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  1. #1
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    Occupy Wall Street-style protests spread to Britain

    World Blog - Occupy Wall Street-style protests spread to Britain

    Occupy Wall Street-style protests spread to Britain

    By William Kennedy for msnbc.com

    LONDON — A young woman spray-paints the final letter on a floral-patterned sheet. Unfurled it reads: "Occupy London, 15 Oct, occupylsx.org."

    The small group of assembled activists applaud its look. “I love the kitschiness of it. It’s so ‘Laura Ashley’ English — perfect for a protest,” one says, namechecking the British brand known for its prim-and-proper fashions.

    Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests on the other side of the Atlantic, demonstrators plan to establish a tent city in London’s City financial district next weekend.

    Protests aimed at policies on Wall Street have spread to 45 cities across the US as consistently large crowds continue to occupy the financial district in New York City. NBC's Lilia Luciano reports.

    “The Wall Street protests sort of inspired everything,” said Kai Wargalla, who co-created the Occupy London Facebook group. “It was just time to start here. We need people to step up and speak out.”

    This movement aims to unite the United Kingdom’s far-flung activist communities in addressing "the inequality of the financial system," Wargalla said.

    'Not just dirty hippies'

    The dozen hipster-chic men and women making signs on Saturday in a funky, tropical-themed club in north London’s Hackney borough have varied protest backgrounds. Some come from "Free Bradley Manning" and anti-nuclear campaigns, others from the Spanish 15-M movement, which occupied Madrid on May 15.

    “These people are rightfully complaining about a lot of things,” said Matthew Slatter, an activist programmer with a theology degree. “They’re not just dirty hippies.”


    William Kennedy
    An activist prepares a banner ahead of the Occupy London protest planned for Oct. 15.


    The mood was upbeat as aerosol fumes rose past African drums, palm tree cutouts and a faded pennant seeking to "Free Mohammed Hamid" — a street preacher who called himself "Osama bin London". He was convicted in 2008 of running terrorist training camps in the U.K.

    “We’re the beginning of something,” said Ronan McNern, a member of U.K. rights group Queer Resistance who has a background in public relations. “People are not stakeholders in democracy, in the workings of the nation anymore. This [movement] gives a lot of hope for the future.”

    Occupy London's members largely identify with the "We are the 99 Percent" slogan made popular by protesters in the U.S.

    "There's something about the fact that 15,000 people are trying to march down Wall Street that is uniquely exciting," said Naomi Colvin, an activist who worked to get alleged Wikileaker Bradley Manning out of confinement "What’s happening in Wall Street is in a way a culmination of things that have gone on in southern Europe and the Middle East."

    “We’re asking the government to be more accountable for regulating [the financial sector] in the interests of a few people, rather than the majority.

    “Having a group of tents somewhere in London is quite symbolic,” she added. “This is now a city that most of the people working in can’t really afford to live in.”

    By Sunday morning, Occupy London had more than 1,500 followers on Twitter and 3,000 had signed up to attend next weekend's event near the London Stock Exchange.

    “I think it will only get stronger of time, just as we’ve seen in Wall Street,” Wargalla said.

    But that will not be easy, McNern warned. “To sustain something like this in the British winter will be a nightmare,” he said.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    'Occupy Wall Street' protests go global - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

    'Occupy Wall Street' protests go global


    From Tokyo to London, protesters worldwide to rally in solidarity with New York's Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Last Modified: 15 Oct 2011 06:18


    New York's 'Occupy Wall Street' movement goes global in several dozens of cities from Asia to Latin America [Reuters]


    Protesters worldwide are set to join the Occupy Wall Street movement for a cry of rage against bankers, financiers and politicians they accuse of ruining global economies and condemning millions to poverty and hardship through greed.

    Dozens of cities across the world - from Tokyo to Alaska via London, Frankfurt and Washington - will be seeing demonstrations on Saturday, in solidarity with the rallies that began last month in downtown New York.

    In depth coverage of US financial crisis protests

    "On October 15th people from all over the world will take to the streets and squares ... to initiate the global change we want," proclaimed the website United for #GlobalChange.

    "We will peacefully demonstrate, talk and organize until we make it happen. It's time for us to unite; it's time for them to listen."

    Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, saw the day's first demonstration, when at least 1,000 people, including children, gathered at City Square.

    "We face similar problems with our democracy here in Victoria and Australia as people face in most other developed nations," the Occupy Melbourne website said. "Our democracy is unwell."

    In Sydney, protesters intend to gather at Martin Place in the central business district at 2:30pm local time and camp indefinitely "to organise, discuss and build a movement for a different world, not run by the super-rich one per cent," a statement on the Occupy Sydney website said.

    'Occupy Asia'

    Demonstrations were expected elsewhere in Asia, in Japan's Tokyo, South Korea's Seoul and China's Hong Kong.

    At least three protests and rallies will take place in the Japanese capital, where demonstrators will march for an hour to the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to show dissatisfaction over the handling of the nuclear disaster triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, organisers said.

    Another rally in Roppongi, near the local headquarters of investment bank Goldman Sachs, was expected to attract as many as 400 people, they said.

    More than 30 civic groups plan to demonstrate in Seoul, the South Korean capital, according to a leaflet distributed by an organisation calling itself "Preparation Group to Act for 99%."

    Local media reports said the police have denied the group permission to protest, though officials refused to speak on the record about their plans.
    In Hong Kong, gatherings are planned at Exchange Square Podium in the city’s central shopping and business district, according to Facebook postings.

    Several hundred are expected to attend.

    In Taiwan, more than 1,500 people had confirmed on the Occupy Taipei Facebook page that they planned to join protests near the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

    #GlobalChange

    The Occupy South Africa website announced "Operation Ubuntu", a Nguni word used to describe unity for a common purpose through an African worldview that people can only find fulfilment through interacting with other peoples.

    Protests are scheduled in the country's major cities of Capetown, East London, Durban and Johannesburg for later on Saturday.

    Greek protesters aligned with Spain's "Indignant" movement called an anti-austerity rally in Athens' Syntagma square, the focal point of many demonstrations during Greece's financial meltdown.

    In Germany, the financial centre of Frankfurt and the European Central Bank was expected to be a focus of marches called by the Real Democracy Now group.

    "What is happening in Greece now is the nightmare waiting other countries in the future," Real Democracy said in a statement.

    "Solidarity is people's weapon."

    In Britain, about 4,000 people have signalled their intent to attend a peaceful demonstration that will start at noon today in the City of London -- a leading international financial centre -- under the banner "Occupy the Stock Exchange", according to organisers.

    In the United States, the founding "Occupation Wall Street" movement has urged more people and cities to join them on Saturday.

    There have also been calls for occupations similar to that in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park to take place in dozens of US cities.

    In Houston, Texas, protesters plan to tap into anger at big oil companies.

    Alert for violence

    The protests are billed as peaceful. But in a sign of what may happen, a group of students stormed Goldman Sachs' offices in the Italian city of Milan on Friday.

    The students managed to break into the hall of the Goldman Sachs building in the heart of Milan's financial district.

    The protests were quickly dispersed but red graffiti was daubed on its walls expressing anger at Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, and saying "Give us money".

    Demonstrators also hurled eggs at the headquarters of UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank.

    Italian police were on alert for thousands to march in Rome against austerity measures planned by Berlusconi's government.

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    BBC News - Occupy London protests in financial district

    15 October 2011 Last updated at 15:01 GMT

    Occupy London protests in financial district



    Protester in London: "This movement is growing globally"

    At least 1,000 people are demonstrating in London's financial district as part of a worldwide protest against alleged corporate greed.

    Demonstrators inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement are protesting outside St Paul's Cathedral.

    Scotland Yard said two people had been arrested for assaults on officers.

    Organisers were aiming to set up a protest camp outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City, but were prevented by the police.

    After protesters returned to St Paul's Churchyard, the square in front of the cathedral, police prevented more people trying to join the protest by cutting off access points.

    Several hundred protesters congregated behind the police lines and heckled officers for not allowing anyone through.

    Police at the scene denied that a "kettling" technique had been put in place to close protesters in and said they were free to leave the square.

    The BBC's Maddy Savage at the scene said demonstrators included students, unemployed graduates, pensioners and even passing tourists who have warmed to the campaign.

    She said: "They may not be a coherent group but they appear united in their goal - to criticise the UK's bankers and speak for what they describe as 'people over profit'."

    Organisers of the 15 October worldwide protests said on their website that the aim was to "initiate the global change we want".

    They say rallies will be held in 951 cities in 82 countries.

    Naomi Colvin, an organiser outside the London Stock Exchange, said the nature of the rally would be dependent on those that turn up.

    "We take the position that we will convene a general assembly in London and like all the other protests which have happened elsewhere, it is the general assembly which is the decision-making body," she told the BBC.

    "If the general assembly, made up of everybody who comes today, decides that we want to try and stay, then we will make some efforts to try and stay."


    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange addressed protesters outside St Paul's Cathedral

    Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, gave a speech to one group of protesters about anonymity after he was challenged by police for wearing a mask as he walked to the protest.

    He said: "I ask that all of you demand that foreign bank accounts be opened up and made transparent, the same way that I today have been forced to be made transparent."

    A spokeswoman for the protesters said Mr Assange then gave a speech where he talked about Wikileaks, police oppression and the current economic situation.

    One protester, Anna, said she was hopeful that the demonstration would have an impact on governments and big businesses.

    "These things take time. If they don't listen today, then we will stay here until they listen. This movement is not going away, this is a building global movement.

    "There's a shift in the world - you don't have to be a genius to see our system's broken."


    Analysis

    Maddy Savage
    BBC News

    There were jeers and boos from the crowds of protesters who wanted to get into Paternoster Square where the London Stock exchange is based as the demonstration got under way just after midday.

    They were held back by lines of police officers and locked gates.

    Some led a march around the square before returning to the steps of St Paul's Cathedral where most have spent the rest of the afternoon chanting and waving their cardboard banners in the autumn sunshine.

    Others have brought along giant speakers to play music on or their own guitars and drums.

    The protest has been peaceful so far. Many of the protesters say they intend to stay put late into the night.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    The mood was upbeat as aerosol fumes rose past African drums, palm tree cutouts and a faded pennant seeking to "Free Mohammed Hamid" — a street preacher who called himself "Osama bin London". He was convicted in 2008 of running terrorist training camps in the U.K.
    Fuck me. That sentence was enough to sum up what any right thinking person should be feeling. I hope they get a good kicking from the cops when they set up their smelly hippy camp.

  5. #5
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    Big trouble in Spain now

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    Theyre at it in Rome too.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    seeking to "Free Mohammed Hamid" — a street preacher who called himself "Osama bin London".
    Lost my sympathy right there, fucking idealistic naive wankers. What has an inbred muslim hate preacher got to do with the banks and economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    “We’re the beginning of something,” said Ronan McNern, a member of U.K. rights group Queer Resistance who has a background in public relations
    No, you're a symptom of the societal rot in the UK, you mincing soft bender.

    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    “To sustain something like this in the British winter will be a nightmare"
    Yeah, well it would be for a raving poofter wouldnt it? He might get a little snuffle or chapped lips so he can't suck his boyfriends cock.

    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    “Having a group of tents somewhere in London is quite symbolic,” she added. “This is now a city that most of the people working in can’t really afford to live in.”
    So fucking what? It's the same all over the world in capital cities, if not much worse. I think the symbolism of the "tents somewhere in London" would be lost on the average slum dweller in the developing world.

    I agree with the general feeling behind these protests, just a shame theyre organised by utter fucking pricks.

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