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Occupy the Streets: voices from inside the London protest

Catuxa Argibay

26th October, 2011

It started in Wall Street but has now spread to cities all over the world. The Ecologist visited the London demonstration against financial greed and inequality to hear what activists had to say...

It is a movement that has no specific demands but has captured the imagination of thousands across the globe. Starting out in the New York financial district it has attempted to focus attention on corporate greed and the inequalities of the current financial system.

The Ecologist spoke to protestors outside St. Paul's Cathedral, near the London Stock Exchange, to find out more about their hopes and motivations.

Henry Kerr, 24, nurse

'I came here because of a frustration and wanting to discuss it with other people. And for the experience of seeing how the community is set-up and works. It’s been interesting to talk to people with all kinds of opinions and from all walks of life. I certainly think a message is getting across. The camp protest itself is self-organised – the food is run by a permaculture group with one chef taking on the responsibility of feeding 100s of people everyday. There is a meeting tent, where people meet to discuss ways forward – it was here that the constitution was made on the first day.

'This may or may not be the start of a revolution but that’s not the point for me, it is about being here and seeing it. The current mode of living isn’t working and everyone agrees with that. We are living beyond our resources and messing things up for future generations. What we do about is a huge question-mark that we should do something about.
'

Tulsi Leigh, 18, music student

'I have this belief that everyone should be equal and I want to make a difference by coming here. I don't just want to experience things... I want to make a difference. And everyday we come here does make a difference because it is not just "another" day.'

Kasrani, 31, magician

'We are here for humanity. I've been here 10 days and am prepared to stay as long as possible to help get the message across. We don't have a real democracy. That is where everyone's voice is heard. Only those people with money or who are working as a slave to higher powers have a voice at the moment.'

Kai Noitulover, 20, building surveyor

'A lot of people have said we don't have a very clear message. It is not that we have the answers to all of these astronomical problems. But we can provide an example to others. There are people here from all walks of life, all getting on and we're a self-supporting community.

'There are a lot of people getting shafted, I'm not sure about the evil one per cent tag but i think a lot of people are not using there money properly. For example, corporations running the oil industry know how to make efficient and electric cars but fossil fuels make them so much money they don't want to think about them.

'Everyday we are out here another person may come and talk to us and think about what is going on. And one day soon we will change something for the better.'

Cohm, 47, self-sufficient

'The money system is so messed up with greed. Everybody wants more and more when really you have enough to be happy. We live in a consumer society where you are not anyone unless you've got the entire contents of Argos in your living room and it bogs you down. For example, some people don't even know you can cut the top off a carrot and re-plant it. If you live in a community like this you can live a happy life, you're surrounded by friends all the time.

'I believe people are waking up and realising something is not right.
If you want change then be the change you want. And if two people become that change then maybe 4 will and then maybe 8...but you have to start somewhere.'

Find out more:

Occupy Wall Street
Occupy London

 


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