Despite the weather turning to the chilly side the 'Occupy the London Stock Exchange' movement appears to be setting up with a long campaign in mind.
Having been prevented from occupying the privately owned Paternoster Square in which the London Stock Exchange is situated, the 300-500 strong group of protestors elected to set up camp on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.
And then they received help from a slightly unexpected quarter in that the canon chancellor of St Paul’s, the Rev Dr Giles Fraser, welcomed them and asked the police to hold off as the demonstrators were not a threat to the building.
The Reverend said:
"The police were trying to protect the building for us which was very good of them. I asked them if they'd leave because I didn't feel it needed that sort of protection. They didn't do any damage and church went off as normal this morning. It has all been very peaceful. I am very much in favour of people's right to protest peacefully. We have only seen good-natured protesters and police doing their job."
The Occupy London Stock Exchange (occupylondon.org.uk/ – #OccupyLSX) has issued an initial statement as follows, which it says is a work in progress:
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 the 30th November and the student action on the 9th 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!
Some may see this as a temporary niggle that will die away given a bit of time. But with their some 100 tents, field kitchen, portable toilets and generator powered media zone it begins to look like serious, well organised stuff. There is also a strong ‘pick up your litter’ message, presumably learning lessons from Occupy Wall Street.
This could well now snowball. But they do have obstacles to overcome, the main two being the weather as winter nears and the approaching festive season.