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November 7, 2014

Edinburgh\’s \’Million Mask March\’ flies distinctly Scottish colours

Edinburgh’s ‘Million Mask March’ flies distinctly Scottish colours

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Amongst other Guy Fawkes Night partying, the now-regular march to the Scottish Parliament by Anonymous saw significantly higher attendance, Wednesday, at this year’s event. With Catalan flags and pro-Independence Saltires flying, activist numbers had clearly been swelled by the referendum result.

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Banner — later used to lead the march — laid out on the Castle Esplanade before setting off.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police waiting, on the adjacent Johnston Terrace, prior to the march setting off.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Saltires by moonlight, as the growd gathers on the Castle Esplanade.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Anonymous Scotland banner surrounded by group of protesters.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Independence supporters mingling with masked members of Anonymous.
Image: Brian McNeil.

As the march prepares to set off, the banner is raised and the crowd asked to assemble behind it.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd heading off Esplanade, with the Outlook Tower Camera obscura to top-right of frame.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police Scotland watch as the crowd progresses down Edinburgh’s High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Walking down Castle Hill on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Edinburgh Castle as backdrop to the crowd leaving the Esplanade.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Further down Edinburgh’s High Street, with the banner passing the High Court.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd progressing down Edinburgh’s High Street towards the Scottish Parliament
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the top of Cockburn Street on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the top of Cockburn Street on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd progressing down Edinburgh’s High Street towards the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A Police van leads the procession down the bottom-half of the High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

March walking down The Canongate.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing Edinburgh’s New Street, which leads down to the City of Edinburgh Council‘s Waverley Court HQ.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Marchers walking down Edinburgh’s High Street towards Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The March progresses through the city’s Canongate area.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Regardless of chanting, which included taunts over the lack of BBC presence, marchers were in good spirits.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd outside the Scottish Parliament was a wide mix of ages.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Not all who took part wore Guy Fawkes masks.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Most of the crowd were well wrapped-up to guard against the night air chill.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Catalan independence flag flying as part of the protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police Scotland were conspicuous amongst the crowd, although not present in large numbers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Catalan independence flag flying as part of the protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some protesters self-identified as part of the 45% of the Scottish electorate who voted Yes to Independence.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Independence sentiment was highly-visible amongst protesters at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some banners were particularly direct with their message.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Several humorous Independence-related tropes were on display.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some banners were particularly direct with their message.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Several humorous Independence-related tropes were on display, although the protest was good-natured throughout.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Free paper masks were being handed out to those not prepared to buy mass-manufactured ones.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers whilst PA problems were sorted out.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Guy McV at the protest outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd walking across grassy area between Parliament and Queen’s Drive.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Kilted protester with Saltire mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Kilted protester with Saltire mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Banner with Scottish Parliament partially visible in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Much of the crowd treated the gathering at the Parliament like a party.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Attendee filming the event, with Parliament building in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Wrapped up against the cold, outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many draped themselves in Scotland’s flag, the Saltire.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Staring through a paper mask into the camera.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Not all present were overly-concerned with the cold weather.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters outside the Scottish Parliament after marching from Edinburgh Castle
Image: Brian McNeil.

Speakers address the assembled crowd after some technical difficulties with the PA system.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A documentary-maker films the protest speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A few of the collected donations intended for a local food bank.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many treated the protest more like a party.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protested, with beard jutting out below Guy Fawkes mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd listening to speakers at the Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.




Related news

  • “Scotland says ‘No’ in independence referendum” — Wikinews, September 19, 2014

Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 31, 2013

Thousands take to streets protesting \’ratbag\’s Bedroom Tax

Thousands take to streets protesting ‘ratbag’s Bedroom Tax

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Protester at Edinburgh’s anti ‘bedroom-tax’ demonstration.

Protesters assembling around the modern art in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh with Jenners department store in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Demonstrations took place across the UK over the holiday weekend, echoing the message personally delivered to Iain Duncan Smith at a Capita-sponsored talk last week. Chants of “Axe, axe, axe the bedroom tax” could be clearly heard throughout Edinburgh’s demonstration. At the end of his minute-long tirade at the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Willie Black labelled Duncan Smith a “ratbag”; several people turned up with this printed on their tee shirts.

Wikinews photographed the march from Edinburgh’s St. Andrew’s Square to the Scottish Parliament. Various estimates put the number in-attendance between 1,200 and 1,600.

Other protests took place in London, with an estimated 1,000 at Trafalgar Square and Downing street. Glasgow saw around 2,500 take to the streets. Those demonstrating equated the package of changes that see benefit rises at a below-inflation 1%, and housing benefit cut by 14% for those with one spare room, 25% if they have two or more spare rooms, with the ‘poll tax’ which saw riots in England during Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister.

Head of the UK’s National Housing Federation David Orr commented: “It’s bad policy, it’s bad economics, it’s bad for hundreds of thousands of ordinary people whose lives will be made difficult for no benefit — and I think it’s about to become profoundly bad politics.”

With the policy coming into effect now, protesters are intent on a “can’t pay, won’t pay” civil disobedience campaign.

Images from the Edinburgh protest

Panoramic shot of the protesters gathering outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

There was a widespread belief amonst the protesters that the cuts being imposed by Westminster are the upper-class attempting to reassert themselves.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters gathering in Edinburgh’s St. Andrew’s Square.
Image: Brian McNeil.

One protester’s hand-made signs demands rent controls.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The ‘Yes’ campaign for Scottish independence attended.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some Edinburgh members of the UNISON union joined the march.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Grim Reaper puts in an appearance at parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Scottish Green Party‘s banner arriving at Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters setting off from St. Andrew’s Square, marching to the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police, who gave an on-the-spot estimate of 1,200 at Parliament, prepare to close streets for the march.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters walking out of St. Andrew’s Square, with wheelchair user’s sign reading “Do you want my carer to sleep in my bed?”
Image: Brian McNeil.

Marchers line up whilst press talk to police in-attendance.
Image: Brian McNeil.

“Axe the Tax”, a popular slogan and chant during the march.
Image: Brian McNeil.

St John’s Episcopal Church, at Edinburgh’s West-End, has a mural skewering the tax with a religious theme.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many disabled people face benefit cuts over a spare bedroom a carer may sleep in a few nights each week.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march heads down towards Princes Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Princes Street, with the Scott Monument in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The head of the march passing the £310-a-night Balmoral Hotel
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march waits as the last people join from St. Andrew’s Square.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Press, foreground, photographing protesters sitting in the road.
Image: Brian McNeil.

More join the sit-down protest.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march moves up onto Regent Road, which skirts the city’s Calton Hill.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View of the march from the foot of the steps to the City Observatory.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march towards the Scottish Parliament with the city skyline as a backdrop.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march around Calton Hill passes the Dugald Stewart Monument.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Slogans and visuals on placards equate David Cameron with Margaret Thatcher.
Image: Brian McNeil.

There is genuine anger behind some of the messages aimed at Westminster, by people who feel they are being penalised to enrich bankers and the country’s richest.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Scottish independence supporters arriving at parliament; many feel the current UK government does not represent Scotland, which returned only on Tory MP at the last election.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The lead marchers stopped several times to allow people to catch up, but some gaps between groups were noticeable when arriving at the Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the gates to Holyrood Palace.
Amongst the chants during the march were “They say cutback, we say fight back.”, “Tory, tory tory, scum, scum, scum!” and “We won’t pay your bedroom tax!”
Image: Brian McNeil.

All ages took part in the march to the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many see the bedroom tax as a policy which would not be in-place were the country independent.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Edinburgh’s James Connolly society arriving at the Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A small section of the crowd assembled at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Occupy protesters rub shoulders with ‘Yes’ campaign supporters, observed by part of the contingent of Lothian and Borders Police in attendance.
Image: Brian McNeil.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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