Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Occupy Movement - Occupy the World

With the Spanish Indignado movement and Occupy Wall Street in full swing and gathering widespread support from across the globe, it was inevitable that the protests would spread to other parts of the world. In September 2011 the date was set - on the 15th October, marking the 5 month anniversary of the start of the Indignado movement, similar protests would occur simultaneously in the major, and some not so major, financial centres across the world.

Social media websites, particularly sites such as Facebook and Twitter, were the major tools used in organising the global Occupy movement. Small groups often met prior to the occupations to decide on locations, which were then publicly announced via Facebook groups, or used the groups to collectively decide on locations. By the end of the 15th, approximately 950 protests did occur, with the majority of them setting up camp, intending to stay.

Occupations involving over 100,000 took place in Madrid, Barcelona, Rome and Valencia. People also turned out in their thousands in London, Lisbon, Brussels, Frankfurt, Santiago, Athens, Vancouver, Paris, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and many more major cities.

In the UK, London grabbed the headlines. Thousands of protestors marched on the London Stock Exchange, but were forced to move towards St Paul's Cathedral by police using controversial "kettlling" tactics. Julian Assange, the founder of the website Wikileaks (which publishes leaked documents from governments and corporations), was among them, wearing a Guy Fawkes mask (from the movie "V for Vendetta", and also worn by the hacktivist group Anonymous, who have shown support for Wikileaks). Police removed his mask and shortly afterwards he gave a speech to the crowd.

Overwhelmed by the reports that demonstrations and occupations had erupted worldwide, on that day, my small role as a physical presence in this movement began.

Further Reading:

Julian Assange speech:

Next: Occupy Bristol

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