Thursday, 19 January 2012

# 19 Occupy London - just remind me......?

The High Court has ruled that Occupy London protesters can be removed from their camp outside St Paul's Cathedral. Really? Gosh, I had no idea these guys were still there. Can someone remind me what they were protesting about in the first place?

And have they REALLY been living in tents for the last three months. I heard it was more symbolic these days and everyone went home for a hot bath and a square meal at the end of a hard day at the encampment. This was a suggestion made by the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph but hotly contested by protesters.

Protesting is all very well, but it has to make an impact without isolating those people you want on your side - the general public. You don't want to get violent like last year's horrendous state of affairs (which turned into nothing more than an excuse for violence) and you don't want it to go on for so long that people forget you're even doing it anymore.

I guess for the people who have to step over them each day it has been a constant reminder and I don't suppose the protesters endeared themselves to that section of the community who were just as much victims of corporate greed as anyone else. They certainly wouldn't have made friends with the 'powers that be' trying to keep St Paul's open and attracting tourists.

The protest which was against 'Corporate Greed' doesn't seem to have had much of an impact either. I'm not even sure it's raised awareness of the condition. We know that corporates' are greedy, we know they are overpaid and the gap between rich and poor is ever widening but since when has it been any different? There is no such thing as a class-less society. That isn't the way a creature with a pecking order works. And we didn't need protesters closing down economy boosters such as tourist attractions to prove it.

Currently the protesters are additionally occupying a central London park, disused Old Street Magistrates Court and an abandoned office block in Hackney owned by a bank. Now, if you wanted to put your money where your mouth was you should have moved on to the steps of the Bank of England, or one of the other huge companies reaping rewards during recession time, not one of our capital's top landmarks and some derelict office space.

Whilst their initial target was the London Stock Exchange the protesters plans were thwarted by the police and they instead moved on to St Paul's. But why pick on them? I appreciate it is supposed to be a peaceful protest, but what sort of impact does occupying an empty building or a House of God make? Well several of the St Paul's authorities resigned their positions because of it for a start. Was that the impact they wanted to have?

David Cameron is now addressing issues regarding excessive executive pay but this was bound to happen in any case because things were getting out of control. Nothing is sustainable but I can't honestly say the protest has hastened this decision. It has after all now been over three months.


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