Occupy Wall Street: Demonstrations Held In Cities Around The World
Demonstrators have taken to the streets in cities around the globe.
Inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York, demonstrations have been held in Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rome, Toronto and London. The targets for many of the rallies are the institutions of the global financial system. Demonstrations are planned for more than 80 countries.
In London, thousand of protesters gathered near the London Stock Exchange in the heart of the city. The Telegraph reported that around 1,000 demonstrators were in attendance.
The BBC reported the figure to be between 4,000 and 6,000. All were there to voice their discontent at financial corruption, corporate greed and government cutbacks.
"The richest 10 per cent of the UK population have a combined personal wealth of £4 million, million. A one-off 20 per cent tax on those people would raise £800 billion," he said.
"Those people can afford it, they'd feel no pain, and they’re so fabulously wealthy.
"With that sum of money you could pay off the entire government deficit. No need for any public spending cuts."
He also said the Tobin Tax could raise “at least £100 billion a year… allowing the government to clear the deficit”.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange also addressed the crowd, fighting his way through protesters and police before speaking on the steps of St Paul's.
"People are being ordered to Guantanamo Bay to obey the rule of law, and money is being laundered through the Caymen Islands and London to obey the rule of law," he said.
"This movement is not about the destruction of law, but the construction of law."
According to the BBC, more than 50,000 demonstrators gathered in Rome, galvanised by their dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his government.
Italy has recently been downgraded by Standard & Poor’s, while Berlusconi has been blighted by confidence votes and allegations of corruption. The protests, which gathered near the Colosseum, turned violent when demonstrators attacked property and a government ministry. Cars were set on fire and a police van was overturned.
Italian Police have reportedly used tear gas to quell the crowd.
Around 500 people gathered in Tokyo, while similar numbers were reported in Hong Kong. According to The Telegraph, around 600 protesters “set up camp outside Australia's central bank” in Sydney.
Madrid, Dublin and Frankfurt have also seen demonstrations.
Earlier in the UK, campaign organisations, including direct action group UK Uncut, said they would support an occupation of the heart of the capital's financial centre as part of a "global movement for real democracy" to highlight social and economic injustice.
The Occupy London Stock Exchange collective said a Facebook page on the protest had attracted more than 13,000 followers, with more than 5,000 confirmed attendees.
Laura Taylor, a supporter of the so-called OccupyLSX, said: "Why are we paying for a crisis the banks caused? More than a million people have lost their jobs and tens of thousands of homes have been repossessed, while small businesses are struggling to survive.
"Yet bankers continue to make billions in profit and pay themselves enormous bonuses, even after we bailed them out with £850 billion."
Another supporter, Kai Wargalla, said: "We want to make our voices heard against greed, corruption and for a democratic, just society. We stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, protesters in Spain, Greece and the Middle East who started this movement. They have inspired people all over the world to step forward and make their voices heard."
UK Uncut supporter Peter Hodgson said: "The success of the square occupations across Spain in calling for democracy and an end to austerity, alongside the rapid growth of the Wall Street occupation, has shown that this is what is needed in London and the UK. The Government is ignoring its electorate as they impose these austerity measures."
OccupyLSX issued a statement which said: "The words corporate greed ring through the speeches and banners of protests across the globe.
"After huge bailouts and in the face of unemployment, privatisation and austerity, we still see profits for the rich on the increase. But we are the 99%, and on October 15 our voice unites across gender and race, across borders and continents, as we call for equality and justice for all.
"In London, we will occupy the Stock Exchange, 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."
Via HuffPost Miami:
When an Occupy Miami member offered evicted protestors vacant apartments in a building he owns in Downtown Miami's Overtown neighborhood, it seemed like the perfect solution: the 'Peace City' space would provide headquarters for the movement and shelter a small faction of the group's most vulnerable members. But it hasn't gone well. Other tenants say the building has become a cesspool of drug use and violence while non-resident Occupy Miami members are trying to distance themselves from the 'radicals' -- all while the two factions are wrestling for control over Occupy Miami's social media sites and future plans.
The feud between the Overtown occupiers and more mainstream members has only gotten worse. The two factions are now battling for control of Occupy Miami's social media sites. The movement's main Twitter account recently announced it had been "hijacked by a small, non-consensus group of radical members." The Occupy Miami Facebook page was also temporarily hacked by someone inside Peace City. Meanwhile, the Overtown occupation is slowly driving away more moderate members.
"This is a black eye on the Occupy movement," says Shannon Reaze, an Overtown community organizer and Occupy Miami supporter who is now helping tenants move out of Paz's building. "The violence and drugs going on here are way outside of what I thought Occupy stood for. This place is destabilized."
...The supposedly hard-core activists here spend their days drinking and getting high. And as Peace City devolves into lawlessness, the most committed occupiers are leaving. Local landowners and politicians want the place shut down, while cops are suspicious. Yet as long as Paz wants the protesters around, nothing short of a demolition order can keep them out.
Via HuffPost DC:
WASHINGTON -- Occupy DC has a new lawsuit involving tents on its hands. But it doesn't involve temporary structures in McPherson Square.
Two protesters arrested during a February action outside Merrill Lynch's offices on 15th Street NW near McPherson Square have filed suit against the Metropolitan Police Department, Legal Times reports. (Read the complaint here.)
The plaintiffs, Samuel Dukore and Kelly Canavan, were part of a "targeted occupation" of Merrill Lynch on Feb. 13 where protesters were raising awareness about Merrill Lynch's reportedly close ties with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Issa, for his part, claims that the reports of these close ties are "wildly inaccurate."
Full story here.
OWS reports via its website:
After the brutal attack on the attempted re-occupation of Liberty Square by NYPD on the 6-month anniversary of #OWS, a number of Occupiers have relocated their base of occupation to Union Square in midtown Manhattan, a point of convergence for several #OWS protests over the past 6 months.
According to reports on the ground, several dozen people slept in the park after the illegal and violent raid on Liberty Square. Over 70 people remain, now on Day 3. Although tents and tables are still banned, Occupiers have brought blankets and sleeping gear. Many are calling it ¨the new Occupation.¨ In addition to holding General Assemblies, Union Square Occupiers are providing vital jail support for those arrested on #M17 as they are released from NYPD custody. So far, the NYPD has made no attempt to remove Occupiers or prevent them from sleeping in the park.
Occupy Long Beach is defending the mother's home. For more information, click here.
Cecily McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street activist once profiled in Rolling Stone, suffered a seizure Saturday night during protest action near Zuccotti Park. Many on-scene reported Ms. McMillan had trouble breathing after she was tackled and handcuffed by law enforcement.
A video uploaded to Youtube late Saturday night purports to show the attack. Two women can be heard commenting, “There’s Cecily,” then there is confusion as the police clearly perform a violent take-down on someone in the crowd.
According to Jeff Sharlet’s November, 2011 article about the Occupy Movement, this may be Ms. McMillan’s second violent encounter with police.
To read the full story, go here.
Cops caught on video about 10 seconds in taking down the woman who had the apparent seizure:
Watch video from inside Zuccotti Park as police moved in late last night:
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The paper reports from last night's chaos at Zuccotti Park:
At one point, a woman who appeared to be suffering from seizures flopped on the ground in handcuffs as bystanders shouted for the police to remove the cuffs and provide medical attention. For several minutes the woman lay on the ground as onlookers made increasingly agonized demands until an ambulance arrived and the woman was placed inside.
By 12:20 a.m., a line of officers pushed against some of the remaining protesters, forcing them south on Broadway, at times swinging batons and shoving people to the ground.
Kobi Skolnick, 30, said that officers pushed him in several directions and that as he tried to walk away, he was struck from behind in the neck. “One of the police ran and hit me with a baton,” he said.
To read the full story, go here.
|@ Greg_Palast : Our photographer ZD Roberts beaten @OWS Zucotti Park by cops. Thrown to ground, hair grabbd, hit with clubs while yelling, I'M PRESS PRESS!|
|@ macfathom : Doubling east on Barclay, and now the ragged front of the march is at City Hall. #OWS|
|@ LuddoftheFuture : girl in the street having a seizure and the cops have her in handcuffs. can this get any worse (live at http://t.co/4pLyy3gP)|
Activists cry out for paramedics. The woman is limp on the ground. "Come on you violent bastards where's the paramedics?"
|@ jeffrae : March is heading north up broadway #ows #occupywallstreet|
|@ macfathom : Dozens of arrests, many cuffed and sitting on broadway waiting for their ride to jail. #OWS|
|@ RDevro : Police are barricading the park. It's cleared. I witnessed countless violent arrests. No way to estimate numbers.|
Cops pulling apart human chains. There are shouts for mic checks. Now, chants start forming. "The NYPD are sweeping through," says Tim on the live stream.
|@ ANIMALNewYork : NYPD just made an announcement that Brookfield has to "clean the park" and Liberty Plaza is officially "closed."|
|@ OccupyWallStNYC : Bagpipers just started marching into the park bringing the party mood with them, NYPD arrested one of them, and things got real heated. #OWS|
|@ JackieHRye : NYPD just "destroyed" the tent in Zuccotti Park, Occupiers call for its re-building. Marching band also going through the park. #OWS|
|@ RDevro : The tent in the middle of the park continues to fill with people planning to stay the night. Lots of energy here.|
Activists ask for more room as the tent is growing, expanding.
"It looks like a floating tent." -- as Tim on his live stream.
|@ OccupyWallStNYC : .@justawall is leading us in a song! "Hit the road, banks! And don't ya come back no more no more no more no more!" #OWS|
Activists have assembled make-shift, cardboard sleeping areas inside Zuccotti Park. The cardboard is joined by a large green tarp.