Monday, 17 October 2011

Occupy LSX - Eye witness report

After much jazzhands and posturing via steering committees, and much lentil bake consumed, the protesters at St Pauls Cathedral have finally issued their demands.

1 The current system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; this is where we work towards them.

2 We are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities, dis/abilities and faiths. We stand together with occupations all over the world.

3 We refuse to pay for the banks' crisis.

4 We do not accept the cuts as either necessary or inevitable. We demand an end to global tax injustice and our democracy representing corporations instead of the people.

5 We want regulators to be genuinely independent of the industries they regulate.

6 We support the strike on 30 November and the student action on 9 November, and actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment, and to stop wars and arms dealing.

7 We want structural change towards authentic global equality. The world's resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich.

8 We stand in solidarity with the global oppressed and we call for an end to the actions of our government and others in causing this oppression.

9 This is what democracy looks like. Come and join us!

I visited yesterday to see what all the fuss was about. A couple of hundred of the usual suspects were there. When you are a political activist you get to see quite a few of the same people at any protest from fox hunting to ban the bomb and sure enough, a rich seam of swivel eyed loons, frothing at the mouth and ranting about chem trails, 9/11 and fluoride in the water seemed to be the main agenda.

It became clear they had no agenda other than to simply be there in case anything important happened. It didn’t. Eventually, the self appointed “leader” decided that everyone should huddle together and make up a list of “demands”. See above.

No one is more disappointed than me. There seems to be a genuine movement building to expose the connection between our corrupt politicians and our corrupt bankers and simply say STOP, something which always has had my full support. However, much to my dismay, it wasn’t long before I uncovered the usual piles of Socialist Worker in the recycling bins along with “Stop the Cuts” and “Hands off our benefits” placards.

I sat down with a few and tried to ascertain why they were there. 50 different people gave 50 different answers, all of them involved protecting public sector jobs, abolishing student fees and maintaining a massive welfare state. Oh, and don’t give the banks any more money., And some unicorn tears to make it all better. You can’t use logic to get people out of a mindset logic didn’t get them into. Why are you at the Stock Exchange, I asked? We hate corporations, they answered whilst tweeting on their iPads and sipping a Starbucks Latte – I was deafened by Irony Klaxons blasting in my ears. Wall Street companies were bailed out but the London Stock Exchange has never borrowed money in my name, so why not go to Parliament or the Banks, where the real cowards and thieves live? “Erm…the church here has been really nice to us”

Bottom line? These protesters want MORE taxes, an enlarged welfare state, a bigger Government, State jobs and death to bankers – and a bath. Marx would have been proud of them. I give them a fortnight at most. The Police have already removed the portaloos and it can’t be long before Starbucks and Pizza Express get fed up with toilets blocked by Lentil casserole and organic dysentery. As much as I hoped people had woken up from the stupor of a decade of Labour benefit addiction, the OccupyLSX protest is nothing more than a cold turkey sweat of the terminal welfare junkies.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

PS, I'm sure you will all love my Blottr column today


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