#occupydemocracy protesters have called on supporters of democracy to join them as they re-occupy Parliament Square from 6pm this Friday (21 November) for a long weekend. [1] In advance of the re-occupation, many #occupydemocracy supporters will be in attendance at the 24-hour Big NHS Sleepout / Vigil in the Square, which starts on Thursday at 7pm. [2]
Anticipation is high about what will happen as the protesters return to Parliament Square – currently cordoned off by fencing. Supporters cite that there is a real opportunity between now and the general election to put the spotlight on our ailing democracy.
They said:
“Our democracy is in crisis. Our elected ‘representatives’ are paralysed in the face of yet another banking crisis. Under the banner of the ‘austerity’ scam, our public funds were stolen to bail out immoral gambling banks. Much needed and hard fought for public services are being gutted in preparation for yet more privatisation. The failure of our parliamentarians to deal with the sordid child abuse scandals at the heart of Government speaks volumes.
“The main political parties no longer represent us: they have been captured by corporations and their lobbyists, and their policies are largely the same. Decisions are made for the benefit of corporations and the super-rich – not for the 99%. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, while corporations pay an ever-decreasing amount of tax. The inequality is only going to get worse if we don’t act.
“Nobody voted for the dismantling of the NHS, tripling of tuition fees, the Bedroom Tax, welfare cuts, an attack on disabled people and those on benefits, fracking under our homes or secret trade deals that give corporations power over how our country is run.
“The media is not reporting it but everyday people are protesting about the symptoms of this crisis including: depressed wages, a housing crisis, hospitals threatened with closure, an escalating climate crisis, police brutality, wars we don’t support, benefit cuts and blacklisting.
“But these are all symptoms of the same disease: the corruption of our democracy.” [3]
A new movement for a revolution in democracy
Last month, when #occupydemocracy occupied Parliament Square peacefully for nine days, the strategic response of the establishment failed in its intended chilling effect – with over-policing to deter numbers from growing and a veritable media silence about the oppression the protesters faced. Remaining peaceful and resolute in demanding their right to protest and assemble, numbers and awareness grew and the focus was kept on the solutions-focused programme of debates, talks and entertainment. Triumphantly, on the final night they agreed a provisional set of demands. [4]
Come join us as we #occupydemocracy.
How can I get involved?
  • Drop by and help build the movement for Real Democracy Now!
  • Bring warm clothing and food to share
  • Get involved in the conversation of twitter – follow the #occupydemocracy hashtag
  • If you can’t get down to the Square, get together with your friends and create your own event, action or occupation.
Notes for editors:
[1] #OccupyDemocracy (http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/) was formed in March as a working group of Occupy London (http://occupylondon.org.uk/) to build a social movement for genuine democracy that is free from corporate influence.
#OccupyDemocracy‘s first occupation of Parliament Square, 17-26 October 2014, attracted hundreds of people over the course of nine days – including prominent figures such as Russell Brand, Ken Loach, Vivienne Westwood and Jolyon Rubinstein; politicians such as Caroline Lucas MP, John McDonnell MP, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Baroness Jenny Jones and Michael Meacher MP; and representatives of dozens of progressive civil society organisations who, in turn represent millions of people, yet have little voice in our democracy.
Groups who sent speakers to to the first occupation in October included: Friends of the Earth, UK Uncut, World Development Movement, War on Want, Fuel Poverty Action, Disabled People Against the Cuts, Defend the Right to Protest, Stop the War, OurNHS, Stroud Against the Cuts, New Economics Foundation, Robin Hood Tax, Green New Deal Group, Platform, Save Lewisham Hospital and One Million Climate Jobs.
Working by consensus decision making, #occupydemocracy has a safer spaces policy and is dedicated to non-violence.
[3] In their 2011 report Unelected Oligarchy, the think tank Democratic Audit detailed how: “Corporate and financial elites have inserted themselves into the heart of government over successive administrations, and … continue to exercise a predominant influence over it – through the financing of political parties, think tanks and lobbying organisations, membership of advisory bodies, ‘revolving doors’ and joint partnerships with government.” http://filestore.democraticauditarchive.com/file/de232c951e8286baa79af208ac250112-1311676243/oligarchy.pdf
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