Interactive online map of Smash EDO protest in Brighton

Weeks of intensive research have culminated in the launch of an online, interactive multimedia map. It documents events surrounding the Smash EDO demonstration in Brighton on October 15th. Clicking on markers brings up raw evidence, such as photography, eyewitness reports, and video footage.

The map makes for harrowing reading. It shows how police invoked anti-terror laws against suspected protesters. It also describes how one disabled observer was arrested and denied access to a doctor, and how peaceful protesters were attacked by police dogs.

Disabled student arrested under anti-terror laws whilst filming protest

While assembling the interactive online map of the Smash EDO demonstration, I came upon several harrowing stories. This was by far the most distressing. The student writing the letter is still under bail terms.

Hi Josh,

I am happy to tell you about what happened to me on the 15th.

Continue reading “Disabled student arrested under anti-terror laws whilst filming protest”

But what really happened? SMASH EDO protest in Brighton, 15th October 2008

My experience of the protest was quite tame. Anti-war protesters marched towards town but were blocked by a barricade of vans and police in riot gear. A few scuffles between protesters trying to break through and the police. But nothing too serious. This is Brighton, after all. This is a nice town.

But the more I talked to people, the more scary it got. One friend of mine attacked by a police dog. Protestors trapped in a ‘kettle’ – a brickwall of police – for over 45 minutes, right in the North Laine where gentle Brighton folk like to go shopping. And at least a dozen arrests, most of them under Section 60AA – an anti-terror law passed in the wake of 9/11.

When police are using anti-terror laws to make arrests of peaceful protesters, something is going seriously wrong. I have spent the last two weeks compiling evidence of various forms – photographic, video, eyewitness reports, official documents – and will soon be releasing it as an interactive, online article. Hopefully it will shed some light on what really happened in Brighton on October 15th. My greatest wish is that by raising awareness of the event, it need not happen again the way it did.

Profile: Lange Captures America’s Unwanted

Dorothea Lange made her reputation photographing the victims of the Great Depression in the US, and the exploitation of US farmers that followed. Her most famous photograph, Migrant Mother, shows the strength and torment of a migrant worker, surrounded by her three children.

Dorothea Lange
Migrant Mother

February/March 1936

I am reminded of the raw devotion to family and humanity that is expressed in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. When times are hard, it seems, the best side of people can emerge; their stoicism, their determination to stick to their values against all the odds. Such times also expose the darkest side of capitalism, that two-headed beast that feeds us when times are good, and consumes us when they are bad.

Continue reading “Profile: Lange Captures America’s Unwanted”

Profile: Beato and the Roots of Photojournalism

Felice Beato is credited as being one of the founders of photojournalism, yet his approaches are as much a warning as an inspiration. He travelled much of Asia from his late twenties until near his death, and although he left Europe far behind, he took many imperialistic ideals with him.

While reporting on the Second Opium War, he took care to only photograph the Chinese war dead, and not British or French casualties. Meanwhile, in his photographs of the so-called Indian Mutiny, the desolation of the surroundings and still-present skeletons empasise the might of the British forces.

Felice Beato
Interior of Angle of North Fort Immediately after Its Capture
21st August, 1860

Profile: Baltermants’ Grief

Dmitri Baltermants was a Polish man who taught himself photography while working part-time. His reportage of WWII was largely censored by his Soviet employers – presumably because his photography presented the side of war that leaders would rather their people did not know about. Rather than portray the supposed glory of war, he sought to represent the suffering of battle – the soldiers’ ignoble end, the suffering of survival and widowhood. His most famous image, Grief, shows women of the village of Kerch searching for the bodies of their loved ones after a massacre.

Dmitri Baltermants

Grief, 1941
Gelatin Silver Print – printed 1992
16 x 20 inches

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References: S K Josefsberg Studio, Wikipedia