Monday, October 17, 2011

occupy lsx welcomes julian assange

Video - Julian Assange addresses Occupy LSX at St. Paul's Cathedral

SMH | WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has joined about 800 people at a heavily policed rally in London's financial heart, part of worldwide protests against corporate greed and budget cutbacks.

The demonstrators, some of them masked, were pushed back by police as they marched from St Paul's Cathedral to the London Stock Exchange, around the corner from the famous landmark.

There were only minor scuffles with five people arrested, three for assaulting police officers and two for public order offences, Scotland Yard said.
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"Today's protest has been largely calm and orderly," a statement said.

The demonstration went on after nightfall, with police urging protesters to leave the area.

Organisers in a group calling itself OccupyLSX were hoping for thousands of participants after some 15,000 people expressed support on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

Assange, flanked by bodyguards, received a warm reception from the demonstrators as he addressed them from the cathedral steps.

"One of the reasons why we support what is happening here in Occupy London is because the banking system in London is the recipient of corrupt money," the Australian said.

The marchers, bearing banners reading "Strike Back", "No Cuts" and "Goldman Sachs Is the Work of the Devil", were ringed by police cordons while mounted officers and vehicles stood by.

After London's police were severely criticised for being caught out by riots in August, they were clearly taking no chances on Saturday and were out in force.

"Police have a duty not just to provide a proportionate response, but to minimise the potential disruption to Londoners going about their business. This isn't an easy balance to strike," Scotland Yard said.

Ben Walker, 33, a teacher from Norwich in eastern England, was carrying a rolled-up sleeping bag and said he planned to spend one or two nights in the area.

"I'm here today mainly as a sense of solidarity with the movements that are going on around the world," he told AFP. "We're hoping for a kind of justice in the global financial system."

British student Amy Soyka, 22, who set up a tent outside the cathedral said: "I feel passionately that young people have been let down. All this hope and opportunity has been taken away from them ... it's a terrible situation and we shouldn't even be in this economic situation."

She was among a number of students at the rally. Others came from Greece, Spain, South Korea and the US.

But the protest, to the sound of guitars and drums, was overwhelmingly peaceful and the cathedral remained open to visitors.

Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and Spain's "Indignants", people took to the streets across the world during the weekend, targeting 951 cities in 82 countries.


umbrarchist said...

Does #occupywallstreet have an ideology? Doesn't it need one?

Our economists have failed algebra for 50 years.