Sunday, 16 October 2011

"We are the 99%" and "Bankers got a bailout, we got sold out".

Occupy London Stock Exchange (@occupyLSX) which I attended yesterday for only a few hours because of work commitments, met with a really magnificent response, now that some sections of the media are reporting turn out to be over 3,000.

It was indeed a glorious autumn day, sun beaming down on the righteous gathered on and around the steeps of those assembled in front of St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Protests inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York have spread to cities around the world.

This weekend, all over the world, thousands of people occupied streets and squares around buildings that are associated with the excesses of the capitalist system that has run totally out of control, ruining many millions of people’s lives.

In London, the target is the stock exchange, in Frankfurt it’s the European Central Bank, in other cities it may just be a place that symbolizes unchecked financial lordliness of capital. The Occupy movement has gone global and drawing its inspiration from the Arab Spring protests that toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, and have you noticed how western governments have tried and taken the credit for these revolutions, and then set about Libya?

It kicked off in New York’s Wall Street, with an idea propagated by a small magazine as I understand it; anyhow the start was somewhat humble and it was unclear what the purpose was of trying to occupy the heart of the American financial system because at first there was a media blackout as the establishment tried to play it down. The apparent media blackout or very limited coverage of both at first Wall Street and then our own Occupy London Stock Exchange (Occupy LSX) demonstrations, points towards media corporation investment interests. Social media and new Media is alight with anger towards the mainstream media who are voicing objection to what they perceive as siding against the protesters taking over the financial districts all over the world and in particular the Occupy London LSX protests.

The media has at times been conspicuous in its absence in covering what could be the most important demonstrations of this age because Occupy movement is growing in numbers and spreading across the planet at such an incredible rate and because social networking and New Media are more in touch with the people through default of interests and this is not going unnoticed amongst the general public which could ruin future credibility of the mainstream press if they are seen as censoring or rather under-prioritising the most important event of recent times, which is no bad thing comrades.

This is indeed a story repeated in many a capitalist county around the capitalist world, different expressions of resistance are appearing all around us every day, anti-authoritarian and class-based resistance is taken a hold, people are starting to organise together and what’s more without leaders as the general assembly held on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral is testament too, and to boot is the living evidence.

To tell you the truth it was one of the best demonstrations that I had ever had the pleasure of participating in, and nice not to see the usual handpicked platform of so-called left speakers addressing the great gathering, what’s great about this movement is there are no identifiable structures or leaders – how refreshing!”

Saturday's protests affected 950 cities across 80 countries, what an enormous achievement, but more than that this may mark the first time in modern history that the international working class community held hands across the continent and landmass of the whole planet, the start of something new I feel, this will worry many on the left trying to build a vanguard party, and no disrespect to comrades and friends in the versus contending parties.

This morning in London it is being reported that 250 protesters, who have erected about 70 tents outside St Paul's Cathedral, vowed to occupy the site indefinitely, mirroring the New York protest, they will need food and continuing support from comrades, please do what you can?”

Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC that protests would not solve the problem, but admitted he had some sympathy for those affected by "too many debts built up by states “As a comrade pointed-out to me on Twitter this morning: “He also said "protesting gets you nowhere”. “Conveniently forgetting Tahrir Square.” Thank you comrade Jools Payne, @joolspayne.

The Times said the protests were “passionate but pointless.” I suppose we can expect this sort of negative press from the likes of Rupert Murdoch, and others.

A Time magazine national poll shows that in the US the Occupy movement has a 54 per cent favourable ranking. It turns out that some of the Occupy demands, like prosecuting ill-behaving Wall Streeters or raising taxes on wealthy people, are much more popular than expected, although I must say that these demands will not resolve the crisis of capitalism and are only tinkering with the system as the reformists do. Last week, Nobel Prize-winning former U.S. Vice President Al Gore wrote on his blog: “With democracy in crisis a true grassroots movement pointing out the flaws in our system is the first step in the right direction. Count me among those supporting and cheering on the Occupy Wall Street movement.” I for one would be worried that someone like Al Gore is trying to muscle on in, and what’s wrong with the system is that it has no floors for working people to stand on, but he would never admit that.

Just one other thing before I draw a close to this post’, and that must be about the role of police in these demonstrations, around the world the police are now being seen for what they really are and what their real business is – the protection of private property and wealth, not of the small house holder, but of the larger wealthy, filthy rich type and those who own the means of production, those companies that don’t pay their tax, like the 100 largest groups registered on the London Stock Exchange who have more than 34,000 subsidiaries and joint ventures between them. A quarter of these, over 8,000, are located in jurisdictions that offer low tax rates or require limited disclosure to other tax authorities, no one is policing them.

So the real crooks get away Scott-free every time, whist the rest of us are made to pay tax on everything we purchase as well as continually being mugged at the pay point.

I digress and diverge a little comrades; my point is this, yesterday’s protest was about many things rolled-up into one, but one thing that we can say with unashamed disgust or if you like anger is that yesterday’s police operation was aggressive and uncalled for most if not all comrades attended the demonstration with peaceful intensions, yet again we must condemn the police tactics of containment and kettling. However it is a tribute to those entire activists, that they were able to keep their cool and maintain a great protest, well done comrades all.

Thanks to Harpymarx for photographs         

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