Christmas Carols to the tune of the 1 Percent

With Christmas drawing closer and the weather deteriorating, the 99% are once again struggling to cover all that comes with the season. Meanwhile bankers have enjoyed a 21% pay increase as they enter their ‘bonus season’. Campers at Finsbury Square decided to wish the bailed-out bankers an early Merry Christmas with carols sung to the ‘Tune of the 1 Percent.’

‘Scrooge and the 3 Kings of the 1 Per Cent; Cameron, Boris and Osborne’ joined forces yesterday to sing carols at the doorsteps of central London banks including RBS, Barclays and Lloyds. Adapted lyrics like ‘Last Christmas young people had jobs, and the very next day you took them away’ and gifts paid for by the 99% including ‘taxpayers bailouts, massive bonuses and privatization’ went down well and ended with a crowded public carols service outside Liverpool Station.

Despite a large police presence the carols were peaceful with no back up being required. Barclays closing their curtains in the singers faces was the most hostility encountered and with plenty of Rah-Rah, the positive response from the public makes me believe this was a successful and well enjoyed event. Well done to the organizers and enjoy your christmas bankers! Tally ho!

 

Occupy London ‘repossesses’ multi-million pound bank offices

Repost from occupylsx

- First building for the economic justice campaigners as they occupy third space in borough of Hackney, alongside existing spaces in the City of London and borough of Islington

- New ‘Bank of Ideas’ open to public this Saturday. Offices and meeting rooms will be available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs due to savage Government spending cuts

Occupy London has taken over a huge abandoned office block in the borough of Hackney belonging to the investment bank UBS in a move it describes as a ‘public repossession.’ [1]

Overnight on Thursday, a dozen activists from the Occupy London, campaigners for social and economic justice as part of the global fight for real democracy, gained access to the building and secured it, giving them a legal claim on the space.

The multimillion pound complex, which has been empty for several years, is the group’s third space and its first building, adding to its two camps at St Paul’s Courtyard – near the London Stock Exchange in the heart of the City – and at Finsbury Square (borough of Islington).

Occupy London supporter Jack Holburn said: “Whilst over 9,000 families were kicked out of their homes in the last three months for failing to keep up mortgage payments – mostly due to the recession caused by the banks – UBS and others financial giants are sitting on massive abandoned properties.

“As banks repossess families’ homes, empty bank property needs to be repossessed by the public. Yesterday we learned that the Government has failed to create public value out of banking failure. We can do better. We hope this is the first in a wave of ‘public repossessions’ of property belonging to the companies that crashed the global economy.”

The Bank of Ideas
The group say the space will be reopened on Saturday morning as the ‘Bank of Ideas.’ [2] An events programme is being lined up, including talks from Palestinian activists, comedy from Josie Long and a session led by trader Alessio Rastani, who sent shockwaves through the media following a provocative interview on the Eurozone crisis. [3]

Sarah Layler of Occupy London added: “The Bank of Ideas will host a full events programme where people will be able to trade in creativity rather than cash. We will also make space available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs to savage Government spending cuts.”

The Bank of Ideas is a non-residential occupation – so visitors are asked not to bring their sleeping bags. Space will be free from drugs and alcohol from the start, as per Occupy London’s safer space policy.[4]

Notes

1 The complex is owned by Sun Street Properties Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UBS. The property includes 5-29 Sun Street, 5-17 Crown Place, 8-16 Earl Street and 54 Wilson Street. See dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/ubs…, http://dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/shoreditch-ubs.PDF, dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/pla…, http://dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/os-map.pdf and dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/lan…

2 www.bankofideas.org.uk

3 www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC19fEqR5bA

4 occupylsx.org/?page_id=1214

5 UBS Bank, which describes itself as a ‘premier global financial services firm offering wealth management, investment banking, asset management and business banking services’ was the subject of a $60bn bailout from the Swiss government in 2008 after piling up the biggest losses of any European lender from the global credit crisis. Since the time, the bank has cut thousands of jobs.

In September, a 31-year old trader at UBS was arrested by City of London police in connection with rogue trading that has cost the bank an estimated $2bn. The New York Times wrote an article in response called ‘At UBS, It’s the Culture That’s Rogue’ (see www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/business/glo…? pagewanted=all)

The Financial Mail ran the headline ‘UBS grabs £1bn from pensioners’ with reference to a controversial form of secured lending that was sold aggressively to pensioners (see dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/ubs….)

The bank has nine offices in the UK including three in London.

A recent report showed a total of 9,200 homes in the UK were repossessed by banks in the third quarter of the year, a rise on the previous three months (see www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15672123). Figures are expected to deteriorate further.

5 Nearest tubes for the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) site are St. Pauls, Mansion House and Canon Street; buses 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242; do check Transport For London website for delays and closures at journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRI…. The new Bank of Ideas is just down the road from the Occupy London Finsbury Square (OccupyLFS) space, which is near Moorgate; buses 141, 153, 205, 21, 214, 43

6 On Sunday 16th October at an assembly of over 500 people on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, Occupy London collectively agreed the initial statement below. Please note, like all forms of direct democracy, the statement will always be a work in progress. Details at occupylsx.org/?page_id=575

7 Bringing together a diverse range of people, Occupy London’s Stock Exchange, Finsbury Square (OccupyLFS) and Bank of Ideas are part of more than 30 occupations happening in towns and cities across the UK and over 1,000 actions worldwide coming together under the banner of “United For Global Change” calling for true democracy. Occupy London is supported by groups including UK Uncut, the London-based Assembly of the Spanish 15M movement and many others. It has already received phenomenal interest, from the public and media in the UK and around the world, with the OccupyLSX facebook group now more than 31,000 members.

6 More information on UK occupations at www.occupybritain.co.uk/protest-details

OccupyLFS Party and new Facebook page

photo by Hugh Hill

After a long week we are having an impromptu party. Music will be improvised and nothing will begin before the end of the General Assembly.

Please be aware of our Safe Spaces Policy and make sure everyone has a good time. Bring yourselves.

The event page is here.

The ‘Occupy London Finsbury Square’ page is here.

Support Those Arrested on 5 Nov

10 people were arrested under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, Section 132(4) – Illegal Protest, while on an authorised march on 5 November 2011.

They are all scheduled to attend Westminster Magistrates Court this Friday 18 November 2011.

For an account of one of the arrested, visit: http://www.scriptonitedaily.org/2011/11/voices-from-occupation-5th-november.html

Please come and show your support for these people. This is a peaceful presence to raise awareness of the issues impacting so many of us today.

Bring banners, bring drums, bring your voices and your energy to raise awareness of the criminalisation of legal protest in the UK.

For more information click here.

Event Today: Everybody is an artist at Finsbury Square

Free exhibition by artists in support of #occupylondon will be open from 11am till 8pm at Finsbury Square.

Artists are invited to participate: You can pitch a tent to show your work in. You can put a sculpture on the grass. You can bring a picture and an easel to display it. You can do a performance. You can make a banner or a flag.

Link on the London List website here.

If you would like to be involved please contact robsoncezar@hotmail.com

Monopoly Bike Ride

JOIN US: FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER for a pleasant afternoon cycle around your favourite London destinations from the Monopoly board game. Mixed-in, of course, with a liberal helping of the City’s financial institutions and regulatory bodies – which collectively play games with our financial future.

BRING: A safe bike (with lights if possible). Alternatively, bikes will be available for hire: please email occupylondoninfo@gmail.com in advance so we can gauge numbers.

ASSEMBLE: At St Paul’s Cathedral (near the giant monopoly board!) from 2pm, departing from 3:30pm.

DRESS CODE: Wear a suit with top hat and cane/umbrella

MONOPOLY DESTINATIONS:

Bow Street
Whitechapel Road
Liverpool Street
Kings Cross
Marylebone Station
Whitehall
Fleet Street
Trafalgar Square *
Oxford Circus
Bond Street

http://monopolypubcrawl.org.uk/map/original/#

FINANCIAL DESTINATIONS:

Bank of England
London Stock Exchange
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom
Corporation of the City of London
H.M Treasury
Barclays
Citibank
RBS
Lloyds
HSBC
Merryl Lynch
Bank of America
Goldman Sachs
Bank of New York Mellon
JP Morgan Chase

ROUTE:  The route(s) taken will be dependent on participant numbers and will be decided at random on the day.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE.

* IMPORTANT NOTE:  A memorial service and candle lit vigil will be held on Trafalgar Square to commemorate a man who was murdered on the Square two years ago. The event will take place between 19:30hrs and 21:30hrs. It is expected that 5,000 mourners along with family and friends of the victim will attend. This area should be avoided during this time to allow those grieving to have uninterrupted use of the site on the anniversary of the murder.