policepersons I saw, and I popped my bags of shoeboxes down for a quick picture. Sharp-eyed locals will no doubt recognise the Daisy & Tom shopping bag that clearly identifies me as a hardcore anarchist.

May Day London 2003

I figured there’d be plenty to get on with on the day, so decided to get the wanky art out of the way first (see London Peace March for previous wanky art). The point of the exercise was to plant open shoeboxes (containing the pictured ‘authentic’ incriminating document) that could be conveniently discovered by Daily Telegraph ‘journalists.’

May Day London 2003

Discovery was a major part of the work, so it wasn’t quite as simple as delivering a box to the front desk. I left the first two in the care of these gentlemen facing the Canary Wharf Tower.

May Day London 2003

I also left some facing the ‘smokers corner’ out front of the building, in the park a small distance from the main building (presumably reserved for more anti-social smokers) and in this cosy little basket.

May Day London 2003

Finally, I headed into the shopping complex below the building and left a few more ready to be discovered, including this one located where most right-wing journalists do the majority of their thinking (and dating, if you believe the gossip).

May Day London 2003

From here, I made a clean ‘getaway’ via Docklands Light Railway (you can see the last one I left in place under the seat there).

BTW, the inverted commas are there because I actually had to ask a policeman for directions. Hardly the crime of the century. Still, Canary Wharf wasn’t an ‘official’ target as far as I knew, but I had mentioned my intentions regarding this installation on the Urban75 web forum (favourite for authoritarian lurkers). Could all of those police really have been there just to hassle little old me? I can only assume not, as I did the entire installation in full view of a number of police and security guards, towing a dirty great black plastic bag. And stopping to take photos every few minutes.

No matter. The train took me all the way to Bank. I toodled right along, because I was late for the disco.

May Day London 2003

En route, I met the following happy individuals, intent on cleaning up capitalism. They gave the Bank Of England a darn good polishing…

May Day London 2003

…only to get questioned by the police for their troubles. This certainly wasn’t the only overreaction of the day, but I’m getting a wee bit ahead of myself.

May Day London 2003

I wanted to hook up with the Space Hijackers, as their planned event had a simple agenda rooted in good old-fashioned fun. The mobile disco had a modest turnout, but was far from disappointing. I must admit that I did little dancing myself, but after 10 years of DJing, you kind of get used to standing back and watching everyone else have a good time. Sad, isn’t it?

May Day London 2003

Still, there was plenty to keep me entertained. When this visibly high-risk group headed towards Liverpool Street, they and the partygoers they had recruited were followed by close to a dozen police.

May Day London 2003

They drew quite an audience at Liverpool Street Station, including yet more police. Clearly nobody had anything better to do. Many lunch breaks ran into overtime.

May Day London 2003

“Caucasian male. Dark Suit. Red tie. Appears to be doing the Funky Chicken. Caucasian male. Dark suit. Blue tie. Clearly seen to limbo in a public place.”

May Day London 2003

Sadly, I had to leave the mobile disco, as I wanted to see what kind of turnout they would get at the Lockheed Martin building. I took this one last picture of the gathered audience outside, before catching the Central Line to Tottenham Court Road.

May Day London 2003

It was time for a change of pace.

May Day London 2003

It was a pretty good turnout, erm, as it turned out. I mostly busied myself with distributing surgical face-masks to those worried about the SARS virus and/or trial by media, as well as Out Of Order stickers to those concerned about the functionality of the system at large. I did, however, manage to get this picture at that vital moment when the traffic finally ground to halt. From this point on, police held the line that if you were on the road, you were an anarchist. If you were on the pavement, you were a bystander. This rule held even if the road were shut off for two blocks in either direction. I really should have remembered this, but again, I’m getting a wee bit ahead of myself.

May Day London 2003

This brave gentleman headed into the centre of the crowd claiming to be a Capitalist And Proud Of It…

May Day London 2003

…he was removed by the police for his own safety. Yes, that is an Out Of Order sticker he’s wearing. Fine by me. The joy of the Out Of Order Project is that it’s open to personal interpretation. One of the few nice policepersons I met on the day asked for a sticker as a souvenir, and actually stuck it to his inside vest – then swiftly moved it to his report book when I whipped my camera out. Heh.

May Day London 2003

From here everybody started marching down nearby Shaftesbury Avenue, and things looked pretty casual for a while…

May Day London 2003

… but about a block down the road, the rear cordon began. Police quite pointedly made it clear to anybody on the fringes that if you went in; you stayed in. Fair warning, or subtle intimidation?

May Day London 2003

Well, the photographers moved in a few minutes later, and the vans weren’t far behind, so I’m inclined to think the latter.

May Day London 2003

Here are a few folks carefully thinking it over. Numbers down this year? Here’s where about half of them went. Quite a few Parents With Prams backed off from this point on.

May Day London 2003

And here come the vans!

May Day London 2003

From here, the protestors were hemmed in and carefully guided toward Trafalgar Square. The crowd tried to change direction early on, and even had mixed success with the occasional side road, but disruption was limited to about a block a time. A sound tactic in theory, but the very deliberate warnings had stuck in my mind. A shut-in wasn’t far away. In fact, it was more or less already in effect.

May Day London 2003

Those who tried to leave the march at this stage were edited according to police tastes. If you looked like a tourist, you were allowed to leave. If you looked like a soap-dodger, you were staying right where you were. It was at this stage that I actually ran into Mike Slocombe (of Urban 75), pictured here giving an interview after being, as he described it, illegally detained. Two or three years ago, I would have mocked him for overreacting. I was two blocks away from an even more pronounced shift of opinion.

May Day London 2003

It’s important to note that the mood of the crowd didn’t change until the police tactics did. A serious shut-in took place about three blocks north of Trafalgar Square. They then almost doubled in numbers, and pushed the crowd in nice and tight, narrowing the cordon across the width of the road. Not to allow any kind of access, mind, just to make the gathering look as dangerous as possible and to dish out a mild form of physical punishment.

It was at this stage that I walked past what was clearly a monitoring van, surrounded by a few undercover guys. A quick glimpse inside showed the comprehensive face-by-face indexing was going on – and these were people that had not necessarily chosen to be where they were.

I whipped out my remaining box of surgical masks. I took one step onto the road (to join several other people with cameras) while considering my options. Big mistake – remember the arbitrary rule about roads and pavements?

I was actually grabbed by a policeman, dragged 12 feet across the road, and shoved inside the cordon!

I shit you not.

May Day London 2003

It all happened so fast, I didn’t get the officer’s number, but he was uniform – and had one eyebrow doing the job of two. He disappeared pretty sharpish. All the policemen who clearly saw me being shoved in from across the road claimed to be completely ignorant of my situation. I was inside the cordon, and there I was going to stay. I tried to leave early on (it was patently ridiculous, they had all seen what happened, etc.), but got a hefty shove in the middle of the chest for my troubles. Boos from the crowd. I asked to see a senior officer a number of times, but was given the ‘he’s over there… no, he’s not here, he’s over there’ run around.

I had no problem being hemmed in, shoved around and digitally indexed, really (damn, I’d published everything I was going to do and was well within my rights to do it) but there was a principle at stake. You know what I’m like with those pesky principles. I tend to stick to my guns.

May Day London 2003

Remember this face. This is one of the guys who ‘knew nothing’ about my situation, so was ‘completely helpless.’ We were being held ‘for our own protection and in the interests of public safety.’ If indeed it were true that I had been shoved across the road and inside the cordon, then that would have to be a serious matter to be discussed with a senior officer, but he had no indication that this truly was the case, so as far as he was concerned, I was there voluntarily. Tough. You wanna try holding that camera still, buddy – it looks like you’re shaking a bit there. And so on.

Scary, huh? After promising wife, mother and kids that I would be careful, here I was being outwitted by a bunch of halfwits. It was the trust issue that got me. I actually found it completely inconceivable that a policeman would abuse his power in such a way.

I argued with a number of police until I was blue in the face. Actually, I kind of argued until I was white in the face. That stomach virus and dealing with the rush of activity around it had pretty much knocked the stuffing out of me. On this day, after 8 hours of operating on breakfast alone (and a rather ill-advised scotch and cola en route), I suddenly dropped on the spot in a dead faint.

There were legs, arms, a couple of voices, but I didn’t really come to until I found myself sitting on my arse outside the cordon with two police medics in attendance.

Got bag? Yep. Got camera? Yep.

Bodily inventory? Everything intact, and largely unscathed. Good. State of mind? Wits returning, but dignity shot to hell. Still, you can’t have everything.

They offered me water, but I fished my own bottle out, along with a chocolate bar. The sugar rush obviously brought the colour back to my face, because the worried look on the medic’s face faded away as my focus returned…

…just in time to see the chap you see pictured above tell the medics that I was an organiser (!) and obviously faking it. He wanted me dragged back inside the cordon. Now. Get up, son. A look from one of the medics sent him on his way, but my climb back to reality just got a lot steeper.

A person is an illegal detainee if they are prevented from proceeding or restrained in custody in violation of the law – and I had been specifically singled out and collared for that purpose. This so-called servant of the public, and no doubt most of the smug gits around him, knew exactly what was going on. I was calmly and deliberately being taught a lesson.

Lesson noted. Congratulations to the police on a job well done. I used to be a Sometime Concerned Citizen. Now I’m a Determined Activist. What choice do I have?

May Day London 2003








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 22, 2003

Category: Photos, Uncategorized

It should be noted from the outset that, apart from the Mass Lobby of Parliament on the 24th of January and the Million-Strong March on the 15th of February, I haven’t really marched for anything since I was about 14 years old.

But, while I may not be a professional activist or one of the ‘usual suspects,’ I’d like to think that I made a valid contribution to the march beyond adding one more head to the count.

 

London Peace March

Things started out looking very bleak indeed. At the million-strong march, this road was packed with people all the way back to the bridge by 11:00am. This photo of the same road at the most recent march was taken at 11:30am. I also noted with sadness that The Mirror had failed to supply placards for this event. These were the placards that most people vandalised in an effort to remove the untoward branding, and great numbers of them had been altered beyond repair very early in the day on the previous march. I’d come armed with duct tape, some spray-adhesive, a beefy staple gun, and hundreds on non-branded messages on A3 paper to rejuvenate such placards, but I didn’t see it as my right to remodel the placards of movements such as the CND, the Communist Party and what not en masse (these were lying around ready for use in great numbers). While I may not agree with everything these groups stand for, what they stand for cannot not be dismissed as easily and readily as the philosophy of ‘sell more newspapers.’ At least, not by little old me.

London Peace March

So, to kill time, I started out by placing a few signs (outlining a certain plan for civil disobedience) in high traffic areas that led to the assembly area. You can read the full text that appeared on these signs by clicking here.

London Peace March

Pretty much everything at the assembly point was covered, from phoneboxes and road signs through to the mirrors in the toilets and even the wobbly bridge.

London Peace March

Just as the march was starting, I approached a few folks with large placards that were blank on the reverse side and placed a few extra images on them with their permission. By the third time I’d done this, I was surprised by a sudden rush of people wanting the same treatment for a variety of placards. The most popular choice by far was the Bush/Blair pic, as seen here.

London Peace March

I was damned busy for about 10 minutes before I ran out of signs – too busy to take photos, in fact – but I did manage to catch up with a few folks who had adopted them, and once I had one or two of these shots in the can I quietly got on with the serious business of marching.

London Peace March

Of course, there were quite a few businesses and amenities along the route that were closed down, boarded up or out of use. Such facilities were correctly labelled wherever possible.

London Peace March

This included the statue of Achilles at the entrance to Hyde Park (seen here fighting off one of those damned pigeons), but signage took on a fresh twist once the rally had started.

London Peace March

Here we move into an area that can only be described and conceptual art/wank. Armed with a staple gun, some plastic sheeting, duct tape and a lot of discarded placards, I began to build my own terror shelter.

London Peace March

A number of people watched me build over the hour or so that followed, which meant that my wanky installation had fulfilled its first purpose; to prove how easy it is to distract people with some duct tape and a few yards of plastic. The final touch was the ‘out of order’ sign. The point of this being?

London Peace March

Well, I would like to think that its pretty obvious. The shelter was soon surrounded by spectators, and delivering its message nicely. I left it to its job and headed over to the U.S. embassy in the hope that it would be inundated with protesters and therefore in need of an ‘out of order’ sign.

London Peace March

I was quite surprised to find it this quiet. Probably something to do with the (ahem) modest police presence.

London Peace March

I headed towards Oxford St, where I could see police blocking the road in even greater numbers. I met these chappies on their way back from what I assumed to be an effective redirection of the crowd.

London Peace March

These nice blokes were also on hand to discourage any unruly behaviour.

London Peace March

The protestors headed for the embassy had decided to take their stand where they were – by sitting down. Oxford St had suddenly become a pedestrian mall for peace, and the line of buses went back 6 blocks. I sat down and joined the protest.

London Peace March

The police moved in with a row of vans and an aggressive cordon. Sorry, but there’s no other way to put it. They came at us in a line – too fast at some times – causing a very unhealthy crush, and pushing people over trash cans and benches in the name of public safety (to cries of ‘shame’ from the protesters and onlookers).

London Peace March

Here’s a photo of the nice chap who moved me along. Things got interesting after this.

London Peace March

The Met’s methods met with limited success, as the protesters simply fell back where possible to form a new line. Of course, this was fine as far as the police were concerned. All they had to do was keep us busy so nobody got the bright idea of taking a quick walk one block south to the U.S. embassy.

London Peace March

It occurred to me that somebody could mention this to the crowd at any time and really shake things up, but having seen the aggressive way in which they merely kept us busy (and the huge presence waiting around the corner), I thought it best to keep my fool mouth shut.

London Peace March

The police had pretty much guaranteed that London would be the only city in the world that day not to host a protest outside a U.S. embassy , but they really had this young lad to thank for it. By climbing on top of a police van, he gave them a great excuse not to move and provided the crowd with a welcome focus point.

London Peace March

As we obviously weren’t going anywhere for a while, I took it upon myself to label a few buses caught up in the jam.

London Peace March

Then – and this really surprised me – a copy of my Bush/Blair pic came out of nowhere and was passed up to Vanboy. He threw it down, gave it a good stomping and then tore it up to enormous cheers. I rummaged though my bag and found that I had one more ‘No Blood For Bush’ sign left over and passed it up to the front. It got the same treatment. Some people have no respect for art.

London Peace March

BTW, this is the official police photographer who got a wonderful shot of me helping out. I figured one good turn deserved another.

London Peace March

From here I ran out of constructive things to do, so left the protest. Sure enough, the police were still waiting just around the corner. When I returned home, I heard that the riot police turned up not long after and things got rather ugly.

London Peace March

Hyde Park was pretty much empty by the time I got there, but I was still in time to check if my little art installation had survived the afternoon ahead of the cleanup.

London Peace March

Yup, it was still there 3 hours later, and largely intact.

London Peace March

I packed it up and helped to clean up a bit, but did wonder how many people I actually reached. In fact, I wondered for most of the trip home…

London Peace March

…until I arrived and saw this at the station. Score one for the team.








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