Westminster was very busy on Saturday (the 7th of March), with both the Time to Act and Million Women Rise marches taking place. No sooner did the end of the Climate Change march pass Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square, than Million Women Rise entered the square for a rally, demonstrating just how important this small area of London is to British politics. The marches represented very different issues, with Time to Act calling for urgent changes to the way we deal with climate change, and Million Women Rise demanding an end to male violence against women, tying in with International Women’s Day on the 8th of March. The beautiful weather combined with the bright placards creative chants and upbeat atmosphere to create a thoroughly enjoyable spectacle. Here are some of my photos from the day.
People had come from all over the country to protest against issues related to climate change in their local area, but there were several London groups.
People of all ages attended the march….
…from the young…
…to the old, several generations were represented by the demonstrators. I think climate change marches tend to be more friendly and safe events than protests around some issues.
This group stopped in front of a McDonalds to help make their point.
As usual, there were generic placards printed large numbers by groups such as the Green Party, the CND, and Left Unity…
…as well as home-made efforts, which frequently take a comic approach to the issues.
Lots of issues were represented in the Time to Act march, including fossil fuels, TTIP, runways and Trident. Drax is a coal-fired power station in Yorkshire that provides about 7% of the UK’s electricity supply.
This contingent from Oxford brought their own band. Music is a really important part of protest marches, helping to left the mood and keep the marchers upbeat and energised.
Whilst fracking was a popular topic of disdain for the marchers, this gentleman decided to focus on tar sands. Tar sands is not a method of fossil fuel extraction that is used in the UK, but many contemporary activists take an international approach to their campaigning.
This protester brought his bike along, presumably to promote the environmentally -friendly form of travel. The placard in his basket is a play on Shell’s logo and name.
One of the last placards of the Time to Act march was this one, calling for spectators to join the march.
The Million Women Rise march arrived in Trafalgar Square just as the last Time to Act protester passed by. They too had many mass-produced placards.
But there were also home-made placards too, like this one.
Although violence against women is a more focussed topic than climate change, other issues were still brought in by demonstrators, such as this sign about migration.
Lots of different groups were represented on the march, from a huge variety of backgrounds. From Essex…
…to Kurdistan, each group had a different style and approach.
This was one of my favourite banners from the day, with the bright colours and striking imagery. Unfortunately, I doubt it will ever be seen in the National Gallery!
Most marches end with a rally, with speakers, and sometimes music. The Million Women Rise stage was set up in front of Nelson’s Column.