Occupy London launches Guided Tours of London’s Financial Centres

 

Occupy London today launches ‘Occupy London Tours’, a group offering guided tours of Britain’s most iconic financial centres. The first tour, on Tuesday, will lead visitors around Canary Wharf, with future tours planned for the City of London and hedge funds in Mayfair. [1]

Tuesday’s tour will begin at 25 Bank Street, the building vacated by Lehman Brothers when the investment bank collapsed in 2008. Other ‘sites of interest’ include the global headquarters of Barclays Bank, accused of large-scale tax avoidance, [2] and Moody’s Credit Ratings Agency, which failed to properly rate the risky financial products which led to the crash. [3]

Canary Wharf is situated in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, the local authority with the second highest rate of severe child poverty in the UK. [4] This year, Barclays Bank announced pay and bonuses for its top five staff of £110 million, [5] the day before Tower Hamlets Council was forced to agree cuts of £72 million to local services. [6]

Liam Taylor, 25, a history teacher in east London, says: “The Occupy movement is all about education: learning about the mess we’re in and talking about the alternatives we want. This tour will be a fun and creative way of taking that discussion back to some of the places where the crisis began.”

Mike Anderson, 24, says: “London is one of the most famous financial centres in the world, yet when tourists come here all they are shown are churches and palaces. These tours will expose the murkier side of London’s recent past.”

Organisers hope that this tour will be the first of many. Liam Taylor adds: “London is at the heart of the system we’re trying to change. Its most iconic buildings are where some of the most disastrous decisions get made. We invite anyone and everyone to come along and find out what is wrong and how we can start to change it.”

Notes
[1] Tuesday’s tour begins in Canada Square, outside Canary Wharf tube, at 5pm.
[2] Barclays paid just £113 million of corporate tax in 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/feb/18/barclays-bank-113m-corporation-tax
[3] The three main credit ratings agencies – Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard and Poor ‘s – issued AAA credit ratings to high-risk derivatives, while making their profits from fees paid by the companies issuing the derivatives. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/congress-mauls-bosses-of-credit-ratings-agencies-969792.html
[4] Save the Children, 2011. http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/news/2011/02/government-must-tackle-severe-child-poverty
[5] http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/mar/07/barclays-hands-five-bankers-110m
[6] According to the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, central government cuts are responsible for planned cuts of £72 million over the next three years, with £29 million of cuts in 2011-12. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/news/council_news/march/outcome_of_final_budget_meetin.aspx

 

11 Responses to “Occupy London launches Guided Tours of London’s Financial Centres”

  1. That’s a Brilliant idea…you guys should occupy an open top bus!

     
  2. Great idea. shame about the timing… 5pm is way too early for people to get there in time after work (some people still have those)… 6pm would have been much more practical and have ensured better attendance.

     
  3. What a grand idea …….. lots of time to ‘take in the sites’ and hopefully lots of lovely people who really want to know their history while it’s being made! Go girls and boys! Wish I could be back down there with you!

     
  4. superb idea! I’ll come to the next one

     
  5. Bank take cheap international money as debt, bank lend cheap money to moron westerner that have no way of pay back debt, said moron no pay back debt, bank stuff, tax payer bail out bank for silly loan made by bank, world collapses, the cats finally take control

     
  6. Brilliant idea people, and I will get there if I can
    You are putting so much energy into helping others become more informed of so much more of the truth than we have known before… it is important work and I respect and thank you for it. I live in Tower Hamlets and it is horrific to read these figures of the rich getting richer while my neighbours get poorer.

     
  7. Hey, pehaps you could start a little earlier then your tourists could see and comment upon the perpetrators as they leave their dens?

     
  8. It is a nice idea, endly directing the attention at the 1%. But Occupy is not “all about education”. We know already that we are in a mess and the culrpits are the 1%. Therefore it is a pity the tour lets only see the places where the 1% works, not the lavish places where they live and spend their free time. That puts more pressure on the 1% then this tour. But anyhow success!

     
  9. Please do this one again before Christmas

     
  10. FAbulous. I’m bringing twenty two 17 year olds down next Tuesday to OLSX 10.30am for A level project on poverty and wealth. Any chance of a mini am tour of LSX or other neighbouring buildings for 30 minutes or so? Please email if this is possible.

     
  11. Fantastic source for people planning to travel for London tours. I would love to suggest Occupy London Tours too as they have been there for so long satisfying thousands of travelers. Welcome to paradise city London! Good luck.

     

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