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Occupy London, Portland, Los Angeles: Is This a Moral Mission, Or is It Time to Call It Quits?

Posted on the 18 November 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Occupy London, Portland, Los Angeles: Is this a moral mission, or is it time to call it quits?

Tents in front of St Paul's Cathedral, London. Photocredit: stevecadman

Occupy Wall Street may be dominating headlines after Thursday’s fractious Day of Action march, but the other Occupy movements worldwide are also not faring so well. The protest continues, but are they a thorn in the side of a world just trying to carry on, or are they genuinely making a difference?

OWS: Is it just a guy standing on a bench, ranting?

It’s all about morality. The movement, said Leift Dautch in USA Today, is actually a moral one. Its core principles might even be seen as those of Christianity. The catalyst was a “perceived rejection by the ultrarich” of such notions of morality. The rich haven’t paid their fair share in rebuilding things, is the idea. To be honest, anything that’s going to shore up the economy will mean more taxes. It’s not socialism – America used to have much higher top income tax brackets (in 1918 it was 77 percent.) The protesters won’t rest till they feel appeased – and how that happens will be difficult. But a millionaire’s tax is a step in the right direction.

Occupy London: The protesters have overstayed their welcome. The City of London served an eviction notice, which the campers have happily ignored. The order applies only to public land, not land owned by the church – so perhaps they’re all going to move onto that, said a BBC report. They’ve also occupied an empty building belonging to UBS – which they hope to turn into a “Bank of Ideas.” UBS will need to get a court order to evict the squatters. Pete Phoenix, an enviromental consultant, showed Peter Walker of The Guardian round the building, saying, “This winter there’s people freezing on the streets, and look at all of this wasted space.”

God given. Giles Fraser, who resigned from St Pauls, wrote in The Guardian that the protests were “a moment of God-given opportunity for the church”, in which it should reawaken its Christian values. Sure, the movement might feel threatening – but so did Jesus’ ministry.

“You can raid a camp, but not a movement,” says Luke, 22, a displaced Oakland camper, quoted on Time.

Occupy Oakland, California. The tents were razed by police, reported Time, but came up again at the University of California, where it’s become a symbol of defiance as a row about tuition fees escalates. But police have been heavy-handed, much as they were in Oakland. Protesters marched through San Francisco’s financial district, and pitched a tent inside Bank of America.

Occupy Portland, Oregon. Tensions between police and protesters at a downtown bank reached a fever pitch on Thursday, reported Oregon Live, after the “enraged” crowd got into a screaming, shoving match with police, who resolved the matter with pepper spray. Several people were arrested.

Occupy Los Angeles.  It’s “crunch time” in LA, said the LA Times. Whilst the city has welcomed protesters, unlike others, it looks like it’s “disinclined” to all them to stay much longer. The camp has actually succeeded in making some kind of center for the city, but it’s not in an ideal position. Let’s hope it doesn’t end with the violence of Oakland, or the “midnight rousting” in New York. People have been arrested – but there should be an “orchestrated finale involving no arrests,” with police and protesters agreeing about their “exit strategy.”

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