Sunday, October 16, 2011

Violent occupiers worldwide while NZ peaceful - but for how long...

Aotea Square and Auckland Town Hall, 1990Image via Wikipedia
Occupiers watch look on and listen to movement organisations

Occupiers watch look on and listen to movement organisation

It has been a day of sometimes violent, protest across the globe, with 950 co-ordinated demonstrations against corporate greed and austerity measures in more than 80 countries.

What began with a handful of people in the Occupy Wall Street movement has swelled to a global movement, with protests in more than 80 cities on six continents, including in New Zealand.

The biggest and bloodiest demonstration was in Rome. Up to 200,000 people took to the streets to protest against corporate greed and the state of the Italian economy.

The march ended in a riot as protesters set fire to police vans, and tried to smash their way into banks and shops.
Police responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Italians have been hit hard by austerity measures. They are angry about their government’s handling of the country's financial crisis.

In London protesters gathered at St Pauls Cathedral and hundreds attempted to occupy Paternoster Square, home to the city's stock exchange; their attempts were thwarted by police.

By nightfall, numbers had grown and tensions were fraying.

The movement continued across Europe, from Portugal and Spain to Berlin, Athens and the financial hub of Brussels.

Protests in Asia were peaceful but the message was the same.

In Aotea Square in Auckland around 100 protesters set up camp last night and say they are here for the long haul.

“Whatever it takes because at the moment the economy has a death grip on the planet and it's not letting go,” said one occupier, Dan Clark.

Another, Alex Port, says this is about the process itself of finding out how we can make our society, “one that's based on kindness and compassion rather than greed and cynicism”.

It is a family atmosphere at Aotea square but in other parts of the world expressing that message has turned streets into battlefields.

The re-election of the rightwing Key-led government could change all that. National's plans for a second term are causing alarm in some quarters in New Zealand. Protests have been planned in both Auckland and Wellington. Australian protests could commence in Sydney.

Acknowledgements: 3 News
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