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People's Assemblies to People's Power

Saturday
22 October

14:00 -  17:30

An afternoon of poetry, music & subversive debate at Passing Clouds

 

 

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.

OccupyLSXNick, 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.”

OccupyLSX

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.”

OccupyLSX

“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

For immediate release 16.01.11

OCCUPYLSX

Phone: (UK) 0845 299 6175

+44 (0) 7780572995 / (0) 7719 626890 / (0) 7592 424578 / +44(0) 7428 076610
Email: press@occupylsx.org

  • Canon Giles Fraser defends people's right to protest and addresses crowd before morning service at St Pauls cathedral
  • Canon calls on police to leave the occupation at St Pauls
  • OccupyLSX: 250 people camp overnight, despite inital police use of force, maintaining a calm and engaging occupation.

Over 250 people camped overnight in the area near St Pauls cathedral, one of London's most iconic land marks as part of 'Occupy London Stock Exchange' (OccupyLSX) which began yesterday (15th October). The overnight occupation followed on from a day which saw between 4000 - 5000 people gathered 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.   As part of a global day of action [1], with 19 other actions being held in the UK, [2] OccupyLSX held its first People's Assembly – open to all – allowing attendees to voice their opinions, take decisions and to discuss real democracy and inequality caused by an unjust economic system. The next People's Assembly is to be held at 12noon today.

People occupied the area outside St Paul's cathedral from just after 12pm on Saturday 15th after the police blocked entry into their intended location of Paternoster Square. Police later used force to clear the steps of St Pauls cathedral in the early evening, despite calls from occupiers saying that police actions were intimidating and disproportionate. Anna Jones, a supporter of Occupy London Stock Exchange said:

"We have seen people kettled, grabbed and thrown off the steps forcefully by the police. This was entirely unnecessary. No-one came here to have a fight with the police. The only crime that the police can pin on people is one of having a conversation about real democracy and the unfair and unequal economic system that favours the rich and powerful."

After what returned to a calm and engaged night at the camp, with music and workhops ongoing, Canon Giles Fraser of St Pauls emerged from the cathedral earlier this morning, before the service (16.10.11) to address the crowds of people who had stayed overnight.  He defended the right to protest saying:

People have a right to protest and I'm very happy that people have that right to protest. People have generally been respectful and I have asked the police to leave, they are going to be doing so in a second. It seems to me that all is well and calm”.

I've seen what is going on and it seems to be that there doesn't need police force in the numbers that there have been, so I have asked them to move and they have done. All is well and there is a very calm atmosphere”

Canon Giles Fraser also commented to an occupier that although he was not at St Pauls last night, he had asked the police to leave, but that they had refused to do. 

Canon Fraser then invited occupiers to the morning service at St Pauls. Andy Rogers, an occupier said:

We've now been welcomed by St Pauls which is brilliant and we really want to extend that invitation to everyone at home. We are here to talk about the role that the financial sector, government and corporate greed have in ruining the lives of ordinary people and how we can bring about change, as you can see here, by working together, we can make a difference”

People from OccupyLSX are in dialogue with Canon Fraser to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible for worshippers at the cathedral and their new neighbours.

Ends

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