Sunday, 27 March 2011

Pictures from Protest

Some unions can arrange a very civilized start to a protest march! Coffee, biscuits and "rest rooms".

Though I am not sure what to make of the view across a rather glum looking River Thames at the Millennium Bridge and Tate.

Setting off along the Embankment - we actually joined the later part of the march, so we were over three hours behind the first marchers and about one hour ahead of the last marchers.

I think this counts as my most iconic image of the day.

Another iconic image.

Approaching Parliament - and remember that the front of the march moved off at about 11.45 am!

Approaching Piccadilly. There had clearly been some trouble along Piccadilly earlier, with a few broken windows evident, but we were able to pass along Piccadilly quite peacefully.

Part way along Piccadilly.

Approaching Hyde Park.

I had subscribed to the Metropolitan Police's text update service for the day - and also received news updates from my sister - so we were aware in general terms of some of the difficulties that had occurred during the afternoon. This BBC report covers events of the whole day. However, our experience was one of a peaceful and well-ordered march. This was the case despite the fact that the numbers marching - well over 250 000, I would guess - meant that the streets were quite congested at some points of the route. We did not see any of the violent scenes shown in the BBC report which it is fair to say had absolutely nothing to do with the TUC march.

The nearest we got to a problem was passing Fortnum and Mason, where a small crowd was beginning to gather as we passed. Subsequent Met Police texts:
Fortnum and Mason's is surrounded by police as this is a crime scene.
The Met Police thank those outside Fortnum and Mason for their patience. They will not be held any longer than necessary.
Out of context, the texts are quite amusing. We did, of course, speculate as to whether or not Fortnum and Mason were providing refreshments to those who had occupied their premises.

By heading towards Kensington High Street for something to eat before returning home we kept very clear of trouble spots.

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