The area round Belgrave Square in London is becoming very popular for protests against Middle Eastern countries. There is the Libyan embassy nearer to Hyde Park Corner, the Syrian Embassy ( which attracted a small but vocal group) and the Bahraini which has seen a number of gatherings.
Over the last month since I was last down here the authorities in Bahrain have stepped up the aggression they have been meting out against the local population. The news coverage is reporting a number of deaths, and they have destroyed the main centre of the revolution in Pearl Square.
Given this worsening situation then there was much for the Bahraini population resident in the UK to gat angry about. The numbers swelled from 2.30pm onwards and were joined by the group outside the Syrian Embassy as well as some people from Saudi Arabia. Guest speakers arrived including the ubiquitous Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway ( if you book both together you get 25% off).
The large crowd marched towards the Saudi Embassy. The brief “comedy moment” was when it transpired that the officer in charge wasn’t sure where the embassy was. He appealed to the photographers at the head of the march for help – so armed with Blackberry, iPhone and Google Maps we did our bit for the Met Police. Strangely enough there were many police vans ready for the march – so there was some lack of communication somewhere.
A good natured, but noisy protest, had the risk of going sour when the police tried to divert them to the front of the embassy. The organisers wanted to get to the back…not clear why, but I think it gave better access and visibility of the property. The several hundred or so protestors were determined to get through – some nifty footwork by the police allowed them their wishes.
The remainder of the event went off peacefully – there was token theatricals of people hitting their shoes onto images of the Bahraini royalty, and Colonel Gadaffi, and burning of paper. At 6pm…at the appointed hour, everyone dispersed and went home – point made, anger vented, and blood pressure a little raised.
All pictures from the Bahrain Embassy HERE