London Protests – Ten Years of Pictures

One of the exhibitions at 6 Billion Ways will be ‘My London Diary: Photographs and texts of protests and other events in London from 1999 to now’ by photographer Peter Marshall. Here Peter writes about his work…

Around ten years ago I began a new web site, My London Diary, mainly to provide a record of things I saw happening in London that never made the news. Among these were protests, some about local issues, some national and others global in their scope. I’d been photographing protest for years, but saw this as a new way to make my work available to others, create a historical record and gain publicity for the causes.

There are now over 50,000 pictures on My London Diary, as well as my comments about most of the events. Many have been used by activist groups in newsletters and flyers (usually without charge for unfunded organisations) and some published in newspapers, books and magazines in the UK and abroad. Some are also available though picture libraries.

From its earliest days the site shows the international nature of protest in London, with the handful of pictures from 1999 including a Westminster protest calling for NATO to get out of the Balkans, Jubilee 2000 calling on the UK government to “cancel the debt”, solidarity with East Timor and members of London’s Kurdish community calling for the release of Abdullah Öcalan.

So far in 2011 as well as local marches against the cuts in Islington and Hackney, UK Uncut actions, students protesting the loss of EMA, protests against unfair testing for disabled benefits, against privatisation of Royal Mail, calling for the release of Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo, I’ve also covered protests calling for freedom for Kashmir and Khalistan, opposing cuts in the BBC World Service, solidarity with the Libyan, Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions and more – including a pillow fight against unsuitable high-rise development in Walthamstow.

A small selection from the site will be projected at Rich Mix during 6 Billion Ways – but the whole growing collection can be seen on-line at

Peter Marshall

Images in this post are © Peter Marshall