15 October 2011

down with global KKKrapitalism!

Wall St protests spread to global stage

The protests against the global financial system that have swept across the US in the past month have spread to the international stage, inspiring offshoot occupations in London, Sydney, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Toronto and other cities.
A “global day of protest” is planned for Saturday in at least 868 cities in 78 countries. Organisers say they are broadly in favour of greater democracy in global financial and political systems.
“Undemocratic international institutions are our global Mubarak, our global Assad, our global Gaddafi,” said a statement from Egality, an activist group that is helping co-ordinate the global protests.
Shimri Zameret, a co-ordinator for Egality, said that events such as the Arab spring, the student-led protest movement in Chile and Spain’s indignados , or outraged, who have been demonstrating against joblessness and austerity measures, were all part of the same global movement demanding greater democracy and fairness.
The inspiration for Saturday’s protests is the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US, which began in New York last month with the occupation of Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, but has since spread to cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco.


On this story

In London, hundreds – or possibly thousands – of activists are expected to march on the London Stock Exchange and occupy nearby Paternoster Square, a business development which houses Goldman Sachs’ investment management business.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has come under criticism for lacking a clear agenda. Many of those planning to attend the London rally emphasise that they would have more specific ideas and proposals.
“[We are] reclaiming space in the face of the financial system and using it to voice ideas for how we can work towards a better future. A future free from austerity, growing inequality, unemployment, tax injustice and a political elite who ignores its citizens, and work towards concrete demands to be met,” said Occupy LSX, the demonstration’s organiser.
Organisers say the London protest will adopt the same format as the US occupations and will attempt to remain in the square for as long as possible.
Because Paternoster Square, is privately owned, however, the police may have the power to remove activists who try to set up camp there.
The police said they were aware of the protest and that “appropriate policing was in place”. The LSE and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on Saturday’s planned events.
In New York, 14 protesters were arrested on Friday as they marched towards Wall Street, police said. But a larger showdown was averted on Friday morning after the owner of Zuccotti Park, Brookfield Properties, postponed a move to clear them out for cleaning.
Brookfield Properties had told the demonstrators to leave the park by 7am Friday so the area could be cleaned. Brookfield had asked the New York Police Department to clear the park and the administration of Michael Bloomberg, New York mayor, had said protesters must leave temporarily.
Shortly before the 7am deadline, however, the city said Brookfield had put off the cleaning operation.
A statement from Cas Holloway, New York deputy mayor, said: “Brookfield believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown, and we will continue to monitor the situation.”
Occupy Wall Street participants had called Brookfield’s cleaning plans an “eviction” and urged their supporters to come to the park early Friday morning for a “non-violent action”. The group also organised clean-up crews that worked on Thursday to sweep and mop the park ahead of the deadline.
“The fact they backed down is a clear sign that this movement is demonstrating a lot of power,” said Yotam Marom, who has been living in Zuccotti Park over the past month.
Unions, celebrities and politicians have come out in support of the movement’s calls to regulate the financial sector, reduce economic inequality and end what they say is an overly close involvement between corporations and politics.
“Aside from our personal feelings about corporate greed, we found out yesterday that our union had endorsed Occupy Wall Street,” said Richard Addeo, a 60-year-old electrician from New Jersey who came out on Friday with fellow members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “We have to honor what they say and we also believe in it.”
Last week, President Barack Obama said the protests “express the frustration” of ordinary Americans with the financial sector.
Some corporate executives have also said they understand protesters’ grievances. Laurence Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, said on Thursday that he was “very encouraged” by the protests and surprised they had not occurred sooner. He said that it would also be foolish to “turn our back on this protest movement.”
But the movement has drawn criticism as well. John Paulson, the hedge fund manager, said in a statement this week: “Instead of vilifying our most successful businesses, we should be supporting them and encouraging them to remain in New York City and continue to grow.”
Mr Paulson’s Manhattan home was one stop on a “millionaires march” organised earlier this week by community activists to call on the richest Americans to “pay their fair share”.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

No comments: