Enough is Enough

To the streets! It’s been a busy couple of days for protest on the streets of Glasgow, Scotland, and across the UK. With a Union Unity demonstration on Friday, followed by hours on the streets yesterday to photograph an Enough is Enough demonstration, there’s been time to take in the mood of the people, and capture it on camera.

On Friday the weather was bleak, a portent perhaps of the forthcoming winter of discontent, but with horizontal rain lashing down, and gusting wind it would have been easy to return home and not bother photographing the demonstration. But numbers count, in terms of being there and being present, adding support, but also, number of hours you put in looking for images.

Union Unity demonstration, against corporate greed and rising household energy fuel prices, outside the HQ of Scottish Power, in Glasgow, Scotland, 30 September, 2022. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2022

With the abysmal weather I felt that sure numbers of people may be down, but there was the chance that the images to be found may be all the more dramatic for the weather. Flags being whipped in the gusting wind, and faces torn against the horizontal rain. As a photographer you have to put yourself out in all weather, to find all images. The photographs won’t take themselves. No one said it would be easy.

And yesterday, another day on the streets in Glasgow city centre, it’d be easy to think it is the same organisations, or same banners, but the beauty of photographing life is you just don’t know. Nothing you can imagine or plan can equal what life can throw at you or bring to your camera.

Yesterday’s demonstration, from a photographic point of view, started slowly. There were a few homemade placards, a few signs, and these are the ones which I find more interesting that the printed trade union banners. It’s more fascinating to hear or see the words from the voice of the people, to see the mood on the streets.

A demonstration like yesterday’s brings photographers to the street, but I noticed that as the hour or two of speeches went on the photographer’s numbers dropped away. Some leave to file images on deadline, or to attend other assignments. I stayed, hoping for something extra, still looking for images, giving it until the speeches were finished.

And then, as I stood behind the Young Communist League, up on the steps, and as the final speech was finishing up, a moment of drama arrived. The YCL sparked off their reddish pink smoke bombs, the colour mingling with the air and the colour of their flags and bandanas. Luckily for me, very luckily, I was standing a mere few feet behind them, and immediately I moved forward, camera to eye, my little Fuji x100v, shooting as the flags flapped amidst the whirling smoke, and glinting sunlight, my exposure dancing as the flags blocked the sun or not. (You can see the moment here, on this Tweet). A picturesque moment, and one worth waiting for. And then I knew it was over for the day, the demonstrators dispersed, and enough was enough.

Thanks for looking, always appreciated,

See here for recent photographs from a Power to the People demonstration, in Glasgow.

All images are available to buy as photographic prints, on Hahnemuhle archival paper.

Young Communist League at Enough is Enough demonstration with trade unions and varying organisations, supporting key workers strikes, and against the policies of the Conservative Government, in Glasgow, Scotland, 1 October, 2022. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2022.

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