The first anniversary of Occupy going global falls this Monday, 15 October. On that day last year, demonstrations and occupations took place in more than 950 cities around the world.
In the heart of the City of London, a tented village was pitched outside St Paul’s Cathedral, near the intended target – the London Stock Exchange – which forced a conversation about social and economic inequalities in the UK and beyond.
“One year on, the impact of Occupy has rippled across society, and the initiatives that sprung from the energy of those St Paul’s days is multiplying,” commented Laura Taylor, Occupy London supporter. “The range and variety of events taking place over our first anniversary is testament to the strength and breadth of a people’s movement for change at a local, national and global scale.”
2-5pm Saturday 13 October – #Globalnoise at the London Stock Exchange
Celebrating the first anniversary of Occupy in London. Gather outside the London Stock Exchange from 2pm – 5pm, bringing music, food, games, colourful banners … and pots and pans! Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/429142663788236.
Occupy London will be joining people all over the world for #GlobalNoise, a global day of protest to highlight the fact that people are still here, one year on, united and more determined than ever. Expect great guests including: Nick Dearden (Jubilee Debt Campaign); Samar Barakat from Friern Barnet library and students from the Quebec student movement. Moving from the Stock Exchange to a secret location, #GlobalNoise will mark the start of a week of protest leading up to the TUC march on 20 October. More information at http://globalnoise2012.occupylondon.org.uk/. Events on the day can be followed at http://live.occupylondon.org.uk.
3.15pm Sunday 14 October – Occupy ‘Evensong’ event at St Paul’s Cathedral
Occupy supporters are invited to join St Paul’s Cathedral’s Evensong a year to the day on the eve of the Occupy London anniversary. There will be a reading of an Occupy Prayer during the service, which was written by occupiers and is in recognition of the start of the Occupy London movement outside St Paul’s Cathedral in 2011.
Monday 15 October – The Little Book Of Ideas
On the actual anniversary, Occupy London will launch its first book – The Little Book of Ideas – that demystifies the language associated with the banking crisis and offering alternative economic models. More information coming very soon!
Occupy London will be supporting the TUC’s ‘March for the Alternative’. Events on the day can be followed at http://live.occupylondon.org.uk. Expect surprises!
29 October – Bank of England’s Andy Haldane speaks at Occupy Economics’ “Socially Useful Banking” event
Occupy Economics will host the Bank of England’s Executive Director of Financial Stability, Andy Haldane, for a panel discussion. Haldane has been at the forefront of international debate on the future of banking and financial regulation, and how it could serve the public good. Also participating are TUC senior economist Duncan Weldon and Dominic Lindley, Head of Financial Services Policy for Which?, with the event chaired by Lisa Pollack, FT Alphaville. More information at http://sociallyusefulbanking.com
27 October – 11 November – The New Putney Debates
Occupy London will be celebrating the 365th anniversary of the Putney Debates by creating a series of events inspired by the Levellers’ and Diggers’ demands for social justice, civil rights and equal access to the land. Contributors include Richard Wilkinson (The Spirit Level), Natalie Bennett (new Leader of the Green Party), Michael Mansfield QC, George Monbiot, Polly Higgins, Jeremy Leggett, John McDonnell MP, Halina Ward and Professor Conor Gearty. More information at http://thenewputneydebates.wordpress.com/programme/.
Other Occupy projects
Occupy in London is also involved in ongoing projects including:
Friern Barnet Library
Occupy activists occupied Friern Barnet Library in September 2012, re-opening it for the community, receiving the blessing of many residents who are delighted to see the doors of the library open once again. Barnet Council previously closed the library in April 2011 due to ‘budget cuts’ with plans afoot to sell it off. This is a library which has proven to be a vital hub for the community since 1934 – providing everything from personal finance advice and pilates classes to computer access. The community is demanding the Tory council fulfils its remit to provide public services and increase the involvement of community groups in all services. More information at http://fbpeopleslibrary.co.uk/.
Following in the footsteps of their 17th-Century counterparts, the 2012 Diggers have established an eco-village in Runnymede to cultivate land for the common people. Taking inspiration from their predecessors, the 2012 Diggers have used derelict woodland due for development by a private developer. Originally owned by Brunel University, development of the Runnymede Campus, sold to ‘Orchid Runnymede’, has stalled. Whilst the site remains in a state of disuse, the Diggers will continue living in a way that is environmentally sustainable.
The Runnymede Estate – National Trust land adjacent to the eco-village – is home to the Magna Carta monument, the site where King John is said to have sealed the Magna Carta in 1215 and is heralded as the birthplace of modern democracy. More information http://diggers2012.wordpress.com/
Save Leyton Marsh
Earlier this year local campaigners and a group from Occupy came together to help save Leyton Marsh in East London from destructive Olympic ‘legacy development’. Consequently they staged weekly protests against the construction site taking over the marsh. The response from the ODA and the LVRPA was not to engage, but to take out two injunctions, one against the Occupy camp and one against the stopping of lorries. Three people were sent to prison for attempting to peacefully stop lorries entering our marsh. Since then the structure has been taken down, but has potentially led to the pollution and contamination of common land.
From 1pm on 21 October, the Leyton community will be celebrating the return of its marsh and all are invited to join. More information http://saveleytonmarsh.wordpress.com/