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October 18, 2011

‘ Having been at many demonstrations in my life, here’s the strangest and perhaps the most striking thing I’ve noticed: I have yet to see a single counterdemonstration, or even a single counterdemonstrator.  Not one.  Nor a single sign expressing disapproval, outrage, or upset with the Occupy Wall Street movement.  This, believe me, is not normal for protests.  Talk about expressing the will of the 99%!’ from Tom Dispatch today 18/10/2011.

I went to Paternoster Sq. today to see the occupation.

These were my impressions, which echo this dispatch from Tom about Wall Street.

There were more tents and people than I had expected from news reports.

Although, inevitably, superficially untidy, there was a First Aid tent, a donations tent (blankets, warm clothes and so on) a small generator ( I imagine charging mobile phones mostly!). There were a number of small groups sitting on the pavement having discussions.

The police were relaxed (and helpful).

As Tom has said the most striking thing was the absence of discord. People in suits, clearly City of London workers, were mingling and talking with the ‘protesters’, tourists were taking photographs and people like me (long time activists for want of a better way of putting it ) were/are observing and celebrating a moment where the status quo seems to be upturned.

No leaflets. None of the ‘usual suspects’ who turn up come rain or shine to any unauthorised gathering (left or right), no raucous chanting. It was all quite jolly and all quite serious.

My only contribution, in the discussion group I joined, was to suggest that perhaps we shouldn’t listen to the people who are demanding that ‘we’ come up with ‘the’ solution. Just being there is part of the solution, part of the cure. Saying enough is enough is as good a starting point as any.



From → Thoughts

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  1. Occupy Dame Street. - will you be there? - Page 91

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