Occupy London protesters: “This is a global movement”
31 October 2011
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to protesters involved in the Occupy London protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral. (See, "Church and City move to evict Occupy London camp".)
Rhiannon said, “I’ve been here since Monday. One of the things that got me interested was the tuition fees. After that, I have looked at everything else. Most countries are experiencing the same things. We’re not equal. The 1 percent basically has all the money. The bankers get their bonuses and they were bailed out by the government. Where is all this money going? It’s not right.
“Then you’ve got the spending cuts affecting the poor and not the 1 percent. The 1 percent need to be taxed more or something. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
“If we were able to get everyone on board, we’d be more likely to change something. We’re getting more people involved, and hopefully people will realise something does need to change.”
Tom explained, “This is the third weekend I’ve been down in a row. I can’t be here all the time because I have a full-time job, but I’d like to be here more often. It’s highlighting really important issues that affect everyone: world poverty, inequality.
“This government is just hell-bent on privatising everything in this country and is not listening to anyone. Our current prime minister was elected by only 23 percent of the electorate. That’s not democratic in anyway. The fact he’s running the country, it’s a joke.
“This is a global movement, it started at Wall Street and now it’s at the Bank of England. That’s very symbolic because the global economy is so connected, and you saw this week that Europe again was bailed out somehow by money we don’t have.
“Everyone is starting to recognise that the monetary system we live under doesn’t take place in the real world. It doesn’t appear they’ve learnt anything from 2008. They said then that this is the point that we reform things, but they didn’t do that at all. They carried on in the same way, continuing to give the banks lots of money. And now instead of the banks being in debt, we have sovereign debt where countries are in massive debt, and now we don’t have any money to pay for anything. Now that’s affecting the people. The people who these decisions affect need to be the people who make the decisions. Not the FTSE 100 people.
“I’d say 70 percent of the media in this country is right-wing. It’s not surprising because they’re owned by large corporations. They are there to represent their interests, not the interests of the people. So it’s not surprising that they find any way to attack the protests. One minute they attack us as dole scroungers, saying, "Why aren’t you at work?' Then they act surprised when we’re not here all days of the week because we have jobs to go to. It’s just anything to attack us.”
Referring to the assaults on the Occupy camps in the US, Tom said, “The police are the most violent organisation in America. It’s happening here as well. I like to think and hope that because the camp is outside this church, you won’t get the same violence from the police as you see in America.”
On the Democratic Party in the US, Tom added, “Obama was on the Late Show the other night saying we need to fix this and that, but he didn’t say that people are on the streets because Barack Obama receives more corporate sponsorship from Wall Street than any other president in America. Go back to 2008 and look at the donors to Obama and McCain, and they’re pretty much the same.
“We’ve seen it again the other week with the [Defence Secretary Liam] Fox resignation. There’s too many people in government, in parliament influencing what’s going on because they have money and represent the vested interests of their corporations.”