Festive start to Occupy Democracy’s election action
Report by Corinna Lotz; photos Peter Arkell
Occupy Democracy’s 10-day festival outside Parliament kicked off on May Day. Peace activists were already on the pavement facing the Palace of Westminster as part of their round the clock picket, supported by anti-war campaigners and even an anti-nuclear dog.
Friday’s highlights included an inspiring performance by Stop Shopping Choir, a New York-based radical performance community.
The crowd cheered when singer/story-teller Dragonfly announced that six Baltimore police officers had been charged over the shooting of Freddie Gray. They joined in a clenched-fist salute as she listed black people killed by US police in recent months.
Occupy Democracy activist George Barda called on people to join in, because “history shows us that the extension of our democratic rights has not been led by politicians, but has been forced onto the agenda by the actions of mass movements such as the Chartists and the Suffragettes.”
Steve Freeman, Republican Socialist candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark won support for his campaign for a truly democratic socialist alternative to the Wesminster system.
A lively programme continues until Sunday 10 May, when the Democratic Reform party, Assemblies for Democracy will host Re-imagining Democracy – towards a citizens assembly on the constitution.
2 May 2015