Sunday, 16 October 2011

Thousands Descended and Support Occupy the London Stock Exchange

Thousands descended on the area around the London Stock Exchange on Saturday in a bid to replicate the huge demonstrations taking place in New York.

As the night fell activists had pitched tents at the foot of the steps of St Paul's Cathedral after police cordoned off Paternoster Square, where the Stock Exchange is located.

Scotland Yard had said it would be "illegal and disrespectful" (who are they to talk of disrespect) to camp in front of the cathedral, but as I understand a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police later said: "We are not going to move anyone at this time."

Five arrests were made throughout the day - three for alleged assault on police and two for public order offences.

The demonstration was called to "challenge the bankers and the financial institutions which recklessly gambled with our lives and their capitalist economy. This occupation and 20 other occupations all around the UK have been directly inspired by what's happening all across America and especially Wall Street."

The Metropolitan Police used a disproportionate amount of force against protesters outside St Paul's. "We have seen yet again people, kettled, grabbed and thrown off the steps forcefully by the police. This was entirely unnecessary!"

Earlier, police began removing protesters from the cathedral steps, leading to physical confrontations, as officers expressed concerns and gave the cockeyed excuse about the cathedral's pillars being damaged by people sitting on its steps. A police spokesperson said on Sky News:  “containment" was carried out in the churchyard to "prevent a breach of the peace".

Well-known activists including Julian Assange and Peter Tatchell were among the protesters in London.

Protests also took place on the streets of Edinburgh and Dublin, which passed off peacefully. More than 100 demonstrators turned out to protest in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, while hundreds also took to the streets of Dublin.

A more fuller account will be posted later.

Thanks to Harpymarx for photographs 

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