Jess Hurd

Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Edmonton Incinerator Protest

Stop the Incinerator protest against the New North London Incinerator built by Acciona, Edmonton.

© Jess Hurd 16/01/2022 London, UK.

Photo gallery and licensing


Dale Farm Protest Police Bill

Dale Farm travellers and activists gather to mark 10 years since the eviction of the largest traveller site in Europe and to protest against the Tories’ police bill, calling for the release of Charlie Anderson, sent to prison for seven months for the “crime” of living on his own land at Hovefields, Wickford (pictures on Charlie’s flattened land).

Charlie was picked up by police a the airport going to his honeymoon and jailed for 7 months.

© Jess Hurd

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Dale Farm Eviction – 10 years

10 years ago today at 06.06 riot police aimed a taser at my head (pictured). They were storming the Dale Farm site to brutally evict travellers that owned their own land. Basildon. Essex

All images © Jess Hurd

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For video coverage: Jason N. Parkinson

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“Refugees welcome” has been projected in giant letters across the iconic white cliffs of Dover, just before an alliance of racist far-right groups are due to hold anti-migration protests in the town of Dover. The projection was undertaken as a collaboration between campaign organisation Global Justice Now and guerrilla projectionists Feral X.

© Jess Hurd/Global Justice Now

Shot on commission for Global Justice Now

All images © Jess Hurd

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Media Coverage:

Indy100 / / Mirror’s online / Daily Mail online / Express online / Sun online / BBC online / Independent / RT / Dover Express / Morning Star  & CoverThe Metro / Today USA


Mother’s Day – Giving Birth in the Calais Jungle

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We spoke to Amir living with his wife Maryam and their three-month-old child Rosie, nicknamed ‘The Jungle Baby’, in a tiny caravan donated by a UK aid charity, on the southern side of the refugee camp in Calais known at the Jungle, the side due for eviction.

They had been in the camp seven months. They had fled Iran and tried to reach the UK, but after Amir suffered illnesses that led to time in hospital and Maryam becoming heavily pregnant they became stranded.

Amir was Muslim and Maryam a Christian. When asked what religion Rosie would be, Amir gestured up and down with his hand, cutting Rosie down the middle from head to toe, “She will be half and half,” he laughed.

When Rosie was born at the local hospital, Amir claimed the French authorities forced him to register for asylum in France, saying if he did not they would take his baby away and give her to another family.

“They said they would not let me take my baby back to the Jungle,” Amir said.

Amir claimed the authorities said his family would be helped and given a small room if he registered. Amir said the room was tiny, far too small for the three of them, but at least it was not the Jungle.

“We finished the asylum process, did the finger prints, then the government told us to go back and live in the Jungle,” Amir said.

Rosie was also hospitalised for 40 days, suffering Whooping Cough and had only recently recovered. Amir said without the help of the English volunteers in the camp, Rosie would have surely died.

We asked Maryam what they needed and she replied, “warm clothes for Rosie”.

With the eviction looming Amir said was unsure what they would do.

“As refugees where are we supposed to go?” he asked.

© Jason N. Parkinson / © Jess Hurd

Sunday Herald article on the eviction; “The Battle of Calais”

All images © Jess Hurd

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Calais Jungle Eviction

Jungle Refugees Stitch Mouths

Dunkirk Refugees Squalid Conditions

Jungle Pre-Eviction

Jungle Pre-Eviction

All images © Jess Hurd

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Yarl’s Wood: Shut It Down

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Protesters break down the fences surrounding Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre. Demanding Yarl’s Wood and all detention centres are closed down. Bedfordshire.

The Last Shout – Film Launch

Myself and Jason N. Parkinson are very pleased to be able to tell a little of the story of Sian Griffiths, an inspirational woman and firefighter.

This year we celebrate 30 years of women in the fire service.

It is also time to say farewell to Paddington, London, White Watch manager Sian Griffiths, who is retiring after 30 years.

One of the first generation of women to enter London Fire Brigade, she blazed a trail for women. Awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service, she was the inspiration for the female character in TV drama London’s Burning.

Please view the film below.

Special thanks to the TUC and the 2.2K shares via Stronger Unions and also to the Fire Brigade Union for their support.

The Last Shout – ©Jason N. Parkinson & Jess Hurd/

We asked about her life in the Brigade. (First published in The Firefighter magazine)

When I joined as a woman firefighter there were five women, there are 333 now. I would have liked to seen a lot more women in the fire service after 30 years. It is still very much a male dominated job, so there is still work to be done.

At training school there were 11 women and what seemed like hundreds of men. I had one other woman in my squad and she lasted three weeks. You just had to keep going, dig in and be resilient. I had to prove, especially to the men, that I could do it. Not only be as good as them but sometimes a bit better.

Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London. © Jess Hurd/ Tel: 01789-262151/07831-121483   NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London.


I passed out on 4 July 1985, then the next day we were all dropped at our stations. When we got to Euston the men were hanging out the window shouting ‘where’s the women’, not in a very nice way. I thought, my god, what have I let myself in for. But when we arrived at Manchester Square they were all very polite, reasonable people.

But there were still people that would not talk to me at other stations, people that would like to see me struggle. As a Leading Hand I went to Charlie 28 which was Islington at the time. There was a lot of hostility there. Initially they would get up and walk out the room when I went in, not talk to me around the mess table, be difficult on the fire engines, especially if I was in charge, to get them to do things.

I was only two years in when Kings Cross happened, in November 1987. At that time we were wearing plastic leggings, wool tunics and cork helmets. It was very basic. There was a small fire reported on the Tube, which became a huge fire. Basically it flashed over, it got really hot and exploded. Over 30 people were killed that night, including one firefighter, Colin Townsley from Soho.

As we arrived all I remember was the smoke coming out of every orifice at Kings Cross. As I was about to descend down into the stairway, they were bringing somebody out. They came out of the smoke with somebody, they were carrying him. Then I realised that that somebody was firefighter, because they had tunic on. And then I recognised him. And then we went in on the back of that.

It became very real the job that we do and what can happen.


Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London.


I like the fact that I did try to do the right thing for women, that I represented women, that I did stand my ground. People might not have always agreed with me and sometimes I am seen as a thorn in their side, but hopefully they understand why I have done these things. Because I think it is really important that if we had a normal workplace there would be less abnormal behaviours. And I think people will be more respectful of each other and that would provide an even better service to the members of the public.

The Fire Authority will argue that cuts are not going to affect safety. Of course its going to affect safety, because if the neighbouring station is no longer there and we are busy at another incident, who is going to attend?

Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London.


People that once were held up as public heroes and something to aspire to are now going to be put on the scrap heap and not be able to get their pensions. They have been paying into it for 40 years and yet when they are nearly there and they are really used up, physically exhausted and damaged, they are not entitled to it. I think its a really really poor way to treat anybody.

Last role call for Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London. © Jess Hurd/ Tel: 01789-262151/07831-121483   NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.


The people that are in charge of us, namely those people that have never worked for the fire service seem to treat us with complete contempt. And I do not think it is getting better, it is getting worse.

That is why it is so important to have a union. If we do not have them as a buffer between the employers, we would be really undermined and our conditions of service and our pay would really be worse than they are now. Its right to fight for that. Everybody should fight that. It should not be a battle to the lowest common denominator, we should aspire higher than that.

Last role call for Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London.


© Jess Hurd/Jason N. Parkinson

No Borders Eurostar Body Bags

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The Battle for Thanet – #UKIP

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Nigel Farage, UKIP and their opposition out in Ramsgate on the last Saturday before the General Election.

© Jess Hurd/

Oxford Human Rights Festival


Myself and video journalist Jason N. Parkinson are honoured to have been asked to speak about our joint work at the 12th Oxford Human Rights Arts Festival this year.

We will be showing film and photographs, with Q&A at the Ultimate Picture Palace  –

Tickets are available to book here for The Life and Work of a Video/Photojournalist on Wednesday 26th February 2014 6-8pm

Exhibition – Ethnic Cleansing

I have also been commissioned by the Oxford Human Rights Arts Festival to exhibit photographs about the persecution of gypsies and travellers, an issue that I have documented for 20 years.  The exhibition will run throughout the festival 24-28th February at the Old Fire Station.

The featured image is one from the exhibition – Police and bailiffs evict travellers and their supporters from Dale Farm, Basildon. Essex. © Jess Hurd/


When Playing Is a Crime

Roma children, mostly from Slovakia, are criminalised for playing in the Page Hall area of Sheffield. The media have descended on Page Hall after local MP, David Blunkett, attacked the Roma community, saying that there would be race riots if the new immigrants didn’t integrate.

One of the children on the estate asked me “How is this helping?” – a very good question and one that I think every journalist should ask themselves whilst reporting a sensitive story.

NUJ Code of Conduct

Guidelines on Race Reporting

© Jess Hurd/

Guardian article by Gary Younge – Slandering Britain’s Roma isn’t courageous. It’s racist.

More images here and available to licence from

Gypsy Wedding Protest C4

Gypsies and travellers protest outside Channel 4 about the adverts publicising the Big Fat Gypsy Weddings documentary. They argue that the posters stigmatise, insult, degrade and stereotype the travelling community. A letter of complaint was delivered to C4 management. Organised by the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit. Westminster, London.

© Jess Hurd/

See more photos here

Images available to license from





Dale Farm at Christmas

Religious figures of Mary and Jesus, with were damaged during the Dale Farm eviction.

Travellers report that the ground and water supply is contaminated, after Basildon council bailiffs bulldozed the site, removed the hardcore and built levees and trenches. Parents also claim that many of the children are becoming sick. Essex.

See slideshow of the post eviction site here

See eviction slideshow here

© Jess Hurd/

Dale Farm Eviction

It has been a real privilege to document the Dale farm community over the past few years and share the joy and the sorrow at family events, on the protests and barricades. I will cherish the generosity and warmth shown to me at times of great emotional upset.

I hope the long battle against this eviction will mark in history a turning point, an end to the casual racism and vicious discrimination against travellers, gypsies and their way of life.

See eviction slideshow here

Police and bailiffs move in to remove travellers and their supporters from Dale Farm, who build barricades and burn caravans to stop them. Basildon. Essex.

© Jess Hurd/

See Dale Farm Children’s Barricade here

Happier times, see Dale Farm wedding blogs here and here

More archive images available to license from:


Dale Farm Children’s Barricade

Nice to see some of the images I took with the traveller children used at a Dale Farm press conference today on the eve of an eviction planned by Basildon Council. I asked all the children how they would like to face the bailiffs and these were the results:

See web gallery here

Joint project with Beverley Carpenter, who kindly printed the images.

Image from my 3 year archive of weddings, christenings and protests at Dale Farm here

© Jess Hurd/

Dale Farm

Rihanna dancing. Travellers from Dale Farm ahead of the planned eviction by Basildon Council. Essex.

© Jess Hurd/

Dale Farm – High Court

Message left on a paper napkin outside the Royal Courts of Justice reads:

“No Ethnic Cleansing in Our Land”

Travellers from Dale Farm are supported by campaigning actress Vanessa Redgrave at the High Court as they lodge an eviction appeal against clearance of their site by Basildon Council. The Strand, London.

See slideshow here

For my 5 year archive of images from Dale Farm please visit

See traveller wedding blog posts here

© Jess Hurd/

Dale Farm – Camp Constant

Traveller children blow bubbles in Camp Constant, the direct action camp supporting travellers against the eviction of Dale Farm, Basildon, Essex.

Images available  to license from

© Jess Hurd/

Tottenham Riots

Violence erupts in Tottenham after a protest demanding justice following a fatal police shooting. Riot police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators after Mark Duggan, 29, a father of four, was killed. North London.

© Jess Hurd/

Riot images from across London available to license from:

See slideshow here

Read No Refuge Between Bricks and Batons commissioned by the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma.

Listen to Reporting the Riots podcast from the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom.

See Jason N. Parkinson’s Guardian video’s here Tottenham video footage here and Hackney video footage here

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