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Occupy London gets set for student demo on 9th November

  • Education march to come to Occupy London as fight is taken to the City, bringing together students, electricians, unions, anti cuts campaigners and others
  • Expect lively teach out from Occupy London; Rise Against, Tom Morello and others marching with Occupy London; Plus Billy Bragg, Chumbawamba and more to perform at St Paul’s
  • Attendees invited to bring warm clothes, sleeping bags and tents if wanting to join Occupy London’s camps

In solidarity with students, education workers and all resisting the various attacks on education, Wednesday 9th November sees Occupy London – part of the global movement for real democracy which aims to challenge social and economic injustice in the UK and beyond – join the national student demonstration against fees, cuts and privatisation. Students will be joined on the day by thousands of striking electricians who are marching in protest at a 35% national pay cut, as well as many others.

“Students inspired people when they took the government to task last year over austerity cuts intended to slice up the UK’s education system for the benefit of the priviliged few,” said Occupy London supporter Laura Taylor. “We must challenge those who have caused the iniquities of the financial crisis. The nation’s students and others should not be the ones paying for the gambling of the financial sector and the lack of regulation.”

With tens of thousands expected to attend, the day of action is supported by National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, NUS, UCU and a host of trade unions. Occupy London will be supporting in a numbers of ways.

Occupy London’s Tent City University’s ‘Teach-Out’
Tent City University – Occupy London’s education arm – is holding one of its ‘teach-outs’ at 10.30am at Russell Square, just around the corner from the march start point. It promises a lively discussion looking at the attacks on FE and HE education, the issues of social justice, commodification and radical alternatives. Speakers include George Monbiot, Polly Toynbee, Richard Hall and Dave Hill (of the Social Science Centre), Alex Callinicos (King’s College London), Guy Mitchell (the Really Open University, anti-cuts activist) with lots of space for discussion. Facebook event.

March to the City past Occupy London Stock Exchange
Starting from Malet Street at 12 noon, the march will travel through Trafalgar Square, up the Strand, before passing the Occupy London Stock Exchange site, just by St Paul’s Cathedral. The demonstration will finish at Moorgate Junction, symbolically next to London Metropolitan University, which will be one of the hardest hit institutions.

Occupy London supporters Rise Against and Tom Morello will be joining the march. Expect other guest appearances. Do bring warm clothes, food and water, and camping equipment if you are planning to stay at the Occupy London camps, which are currently at St Paul’s Cathedral and Finsbury Square.

Protest songs for Occupy London
From 3-5pm at Occupy London Stock Exchange by St Paul’s there will be a very special gathering of political, folk and acoustic singers, supporting Occupy London and the student demonstration. Facebook event.

Chumbawamba, Peggy Seeger, Billy Bragg, Roy Bailey, Steve Knightley, Leon Rosselson and Tony Benn will all be there, so bring your loudest singing voice and be ready to join in:

  • Half-sister of Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger is an icon of the folk revival both in the US and the UK. She was the subject of the song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, written for her by her husband, Ewan MacColl. She has written many political and feminist songs, perhaps the best known being I’m Gonna Be An Engineer. She participated in the Greenham Common protest and wrote the song Carrying Greenham Home. It was Peggy finding out about her brother Pete’s singing in New York in support of Occupy Wall Street that inspired the folk sing-song for Occupy London.
  • Billy Bragg is probably the UK’s best-known singer of political song. His recording career began in the 1980s, with many of his songs a direct response to Thatcherism. Billy has in recent years become one of the left’s most high-profile spokespeople, leading the recent rout of the BNP in his home town of Barking.
  • For 50+ years, Roy Bailey has been one of the UK Folk & Acoustic scene’s most admired performers. He has a vast repertoire of songs of dissent and hope, which he has performed on stage, TV and radio all over the world. In 2000 he was awarded an MBE for Services to Folk Music – an Award he later returned in protest at the Government’s Foreign Policy.
  • Tony Benn is one of the most popular politicians in Britain, and a virtual national treasure. He presents the show “The Writing on the Wall” with Roy Bailey, which explores the UK’s proud history of dissent in words and music.
  • Leon Rosselson is one of the UK’s formost writers of political songs. His song The World Turned Upside Down has been recorded and popularised by, amongst others, Dick Gaughan and Billy Bragg (who took it into the pop charts in 1985) and has been sung on numerous demonstrations in Britain and the USA. A couplet from the song currently adorns the fencing around the Occupy London site! His Ballad of a Spycatcher, ridiculing the ban on Peter Wright’s book, went into the Indie Singles charts in 1987 in a version backed by Billy Bragg and the Oyster Band.
  • Steve Knightley is one half of massively popular folk rock duo Show of Hands. The band has always delivered music with a political message, sometimes focusing on the issues facing their home county of Devon and other rural communities. They performed their song Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed (about the banking crisis) on stage at the Anti-Cuts rally in Hyde Park in March.
  • Chumbawamba are anarcho-socialist collective of musicians who have always kept politics at the heart of their music. They famously tipped a bucket of ice over John Prescott at the 1998 BRIT awards. Though more acoustically-oriented these days, they still deliver music with a strong message, and Jude Abbot is one of the organisers of Folk Against Fascism.

Things to know

  • Facebook page for OccupyLSX https://www.facebook.com/occupylondon. Overall Occupy London twitter Occupy London hastag is #occupylondon. OccupyLSX Twitter is https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyLSX ; hashtag #occupylsx. Twitter for the Finsbury Square site is https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyLS; hastag #occupylfs.
  • Nearest tubes for the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) site are St. Pauls, Mansion House and Canon Street; buses 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242; do check Transport For London website for delays and closures at http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en. Occupy London’s new site at Finsbury Square (OccupyFS) is near Moorgate; buses 141, 153, 205, 21, 214, 43

19 Responses to “Occupy London gets set for student demo on 9th November”

  1. sorry is this a PR release for folk singers- do they have a christmas album coming out?
    You’ve already had some legends of modern music visit and play there, who were largely ignored. Why and who has this urge to tar all protest with the same drab brush..
    This is a hysterical oxymoron “massively popular folk rock duo”. There is no need for any press or public to try to undermine you when you are being so laughable. What a shame.

    • agree with anon,
      no need to publicise them, makes you look like publicists
      Happy for them to go and have their say, just sounds a bit like LOBBYING, not good.

  2. BE WARNED – Student demo – The penned are not mightier than the sword

    I’m concerned that the the protest will not finsih at the Moorgate junstion but the kettling will begin a little short of the Moorgate junction. And the protest will be hemmed in from Wood Street, which conveniently has a police station along London wall just short of the moorgate junction. The buildings on the left side of this part of London wall, from the protest perspective, is long abandoned. While the buildings on theright are being boarded up. As yet there is no attempts to board up buildings at the Moorgate junction. It may be prudent to halt the march at the museum of London some 400 metres short of the Morgate Junction. The alternative will be many hours of being penned in like sheep. You have been warned .

  3. I have heard that rubber bullets have been authorised for wednesday’s march


    I am feeling such despair right now.

  4. I am hearing that they have authorised the use of rubber bullets for Wednesday’s march


    I am in despair right now

    • Sorry for duplicate had trouble with reception 🙁

      • Dear Hidden,
        Please don’t be downhearted. It’s just a cheap attempt by the higher-ups to ramp up the tension. They believe that if they can make people angry and defensive enough, there’ll be an incident which will give them an excuse to go in heavy against us. There won’t be. We are smarter than that. We are peaceful, non-violent, intelligent and therefore more powerful than them – which must be annoying the hell out of them 🙂

        I don’t believe for a moment that the majority of the rank-and-file police want to use rubber bullets. I think this came from higher up, just to stir dissent. However depressing it might be, please don’t react to it. Instead, maybe see it as a sign that we are getting somewhere – and as a test of our resolve and peacefulness, which we are going to pass easily.
        Love and hugs

        • Anon

          “Please don’t be downhearted. It’s just a cheap attempt by the higher-ups to ramp up the tension.”

          Please provide some evidence for this claim

          “They believe that if they can make people angry and defensive enough, there’ll be an incident which will give them an excuse to go in heavy against us”

          Please provide some evidence for this claim

          “I think this came from higher up, just to stir dissent. ”

          Please provide some evidence for this claim

          • I have had bad experiences with policing that would suggest to me this could be tactical. I saw their tactics policing the riots. I witnessed the way they try and provoke violence.

            It doesn’t matter whether this is just on standby. It should not be used in this country. Our country is based on values that this goes against. Even stating that it is on standby is against this country’s values.

            As the article states, the public have not given consent. This goes against being a democratic country for giving ‘authorisation’ to use them. They do have authorisation to use it. to be on standby it had to be authorised.

            I will see you there.


  5. 1. Rubber bullets haven’t been authorised, they have just been put on standby, meaning that they would be available more quickly if required.

    2. Rubber bullets will only be used as a last resort if their is ‘extreme’ disorder in London.

    3. Given the large scale disorder in August when people died, and the disorder and criminality (by a minority of infiltrators) at the student demonstrations including the invasion of a building in Millbank (including the fire extinguisher incident) and the attack on the Prince of Wales’ car this decision to make this capability available as a precaution is entirely reasonable. It does immediately cause me nervousness by I still think the decision is reasonable.

    4. Given the democracy we live in any use of plastic bullets, as a last resort by extremely well trained officers would be investigated fully to ensure that it was absolutely necessary.

    5. If the demonstrations are legal and peaceful then the police will simply stand back and the;demonstrators will have a much better chance of getting their views across and these views will be what is talked about on the news.

    6. If some demonstrators break the law or conduct violence then this will be the focus of the news and the media will be able to frame the events as despicable disorder rather than a righteous expression of outrage at the current situation.

    7. OLSX could really show it has matured and is not beholden to those intent on violence and criminality by strongly appealing for a peaceful demonstration.

  6. Actually, OLSX could prove themsleves by disassociating themselves from any violence that occurs in advance, Failure to do so, may just leave you grouped up with those that seek violence, and do great damage to your cause.

    • Jock Strap

      I completely agree, this could be a defining moment for OLSX. I hope it takes the right path.

      • Dave, I’m not a fan, but I do believe that those who started this movement, are sincere and genuine, but misguided people. Sadly, however well intentioned they are, there’s a real chance they could be hijacked tomorrow, and their cause could be destroyed for ever.

        • again, I agree entirely

  7. Hidden member of society

    Its bad that you have had bad experiences with policing but surely the criticism of the police during the August riots is that they stood back too much and were not hard enough, allowing extensive looting, arson and murder and allowing many in the populace to be terrified.

    I agree that it shouldn’t be on standby on this country but it is because of the threat. I love the fact that the police in the UK don’t carry guns as a matter of course like in America and this is one of the great things about this country. But sometimes, unfortunately, the contingency is required in case the police need to defend themselves or the public. As I have mentioned before it is the fault of the rioters and the criminals within the previous marches (not the legitimately protesting students) who have sadly made this necessary. These precedents make it a realistic possibility that violence at these protests (caused by infiltrators) could become dangerous and in this case it is sadly necessary to have this contingency in place.

    In a democracy the population does not have a say in every single decision. It elects MPS which debate the law in Parliament and then those laws are formed. You may by the way be interested in a YouGov poll in August which showed the general population was in favour of the police being able to use a range of tactics including plastic bullets during the riots.

    Sorry for the weird formatting, I’m not great with computers.

    Table 1: Do you think the police should or should not be able to use the following in the course of dealing with rioters? 65% were in favour of plastic bullets and only 7% against.

    Should Should not Don’t know
    Water Cannon 90 6 4
    Mounted police 84 11 4
    Curfews 82 11 7
    Tear gas 78 17 4
    Tasers 72 21 7
    Plastic bullets 65 28 7
    Firearms/live ammunition 33 59 7
    Would you support or oppose using the army to help deal with the riots? Support Oppose Don’t know
    77 17 6


    Having said all that though, I understand your nervousness about having armed police on call.

    • Dave,

      The results of a poll taken whilst the general public where in a state of shock after the UK riots would obviously not reflect reality.

      If you read a lot of the content on this website I think it is clear that Occupy LSX has peaceful intentions.

      • John,

        Yes I understand that during the hysteria of the riots polling would be different but these polls still demonstrate that there is much public support for putting firearmed trained officers on standby in the rare instances that the circumstances demand it.

        I do enjoy reading a lot of the peaceful content on this website and I am certain that most people within OLSX are peaceful and well intentioned (if misguided in my opinion). However, previous events show that there are those that use these types of events to cause violence, disorder and conflict with the police and I hope that these people are not allowed to hijack OLSX’s good intentions.

        I continue to encourage OLSX to disassociate themselves from these types and make it clear that they condemn any violent or criminal actions.

        • I agree ~ I sense a lot of wisdom being spoken by yourself and some others here.


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