Friday, April 08, 2005

JP2 Pt1

JP2 #1
Originally uploaded by StefZ.

So, a couple of days after I decided not to take any more pictures at marches for a while and the same day I write a post about the large number of migrants who have moved into London, what did I end up doing last night?

Taking pictures of a group of migrants marching through London of course.

There was a candlelit procession in commemoration of John Paul II from Trafalgar Square through to Westminster Cathedral and being a serious lapsed Catholic I wanted to attend, with or without a camera.

Photography-wise it was not all that successful. I have not taken many pictures at night lately and am out of practice. Plus, I totalled some of my gear a week or two ago and I also spent far to long in an abortive stalk of a Vietnamese guy selling flashing neon crucifixes to a not entirely receptive crowd of devoted Catholics. I am still gutted that did not work out.

I was not the only person to make a balls up though. The police had initially estimated that something like 200-300 people would attend. I am no expert in crowd counting but, on the night, Trafalgar Square looked pretty full too me and, judging by previous gatherings I have attended, the true number of people was nearer the 20,000 mark.

The police line looked awfully thin. Obviously there wasn'™t much risk of any violence but shepherding 20,000 people through central London traffic on a weekday night needs a certain number of officials on the ground. And they were no€™t there. From what I could see there were more police at the 200 strong anti war march in quiet Clerkenwell on a quiet Saturday afternoon last weekend than on duty last night. There was much grumbling in the ranks, leapfrogging along the march route and piss-taking of senior officers going on into walkie-talkies.

Presumably, they got their estimates from the same guy who compiles the census figures...

No comments: