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Peaceful Harrow Ceasefire March

As a photographer, it is hard not to use my platform to document what I see. Whether it is photographing nature or photographing people; photography to me is an extension of life and society as seen through my own lens, in more ways than one. Seeing the constant, heartbreaking news of children dying in Palestine, pushed me to join the 'Day of Action for Palestine' march on the 4th of November in Harrow, Greater London. I spoke to some people and wanted to help share their views, their grief, and more, through photographs, as best and as sensitively as I could.


'Hesitation or Fear?'

Understandably, when I pulled out my camera there was a sense of hesitation from some people to show their faces. Why wouldn't there be, especially considering the language used by the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, about some protests being 'hate marches'? If that harsh rhetoric wasn't worrying enough, the recent Public Order Bill (passed in April 2023) also has some very dubious language over what is defined as 'disruptive protesting' and has extended the powers of the police further, as discussed by Amnesty International on their blog.


For the Children


A few hundred people from Harrow and the surrounding areas turned up to march for a ceasefire from Israel's bombing of Palestine despite the acknowledged risks, fears, and hesitations that some had around showing their faces to the media, police, government, and prejudiced people/organisations. They chanted for local, national and international politicians to hear their united voices of desperately wanting an end to innocent people dying.

Many turned up with their own children of various ages who were also feeling sadness and grief about the war. It was a space to express some of that grief for the people as a diverse supportive community.


Peace for the sake of the children, as well as for humanity.

A peaceful and diverse local protest.



'Ceasefire Now'

The protest was attended by people from various backgrounds and beliefs, but all with the shared belief in a ceasefire now.

Pic 1: An attendee wearing a 'Remembrance Day' poppy badge alongside a 'Free Palestine' badge

Pic 2: Stop the War Coalition staff member




From Katie's Statue to MP Gareth Thomas' Office:


The protest started at Katie's Statue in Harrow and ended up outside MP Gareth Thomas' office. He was notified about the march to his office in advance but he was out canvassing when we arrived.





'Sadness & Grief'



 

Final notes:

Permission to photograph at the march was given by the Brent & Harrow branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).


I do not intend to hijack any causes with my own views or beliefs here; I'm merely hoping that some of these images will express aspects of the complex and long-standing pain that people who attended the march may have conveyed on the day. I hope I was able to approach this with the sensitivity it deserves and requires.


I have refrained from sharing too many details about the war itself as this piece is more about a local community expressing some moments from the day of one march. There will be more marches.



The overall critical message from those who attended was of solidarity for peace and the end to innocent people dying.



Mala

mkvphotography




 

Useful links:


Amnesty Internation Article: The Public Order Bill: Explained: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/campaigns-blog/public-order-bill-explained

Stop the War Coalition: https://www.stopwar.org.uk/about/


Brent & Harrow branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC): https://www.instagram.com/brentharrowpsc/


Gareth Thomas MP Contact Info:

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