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Occupy LSX - BBC Inside Out

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The camp set up here at St Paul’s by the Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters, has been going for over two weeks now, with some saying they’ll still be here come Christmas and even beyond. Now whatever the particular politics of the protesters here, it’s clear that they have focused widespread public anger at the worst excesses of the banking sector. Our reporter Richard Adams has been following the protesters these past few days to find out more about the inner workings of tent city. It’s another early morning in the heart of the city and a new arrival has just taken occupancy of her temporary home. If you’re going to film like a Blue Peter that’s gone wrong, I have never, set up a tent up. I’m a 49 year old woman. I don’t often bunk in a tent with a stranger in the streets of London. This is the most abstract thing I think I’ve possibly ever done. I think that’ll do it. When I sleep in a tent, I represent at least 50 people who would do that, if they could escape the fact that they are trapped in mortgages. I don’t need to sleep on a street in London. I’m not a professional protester. I just care about the future Like hundreds of others, Tina, a grandma from Blackpool, felt compelled to join the occupation, at St Paul’s Cathedral. I’m Lucy and this is Ramona, and we’re down here at the occupation, because we really believe in a fairer and more just society and believe that protest is one of the ways of achieving this. There are so many people, from so many different walks of life, that are willing to contribute to this. They realise that the system’s not going to get better if they ignore it and have never met such a more diverse group of people all with the same intention in mind. What began on Wall Street has spread to, astonishingly, almost 1000 cities across the world. There have been scenes of violence in some, like Melbourne and Lisbon, and even tear gas was used in Oakland, USA. Even the fact that everybody left, they kept shooting. But in London, it’s been a peaceful protest. The only flashpoint, a minor scuffle on the first day of the occupation. Shame on you, shame on you, Since then, the occupation has not only spread across the capital, but developed into a unique, self-sustaining community The recycling is going beautifully, the kitchen functions phenomenally. People from London drop in every morning and drop off supplies. Everything in this kitchen has been donated, from the marquee that we’re standing in to the tables, chopping boards, the knives. On average there’s probably a good three hundred - four hundred people turn up to our main mealtimes and we’re feeding people 24 hours as well. After spending some time on the site there was clearly a sense of community and organisation. "Volunteers please!" It felt like the protesters had thought of everything. I discovered a media tent, a kitchen, a university and even a hairdressers. You came here to learn about political thought and protest, but you’re actually getting a free haircut as well. That’s not bad. It’s actually not a free haircut, is it Lewis? It’s a haircut that comes with a proviso, Lewis gives haircuts if you discuss politics. The economic crisis lecture, starting in the university tent now! At tent university, lectures are timetabled throughout the day. You need things like the tent university to give people the seeds of ideas of alternatives. We need to be proposing alternatives, not just simply, you know, bashing the system. They are the key macroeconomic factors in our economy. At the heart of the site, is the Tech Tent, where all communications and future movements are plotted. The Tech Tent’s like cyber world. You go in and it’s amazing and it’s full of wires and a tech team and they’re sending out on social media. Over at the library, donations are always welcome. If you’re not up to speed on the economics of the current situation and how it happened, you could come here and have a little read, educate yourself on that. But perhaps my most surprising discovery was that the occupation had its own football team, Occupy FC. We turned up on Saturday, for the original protest, me and my mate Kieran. And we were round the corner and we kind of thought ah, what did we forget? A football. We were going to bring a football. So we started this Occupy FC thing and then the other idea we had was to go and do an Occupy World Cup, where we play against teams from other occupations around the world. Although we’re worried that Spain might win that one. Please follow the samba band [repeat] Please follow the samba band To an undisclosed, secret location Suddenly, we were on the march, to a new occupation on Finsbury Square in Moorgate Occupation complete! With the occupancy spreading, there was still no sign of vacating the original site, despite calls to leave from the then Dean of St Pauls. The protesters have have won their day. You have listened, I have listened, the world has listened and the world has seen. And I think that is why we now say, It's been achieved. May we move on? Praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive His Holy word. The decision to close the Cathedral for the first time since World War 2, cast doubt on the longevity of the camp. Let’s face it, the church didn’t have to close. The camp has been so strong at responding to all the health and safety regulations. The key feature to the letter from the church was that they were missing out on revenue. Part of the donations that come to us, we were arranging to try and sort donations for St Pauls. There was never a reason for them to close their restaurant and gift shop… It’s £20,000 a day though, to keep this place open. Are the donations going to reach that amount? Oh, of course not, but, you know, there’s no reason to close. There’s more people here than ever before. There is a possibility of eviction. There is a possibility that this could turn into a civil battle, or have a civil injunction put on us So I think that this is, in the birth of this occupation, this is the the dangerous time almost. This could go any way. I’d hate to say which was it could go to be honest. That evening, the camp at St Paul’s held their General Assembly, to discuss the new site. If you haven’t heard already, we have taken Finsbury Square. [cheers] We are planning to run these as parallel sites. So we definitely need a lot of people to stay here, to make sure we can defend our space here at St Paul’s. The following morning, we went back to Finsbury Square to see what progress had been made. It is quite amazing to think that, it’s only been 24 hours since this new site was occupied. Over here there’s a university, where we have already seen lectures taking place. The obligatory bookshop. Back at St Paul’s, its business as usual. The most important question is, is can I have a slice? You certainly may. Although the Cathedral has now re-opened, there have been several high profile resignations from St Paul’s. I don't believe the church should sanction any course of action that could lead to violence against the protesters. Today, the Dean himself offered his resignation and with legal action now in place to evict protesters, the pressure to leave St Paul’s is growing. Now is the time for the protesters, having made their point, to move on. Whatever your thoughts about the occupancy, the inner workings of the camp are impressive. How long they remain at St Pauls though, is a question perhaps, for a higher power.

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 54 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 116
Posted by: oct15 on Jan 3, 2012


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