Occupy London Stock Exchange takes it to the City this Saturday
* Londoners set to launch occupation in the heart of the city’s financial centre on Saturday 15th October, as part of a global movement for real democracy
*Supported by UK Uncut, the London-based Assembly of the Spanish 15M movement, the People’s Assemblies Network Global Day of Action and others, the movement aims to highlight the social and economic injustice in the UK and beyond.
As protests on Wall Street capture the imagination of the world, with people taking to the streets to hold the global financial system to task, a diverse group of Londoners is coming together to launch a peaceful occupation near the London Stock Exchange (LSX) at Paternoster Square.
In little over a week, the OccupyLSX Facebook page has already attracted more than 9000 followers with over 3500 confirmed attendees.
Laura Taylor, a supporter of OccupyLSX, asked: “Why are we paying for a crisis the banks caused? More than a million people have lost their jobs and tens of thousands of homes have been repossessed, while small businesses are struggling to survive. Yet bankers continue to make billions in profit and pay themselves enormous bonuses, even after we bailed them out with £850bn.”
The occupation on Saturday will see assemblies, workshops and discussions being held as people come to participate in a real form of democracy. They will seek to challenge the power held by the financial sector and the system that regulates it, which are failing to operate in the interests of people across the UK.
OccupyLSX supporter Kai Wargalla explains: “This is a people-powered movement protesting against the increasing social and economic injustice in the UK. We want to stand with the 99% – the overwhelming majority who value people over profit. We want to make our voices heard against greed, corruption and for a democratic, just society. We stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, protestors in Spain, Greece and the Middle East who started this movement. They have inspired people all over the world to step forward and make their voices heard – now.”
UK Uncut is supporting the occupation of the London Stock Exchange, calling on its members to join the protest. UK Uncut supporter Peter Hodgson said: “The success of the square occupations across Spain in calling for democracy and an end to austerity, alongside the rapid growth of the Wall Street occupation, has shown that this is what is needed in London and the UK. The government is ignoring its electorate as they impose these austerity measures.”
OccupyLSX intends to lead by example, putting real democracy in practice from the bottom up. Following the model pioneered in Spain earlier this year, decision making and action planing during the occupation will be administered by a General Assembly, open to the public. London’s first General Assembly was held on Westminster Bridge during UK Uncut’s “Block the Bridge, Block the Bill” demonstration on Sunday 9th October.
The occupation in London comes at the same time that hundreds of cities around the world are protesting under the banner of “United For Global Change” calling for true democracy. This is a movement that transcends political affiliation. It aims to open a dialogue on reforming finance and government so that each better serve and protect the interests and wellbeing of the 99%.
1. BBC: Recession has ‘deep impact’ on jobs –news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8477687.stm
2. Independent: £850bn: official cost of the bank bailout (and still RBS is demanding another £1.5bn in bonuses) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/163850bn-official-cost-of-the-bank-bailout-1833830.html
3. OccupyLSX Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=255151111189948. Facebook page: www.facebook.com/occupylondon. The @occupylsx Twitter account: https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyLSX ; hashtag #occupylsx
4. The first OccupyLSX General Assembly took place during the course of UK Uncut’s “Block the Bridge, Block the Bill” event on Westminster Bridge. Images, together with a report of the event, have been posted at occupylsx.org
5. A full list of United for Global Change events scheduled for 15th October is available at15october.net. The People’s Assemblies Network (http://www.peoplesassemblies.org) is a global network supporting grassroots democratic assemblies.