“Occupy London stands together with occupations all over the world; we are the 99%.”
Occupy London Stock (LSX) is part of the global Occupy movement, a series of peaceful demonstrations which aim to occupy financial districts in various cities across the world.The first protest was on September 17, 2011 and to date protesters in some 900 cities have organised their own. The demonstrations were initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters in a bid to campaign against socio-economic injustices which have enriched a few individuals at the detriment of the mass population. It denounces government influences in financial services, inequality, poverty, lack of transparency, corporate greed, corruption and capitalism as a failed economic system.
I joined the protesters sat on the ground outside the public entrance of St Paul’s Cathedral courtyard on a cold Saturday evening to bear witness to the ordre du jour. Protest coordinators and volunteers took to the microphone to brief members, participants and passers-by about the progress of the Occupy London and its impact on the media and social networking sites.
They highlighted some of the difficulties and challenges faced since their “entirely peaceful” settlement (from the original site near the London Stock Exchange and the two weeks spent at Finsbury Square), as well as calling for more volunteers from the crowd who would be willing to stay up on night duty or offer their services in their field of expertise; such as IT and communication; to further the aims and objectives of the occupation.
Most importantly, they encouraged and commanded everyone for being present and for offering their support in general. Reminding us that the task at hand is to challenge and address the economic and social inequalities taking place in London and globally. The ambiance was very warm and welcoming. I was even offered a cup of tea upon arrival! Equally astonishing was the amount of effort and organisation campers went to make the site into a little community
although the word village springs to mind.
From the “general assembly” point and portable toilet facilities, to the tea area and information tents for visitors; they seem to have thought about everything. They even had generators providing power to the camp, a kitchen and washing-up section where a very kind gentleman voluntarily pretended to wash a few plastic cups to give me the money-shot for my blog post 🙂
What’s the commotion?
‘In a free society, the right to assemble and protest is sacrosanct’. Indeed, capitalism has created a big imbalance in the way wealth is distributed across nations by not only increasing the economic gap between rich and poor countries, but also between that of its citizens. The big losers are of course the 99% (that includes you and I) who have had to watch the economy deteriorate while some big corporation shareholders and high ranking managers got their pockets filled with wonga after the bail out that we paid for.
I admire that so many people have decided to claim back power and the right to discuss economic and political matters at a time of unprecedented global economic change, whereas before they were a little disenfranchised. We demand accountability and adequate provisions to be put in place for the financial crisis not to happen again. With the various cuts and austerity measures being undertaken in the country, everyday seems to amount to more worry and hardship for the majority of us – the casualties of the squeeze. It is unfair that those who have played a role in the crumbling of the economy and the (near or) collapse of the banks are still living lavishly while we struggle to make ends meet and keep ourselves afloat.
Some of the protesters I spoke to pointed out that the camp has received a lot of support from businesses operating in the area, as well as members of the public who have been bringing them food, blankets and other necessities on a regular basis. So the message still stands: SCREW US AND WE MULTIPLY!
We want assemblies around the world to collaborate and develop a vision together.
- Our global system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust, driven by profit in the interest of the few.
- An economic system based on infinite growth, but which relies on finite resources, is leading humanity and the environment to destruction. As long as this system remains in place, people of the world continue to suffer from an increasingly unfair share of income and wealth.
- We seek a global system that is democratic, just and sustainable. The world’s resources must not go to the military or corporate profit, but instead go towards caring for people’s needs: water, food, housing, education, health, community.
- An international, global collaboration has started, and is working on a statement that will unite the occupy movements across the world in their struggle for an alternative that is focused on and originates from people and their environment. Source:http://occupylondon.org.uk/
Visit the Occupy London website where you will find up-to-date information with links and ideas on how you can help. They are also on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to view more photos feel free to view my Flicker account.