“This isn’t a recession, it’s a robbery.”

Neil Roberts

protest rome main 657807s 300x225 “This isnt a recession, its a robbery.”A placard at the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest on Saturday read: “This isn’t a recession, it’s a robbery.” It’s that feeling of being mugged and beaten by the banks, corporations and politicians that inspired hundreds of thousands of people around the world to join the Occupy Everywhere movement this weekend.

The occupation movement is just the latest expression of anger by people no longer prepared to pay the price of capitalist crisis.

The weekend’s protests were inspired by Occupy Wall Street which was inspired by the indignant movements against austerity in Spain and Greece – themselves partly inspired by the Arab uprisings. Across the globe people are fighting back against the corrupt corporate and political classes and the austerity and pain they are imposing on us to pay for their crisis.

In Britain, since the beginning of the crisis in 2008 we’ve already seen worker occupations against closures and job cuts, street protests, a militant student protest and occupation movement, urban riots, the emergence of the UK Uncut tax justice group, angry town hall anti-cuts protests, public sector strike action and one of the biggest trade union protests in British history.

Next month the student protest movement is back with a march on the City, followed by public sector strike action by up to 3 million workers.

The depth of the crisis is reflected in the breadth of protesters gathered at the foot of the steps to St Pauls over the weekend. Seasoned activists, Anonymous hackers and trade unionists mixed with many first time protesters. The overwhelming impression from amongst the mass of occupiers was a mix of anger, fear and confusion. There is confusion about what we can do and even why we are there: like the protester who told a socialist activist that he didn’t come to occupy London Stock Exchange to be involved in politics. But the angry, the frightened and the confused are united by the belief that growing inequality and economic injustice cannot continue.

Matt Vidal, 38, a lecturer in sociology at Kings College, was preparing to spend Saturday night camped outside St Pauls with hundreds of other protesters. He said:

“It’s time for us to stand up and take a stand against the growing inequality and financialisation of the economy and the state continuing to support the banks and not support the people.

As a trade union activist Matt said he is preparing for public sector strike action next month:

“I’d prefer it if we didn’t have to strike but the people in power are continuing to run the society for bankers and rich people and not for the working people.”

Ash, a qualified doctor and PHD student was motivated by the government’s plans to “destroy” the NHS:

“At a recent meeting [of health workers] the feeling in the air moved from dissatisfaction to increasing militancy. Medical staff and nursing staff are talking about civil disobedience.”

“I don’t have any answers; all I know is that it cannot continue.”

Nathan, a 22 year-old support worker and first time protester said:

“The banks have got so much money,  the divide between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger, and the cost of living is going through the roof. It’s just not fair, is it. So I came here; it’s power in numbers.”

Nathan said he lives with his Mother and neither of them ever have any spare cash after paying for rent, bills and food.

“It’s just horrendous really, the way things are going. But it seems like now people are starting to wake up to what’s been going on. I do have faith that big things are coming, things are gonna change.”

Nathan’s friend Carl, a 39 year-old, warehouse worker, was also on his first protest. He said:

“Ordinary people are definitely starting to fight back. For me it’s about corporate greed. People are suffering, we’ve bailed out the banks and we’re not getting anything back.”

“What we need is to get more of the common people here. Maybe we need the trade unions involved, who represent the common worker.”

A constant refrain on the ground is “we have to do something”. But many people are unsure what it is we have to do. And many of the people now camped outside St Pauls realise this action alone doesn’t begin to really challenge the power of the ruling elite.

Whilst the global occupy movement is important and inspiring in many ways, it will take much more to even begin to turn the tide on the inequality and austerity destroying people’s lives. So it is important that trade unionists have been involved with the London protest, agitating for support for public sector strikes on November 30th. Because those strikes over pension reform have the potential to be a lightening rod for anger at all the effects of the crisis. And a politicised trade union struggle supported by the wider movement has the potential to defeat this government and show the collective power of ordinary people to fight back.

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  • Firozali A.Mulla

    He better understand as he is reporting. It is we common men on the streets that understnd little and want to brag a lots. Honest I love these reporters especially of UK BBC  SKY etc. They are doing a great work, SKY has all brown haired ladies, only few black Why I never asked but they are beauties, but back to the subjest. We do want them Everybody has the right to quote anybody else and appear educate to those who don’t know anything either. It appears even more sophisticated to blend a little bit of truth with lots of distortions to appear more realistic. But, takes courage and ethics is learning about something before writing about it. I have investigated the LDS church in parallel to the bible; thus, I found, the LDS church does follow the bible. Also, I have read much anti-Mormon literature by former LDS members that I noticed it to be false. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints follows the bible. Everything the LDS church practices can be found in the bible, if anyone wants to check both. However, it appears that Christopher Hitchens has not done his homework on either. If Hitchens dislikes Romney, that is fine, I dislike Mitt too. We are both on the same side on that issue. However, badmouthing the LDS church to get at Romney is childish, it is immature, and proves the lack of intellect needed to be believed by any reasonable person regardless of religion or being a non-believer. Just one example of distortion is the fact of membership, and opting out. To leave the LDS church, all it takes is for the person who chooses to leave, to write to, or visit the local clerk and state that he or she wants their name removed. Those who were friends still keep their friendships. That is something I know firsthand.  
    I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    Neil, Where there is a will the almighty creates the ways, but you have to know. It is like you have a headache you take the pill, I will not.  Charles Schulz, creator, author and illustrator of thecartoon strip Peanuts for nearly fifty years, which at its peak was read by over 300 million people. His most powerful memory – and his most powerful motivator  - was the death of his mother: “When called on to discuss his life, Charles ‘Sparky’ Schulz never began at the beginning, never with his birth on November 26, 1922 or his early years, but always with his mother’s death on March 1, 1943, his own departure for the war and the  merciless speed of it all: in that week, Dena Halverson Schulz had died on a Monday, she was buried Friday and by Saturday the army had taken him away.”As early as his sophomore year in high school, Sparky had come home to a bedridden mother. Some evenings she had been too ill to put food on the table; some nights he had been awakened by her cries of pain. But no one spoke directly about the affliction; only Sparky’s father and his mother’s trusted sister Marion knew itssource; they would not identify it as cancer in Sparky’s presence until after it had reached its fourth and final stage – in November 1942, the same month he was drafted.”On February 28, 1943, with a day pass from Fort Snelling, Sparky returned from  his army barracks to his mother’s bedside. … She was turned away from him in her  bed against the wall opposite the windows that overlooked the street. [Late that evening] he said he guessed it was time to go. ” ‘Yes’ she said, ‘I suppose we should say good- bye.’”She turned her gaze as best she could. ‘Well,’ she said ‘good-bye, Sparky. We’ll probably never see each other again.’ “Later, he said ‘I’ll never get over that scene as long as I live,’ and indeed he could not down to his own dying day. It was certainly the worst night of his life, the night of ‘my greatest tragedy’ – which he repeatedly put into the terms of his passionate sense of unfulfillment that his mother ‘never had the opportunity to see me get anything published  I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA AND the above hold mostly for the politicians who keep on asking for more cash daily.

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    Neil….How does a company that makes nothing, a middle man (Goldman Sachs), become too big to fail, declare huge losses, pay people astronomically unfair and increasing amounts of money, employ minimal numbers of people, lie and steal from its clients, walk around pretending they deserve what they make, yield incredible power over the economy and the government, successfully push decisions in a democracy favouring the very few, have the media on its side most of the time, infiltrate both republican and democratic administrations with their  people?….They buy both sides of the isle in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Presidency and then pay their loyal lobbyists to tell OUR representatives what bills to write and how to vote on them. This is not a failure of Capitalism because the same thing happened in the Soviet Union under Socialism. This is a failure of democracy because we sell the seats of power to the highest bidder and this, coupled with excess greed, triggered the transfer of wealth from the many to the few. Humans cannot be trusted. They are petty and childlike. Witness the Congressional chaos, the news media and their lack of factual news and continuous bickering, Israel rising to one of world’s great economies while not being able to bring about a place for the Palestinian children to grow up in peace, Occupy Wall Street is a shot across the bow. If you treasure democracy then it must be in the hands of the many, not the hands of the few. Change that and the economic system that we have, which is neither capitalism nor socialism but a combination of the two since WWII and before will be successful and a strong middle class will abound and America will set an example we can all be proud of. I leave this question to you as you are more learned then  I. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    I think that Mitt Romney and Rick Perry did some serious damage to each other slinging that much mud at each other. It almost felt like the pre-match wrestling banter rather than a national debate. Santorum has already shown himself to act foolishly in these debates, but he seemed to go lower tonight than in past debates. Most of the debate was smoke and mirrors. The sole candidate that made sense and sounded presidential was and continues to be Ron Paul. Even though he has gotten the short end of the stick in these debates, as the Establishment and Military-Industrial complex’s right arm (the main stream media) has tried to marginalize him, he has taken the high road and continued to be the candidate that keeps his cool under pressure. He’s too much of a gentlemen to jump in the ring and get in the mud. Most interesting in this debate was the fact that nobody would agree with Ron Paul that there needed to be military spending cuts. Even Rush Limbaugh yesterday admitted to the fact that Ron Paul’s trillion dollar spending cuts made sense and that the other Republicans needed a big idea comparable to Paul’s trillion dollar idea. Until the Republican field wakes up and realizes that the U.S. economy is in dire straits we will continue to keep a downward trajectory. Ron Paul is clearly the only choice for America. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

  • Firozali A.Mulla

    You talk of good common men ? Where are these. We have vague ones.Inflation in Britain is too high but has been caused by rising world food prices, the fall in the value of sterling and a rise in sales tax, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday Britain’s consumer price inflation rate rose more than expected to 5.2 percent in September, the highest for three years and more than twice the Bank of England’s two percent target. Cameron’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, slashing spending to cut a record budget deficit, has come under criticism for a lack of economic growth and rising unemployment at a time when prices are rising quickly. “Of course, inflation is too high. The principle reasons for inflation being so high are world food prices, the depreciation of sterling, and yes, there was an effect from the increase in VAT,” Cameron told parliament The coalition has hiked VAT sales tax to 20 percent from 17.5 percent as part of measures to cut a deficit running close to 10 percent of national output. The government has looked to the Bank of England to support the economy through loose monetary policy while it tackles the deficit, although there has been hardly any economic growth in the last year, putting the deficit goals at risk. The central bank restarted its asset purchase programme this month to boost growth, although some analysts fear that quantitative easing has done little to increase demand and only driven inflation higher Say I think the politics of UK and many sub Sahara states is same. There is a problem but who has caused this and how we will come out of this is never revealed. I love this honest I do. I thank you Firozali A. Mulla DBA no sarcasm meant but it is painted on the wall. .

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