Friday, October 21, 2011

OccupyLSX: Big Event planned this weekend

OccupyLSX: London Occupation

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Twitter:; Hashtag #OccupyLSX

  • Occupy London Stock Exchange expect thousands to gather for a public assembly in the heart of London’s financial centre on first week anniversary of the occupation.

  • Len McCluskey, General Secretary of UNITE, Britain’s largest trade union adds his voice to the call for direct action by visiting the occupation.

  • Artists to perform and specials event confirmed, ‘Meet the Movement’ a session with personal testimonies from individuals including a banker who has joined the occupation and the parents behind ‘Occupy Half Term’

This Saturday, over a thousand people are expected to join the occupation (OccupyLSX) based near London Stock Exchange by St. Paul’s Cathedral to add their voices to growing anger against the government and what people assembled at the occupation call ‘an unsustainable system that is undemocratic and unjust’.

To mark one week since the occupation began, OccupyLSX - based near St Paul’s at the heart of London’s financial centre – is inviting Londoners to visit the occupation on Saturday 22th October, to meet members of the movement that is challenging social and economic injustices in the UK and around the world, as part of the global movement for real democracy [1].

In a sign of growing support for the occupation, Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Britain’s largest trade union attended the regular outdoor lunchtime public meeting on (Thursday 20th) and offered support, saying: “People here are standing up to protect the heritage that their mothers, fathers and grandfathers have built for them - so well done for everything you are doing. There are millions of people watching their television and wishing there were here with you” [2].

After a week that has seen numerous offers of support and donations from members of the public, local business-people [3] and city-workers, OccupyLSX now expect there to be a huge turn-out on Saturday bringing people together from across the political spectrum, united in the call for change.

Preparations are underway for a ‘Meet the movement’ session and a Public Assembly meeting with the public, occupiers and social justice groups giving personal testimonies of inequalities in the UK [4]. Musicians are confirmed to perform and there will be a state of the economy discussion focussing on ways of bringing about real change organised by the resident ‘Tent City University’.

On Saturday 15th October, up to 5000 people took to the streets in London to stage a peaceful demonstration in London’s Square Mile, voicing their anger at the social and economic inequality in the UK and around the world; and their lack of control over the decisions shaping their lives. People occupied the area outside St Paul’s cathedral from just after 12pm (15th) after the police blocked entry into their intended location of Paternoster Square. More than 250 people and 70 tents peacefully occupied on the first night and on Sunday morning (16th), just before the morning service, Canon Giles Fraser addressed the people occupying, informing them that he had instructed the police to leave the site and defending their right to protest [5]. On Sunday 16th October at an assembly on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral collectively agreed its first initial statement outlining some of key concerns [6].

Gemma Edwards, supporter of OccupyLSX, comments: “People who come together here come from all political persuasions - from the left, right and neither, we’ve seen bankers and accountants here voicing their recognition of a broken economic system and joining in to discuss the problems inherent in our unsustainable financial system as well as the need for change. It is clear that we need alternatives; and this is where we are working towards them.”

In only six days, the area outside the cathedral has now become a functional, organised space, with up to 200 tents and at least 1,000 people in attendance each day for public meetings, educational workshops and lively political debate. Members of the public and local business people have contributed food for the camp, marquees, media and technical equipment, portaloos, refuse disposal systems, first aid and camp provisions and books for the onsite library [7]. “I think the camp is inspiring, I love the way that there is a real desire to provoke important and deeply significant question for our society” said Rev John Valentine whilst visiting the area.

Adam Weaver, an OccupyLSX volunteer adds: “This occupation has been able to grow because of both the generosity shown to us by from members of the public and through the hard-work of staff, volunteers and executives at St. Pauls Cathedral for respecting our right to protest and assisting us in meeting the safety requirements needed for us to remain in place; we’re working very closely with St. Paul's Cathedral to minimise disruption to the normal life of the Cathedral and extend our gratitude to them”.


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