Occupy the London Stock Exchange
By Tracey Dunn 19/10/2011
I visited the London Stock Exchange in the summer and I thought then it was the right place for a protest. A few months on and I found it would be occupied along with about eight hundred other occupations all over the world. This was to be the biggest mass global protest the world had ever seen all happening on the same day. Cities including New York, Berlin, Athens and Rome were standing together against a world which has become so hostile to people's needs.
I won't go into all the tax avoidance and hedge fund scams as I think we can all read about that elsewhere. I was in town to try and be counted as someone wanting a world that is fairer to women, the environment, people of colour, exploited countries, starving people, drowning people, cold people who can't afford to heat their homes and all those who are being ignored in favour of offshore banking business and other disgraceful agendas.
I climbed on the steps of St. Pauls just after noon on a glorious sunny day and joined thousands of people to be seen as what is now well known as the 99% as opposed to the 1% who are exploiting the world. Occupations have been ongoing in places like New York's Wall Street and in Manchester's Peace Garden and now we were standing proud and showing everyone our intentions for a better world.
It didn't take long for the police to grab their riot helmets and bring in the dogs and riot horses and start kettling people. Most people carried on with their occupation completely ignoring the state's involvement on this our day. People started holding General Assemblies outside the Stock Exchange and on the steps of St. Pauls.
I found Julian Assange in a newsagent and heard him speak in a side street to a handful of people demanding his opinion on the occupation. He then went on to speak to the crowd from St. Paul's steps as did Peter Tatchell. I saw Billy Bragg right next to the Stock Exchange with his guitar eager as ever to communicate his thoughts to concerned citizens.
This was a movement beginning in London now and who knows what will happen next?. Sixty or so tents stayed up over night and there is another General Assembly at noon today Sunday. I've heard the Reverend at St. Paul's has told the police to move on and leave the camp alone. In Rome yesterday water canons and tear gas were used against the protesters, I sincerely hope it never comes to that in London.
Comment left by Richard S. Thick on 22nd October, 2011 at 2:13
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