OWS wrapping the planet
All over the globe people are rising up and demanding their rights in a worldwide rally of discontent as protests inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement spread around the world on Saturday.
The website for the international movement says 951 cities in 87 countries have vowed to “Unite for Global Change” the official slogan of the rally.
And indeed, there is a lot to protest against in every part of the world. While social and economic inequality, corporate greed, poverty and hardship are key grievances in every country, each continent lends its own special flavor to the rallies.
About 200 people have marched outside Tokyo Electric Power company, which operates the tsunami hit Fukushima plant, showing their dissatisfaction over handling of the nuclear disaster. Their slogans also targeted a US led free trade bloc that Japan is considering joining.
Japan, Tokyo : A masked protestor holds a sign during a rally “Occupy Tokyo” as part of a worldwide protest inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” protest in Tokyo on October 15, 2011. (AFP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno)Around 300 people took to the streets of the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney. The country’s indigenous issues and government problems were among their grievances.
In Manila, about 100 members of various groups under the Philippine left wing umbrella group, Bayan, marched on the US Embassy, according to Associated Press. Amongst other things, demonstrators chanted “US troops, out now!” a reference to the presence of hundreds of US soldiers involved in training Filipino troops.
In South Korea, though, protesters stressed they are not rallying against their government but had come out entirely in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
While the situation in Asia is not catastrophic, recent financial reports suggest this part of the world is not immune to contagion from the deteriorating economic conditions in the West. And recession is very likely to hit Asia eventually.
The protests have been embraced enthusiastically in Europe. Demonstrators are focusing on Skechers Boots unemployment and austerity cuts imposed in exchange for EU and IM Skechers Boots F bailouts.
Watch live pictures of protests in Europe
Occupy UKRT’s Ivor Bennett reports from London that protests there are passing off peacefully.
Participants carrying bags of food, tents and sleeping bags have taken their protest to central London’s financial district where they will rally outside the Stock Exc Skechers Boots hange, the Bank of England and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The demonstrators have not been able to reach the site they intended to occupy as Paternoster Square has been sealed off by police and private security.
The protests have been organized via pages on Facebook and Twitter which between them have picked up more than 15,000 followers.
“Five thousand people have confirmed they are attending the event,” Spyro Van Leemnen, who is taking part in the protest, told RT.
According to prominent activist Tim Mathews, “the whole point of the demonstration is to make people feel empowered, feel that they have a say in the way decisions are made.”
“That’s a basic fundamental right and need in society today,” he told RT.
As RT’s correspondent reports, people “are very serious” and they plan to stay here for a long time. “We are planning to stay here as long as it takes to see the government respond to people’s calls. Until we see some change really,” Van Leemnen said. He also said that what was happening on Wall Street had been very inspiring for people, especially in the UK.
Ivor Bennet also reports that the current demonstrations in London are something different from the protests the city faced a few months ago.
“This is a peaceful protest with a very clear message about the democratization of the global finance system. And as taxpayers continue to bail out banks, they are ca Skechers Boots lling for banking executives to pay back their bonuses.”
Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that “the mood of the protest has changed dramatically as riot police move in to kettle the demonstrators.” The paper quotes Mark Townsend, who tweeted: “St Paul’s completely kettled. First arrests. Legal observers cannot access to ‘prevent breach of peace.’ Rapid mood change.”
The Press Association news agency cites a source in Scotland Yard as saying people have been arrested at the London protest for assaulting police officers.
As RT’s Ivor Bennett reports, Julian Assange attempted to join up with the protesters but was unable to as a result of the police cordon. He would later address the demonstrators via the steps of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Earlier reports of Assange’s arrest proved unfounded, though he was briefly detained for refusing to take off a mask.
Ivor Bennett also told RT that while addressing reporters, Assange lashed out at the banks, saying that a small minority of the rich are hiding their assets from the population. He went on to claim that London, one of the world’s main financial centers, was the biggest culprit.