The banking system – hell, unregulated capitalism – has a lot to answer for when it comes to the current slump in the West’s economies. It’s no surprise that those who were uninvolved in the cause yet are suffering the worst would be angry about what happened. The unfairness in seeing the rich’s immunity to any responsibility or culpability is particularly galling, especially as unemployment, redundancy and poverty increase for those at the bottom. It’s hardly new. But the manner of the protests are. What began as an idea by the magazine Adbusters was soon picked up by demonstrators in New York who took to occupying Wall Street – the heart of America’s financial system. That spread to hundreds of other cities across America and the world, including here in London. On the first day of that Occupation my friends and I took a trip into the City of London to show our support and see what would happen. A fierce police presence meant no-one had access to the London Stock Exchange. Instead the protestors assembled on the steps of St Paul’s cathedral. Despite some courageous statements of support by the canon Giles Fraser the focus in the news became less about the Stock Exchange and more about the church. It was an interesting deflection but at least it reminded the world about what Jesus had to say about the rich and poor.
A very British response to tackling Climate Change. ‘The Wave’ was a protest march organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition in London on Saturday December 5, 2009. 50,000 people took to the streets to call on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to tackle environment concerns at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. I went along to take photos for The Baptist Times only to find myself fully immersed in the joyous camaraderie of the marchers.
A couple of years ago (November 2008 to be precise) artist Martin Firrell was given the chance by St Paul’s Cathedral to project a series of words and phrases onto its famous dome for a project called ‘The Question Mark Inside’. Having survived Nazi bombers and zillions of sloppy pigeons one of London’s most recognisable landmarks was to be bathed at night in blue and white. The project seeked to answer the question, ‘What are the things that make modern life meaningful and what does St Paul mean in that context?’ The answers were submitted by people from all walks of life in English, Sanskrit, Arabic, Portuguese and French, among others. Standing on the roof of Tate Modern from across the Thames I was able to take come remarkable photos. This is only one of my favourites.