Anonymous against Scientology

10th Feb, 2008 – Protest against Scientology, London

Internet-based group, Anonymous, today protested in front of the Church of Scientology building in London. As far as I understand, this group is made up of members of 4chan, who are affiliated with Project Chanology, which is an internet-based protest against Scientology.

A number of people have tried to explain what this group (and 4chan in particular) is about, but to be honest, I don’t fully understand it (I’m not nerd-enough). Basically the idea for this protest was to wear masks, and demonstrate in front of the Church of Scientology’s London base.

Outside Blackfriars Station:

Outside the Church itself:

Quite a few cars honked – good to see drivers paying attention to the signs! Then again, it was hard to miss these guys.

I took this shot of the doors of the building from across the road.

I crossed the road to get a little closer and was approached by this policeman, who asked me not to take pictures of the building.

I asked why. I mean, I’m in a public area, it’s a public building, and I’m simply taking a picture of people who are choosing to watch the protest from within the building. I was told that taking a picture can be construed as threatening and provoking. WTF! I have a terrible cold and look close-to-dead, I can barely see or breathe, and I’m apparently being threatening by taking a picture of a building? Right, Mr Policeman. I’m sure the chaps at Scientology would consider me a highly threatening character!

These ‘rules’ at protests always amuse me. It’s funny how a camera can be so provoking

Bring in the horses to control the obviously out-of-control protest!

The turnout was better than I expected.

This is the first protest I’ve been to where I’ve been offered sweets.

There were apple pies too! Ace.

I spoke to a a few very cool guys including the one below.

The protest was great (have you ever been offered a Kipling pie at a protest before?). The demonstrators were loud, quirky (they were playing songs like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air tune – sorry for the low quality some kind of private joke I guess), humorous and yet managed to get a point across.

I think I shall read up on this organisation a bit more.

More demos like this please!

Watch this for the reaction of the policeman at the end. Win for protests and free speech!

Chinese New Year Celebrations, London

It was also the Chinese New Year parade today – ’tis the year of the Rat, which is my year

I bought this rat >__<

The celebrations in London are the biggest outside of China, which is no surprise as there was a huge number of people, and parts of Chinatown were closed due to overcrowding.

The Chinese definitely know how to celebrate.

So there we have it. Last year I managed to take a lot more pictures, but then I wasn’t suffering from the worst cold ever. Cold + crowds = bad combination.

That’s all from me for now – see you in a few weeks when I’m back from Uganda, hopefully minus mosquito bites.

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