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Monday, 14 November 2011

As the occupy movement grows, its influence grows with it

The Occupy the London Stock Exchange nears its first month in occupation October 15th the day it was set up. Its influence and effect it is having in the wider population and political debate is still as sharp as when it set up camp i believe. At first many on the left who had been involved in protests and demonstrations for years were a little sceptical but following brutal attempts from the police and security to remove occupiers from locations around the world we can be in no doubt this is here to stay and we must support this movement.

Many on the right are confused and unsure what to make of the movement and throw cheap reactionary bile at it as its all they know. They tend to focus on the debarcle with St Pauls Cathedral rather than engaging in a debate about the real reason why the anti capitalist protesters are there in the first place.

The original idea was to set up camp in the square mile of the city but as this was private property they were moved off and the next nearest place they could put down camp was outside St Pauls. This was unfortuante as moved the debate towards the church and the troubles that encountered have been well documented sadly.

But for this movement to get its message across and i firmly believe it is doing so now. It must remain true to its original values of what it was originally set up for.
I believe the democratic nature of the occupations and their intentions to debate and discuss teh best way forward for the 99% is good and healthy. The right and the political class aer so used to not using or practising true democracy this is a alien concept to them.

Following Occupy London Stock Exchange (LSX), and similar protests in Glasgow, Nottingham, Bristol and Newcastle, among others, a group has established Occupy Bradford outside the city hall on Centenary Square.

One supporter of the camp had been to Occupy Wall Street in the US. Several people brought donations of food. One person turned up to argue with the occupiers but went away supportive, saying he would come back to discuss further the following day!

But more than anything, the campers want to discuss with people how to break the monopoly of the top 1% over political and financial decision making and create a society that would benefit the 99%.

Supporters of the English Defence League attacked Occupy Newcastle campers early in the morning of 30 October. This followed a daytime demonstration by the racist group on 29 October which harassed the camp. We, the 99%, need to unite to fight for jobs, homes and services, and defeat the EDL which wants to spread racist division.
St Pauls
An Occupy LSX camper spoke to the Socialist about the threat by St Paul's Cathedral and the City of London Corporation to evict the occupation.

"The protesters have been cooperating with the cathedral managers; the crisis among them is of their own making, they know they will be seen in a very bad light if they help with eviction orders.

The City of London Corporation has led the way in seeking to evict us and has applied pressure on the cathedral, but the Corporation may now have to go it alone.

We are still defiant and determined to continue, and have now occupied a third site - Northampton Square. We need to make sure that the publicity over the problems of St Pauls doesn't prevent our anti-capitalist message getting out. Despite the wide range of differing political views at the camp, the 'Capitalism is Crisis' banner raised at the start of the occupation encompasses very many voices here.

The outreach working group needs to continue its work making strong links with the student unions, unions and anti-cuts organisations and we need to democratically debate our demands to move back to other crucial issues like capital finance and its effects on the 99%.

We urge new supporters to come and join us - everybody is welcome. We are in the 'belly of the beast' here, and every extra person will help with our impact."

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