Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Occupy protesters have lost the moral high ground

My grudging respect for the Occupy London Stock Exchange campaigners has all but dissolved on learning most of the tents that have forced St Paul’s Cathedral to close its doors are unoccupied at night.
The claim by the police, which I haven’t seen denied, means by regularly returning home for a shower and a warm bed – perhaps while holding down a job too – the protesters have missed out the bit about suffering for their cause.
It’s no wonder the happy campers are talking about sitting tight until Christmas and beyond, while the Cathedral and local businesses see their revenues evaporate.
I don’t doubt their sincerity; there is much to be angry about in an economic system which, having failed sends ordinary people not bankers to the financial wall.
But surely without the hardship of battling cold, wet nights, the protesters lose the moral high ground? It would be as though on hunger strike between meals.
For almost 50 years I’ve regretted not completing the 1962 Aldermaston CND march.
Applying the attitude of the St Paul’s protesters I should have jumped on a bus and then taken a train home. In fact that’s what I did; but it’s taken half a century to admit my lack of stamina and resolve.
Without the privation which laying tented siege to the City of London should entail, the fair weather protesters are little more than a nuisance.
The ‘best’ they can hope for is that a messy court battle to remove them will keep them in the headlines – and eventually the police will assume the role of capitalist lackeys and clear the tent sites with excessive force.
They have made their point (albeit a flimsy one as I complain in my previous post) and should go home. But they won’t; not when there is so much fun to be had.

4 comments:

  1. Apparently a substantial number of the tents are not occupied at night. Nevetheless, the cause is right. The issue is social justice. Let's see if the Big Society can provide it.

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  2. It's because of people like you that we still have the BOMB !

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  3. 2 clergymen [on opposite sides of the argument] have now resigned over this matter. An attempt is made to prevent one of them from airing his views. Comments abound that Goldman Sachs and other bastions of capitalism have put substantial funds into St. Pauls. Complaints from the City about the occupiers. Yes the 1 per cent have again shown what side they are on. How wearily predictable it all is. In any democracy everybody knows that when there are sit down protesters, legal or otherwise, they usually are allowed to make their point for a while; and if they then become a general nuisance, legal entities and the police come into play and the protestors are moved on, if necessary, using a reasonable amount of force. A little bit of inconvenience for us all is worth it, in order to highlight for us all what the Wall Street [and their global equivalents] protests/protestors [representing the 99 per cent] are all about. The outcry is because the one per cent feel threatened. God forbid that a few protestors should be allowed to put them even under the slightest pressure. How uncool the 1 per cent is !
    [Jaffa]

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  4. Jaffa,
    The protesters are putting St Paul's out of business, while next door the London Stock Exchange continues on its merry capitalist way. By the time the tents are cleared, whether peacefully or not, the Occupy point will have been made. GC

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What do you think? GC