ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Les Indignés anglais occupent la City
Translated Saturday 29 October 2011, by
More than 200 English “indignants”, determined to pursue their global campaign against corporate greed, remained outside St. Paul’s Cathedral near the heart of London’s financial district after a second night of camping.
“Capitalism is crisis” proclaimed a banner hanging at the forefront of the camp: about a hundred tents erected in front of the cathedral near the financial district, considered the symbol of British finance. Sitting in front of their tents or on the steps of the cathedral, the protesters, chatting and sipping tea, attracted curious looks from passers-by and business men on their way to work.
“We will stay as long as it takes,” assured Danielle Allen, a 25-year-old unemployed teacher, who joined the camp with some friends. “Even though we live in a democracy, most people feel they aren’t being heard,” she explained. “We are trying to raise awareness and to show everyone how corrupt the banking system is.”
On Saturday, a group named Occupy LSX called the first people’s assembly in London, which was attended by 3,000 people according to British press. Justin is protesting “against austerity measures which will only deepen recession.” “Banks got millions and they are rewarding themselves bonuses, but giving nothing back,” he says indignantly. Like Justin, students Mark and Sean want “more regulation and a rebalancing of the system in favour of ordinary people.”
For many of the protesters, the Wall Street occupation was the trigger. “I couldn’t wait for something to happen in London,” says Frank Mills, a 21-year-old teacher. Merry O’Neill, a Franco-Irish 18-year-old, believes that “people everywhere need to stand up. We live in supposed democracies, which in reality are not democratic.” “To be honest, I don’t know if it will last the week because many of us work and we all need to eat,” she admits. But she hopes that “a nucleus will stay through the week and that greater numbers will join at the weekend.”
Between 150 and 200 “indignants” remained in a happy make-shift village outside the European Central Bank in Frankfurt at midday on Monday. The German “indignants” set up camp after a protest on Saturday which gathered together more than 5,000 protesters. The number of tents has since risen and now there are more than fifty on the grassy square outside the ECB, on which stands the famous blue and yellow sculpture of the Euro sign. The mostly young Frankfurt protesters hold regular general assemblies, prepare pamphlets and organise the management of the camp, collecting provisions and wood for heating and cooking.