Day 13: #OccupyLSX

Report and pictures by Peter Arkell

The Occupy London Stock Exchange camps at St. Pauls Cathedral and at nearby Finsbury Square continue to wrong-foot the authorities that are lining up to try to evict them. The Corporation of London was meeting today to attempt to put together a plan of action to end the occupation, but legal action could take months. The Tory mayor Boris Johnson has called for action to disperse the camps, and prime minister David Cameron has weighed in with his views too.

Occupy day 13
A new form of Monopoly at the St Pauls site, and the question that the church seems unable to answer with a united voice--“What would Jesus do?”

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey questioned the strategy of the St Pauls Cathedral authorities and said the reputation of Christianity was being damaged: “How could the dean and chapter at St. Paul`s have let themselves get into such a position?” He goes on to repeat as fact the story that only 10% of tents are occupied at night, which was an accusation subsequently proved to be anecdotal. He uses this false information to mount a stinging attack on the protesters, questioning their commitment to their cause and accusing them of duping the cathedral authorities.

OccupyLSX day13
About 50 people from the camp at St. Pauls walked behind a piper to the Royal Exchange building, next to the Bank of England, for a workshop on the economy and the 25th anniversary of the Big Bang in the city

The occupiers have meanwhile put out their own set of demands and questions.  They call for democratic reform of the City of London Corporation and describe city institutions as unconstitutional and unfair. “The risk-taking of the banks has made our lives precarious—they are accountable to no one but themselves, unduly influencing government policy across the centuries both at home and abroad. This is not democracy”.

They call for an end to business and corporate block votes in all council elections, which can be used to outvote local residents, for transparent reform of city institutions in order to end corporate tax evasion, for the de-commissioning of the City of London police force and for the abolition of the offices of Lord Mayor of London, the Sherriffs and the Aldermen.

Below: The Finsbury Square site

28 October 2011

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