Saw the Henry Moore exhibition, which was very good. I especially liked his early statues: stylised but much less abstract than his more famous later figures. The paintings of Londoners sheltering in the Tube in WW2 were very good too.
After that walked down to the UAF demo. They'd assembled but were heavily hemmed in by police.
Didn't want to be locked up when the EDL marched down, so I hovered around trying to look like an innocent bystander. At least some of the arrestees were just corralled in a park with a low fence: they could easily have climbed out, but were warned they'd just be taken off to a real cell if they did.
Eventually I sidled over an gradually joined in. More protestors were dragged away.
The police first forced the demonstrators onto the pavement, then cleared the pavement. They did this partly by arresting for "obstruction" anyone who wouldn't move, and partly by forcible shoving of the packed mass of the crowd. That was a bit unpleasant and I didn't get any pictures.
That divided the UAF protestors. Half of us were in the park, with only a small section facing the road. The other half got shoved further down. Meanwhile the EDL were apparently allowed down the pub.
Eventually we saw the EDL pass.
Then we managed to find a circuitous route around the park and up the road to join the other UAF protestors. There was a face-off across the road with the usual chanting. "We are all Muslims today" seemed to be the most successfully irritating to them. This time they tried to single out people and make throat-cutting gestures, though I didn't manage to get those on camera.
After that, they moved off and soon after that we dispersed.
Mixed feelings really. At least they got some opposition and some signs they're not welcome. However their numbers are growing. Only a couple of dozen showed up at their abortive Trafalgar Square demo, and less than a dozen made it to Harrow 2. This time they managed to get at least a hundred. Their big Stoke near-riot seems to have emboldened them.
Still, at least Westminster isn't really an area where they can intimidate local minorities much: it's not very residential and is massively policed.
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