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Occupy London horses around in the City; tells Lloyds enough is enough – no more taking taxpayers for a ride

 
  • Jesse Jackson and others to speak at St Paul’s at 3pm today
  • Occupy London announce meeting point for 6pm action is Piccadilly Circus
  • Update on Occupy Everywhere across the UK

Today, 15 December (#D15), Occupy London, as part of its day of creative action – Occupy Everywhere – targeted Lloyds Banking Group, with some equine humour to highlight the horse trading of the financial sector and its ramifications for the rest of society.

A crowd of masked and face painted Occupy London supporters gathered from 10.30am at Occupy London’s occupation near the London Stock Exchange just by St Paul’s, where they were joined by a gallant playful panto horse.

There was a short teach out with speakers from Occupy London focusing on the current financial crisis, the need for a system that prioritises people over profits and one that serves and benefits the community. They also questioned why a system in which the very richest can manage their affairs to avoid paying their taxes and banks have been allowed to profit at the expense of taxpayers and customers alike is being tolerated.  Workers from the Lloyds office looked on as Occupy London supporters called for an end to the banks’ private welfare state.

After leaving the Lloyds office, Occupy London supporters were led by the pantomime horse for a festive canter around the City, in which they entertained office workers, cabbies and busloads of schoolchildren alike. The manager of a Lloyds branch in the city was even seen to start dancing, briefly.

Local bank branches, with staff who know their customers’ needs, are the bedrock of consumer banking but both Lloyds top brass and the Government see selling off parts of their consumer operations as the solution to the profligacy of their investment arms. It was announced today that the Co-operative Group, which owns the Co-op Bank and Smile, had won a £1.5bn auction for 632 Lloyds and Cheltenham & Gloucester branches. [1] This is small change in comparison to the £23.5bn overall cost to the taxpayer of propping up the bank. [2]

Later today at Occupy London

3pm – Jesse Jackson addresses Occupy London

Occupy London is thrilled to welcome legendary civil rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson to St Paul’s Churchyard. Rev Jackson will join in a discussion with Occupy London supporters by the steps of St Paul’s, alongside Bishop Wayne Malcolm, Lee Jasper and 12-year-old blogger Libdemchild.

  • Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. (born October 8, 1941) is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. Rev Jackson was a key aide to Rev Martin Luther King and played a leading role in the civil rights movement.
  • Bishop Wayne Malcolm is a leading representative of the progressive majority black churches. He has a long tradition of supporting and working with communities. He also represents the community empowerment programme Operation Hope & Recovery established in the wake of the riots in August.
  • Lee Jasper is the co Chair of Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts (BARAC) and a long standing human rights activist challenging racism and injustice.
  • Plus blogger ‘libdemchild’, aged 12, examines and unpacks how capitalism affects children’s lifestyles and choices.

6pm – Occupy the Streets!

Meeting point announced for 6pm at Piccadilly Circus

Occupy London invites all Londoners to an impromptu street party! Supporters are encouraged to come dressed up in masks and costumes, armed with all their best creative ideas, to join in a mobile carnival.

Occupy Everywhere around the country

  • Occupy Hackney – Today at 2pm Occupy Hackney will hold its first symbolic occupation, with a General Assembly, info stalls, discussions bringing together Hackney voices and stories. Come and join from 2pm, next to St. Augustine’s Tower in Narrow Way near Hackney Central. They are calling out to all Hackney residents, community groups, artists, youth workers, musicians, thinkers, grassroots organisations, to join them in planning this and in celebrating Hackney’s place in the 99 percent, and strengthening the community to work together saying ‘We won’t pay for their crisis!’. Contact occupyhackney@gmail.com for more information and to be involved.
  • Occupy Cardiff is joining Occupy Swansea – Focusing on highlighting the corporate greed of Top Shop and others (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Swansea/224427037619659)
  • Occupy Norwich – Doing a ‘flash mob mic check’ around town from 7pm today
  • Occupy Bath – Holding their second General Assembly at 7.30pm at Friend’s Meeting House and planning for their next occupation
  • Occupy Glastonbury – Holding a symbolic general assembly today. They recently occupied the derelict Avalon Plastics site in Glastonbury and are hoping to create a beautiful alternative feasting space for Christmas and New Year, then perhaps even to stop Tesco! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQwl9AR0BKc&feature=player_embedded#!)
  • See Twitter – hashtag #D15 Occupy Everywhere – for further details of events around the country.

Notes
[1] Exhausted Lloyds boss wins back his post – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/exhausted-lloyds-boss-wins-back-his-post-6276974.html
[2] New Economics Foundation – Quid Pro Quo – http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/quid-pro-quo

 
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