UPDATED with video. A promise from Occupy London: this is only the beginning

Video by Inka Stafrace of Polly Tikkle Productions, an occupier who resided at the Occupy London Stock Exchange occupation for 3 of the 4.5 month occupation. Featured song is “Why we build the wall” by Anais Mitchell, one of the artists featured on Occupation Records’ upcoming album, Folk the Banks, which was recorded when she recently visited OccupyLSX.

Other relevant articles: 

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The last thing to go were the kitchen shelves. Around a dozen occupiers peacefully resisted to the last; a short distance away a vigil continued on the Cathedral steps as others observed, supported, prayed and remembered. The police cordons made the groups seem further apart than they actually were.

On the steps, a mini GA discussed events as they were happening around it – and in particular the collusion of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in the eviction they had previously said that they did not want to see. At around 2am in the morning, the floodlights which illuminate the neoclassical edifice of that great building were turned off. When the lights returned, four policemen could be clearly seen on the balcony, in silhouette.

Not long afterwards, police were given leave to clear the steps themselves, the site of former Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser’s famous intervention of 16 October, when he asked the police to leave and recognised our right to assemble. Giles Fraser, who is so much a part of this story, was prevented from crossing the police lines to reach the Occupy London Stock Exchange site tonight. We would have liked to see him there.

This morning, the City of London Corporation and St Paul’s Cathedral have dismantled a camp and displaced a small community, but they will not derail a movement. The attention given to the final hours of the Occupy London Stock Exchange site is testament to that. We would like to thank all those who got the word out on social and traditional media overnight. We are deeply appreciative of the sustained attention we have received; it’s all the more precious at absurd hours of the morning.

The natural question to rush to in these moments is “what next?” In the short term, there will be a GA at 7pm on Tuesday by the steps of St Paul’s. In the medium term, it is only right that people will need time to rest, reflect and recharge, to take stock and learn the lessons of the past four and a half months. But be assured that plans are already afoot: plans of some ambition, employing a diversity of tactics and delivered with the aplomb you would expect from us. All will be revealed in time. May is one of our favourite months.

This morning also saw the eviction of the Occupy London School of Ideas in Islington in, to say the least, somewhat unorthodox circumstances, while their case was still progressing through the court system. We trust that occupiers will be able to fully retrieve their belongings before what sounds like a hastily brought forward demolition is enacted. What happens to Southern Housing Group’s planning application this week deserves careful examination, as do the views of local people living near Bunhill Row.

We’ll miss Occupy London Stock Exchange but not because of the tents, or even the kitchen shelves: it was a makeshift, loosely cooperative, occasionally quarrelling and fiercely idealistic group of people who came together to achieve something extraordinary. The relationships forged during these strange and beautiful four and a half months still have much further to run. This is only the beginning.

Occupy London Press Team

35 thoughts on “UPDATED with video. A promise from Occupy London: this is only the beginning

  1. Obviously, this is an opportunity for occupy to spread out and recruit more revolutionaries by spreading and visiting varied areas across london, the uk.

    After all, if I remember rightly a fair few french marched from the south, to take the north…perhaps the north should march, to take the north.

    “The local population enthusiastically embraced the French Revolution and sent 500 volunteers to Paris in 1792 to defend the revolutionary government; their rallying call to revolution, sung on their march from Marseille to Paris, became known as La Marseillaise, now the national anthem of France.”

    up the eviction, to spread the fire of revolution !

  2. Hopefully, efforts can now be focused on the issues at the heart of the Occupy movement, such as the economic situation, the lack of democratic representation and what we’re going to do about it, which seem to have been lost in the battle for St Paul’s.

  3. I for one dearly hope that this isn’t the last we see of the Occupy Movement in London and I strongly suspect it won’t be. People are still angry about being financially milked by the one percent. As you say May is a fantastic month for this kind of thing traditionally, not just for the weather! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for then!

  4. Was there for the first time ever with my dog on Saturday. Well done and thank you to you all on behalf of all of us who haven’t got the courage to do what you have done.

  5. ‘We’ll miss Occupy London Stock Exchange but not because of the tents, or even the kitchen shelves: <<>> who came together to achieve something extraordinary’

    Exactly the sort of people you wouldn’t want to trust with constructive ideas or your future.

  6. Well done everyone, I was only able to commit a week to occupy but I learnt so much about the world, myself and the corrupt systems in which we live.

    Despite what the nay-sayers and the ignorant will have to say, it has all been very important and everyone involved has really helped bring the issues at hand to greater public attention.

    I also commend your bravery against “the powers that be”, we all know how sly and without moral guidance they can be and I experienced some of this first hand during my stay at OLSX.

    solidarity, now take a well earned break and plan step 2.

    Jon
    x

    • ‘I was only able to commit a week’

      Why? What other stuff did you have planned? What did you have to do that was more important?

      ‘I learnt so much about the world, myself and the corrupt systems in which we live.’

      No, you just had your prejudices reinforced.

      ‘Despite what the nay-sayers and the ignorant will have to say, it has all been very important and everyone involved has really helped bring the issues at hand to greater public attention.’

      Again no, some people just disagree with you.

  7. Why abide by the ruling of a corrupt system which is strongarmed by corrupt police? From day one I admired the spirit displayed by the peaceful inhabitants of St Pauls grounds. It is a sad day to see what started as a promising and exciting movement lose to the system which I expect most reasonable people knew it would. It is clear that the spirit of rebellion is circling the world and only a matter of time until its’ next manifestation. One critical point which I hope every man and woman takes note of is this – rebellion means saying NO and standing up for what you believe in. That means if you don’t want to leave St Pauls and you have done nothing to harm anyone by being there THEN YOU DAMN WELL STAY regardless of what ‘court’ said otherwise. This is the very core of lawful rebellion.

  8. Now is the moment for start to occupy all the squares of each neighborhood of London and UK. It is necessary to expand the movement and involving the whole society. And for this we must discuss the daily problems they have in their own cities and districts. We must do what the government doesn´t: Listen to the people.

    My small contribution is that we do General Assemblies each week and we invite our neighbors to go down to the nearest square to discuss their problems and begin to organize local actions to be more in global equities.

    Let them see that 1% that the eviction was not our defeat but our evolution into something bigger, stronger, they can not stop.

  9. Pingback: Farewell, Occupy LSX. Long live Occupy LSX. | Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the men who stole the world | A book by Nicholas Shaxson

  10. Hi guys, I stumbled across this site and wonder if you can help answer a question? I live and work in London and have been aware of the Occupy movement since day 1. However, I am no clearer on understanding what it is exactly you are protesting against? Please excuse my ignorance, but from what I can gather, you are against rich people because you are all poor and you feel it is not fair that some people have lots of money while others do not?. I’m not the smartest guy, but that seems pretty pointless to me as most of the time rich people are rich because they are smart, work hard and get lucky… poor people are poor because they are lazy or stupid or unlucky… but that’s life, we cannot change evolution overnight and instead of trying to take away money from the rich… we should be trying to make the poor better themselves, work harder, read more, study and get some self respect – then they will not feel the need to protest against an imaginary enemy… I’m not sure if any of that makes sense, but good luck with your cause.

    • It’s not ‘against the rich’, it’s (among other things) against:

      the abuse of power that the financial sector have committed where they did fail at their business endeavours, they were unlucky, but because of their position they were given billions of our money (tax money, benefit money that’s being cut – money collected from everyone, by force, by the government) instead of being allowed to fail;

      the breakdown of education, health and welfare systems which could help the poor to ‘better themselves, as you say;

      and the degradation of the environment which the rich could bring their resources to fix, but instead continue to attempt to score points off each other because they know in this system that they too will be eaten if they stop swimming…

      See http://occupylsx.org/?page_id=575 for more details.

      • Don’t confuse the Bank bailouts (abhorrent thought they were) with unsustainable budget deficits.

        The Bank bailouts were an event in 2008, which now require no further finance. In fact, hopefully the banks will recover and repay, at least some of, the money required to bail them out.

        The budget needs to be financed through taxation revenues each year. As these are insufficient to meet the cost of providing government services the gap is bridged by borrowing. The more you borrow, the more, ultimately, you have to pay back. Furthermore, a greater chunk of each year’s budget is taken up purely in servicing the outstanding debt.

        Now, the alternative to cuts is to increase taxes, which the government is also doing. Taxes are, overall, progressive in the UK. The top 1% of earners in the UK contribute around 28% of tax revenue and the top 5% contribute 45% of tax revenue. I would argue that this is about right, especially as, contrary to your understanding above, many of the richest people are very entrepreneurial and will be putting their remaining income to good use increasing economic production in the UK as a whole.

        I understand the other side of the argument, that there should be further redistribution of wealth. However, I believe that most people would agree that governments are shockingly inefficient at allocating resources – just look at the way the planned economies turned out.

        Thus, even though the disparity between richer and poorer is larger (and growing, depending on where you cut it) in our model, overall the standard of living of the bottom say, 10%, is higher in this system than it any other yet devised and tested.

      • i would argue it is also against the rich – rich is excess – excess takes from the lower classess that which could prove life saving around the globe.

    • Who is this guy – Kane, arh yes – hello Kane. You idiot!!!!!!

      ‘I’m not the smartest guy, but that seems pretty pointless to me as most of the time rich people are rich because they are smart, work hard and get lucky… poor people are poor because they are lazy or stupid or unlucky… but that’s life, we cannot change evolution overnight and instead of trying to take away money from the rich… we should be trying to make the poor better themselves, work harder, read more, study and get some self respect

      Number 1 – rich is bad – greed is bad – BAD is BAD – you understand?
      Number 2 – many rich folk are rich because they rip people off – many big organisations whose CEO’s are far richer you could ever dream of being – are criminal dogs , killing society.
      Number 3 – I would argue , the whole upper class system is corrupt full of pussy fart snobs who are criminals with a dicky bow.
      Poor people – the most creative, wise, compassionate, dedicated to morals
      Rich people – Greedy , cold, thick, dishonest, corrupt, sound stupid , look stupid, act stupid, think stupid – there you go. AV IT. Truth hurts eh.
      By the way Kane, no – your not the smartest guy which would tie in with the above definition

  11. Kane – I think you may need a headshift. The poor are not poor because they are lazy. There are a range of socioeconomic and political circumstances and events that lead to poverty and penury. It’s like you’d tell people that there’s no point in arguing with your government because they must obviously be cleverer because they hold a position of power. And the rich are not rich through hard work. Ask any bin man or gardener or farmer or the people who teach your kids.

    Anyway. Saw this. Think it’s pretty good.
    http://blog.indexoncensorship.org/2012/02/28/occupy-evicted-free-st-pauls-london-olympics/

  12. I flew over from the USA after I was evicted from our Occupy here in Boston. What you guys had was something that no one could even imagine. Your thoughts and ideas were to much for any government to handle. I was given the opportunity to tour your camps and I can’t thank all of LSX enough for the time. From the US to the UK, solidarity for all. occupy.

  13. Time to reflect both for the movement and probably more importantly the 99%. I believe I am complicit, responsible and aware of the social economic state of the country. I’m also part of the machine that sustains the manufacturing sector that has been forgotten for many decades. I have also become aware – thanks to your movement – of the inbalance, greed and corruption in the relationships between the controlling powers in our country. This power has very deep roots indeed. Therefore, we can’t expect a revolution but we can try to change the tide but making people like me realise that we can make a difference, by telling my boss that they have to stop talking about social global family’s (coporate bollocks) and start proving it by committing to a plan that achieves it. Im sure within the movement there are more idea ideaological targets, but we are steering a ship and it takes a while to change direction.

  14. i also have no idea what you’re doing. this whole movement seems to have been proven to be a waste of time. absolutely nothing has changed since you began. the world is exactly the same. i think this was always inevitable and i’m surprised that you still think you can make a difference by protesting.. it clearly is not the way to make change..

  15. well i agree with Maxim 100% and is exactly what i was going to say, i have asked on many websites a question to all the protesters and no one has answered my 1 question ‘what have you achieved in the 4 months you was there? i believe the question can’t be answered as it would be ‘NOTHING’ i agree also with Kane and to just ask another question directed at Michelle Taylor you said in not so many words that they should have been left to fail (bankers) so if all the banks failed and the country was in meltdown and having to go begging to other countries for help and ending up on a spiral downwards to the gutter who would you then blame for being in the shit? countries around the world are having harsh measures thrown at them and where is the UK? we are far better of for saving them. so dont give stupid reasons for allowing them to fail. you protesting group really need to get a sense of what you are fighting for and the outcome should you ever achieve victory {a 1% chance of that ay?} THINK GUYS!!!

  16. number one the ppl watching on the balcony were not the police they were the clerk of works employed by the cathedral also tom fletcher who cut ropes on tents a while ago also there were other employers all of which had abused their possesion of works keys to be there.as far as not changing anything goes(maxim and others)are u bananas?the diologue has been started and highlighted as a number of politicians has stated”occupy has put these issues firmly on the agenda”we have much more to do.peacex

  17. jonathon – ‘ my 1 question ‘what have you achieved in the 4 months you was there? i believe the question can’t be answered as it would be ‘NOTHING’

    Jonathon – I would question; is your brain in your bottom?
    ‘what have you achieved in the 4 months you was there? i believe the question can’t be answered as it would be ‘NOTHING’

    ‘EVERYTHING’ – i write songs which feed off of these protests – ‘EVERYTHING’ – the longer the rich tofs see our protests, hear our protests , the more impact it will have on global realization to the facts. – The fact that i have made my way up the charts is a sign people agree with my message – stop corporate greed.

    Also Jonathon….
    ‘i agree also with Kane and to just ask another question directed at Michelle Taylor you said in not so many words that they should have been left to fail (bankers) so if all the banks failed and the country was in meltdown and having to go begging to other countries for help and ending up on a spiral downwards to the gutter who would you then blame for being in the shit? ‘
    The poor population do this anyway. So YES!!! let the banks fail – useless pig offal organisations – playing with the libor rate since their conception – ripping us off. Now the rich can do the begging for a change – GREED will find KARMA which will bounce off the edge of the universe and return to its creator. The richer you are – the more greedy you are – face the facts…

  18. Rubbish Tammy, absolute rubbish…i have mentioned the same question on a number of websites and no one has given me an answer…this protest has little interest with anyone apart from other activists and even those at finsbury square dont want this lot there blagging their space for the sole purpose of a place to stay..

  19. well, i am egyptian, and i wanna send u a support from here, i remember when i was in Tahrir Sq. chanting hard saying “اعتصام اعتصام  
    حتى يسقط النظام” which means “Sit-in sit-
    Until the system falls”
    i think that our idea of sitting in down in an important mid-town Sq. “Tahrir”, which u can call it occupying is the people choice when their government is not listening, well, try to do more efforts to explain (for other people) that u r actually protesting against whom stealing your and their life, and their freedom, behind wat they call Capitalism system, freedom is to be a human not to be a collecting money machine that goes over whom aren`t capable to fight like you….

    YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH, AND WHENEVER YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR RIGHT, BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL SOONER OR LATER

    thx :)

  20. We, the world occupiers, haven’t achieved anything than join millions of people to struggle for the rights of everyone.

    A bunch of people fighting for a vast majority of lambs while they watch their tellys.The same shit around the globe but luckily everyday hundred of lambs wake up. (I was one lamb 8 months ago…)

    Cheers from Spain.
    http://tomalaplaza.net/

  21. Thanks to Occupy LSX …I woke up….I always knew things weren’t right, there was that niggling thing at the back of my brain…I would see this or that injustice and know that was unjust or corrupt…but Occupy gave me the big picture and it all fell into place. Since my awakening I have been protesting, petitioning, lobbying mps (for what thats worth! LOL) spreading the word, getting involved in transition, learning and watching the Occupy movement around the globe.
    I was only able to visit the camp a few times because of health and mobility problems, but my most memorable moments were the amazing court case & Cabaret Evening at the old Magistrates Court and the retelling of Dickens’ Christmas Story on the steps of St Pauls (which moved me to tears).
    I am so grateful to the long term Occupiers like Tammy & Dan and also to all the artists, poets, musicians, singers, tech people, kitchen staff, tranquility lot, in fact to everyone…you are beautiful people, the worlds best. JOise <3 xxx

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