On Saturday 15th October, around 4000 - 5000 people earnestly took to the streets, speaking out against corporate greed and economic equality.
The police were quick to issue sanctions against the occupation of Paternoster Square, but an unlikely sanctuary was provided by St Paul's Cathedral. The steps of this iconic London landmark received a host of peaceful protesters as they began their general assemblies and planned a course of action in the same vein as Occupy Wall Street.
Purportedly, the police tried to disperse protesters from St. Paul's, but this was against the wishes of Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser. Dr Fraser, welcoming of the people who occupied the steps, asked the police to move on. A sublime and symbolic symphony of goodwill democracy, Dr Fraser said;
"People have a right to protest and I'm very happy that people have that right to protest. People have generally been respectful and I have asked the police to leave, they are going to be doing so in a second. It seems to me that all is well and calm."
View the BBC piece here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/15329004
Andy Rogers, an occupier, spoke of this development:
"We've now been welcomed by St Paul's which is brilliant and we really want to extend that invitation to everyone at home. We are here to talk about the role that the financial sector, government and corporate greed have in ruining the lives of ordinary people and how we can bring about change, as you can see here, by working together, we can make a difference."
Ronan McNern, another occupier, said:
"Our movement for change transcends political affiliation - you don't have to be left or right."
Ronan went on to describe the occupy protest as a "much needed conversation about changes in the financial sector and government, so that they better serve and protect the interests and wellbeing of the country."
The UK mainstream media have been fairly affable towards the movement by granting airtime and ink; the antipodal of Occupy Wall Street where the U.S media largely ignored the protests for an exorbitant amount of time. When the media wave did hit in the U.S, the mainstream dealt their hand with an intent to malign. As ever with the internet, mainstream news received the reality check that has long been missing. The Fox News network hosted an interview with Occupy Wall Street protester, Jesse LaGreca, who gave an emotive but measured perspective on just what the Occupy movement is all about. Fox News decided not to air the piece, but the internet launched Jesse's message in its entirety. The Jesse and Fox News encounter encompasses all that's wrong with how the media has handled the movement. Jesse LaGreca was later given an official platform to speak via the Alyona Show on the RT network.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the UK press have followed the Occupy London Stock Exchange, but there are those who hopelessly miss the point. In the Sky Newspapers Review, Amy Lamé , writer/broadcaster and Huffington Post UK blogger, and Andrew Gilligan, the London editor for the Telegraph, spoke on the London protests. Amy Lamé, with some degree of understanding for the Occupy movement, explained how excited she was for development of this global happening; as it stands, the occupy premise has now enveloped 80 countries and 950 protests. This type of movement is unprecedented. However, within the Sky News punditry, Andrew Gilligan of the Telegraph was quick to quash the Occupy movement saying that it had no aims and was crudely organised. He concluded that it will probably fizzle out and had no real chance of being heard or going further. Amy Lamé was right to point out how ludicrous his comments were given how far the occupy movement has come, and how much of the globe has already subscribed.
Mr Gilligan also fully misrepresented the slogan of "We Are The 99%" which has become the symbolic strap-line of Occupy. The 99% banner represents the loose notion that 1% of the population hold the world's wealth, and the 99% are now dangerously disengaged and left with complete social disparity. At no point do the occupiers claim they represent anyone but themselves, they do not represent 99% of us as Mr Andrew Gilligan suggested; they are part of 99% - included and inclusive. This is the point that mainstream reporters need to remember, and those in the mainstream media would know this if they had a finger on social issues as well as corporate.
The global Occupy protests are an organic democratic procedure that has been born out of pure frustration for the current political, media and economic climate. It's more than possible that we are in uncharted territory with history giving us no lessons on how this global movement will conclude.
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