‘We’re here to stay’ say London occupiers

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Rally next to St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday by crowds of people camping there and supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement
Rally next to St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday by crowds of people camping there and supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement

Over 600 people were yesterday massed at the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, holding a popular assembly after hundreds had camped out overnight following Saturday’s demonstration of up to 5,000.

At yesterday’s event, organising committee member Firas Khawaja told News Line: ‘The plan is to stay until December 12th.

‘There were police here manning the gates of the cathedral this morning. But the Bishop came along, requested the police to go down and supported the right of the demonstrators to protest.

‘The common goal is protesting against the global financial system and the global capitalist system.

‘Our aim is to have greater regulation of the banking system as a solution out of this crisis.

‘We look forward to a more just society with social fairness.

‘We would like the unions to join us and support us and join our initiative in line with the American unions who supported the Occupy Wall Street campaigners.

‘We have a joint struggle with the unions in Britain. They have a massive strike planned on November 30th.

‘One per cent control 99 per cent of the wealth – we are the 99 per cent and they must go down.’

Young American Robert O’Connor said: ‘I live near Wisconsin and paid close attention to the union protests against Governor Walker.

‘I support the protest here. There has to be some kind of justice for the people who collapsed the economy.

‘I left college in 2009 and haven’t been able to find a job. The wealthiest people haven’t been asked to sacrifice and that shouldn’t happen.’

Media analyst Chrissy told News Line: ‘I’m sleeping out here. We’re keeping the protest on for as long as it takes.

‘The governments have failed us, the banks have failed us and the corporations are screwing us over big time.

‘We don’t need these guys any more, we’re taking control back.

‘The police were a bit rough yesterday, they punched some people and pushed us around without warning.

‘But today they’ve been OK so far and hopefully it will remain peaceful.’

Zena Jones, 16, said: ‘Everyone should be born with the same opportunities.

‘The current system only allows the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.

‘I just don’t like the way money is used in a controlling way.

‘I think we’ve lost the practical base in society. A lot of things that used to be made in Britain are made by slaves in other societies.

‘We should all come together, young and old. We’re not taught to question things. When we start questioning things we can start being pro-active.’

King’s College student Lilly Hunt, 20, added: ‘I heard about the protest and came along.

‘I’m concerned about jobs and the way the media operate.

‘The government have made a complete mess. No one voted for the Tories and the Lib Dems have lied to every single student in this country over fees.

‘My brother isn’t going to be able to go to uni now because of the £9,000 fees.

‘This protest is good. I’d like to see more people.

‘The unions should support this, everyone should.

‘I’m a big fan of the Robin Hood tax the unions are talking about.

‘We need a change of government, change of voting system, change the way we’ve got democracy when it’s clear the government doesn’t listen to us.

‘They are making decisions on our behalf no one agrees with.’