Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) is holding a People’s assembly in the heart of London’s financial centre just outside St Paul’s cathedral, with more than 4000 people gathering to highlight and address social and economic injustice in the UK and beyond.
OccupyLSX is one of more 950 actions taking place around the world who are coming together under the banner of “United For Global Change” calling for true democracy. Over 20 actions and occupations are happening around the UK.
This afternoon,OccupyLSX held its first General Assembly – open to all – allowing attendees to voice their opinions as well as taking decisions. Together they are deciding the future of the occupation and people are currently working together to set up toilet’s kitchens and to decide the future of the occupation. There are plans for workshops, talks and teach-ins.
Jane McIntyre who is planning to stay at Occupy LSX for as long as possible said:
“Whilst the illegitimate G20 finance ministers meeting is happening this weekend, people around the globe are protesting against the inequality and injustice that has arisen because of the failed economic system that governments are pushing onto people everywhere. People are saying enough is enough, we want a read democracy, not one that is based on the interests of big business and the banking system.”
OccupyLSX supporter Ronan McNern said: “Our movement for change transcends political affiliation – you don’t have to be left or right. Come join as we begin to open up a space in London’s Square Mile to start much needed conversations about changes in the financial sector and government, so that they better serve and protect the interests and wellbeing of the country.”
Vlad Teichberg, member of the Occupy Wall Street media collective said: “London – welcome to the revolution! What’s happening around the world with the spread of occupations is the beginning of a global conversation based on the principles of equality, unity and mutual respect about the future of our society. Let’s get together and we can all be part of this.”
The occupation comes as the failings of the financial industry and those regulating it become evermore clearer. The UK bank bailout accounts for about one third of the global banking bailout, with the total cost of bailing out at £1.3 trillion – more than 10 times the entire NHS budget. And still three years on the government continues to subsidise the ‘too big to fail banks’, whilst bankers reward themselves enormous bonuses.  This contrasts starkly against the planned £83 billion public sector cuts by 2014-15, predicted to cut the incomes of ordinary people – such as 16.2% for pensioner couples, 6.2% for typical families with two young people on modest earnings and 10.4% for the average working lone parent with two children.
“No wonder levels of social mobility in the UK are the lowest among all developed economies. The financial elite are taking advantage of the rest of the nation, with the top ten percent now have 100 times the wealth of the bottom ten percent. It is time to make a stand for a democratic society for all, in solidarity with the 99 per cent around the world,” added Ronan.
Bringing together a diverse range of people, OccupyLSX is part of 20 actions and occupations happening in towns and cities across the UK  and over 950 actions worldwide today. It is supported by groups including UK Uncut, the London-based Assembly of the Spanish 15M movement and 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 having more than 15,000 members.
1 New Economics Foundation, Quid Pro Quo, September 2011 – http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/quid-pro-quo
2 The cuts are hitting the poorest hardest according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies; TUC, Where the Money Goes, October 2010 www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/21/spending-review-cuts-will-hit-poorest-harder-says-ifs; http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/Where_the_money_goes_press%20release.pdf
3 For an overview of Occupy events happening in the UK, see Occupy Britain (www.occupybritain.co.uk/). A comprehensive list of United for Global Change events scheduled for 15th October is available at 15october.net. The People’s Assemblies Network (http://www.peoplesassemblies.org) is a global network supporting grassroots democratic assemblies.
4 Further financial information and statistics about the bank bailouts, austerity cuts, unemployment and inequality in the UK can be found at: occupylsx.org/?page_id=172
5 The first OccupyLSX General Assembly took place during the course of UK Uncut’s “Block the Bridge, Block the Bill” event on Westminster Bridge. Images, together with a report of the event, have been posted at occupylsx.org
See the Pressenza [pictures](https://picasaweb.google.com/101694896422844570574/PressenzaPicturesOct15?authkey=Gv1sRgCMCBquKUve3D3AE#)