From 15th October 2011 until 20th February 2012
Welcome to OCCUPYNORWICH
The range of views covered by the group is vast, but united by an opposition to the growing disparity of wealth. We are not necessarily ‘anti-bank’; ‘anti-capitalist’; ‘anti-system’, despite the media’s characterisation of the whole Occupy movement as such. Some people taking part in the movement hold these views – but not all. We are also not necessarily ‘anti-rich’. The movement does not object to people being paid fairly for working hard and using their skills and time. The people we oppose are the extremely wealthy; those who wield a disproportionate amount of power over governments and resources, whether they be individuals or corporations.
Occupy Norwich, like the other Occupy movements within Britain (and the world) was inspired by Occupy Wall Street whose unifying aim is the use of nonviolent protest against corporate greed and corrupt politics.
“Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.”
As well as being inspired by these aims, for some of the group here in Norwich the environment is the main motivator. For others it’s exploitation of the developing world. There are also members from both left and right of the political spectrum, if indeed such a way of looking at politics is credible. Many protesters hope for evolution of our current system and some for revolution. We are united in not having a single answer – we are here to think, discuss, listen, share views and take appropriate action. And we are united in our determination that the status quo is no longer acceptable and does not represent true democracy.
Very brief history of the Occupy Movement
- 30 May 2011, the Spanish Indignants movement, inspired by the Arab Spring, made a call for a worldwide protest on October 15.
- July 2011 A group called ‘Adbusters’ issued a ‘call to action’, to ‘Occupy Wall Street’.
- 17 September 2011 In New York approximately 1000 people marched and 100-200 stayed overnight.
- Early October Approximately 15,000 people were involved with the protest in New York plus many others across America. Unions joined movement.
- 15 October 2011 Global Day of Action: over 1,500 protests were held in 82 countries across 7 continents.
- 16 October 2011 Occupy London Stock Exchange (Occupy LSX) issues an initial statement. This has not been agreed or discussed by Occupy Norwich but is included here as a general flavour of the Occupy Movement’s aims in the UK.
Occupy London’s initial statement:
At today’s assembly of over 500 people on the steps of St Paul’s, #occupylsx collectively agreed the initial statement below. Please note, like all forms of direct democracy, the statement will always be a work in progress.
- The current system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; this is where we work towards them.
- We are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities, dis/abilities and faiths. We stand together with occupations all over the world.
- We refuse to pay for the banks’ crisis.
- We do not accept the cuts as either necessary or inevitable. We demand an end to global tax injustice and our democracy representing corporations instead of the people.
- We want regulators to be genuinely independent of the industries they regulate.
- We support the strike on the 30th November and the student action on the 9th November, and actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment, and to stop wars and arms dealing.
- We want structural change towards authentic global equality. The world’s resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich.
- We stand in solidarity with the global oppressed and we call for an end to the actions of our government and others in causing this oppression.
- This is what democracy looks like. Come and join us!
What can I do to support Occupy Norwich?
A few initial ideas… contact your local councillor and let them know you support the movement. TELL PEOPLE! Use twitter, facebook and any means possible. Use your power as a consumer – every penny you spend supports someone, make sure you use this power wisely.
The movement is mainstream, not extreme and needs everyone’s skills, ideas and support. Join our discussions in the Forum and on Facebook – you can find links at the top of the page. You are very welcome to come along on Saturdays at 2pm for the General Assembly.