visit to the Occupy Liverpool camp during gale force wind and torrential
After spending time in London helping to start Occupy London and then
visiting both Occupy camps there regularly it was good to see Occupy Liverpool
finally set up camp at the base of the Wellington Monument by the Walker
Art Gallery and St. George's Hall. I visited briefly on the first day
but went back today to spend more time supporting the camp.
The camp had doubled in size and there are now about twenty five tents
and about 40 people were around throughout the day during daylight hours.
I spoke to a few campers and visitors about why they were there and what
they thought about the Occupy Movement.
John Doh has been camping most days
since day one
"I'm here because I'm angry about the rich getting richer and the
poor getting poorer. Like all the other Occupy groups we've had enough.
I'm tired of tax avoidance by International Companies.I think once people
start start lending money with interest then that's what banking is all
about and there needs to be strong controls to stop corruption setting
in. Never before have we given our money to rich people to make them richer.
They gambled money and they lost and it's we who are having to bail them
out. We think this is a nice site to be on, it's not a war memorial contrary
to what people think. The memorial is actually celebrating the victories
of a warmonger who is often portrayed as defending the country when he's
really an aggressor. In the 1830's (?) he lobbied for the use of shrapnel
shells which burst on hitting things. We're involved in a struggle but
ours is peaceful. I think it's a suitable place as it's a reminder of
the 1% we are struggling against."
"I've been here since the beginning. I've been personally affected
by public sector cuts. I was working with disabled children and then the
funding got cut. Obviously the Government and local Councils tell people
there's no alternative to the cuts and always seem to act like the cuts
are in our best interests as well. At the same time it is estimated £95
billion is avoided in Corporation Tax every year. It seems like the system
is in place to help the rich get richer and the people at the bottom are
losing out. In a true democracy the system would benefit the majority."
Eamon - video journalist for Bay News
"It's important to be aware that the camp is a 'process'. Within
the 99% here there's a variety of opinions so be careful with dominant
Michael and his two year old daughter
Michael was at the camp over the weekend taking photos and sleeping there
and had also helped plan the camp for six weeks. He had come back with
his daughter to visit.
"The Occupy movement is not getting good press. The idea is to engage
with the public and spread the message. We're all living in a society
and everyone is facing cuts. Police, students, construction workers. I've
been out of work since August. No one here really has much experience
of camps so we're learning as we go. The weather isn't helping at all.
Right now we're trying to secure the kitchen/Info marquee (which Merseyside
CND had donated) because gale force winds are predicted."
"I've been a permanent camper since the beginning. Being here has
given me hope. This is what community should be. There's no reason to
go round with our heads looking down at the ground thinking the world
is a miserable place when we can stand together and make it better for
ourselves. We are the people and we have the power.
Paul - permanent camper
"I think it's unfair how the Government and corporations have all
the money when it should be distributed evenly and we all have a fair
chance. This movement is one of many and will continue to grow until we're
heard. There are over fifty camps in the UK and we'll just keep going."
At this point the arrival of three full bags of steaming hot pasties
donated to the camp suddenly appeared so we all tucked in for our lunch.
The sky had been darkening for a while and suddenly the heavens opened
and there was torrential, unearthly rain which just wouldn't stop. The
wind picked up and we were in gale force conditions. We all legged it
to tents and I sat under a clear sheet of polythene in a makeshift den
next to some tents with a few occupiers. One of the campers put on his
anonymous mask and stood holding a banner, on the steps of the memorial
high up, the whole time the storm was happening. He looked amazing but
I hope he didn't catch pneumonia. We all took turns filming the storm
for a livestream on Stone Cold Murphy's smartphone in the damp, flooded
area sitting on deckchairs. It truly was an epic moment.
Stone Cold Murphy - permanent camper
and internet/website enthusiast
"I was the first to arrive and will be the last to leave. I'm here
to win, I want to motivate people. Wake them up to what the 1% has done
to us. I've been to the London camp at St. Paul's and I stayed for four
days. It was a lovely bunch of people in London, all ages, all colours
and all united."
Finally I find three women to interview...
Found us during the storm under the sheet of polythene with water lapping
at our feet in the flooded den.
"I'm here, made up it's happened. It's a different dynamic because
this is a strategy to link with the November 30th strike tomorrow. It's
refreshing to see that people actually care. I'd like to see the end of
"I've been interested in Occupy for a while. Whilst in New York recently
I visited Occupy Wall Street camp. There was a sense of community, it's
really difficult to describe, peaceful, talking to people on the street
who weren't necessarily involved in Occupy but seemed open to the whole
ideology behind Occupy. It was good to see that it had really taken off.
So far it's been pretty inclusive to women in general, a safe space. I'd
like to see more taxation on the rich especially Corporations.
"I'm mainly here as a witness to the camp with Charlie. I think it's
amazing coz the 1% needs to get f***** because there's more of us than
them. We need a fair distribution of wealth."
By now the storm had subsided and we had all moved out of the shelter.
It was still raining and miserable but people were arriving with donations
of all sorts of stuff. Steve the caretaker from the UNITE building across
the road came to take orders for hot drinks. I went back with him and
helped make the drinks and chatted to him. Unite have been incredibly
supportive and offered the Occupy Liverpool camp to come over whenever
they wanted for drinks or to use the shower or get warm. They even asked
what do we need and we said waterproof stuff and a new marquee that's
All are welcome at the camp just bring yourselves and check the websites
or Facebook page to see what else is happening.
There is also a livestream with recorded footage at
Comment left by Bobby on 30th November, 2011 at 17:50
What a bunch of retards. Get a job you feckin dole scroungers.
Comment left by Adam on 30th November, 2011 at 19:22
Why Bob, are you hiring?
Comment left by Steve on 30th November, 2011 at 22:18
Thats not Bobby the retard posting again! Bobby what have I told you about not taking your medicine. Leave these good people alone, they are standing up to the corrupt system and are doing a good job. Now Bobby if I see any more of these vile postings again we'll have to readmit you.
Comment left by Rob Carter on 30th November, 2011 at 22:31
What a great turn out today, and the fantastic people of Liverpool who lined the streets and applauded us on the strike march, it was great to call in to the Occupy Camp and say thanks, what a fantastic bunch, Thanks to everyone on the march supporting and occupiers.
The fight back is well under way.
Comment left by Joe Kelsall on 1st December, 2011 at 12:16
It makes you wonder just what the critics of'Occupy Liverpool' have done to protest the obvious inequality in the UK. I have paid income tax for over 50 years. Why shouldn't I be mad that Philip Greene and Lord Vestey pay nothing ! If 'non doms' don't want to contribute they should be shipped out to the no tax zones to which they pay allegiance. Good luck to the young people and their protest. At least they have not succumbed to the electronic 'soothers' (dummies) that other teenagers numb their minds with.
Comment left by jhaaglund on 1st December, 2011 at 12:49
It says a lot when the best insult that someone can come up with against a group of anti-austerity campaigners in Licerpool is "get a job."
The point, you are missing it.
Comment left by mick on 1st December, 2011 at 17:43
ok you are against these austerity measures, but the labour party admit they would have had to make cuts as well if they had won the election, don't forget during the time between the election and the coalition taking over alistair darling (then chancellor) signed us up to allsorts knowing full well that the money wasn't there to pay for it, and treasutry secretary liam byrne left a handover note to his coalition successor declaring ' don't bother looking for the money - we have spent it all' so don't be conned by noo labour that these are just tory cuts because no matter who was in power, cuts would still have to be made the problem is that the majority of them are politically motivated, where i live £1 million worth of savings were identified that wouldn't affect frontline services but our labour council decided to protect funding for them at the expense of everything else.
Comment left by Steve on 3rd December, 2011 at 20:22
Mick, The point is that the governments are merely mouth pieces for the finincial elite who squirrel all the money away from the countrys the bleed dry into tax havens. The solution is not to get behind the Labour government who have already been rendered ineffective by far to many years of succumbing to the elite through lobbying. It is to change the system so the money is taken out of politics so the influence is lost so decisions are then made for the benefit of everyone and not for the elite lobbyists.
Comment left by jacqui on 6th December, 2011 at 19:50
I personally think it is unfair to attack protesters with shouts of "get a job" especially since we are in the highest zone of unemployment over the last 30yrs, unemployment that will continue to rise as more cuts are implemented. Further, such a shout shows ignorance on the part of the shouter, protesters are not all unemployed, infact there are many employed in various job types, along with students who look forward to working hard for degrees only to be faced with lack of job opportunities upon graduation. Also, I think it is also important to point out that them who are occupying, are not just making a stand for them selves, or the unemployed, but for each and every last one of us that are robbed everytime we make a bank transaction, to each and every one of us that will have pensions hacked, to each and every one of us who will face unemployment as more and more are laid off as cuts come into force. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as a true labour party anymore, One only has to look at the labour manifesto of 1945 and compare it with todays labour manifesto to see that labour has become more conservative. Governments themselves are at best corrupt irrespective of which party they hail from, we have seen over the years ridiculous expenses fraudulently claimed, corporation lobbying with fat bonuses to accomodate them further in their quest for even greater wealth. Me thinks it is a tad naive to think that them who are gainin in numbers to say no more to corruption and greed are no more than retards or dole scroungers
Comment left by Denzil on 7th December, 2011 at 6:56
The negative comments no longer affect the occupation. Even those who are waisting their valuable energy on negatvivty are at least thinking about it. The real effects of the austerity measures have not really hit home yet. Let us see what the critics are saying in a years or eighteen months time. Oh and by the way Bobby I have a job lad !!!!
Comment left by johno on 8th December, 2011 at 17:37
what anexcellent article and interview brilliant photos and well thought out piece of journalism. only to add to the piece only one fact the LMH builders on strike,picketing the office of lmh,opposing building across the street, support the protesters and fully endorse the occupy liverpool movement. liverpool against the cuts met last night to endorse its support and give any help whatsover to the occupation. a working group set up to acquire important necessities tents marquees etc therefore all our efforts must go to support the
brave courageous and tenacious attitude shown toughing it out on concrete in this harsh weather.respect and hearty solidarity in the struggle.