Occupy London Pledges Solidarity After Wall Street Protesters Evicted

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Oli Scarff/ Getty Images

Since Occupy Wall Street’s earliest days, demonstrators have concentrated on certain themes which have resonated through their speeches and chants. Fairness, democracy and equality are, obviously, the major messages the movement champions. And as the Occupy movement spread around the world, another theme was pushed: solidarity. So there’s little surprise that the protesters who’ve been camped outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London are agitated by the police action against their sister protest in New York.

Early Tuesday morning, as hundreds of police officers worked to clear the camp that’s been operating in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, the London arm of the protest began tweeting updates. The camp, known for being highly organized with a media tent, a library and a de facto lecture hall known as “tent city university,” was closely following the events at Occupy Wall Street and coordinating their own plan to lend support from across the pond.

(MORE: On the Scene As Police Clear Zuccotti Park)

By mid-morning in London, many of the protesters at St. Paul’s were already in motion. Signs posted around the camp notified occupiers and passersby of the police actions in Zuccotti Park. A few of the camp’s resident mouthpieces were busy addressing the media. And others were already organizing a satellite demonstration, to be held Tuesday outside London’s U.S. embassy, in order to protest the use of force at Occupy Wall Street. The protesters plan on demanding a meeting with an ambassador.

One of Occupy London’s supporters, Adam Fitzmaurice, said in a statement that the protest wants “to know why Secretary of State Clinton feels comfortable demanding dictators such as Mubarak and Assad respect and allow peaceful protest while the NYPD, Oakland PD, Denver PD, and others across the U.S. brutally gas, pepper-spray and beat peaceful protesters to suppress dissent.”

Ronan McNern, a 36-year-old protester, was especially bothered with the news from New York in light of the police confrontations that took place in London on Monday night. A group of protesters had staged a demonstration outside of London’s Guildhall where the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet was taking place. Though Occupy London maintains the protest was peaceful, seven people were arrested. The police have said that the five of the protesters were charged with violating the U.K.’s Public Order Act, which covers myriad minor offenses, and the others were charged with indecent behavior or assault. Though the protesters had already been released on bail by the next morning, McNern noted that they’d been banned from entering London’s city center, where St. Paul’s is found. As a result, the protesters would be moving to Occupy London’s sister protest at Finsbury Square, just outside the city limits.

(PHOTOS: Police Clear Occupy Wall Street Camp)

Despite the backup option, many at St. Paul’s are frustrated with what they call “aggressive attacks” by the police. “These people, who have the right to protest and be peaceful, are not able to do that,” McNern said. Pointing to the arguably more aggressive actions by police in New York, where reports suggest at police arrested at least 70 people as they cleared the park, McNern had concerns that the City of London would resort to similar measures. “Is that what David Cameron and [Britain’s Home Secretary] Theresa May want to do to peaceful protesters?” he asked.

Of course, solidarity with Occupy Wall Street’s most recent plight could also be seen as a self-interested move to prevent the same fate happening to London’s camp.  Yet as another protester, Naomi Colvin, 31, put it, backlash to police interference should be a priority for anyone in a democratic society, whether they’re part of the Occupy movement or not. “There is no middle ground here,” she said. “You either believe we have the right to protest or we don’t.”

10 comments
sound484
sound484

I think the Dems can make a bigger story by walking out of the committee after the GOP pulls their stupid BS.

jmac
jmac

The GOP created this committee and have announced they will use "such sums as may be necessary."  


How about using that little jewel every time you report on this committee  -   and on any so-called fiscally responsible republicans you want to highlight (there are none).     How about repeating the news that's been gathered from independent reporting on what happened in Benghazi every time you report on this committee.   How about reporting that Issa to this day is using the false "stand -down" order he says came from Hillary to the Pentagon.   He's lying.    How about just openly  stating that it's a farce?  It is.  THAT'S THE NEWS. 


How about informing those low information voters?   You can do it, MSM.  Honestly, you can.  


There was a select committee on Watergate and Iran-Contra.  Talking points on a Sunday talk show don't come close to either of those.  Report it.  Over and over.   And, yes, the video mattered.  

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Nice to see Michael Crowley of TIME Magazine breaking out the pom-poms for President Obama and the Democrats.  


Mrs. Clinton is certainly going to get a scourging during these hearings.  Viewers can fully expect questions on her, "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE??!!" testimony given a while back.  She will emerge the worse for wear.  


The risk which Mr. Crowley aptly points out for the Democrats will backfire on them as well.

jmac
jmac

Low information voters were going to get a drum-beat whether Dems were there or not  -  and Benghazi has never been about what happened that night.  


The press can cover it with their usual fair and balanced twisting-in-the-wind -to appease-Fox -  or they can have their own drum beat.


As it is with climate change and the Supreme Court and whether we really had a Great Recession or not (low information voters and conservatives don't know)    - Up to you.  

oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

You're either being kind or ducking the issue by stating that "many people" in Washington media consider Benghazi to be a phony scandal. Fact is, everyone knows Benghazi is a phony scandal. Certainly everyone in media who has done their job of sifting through the committee hearings and the released documents. And if they're too lazy to do that, they can read the crib notes, i.e., the lengthy article on the subject in the NYT. I'd go so far as to say everyone on Fox knows it's a sham, but facts have never mattered to that crowd. There are votes to be harvested here and there is money to be made. If it gets the aging, angry paranoids to turn on Hannity, then it sells reverse mortgages and gold coins. And if it does that (and it does), then by George, let's get it on! I guess if I were Pelosi, I would've treated the whole thing like a parent treating a tantrum: let me know when you're done crying. But, she thought otherwise. We'll see. Bring in the clowns.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@mrbomb13 Scourging for what exactly? Please do detail what exactly she could have done to improve the efficiency of a CIA operation  that she had no control over?

tommyudo
tommyudo

@oldwhiteguy  


"You're either being kind or ducking the issue. . . "


 If you are referring to Mr. Crowley, you are correct on both counts. The MSM cowers before the GOP and their embedded partisans in the media. This is a bad decison by Pelosi . One suspects that the majority of witnesses that are going to be called will be well primed with GOP talking points.

jmac
jmac

@oldwhiteguy  We're a Fox News Nation.  No doubt about it.   Strum and drang wins.   We already know that from the invasion of Iraq.  

jmac
jmac

@tommyudo  It was going to be covered by the press.   It's important to have our voices heard, otherwise the press will report exactly what's being said by just the conservatives.  THey're not going to fight our fight for us.  


McConnell is calling for a Douglas/Lincon debate with his opponent (talking points with no debate? - not good) as the GOP has decided their primaries will be monitored by a person they choose and with fewer debates.   It's called a cover-up and that's exactly what they want Benghazi to be - their cover-up of what happened. 

TyPollard
TyPollard

@tommyudo  

"...will be well primed with GOP talking points."

...and we will be left with the need for more questions to be answered...again.