Yes once more I’m returning to those crazy kids of the occupy movement, in a week where the LAPD have reportedly been destorying occupy tents* apparently up in Edinburgh the little bit of weather they’ve been having has cleared that camp quite effectively. As the lovely picture from Punk rock Libertarians wonderfully illustrates despite objectionable (and they have objected) tactics from the police the occupy movement seems to continue to call for more government control (of everyone else).
Over her on the more civilised side of the pond our police sent round a badly titled memo warning business people in the city that they’d had reports that some elements of the occupy movement might get up to unpleasant shenanigans and hijinks in the run up to Christmas. No doubt fuelled by copious amounts of non-alchoholic fair trade organic egg-nog. The occupy lot rather took objection to being on the same standard memo as other more nasty people, I’d have thought they’d have been chuffed to be being taken seriously. The warning seems reasonable given the mess that previous related marches and such like have caused.
The London crowd though seem to be made of cannier stuff and have prepared for winter by on the back of the strikes the other week, have “occupied” a variety of unoccupied buildings – something that used to be called squatting when I were an even younger lad. My current favourite of these is the Bloomsbury square squat.
Renamed by the squatters as the “Bloomsbury Social Centre” the comrades are keeping the read flag flying with an inclusive “communism” banner hanging out the upstairs window. Rather wonderfully they have both a Facebook and WordPress presence to truly demonstrate their anti-captilist stance. The WordPress site also has a Bookign form as the squat is apparently “a community space” and they’d “love for you to host your event here. All welcome!” (Told you that banner was inclusive). I wonder if they’d accept corporate bookings and if any of the students would be prepared to work as table service? After all times are tough and we’re all in it together and surely they’d not begrudge a bit of festive cheer to the working classes at this time of year. If anyone is worried about the risk of booking the venue they have reportedly had a health and safety assessment done so the “police can’t get them on health and safety grounds – from which I assume there are no law students involved. One of their main objections seems to be that the University plans to start using the building again and horror the new dean of post-grads will get “a luxury apartment in the top-floor of the building.” the bastard. Though I do agree with them that “our social spaces as well as our ability to organise are under attack” and whilst they may hope that squatting in a university building will tackle the issue, I can’t help but think helping to repair a run down old church hall might not achieve more.
As with every squat/occupation they have a Wish list, and looking at that I can’t help but observe that if someone did want to really cause any of these protests problems the wish lists are the way in – but then I’m not a very nice person. Of course many of these wish list items could apparently be gained by intercepting them before retail stores deliberately destroy them. All businesses obviously loving to spend time and resources destroying things rather than just throwing them out. I suspect those particular “occupiers” are too young to recall the times when you could buy electrical goods in jumble sales and the like, before the safety elf degreed that that was too dangerous as the cables might be a bit threadbare, so then they could only be sold for spares and now not at all. So the stores that used to donate food to shelters and might pass on electrical goods to charity now have to destroy them for fear of liability.
Still to end on a high note the lot over at St. Pauls have at least finally (I’m a bit late on this) after a mere six weeks decide what they want to ask Santa for for Christmas. Strangely the list doesn’t define the cut off point for being counted amongst the wealthiest nor what their “share” might be. Even more strangely they’re not asking Santa for a pony perhaps someone read them LegIrons story.
As the septicisle observes just six weeks to come up with the same list as UK uncut – they’ll prove the infinite monkeys theory right yet.
* As reported the police action strikes me as criminal destruction of property but I don’t know US laws.