We want our futures back
The high-spirited crowd that gathered before St Paul’s Cathedral on the first day of the 15th October occupation came from many parts of the country. Amongst them was Nick Stebbings from Carthmarthenshire in West Wales, holding a hand-made placard.
Nick, a former student who is now working part-time, said he came “partly because of my girl friend, but also because this is the first movement I’ve ever actually believed in. It’s not just a legally-sanctioned march – it’s a world-wide movement which is reaching out to people and there are a lot of angry people who want change”.
“Employment for young people in Wales is just not being provided. There is no stimulus by the government to get jobs for them. So, why should they be surprised when young people go out into the street to demand social justice and just fairness between the bottom end and the top of society. The same rules apply to everyone – that’s just what people want.
“There is no representation for young people – or most others, for that matter. They have cut off all our avenues for protest. Clearly, we have to take things into our own hands.”
A group of masked “V” for Vendetta demonstrators from Bristol were aiming to achieve mass civil disobedience. “That is what we do,” they told us. “Basically we want to educate people about the truth about what is going on in society, with corporations and the government, the corruption and the injustice they seem to control.
“We agree with having people’s assemblies so that everyone has the right to speak. In our vision of the future, there will be no leaders, everyone is equal. Everyone is born equal anyway. To challenge those in power, the best way is not not shop at the corporations: don’t go to Tescos, don’t go to those shops, go for the small independent shop, local produce. To undermine them, withdraw your money from your bank account. Money is just fiat currency, and it will be worthless when the crash happens.
“Personally I’d like to see what happened in ‘V for Vendetta’ at the end of the film, when they annihilated the parliament building – as an idea anyway. It’s rotten to the core, it’s been going on for hundreds of years in this country. We need a new building that symbolises a new system.”
“We are here because we believe the world is truly unfair,” Peter Szymani and his two young friends from Watford agreed. “We are going through a great awakening: everyone is waking up and discovering the true power of humanity. We don’t need to be treated like this any more - we are moving into a new age – and we want our futures back. We want freedom”.
“They’ve taken everything - we don’t have any funding for anything. We want things to be fair: freedom and fairness! We found out about today because we were following the Wall Street occupation. When we found out it was coming to London – we’ve been looking into this for a long time and we’ve been at lots of protests.
“We do need a government and law. We need some good philosophers to work things out. We need a resource-based economy. The traditional forms of governance have died and it’s unnecessary. We don’t need bureaucracy – we just need the law of not to impose on other people. We like the idea of People’s Assemblies as the way to work out ideas about how to do this.”
16 October 2011