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A pair of orange grass cutter machines, like small tractors, circled around Hackney Downs today, carving edges around trees and casting grass perfume into the air. It was sunny and bucolic. Over the weekend I attended a rally in support of Diane Abbott that took place at the centrepoint of the park, in similarly beautiful weather. As a new resident of Hackney (since last October) I didn't know much about Diane Abbott's story, how she was the first black woman elected to the UK parliament, but also how she faced so much overt discrimination and agression while an MP. Several speakers at the rally mentioned Diane's record of standing up in Parliament advocating for the rights of working people and communities, but also how she was frequently shut down or attacked. I also didn't know that in 2023, due to an article she wrote, Diane's 'whip' was removed, effectively suspending her from the Labour Party. As a foreigner in the UK, the idea of a 'whip' is a strange one, and I read that it comes from language around hunting, where a 'whip' keeps hounds from running off the path. Despite all of this, the atmosphere at Diane's rally was exuberant and energetic, with rousing chants of 'We stand with Diane!!!' echoing to all corners of the park. As I meditated on this and received a satellite image, Martin came riding over again. After I shared that I had been comically trying to take photos of myself by propping my phone up in a nearby bank of grass and running to my ground station to pose, he helpfully took some photos of me (thank you Martin!). The satellite image was made by live decoding with SDR++ and an RTL-SDR V3 dongle (sadly I tried the V4 again and there was no signal at all). The troubleshooting continues...


30 April 2024 11:34:06


Hackney Downs, London

Country or Territory

United Kingdom


Sasha Engelmann



Radio Callsign


Latitute / Longitude

51.554274, -0.060315