Occupy Wall Street and London


Crowds at the camp outside St Paul’s, London, Britain, set up in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement

From daily News Line in England:

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

PROTESTERS SET UP SECOND CAMP IN CITY – ‘This movement is growing’

Occupy London protesters against the banks voted on Saturday to continue their camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral and expanded their protest to another camp in Finsbury Square, Moorgate.

This was their response to reports that St Paul’s had closed to visitors on the recommendation of ‘independent’ health and safety advisors.

Several of the participants spoke to News Line on Sunday.

Leila said: ‘It’s very clear that the reported health and safety advice is a lie.

‘We have abided by everything St Paul’s has asked us to do.

‘There’s a fire exit and all entrances and exits are clear.

‘There’s a clear path for visitors.

‘We need to have a better dialogue with St Paul’s as to the very specifics of their health and safety reasons for asking us to move on as well.

‘There’s no need to close the cathedral to visitors.

‘It’s been open all week with no problems.

‘We’re waiting to see tomorrow when the authorities take us to court.’

Andy Forse added: ‘There’s been some awareness of a court order being made by the church authorities.

‘Our general assembly will be discussing contingency plans for what we should do if an eviction is imminent.

‘Everybody is in fantastic spirits.

‘We’ve set up a second site, an expansion, at Finsbury Square.

‘We’ve been here a week now and have had a lot of practical issues that took up a lot of time.

‘We are now focusing more on developing a political manifesto of specific points we want to see addressed at a national level.

‘Personally, I’d want to see government and powerful institutions acting in the interest of the majority of the population, not a minority of financial institutions.’

Ross said: ‘I’m a full time activist and travel around western Europe.

‘In the last week I visited nearly all the occupations in the UK.

‘I’m here today to bring messages of support and to share these on the internet after I travel further south through France.

‘I want to see change that comes from the 99 per cent and this is the 99 per cent.

‘We need to unite through consensus.’

Hassan Zend-Del told News Line: ‘I’ve been here from the beginning.

‘I would describe myself as a person who is fed up with the whole system of capitalism.

‘I’m here with those people who want a free and equal society.

‘I want equality everywhere, in all aspects of society.

‘On the ground, this occupation is growing globally and locally in the UK.

‘In other towns, this movement is growing.

‘The trade unions should back this movement and become involved in it as part of their action.

‘The trades unions are coming out on strike on November 30th over pensions.

‘They shouldn’t rely on one day, they should extend their action because the government and ruling systems don’t really back off with one day.’

The protesters and their supporters held a short assembly at the steps of St Paul’s.

Chair Tina Louise told the crowd: ‘This is a political camp.

‘We do need to make changes in the system of government.’

Richard declared: ‘The Daily Express say we have closed St Paul’s – not true.’

Another speaker added: ‘The media is part of the problem.’

Tanya Paton read out an open letter addressed to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s.

It says: ‘We are grateful to the Reverend Canon, Dr Giles Fraser, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, for reassuring us that our activities are not harming the Cathedral’s commercial concerns – that has never been our intention.

‘Our intention was to highlight the iniquities of the global economic crisis, in a peaceful manner, especially as the Cathedral has been so hospitable.

‘We have endeavoured to clarify perceived health and safety concerns and continue to place those as a priority for the health and safety of everyone, both inside and outside of this historic Cathedral.

‘Unfortunately, despite our requests of the Cathedral, they have not yet provided us with details and information as to how we are perceived to be threatening health and safety.

‘We once again urge the Cathedral to bring to our attention, immediately, the particular details of the health and safety issues to address them.

‘Our concern is if there are health and safety issues (which we in any event refute), by the Church failing to tell of them they are exacerbating any perceived dangers.

‘Due to the urgency of the situation you have raised, we would appreciate your immediate response so that we can deal with those concerns.’

Sixteen-year-old George Pritchard from south London was visiting the St Paul’s camp with his father.

George told News Line: ‘I agree completely with everything that is going on here.

‘It should have happened before.

‘This corrupt capitalism has been going on a long time.

‘I’m just glad we are finally doing something about it.

‘I want to see a fairer world.’

Aaron Hetber was visiting with his young daughter and son.

He said: ‘We’ve come down from Stevenage to have a look and educate the children.

‘I wanted to see the people on the ground, see what they’re saying.

‘I think there needs to be a root and branch reform of the money system in total, not just regulating banks or taxing the rich, it’s deeper than that.

‘I work for local government. The trade unions should take mass action.

‘I’d been for bringing the government down, they don’t have a mandate for the cuts and privatisation anyway.’

Subia Kurian, a student from the University of West London, said: ‘I came here to see what is happening here.

‘I support what the people here are doing.

‘Capitalism is no good. Money goes only to some people at the top.

‘University fees are quite high.

‘Life is hard here. It’s difficult to get a job.’

In the new camp at Finsbury Square people were painting banners.

One was for UK Uncut, highlighting £6bn cuts each year while £25bn of tax is avoided by the big corporations.

Another banner being made was of the slogan ‘Hartnett resign now.’

Hartnett is the boss of HM Revenue and Customs, protesters said.

Meanwhile, in America the Occupy Wall Street movement has condemned the escalation of police attacks and arrests and is calling on unions to join a mass demonstration on November 5.

Under the heading ‘An Opportunity for Action’, it has publised an ‘Open Letter’.

This states: ‘We, the undersigned Wall Street protesters and union members, think the response to Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has shown that broad layers of working people are ready to support a movement that stands up to the ongoing attempt to solve the economic crisis on the backs of working-class and poor people.

‘Union solidarity has contributed a growing momentum of protest that we should build on and not let fade away.

‘To that end, we have endorsed the motion shown below that calls on the NYC Central Labour Council and other union organisations to build for a march of hundreds of thousands on Saturday, November 5, with the following slogans and demands:

‘Working People Shouldn’t Pay for a Crisis That They Didn’t Make!

‘No to Layoffs, Budget and Service Cuts!

‘Create Jobs, Build Infrastructure with a Federal Programme of Public Works!

‘Stop Police Harassment of the Wall Street Occupation!’

The protesters add on their website: ‘We will be leafleting the next CLC delegates meeting. . .

‘We hope to draw attention to the opportunity for and need for broader action, and to provide an opportunity and focus for those in and outside the unions to agitate for the unions and other organisations to commit themselves to broader action.’

Noam Chomsky speaks at Occupy Boston protest: here.

Mayor steps up intimidation of Occupy Atlanta protesters: here.

Jailed Occupy Chicago Protesters Describe Harsh Treatment By Police, Plan To Picket Rahm Emanuel’s Office: here.

4 Polls That Show #OccupyWallStreet is Just Getting Started: here.

Britain: The Daily Telegraph recognises that #occupylsx protest is justified: here.

Occupy LSX activists vow to fight off legal action: here.

Stefan Simanowitz explores the similarities between the London and New York occupations: here.

Arianna Huffington: I was in Spain on October 15th when half a million took to the streets of Madrid to voice their frustration with a political system that has failed the people of Spain — in the same way our own “Los Indignados” (Spanish for “The Outraged”) are voicing their anger and frustration at a system that has failed the “99 percent” here in America. I was struck by how family-oriented the protests were. But when I looked at how the media covered them, instead of the thousands of families and children and retirees who marched in towns all across Spain, what dominated the airwaves were burning cars from the protest in Rome — which was hijacked by a coterie of masked anarchists. Just as solutions to the problems facing Europe and America are not going to be found in traditional political ways, the truth of what’s happening is not going to be found in traditional media coverage either: here.

A round-up of the latest news from the Occupy movement around the world: here.

3 thoughts on “Occupy Wall Street and London

  1. TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    Who is causing the most disruption to residents in southern Manhattan? The New York Police Department (NYPD).

    As BuzzFlash at Truthout has noted, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been developing a PR contingency strategy to shut down Occupy Wall Street (OWS). One of his primary media claims is that the OWS encampment at Liberty Park is disturbing and inconveniencing residents of the area.

    But, in reality, the massive deployment of the NYPD in the Wall Street district is itself a large-scale disruption of the community in that area. If Mayor Bloomberg’s alleged standard of not “bothering” neighborhood residents and workers is any means test for obeying the law, the NYPD “occupation” of lower New York City should be halted.

    At a recent hearing of two of the many New York City-area neighborhood advisory committees – the combined Quality of Life and Financial District Committees – a Firedoglake blogger was able to record some of the comments on the issue under discussion: what to do with OWS in Liberty Park.

    Interestingly, many of the attendees complained about the massive police presence:

    Another woman says she lives in area and the real problem is the police. They won’t let her pass through on her bike to get home. She supports OWS.

    Yet another WASPY patrician looking woman says that she has been made a prisoner in her own apt, but not by OWS, by the police. She thinks they are overreacting. She supports OWS

    71 year old woman says police barricades are endangering her life, not OWS.

    Local merchant complains about the barricades too. Say the barricades are disrupting business not OWS.

    Young woman gets up, says that she has grown up in NY all her life, that the city has always been loud and dirty and folks should just get used to it.

    Yes, some residents did complain about OWS, but some of these objections were political, such as the man who said “that protestors aren’t occupying Wall Street, but because it’s near Ground Zero they are occupying Ground Zero!” (Liberty Park is adjacent to the old Twin Towers site.)

    Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch recently wrote about the militarized occupation of Wall Street by the NYPD:

    Their stakeout in Zuccotti Park is geared to extreme acts, suicide bombers, and terrorism, as well as to a conception of protest and opposition as alien and enemy-like. They are trying to herd, lock in, and possibly strangle a phenomenon that bears no relation to any of this. They are, that is, policing the wrong thing, which is why every act of pepper spraying or swing of the truncheon, every aggressive act (as in the recent eviction threat to “clean” the park) blows back on them and only increases the size and coverage of the movement.

    Engelhardt also confirmed to BuzzFlash at Truthout that the area is heavily barricaded and that police cars are everywhere, not to mention the helicopter flyovers and the watchtower over Liberty Park itself. Engelhardt estimates that “on an everyday basis, a squad of 10 or 15 friendly police officers could easily handle the situation.”

    But Bloomberg has deployed – as BuzzFlash at Truthout has already pointed out – a publicly financed police force with access to advanced technological powers and prone to primitive outbursts of brutality to annoy, harass and wail away the night with sirens, disrupting the sleep of area residents.

    In this case, who will arrest the police and Bloomberg for annoying, inconveniencing and violating the rights of residents and workers in the financial district?

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

    Like

  2. Pingback: Occupy London under pressure | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Occupy Wall Street continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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