THE BRAND INTERVIEW CONFIRMED OCCUPY IS NOT DEAD.
From two of our Occupiers.
I saw the Paxman interview with Russell Brand having just returned from St. Paul’s where I was meeting up with friends I had made during the occupation. I found it particularly interesting that Paxman persisted in criticising Brand for not providing answers to the problems he was naming – specifically the increasing gap between the rich and poor and climate change. These are precisely the same criticisms that were leveled at Occupy. As someone involved in that protest my response would be; the thousands of people who attended Assemblies on the steps of St Paul’s during the occupation did so as their statement to say the current system is broken, or, in the words of the Initial Statement “the current system is unsustainable.” They liked the consensus process we were defining, one in which every voice is valued.
Russell Brand has stated that to achieve change we must care about each other and the planet. The Archbishop of Canterbury has recently encouraged people to come together in their community. The church had peaceful occupiers forcibly removed from the steps of St. Paul’s, a fact only confirmed weeks after the eviction. Members of Parliament have a large, taxpayer funded building in which to conduct their business of squeezing more and more from an increasingly impoverished and cynical population. We have to come together, on the streets, to debate and discuss the future of our health, education, housing, energy, ultimately the survival of all life on earth.
The letter below was published in the Evening Standard, the photo shows the edited version and we have included the full letter. They had asked for a 200 word comment and this was only 199 words.
“The Brand interview confirmed that Occupy is not dead. Brand has thrown a big rock into the ripples Occupy created. Cries of “Hallelujah, at last someone with a celebrity platform is speaking the same language as the disaffected plebs” have almost been drowned in the backlash, which to my mind shows he’s got the establishment running scared of a genuinely popular uprising against state and corporate abuse of power.
Paxman’s mantra “but what’s your alternative?” echoed the criticism of Occupy. It’s a trick question that Brand is wise enough to sidestep. The current system is unsustainable; that’s the point that needs making, rudely, right now. Later we can draft in experts in renewable energy, agro-ecologists and alternative economists, and take their advice on how to steer the planet towards a sustainable future. The environmental crisis often gets lost amidst economic woes; Brand put it slap bang in the centre of his message, exactly where it needs to be.
Who’d trust Welby to listen to the people’s needs, to ‘speak truth to power’? Church and establishment are intertwined, and neither speak for the people. Now is the time for the people to speak and Brand has given us a good kickstart.”
The Newsnight interview has now reached over 8.1 million views. More that 10% of the population of Great Britain.