Sunday, 13 May 2012

An Empty Protest in an Empty City

The Guardian and the BBC reckon that around 300 people turned up for the Occupy "Meet the 1%" protest. They kicked off outside of St. Paul's to give the impression of greater numbers, it being the only area in the City with any significant footfall at the weekend. The reality of the meeting the 1% part of this protest involved marching past the empty offices of a list of targets that they had drawn up. At one point, someone wrapped Occupy police barrier-style tape across the entrance to Goldman Sachs. Whoever was operating the Occupy London Twitter account seemed bemused that the Deloitte office was shut and therefore no one to actually meet. Finally, they ended up at the Bank of England where tents were inevitably pitched. Not wanting another St. Paul's camp in the making, the police invoked section 14 of the Public Order Act and gave them 45 minutes to fuck off. There were the usual accusations that the police were acting unlawfully in trying to move them on followed by cries of police brutality as those who remained were dragged kicking and screaming into the police vans.
There's a surprisingly Occupy-friendly article in the Mail although rather amusingly, it has been astroturfed to hell by Occupy supporters - come on guys, you could get away with that in the Guardian or Independent but this is the Mail for fucks sake. Overall media coverage of the day itself has been low key and focussed on the arrests rather than whatever message it was that they were trying to convey. Therein lies Occupy's major failing; that it is all about occupying and the occupiers, with occupying being the end to the protest rather than the means. Who, in a deserted City of London, did they think was going to take any interest?

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