2007 - 2020

Occupy Edinburgh

“We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent. “

From Occupy Edinburgh

There’s a growing bunch of hardy souls camping out in St Andrew’s Square in solidarity with those on Wall Street, in Glasgow, Dublin, London, Athens, Madrid, Santiago and 900 other places all over the world, where people who have had enough of the outrages of the 1% against the 99% of people and the planet are finally saying ‘enough is enough’.

It’s great if you are willing and able to join those camping out, but it’s equally good just to have people popping by to say hello.

And there are lots of other ways to get involved and help out: bring your talents: come and play an instrument, bring along artwork, sing with your choir (or give us a solo!), do some stand up, or share your latest play with us…bring your skills and knowledge – workshops in everything from economics to compost making, unicycle riding to social history…. we will find a way to fit your offering into our programme of events…come and help keep the site tidy, make tea and coffee, hand out leaflets, welcome new people and just do whatever needs doing at the time…photocopy as many copies as you can of the leaflet attached and bring them along to hand out…

We could also really do with:

A white-board and pens
Blankets
Food
A really big tea pot.
Fold up chairs

Attached is a leaflet we’re using – adapted from a leaflet titled ‘United for Global Democracy’ which was written by Ana Suarez and Shimri Zameret and is being used widely:

Across the world we demand global democracy: global governance by the people, for the people. Inspired by our sisters and brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, New York, Palestine-Israel, Spain and Greece, we too call for a regime change: a global regime change to replace the G8 with the whole of humanity. A regime change that starts with our communities and our countries rejecting corporations’ control

There are over 900 occupations happening from Occupy Wall Street, New York, to Puerta del Sol Square, Madrid, from the steps of St Pauls, City of London, to Santiago in Chile: different climates, but the same vision!

Undemocratic international institutions are our global Mubarak, our global Gaddafi. These include: the IMF, the WTO, global markets, the G8/G20, the European Central Bank and the UN security council. Like Mubarak and Assad, these institutions must not be allowed to run people’s lives without their consent. We are all born equal. Our global institutions must change to reflect this, or be replaced.

Today, more than ever before, global forces shape people’s lives. Our jobs, health, housing, education and pensions are controlled by the 1%, by the global corporations, banks, financiers, and the politicians they buy.

Corporations push the international trade in arms, drugs and resources, wage war for profit, destroy lives, communities and our planet. We are losing control over our lives. This must stop. This will stop.

We 99% have it in our power to reshape the way we live, to work in our communities to rebuild our food, energy and support systems. We have it in our power to reclaim politics from the corporations, the 1% that control it. We just need to decide, to dare to dream, to act to stop the nightmare.

Politics in the service of people and planet; not run by corporations for profit. This is local, national and global democracy. That is what we demand – something only we can make.

Comments (17)

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  1. Fine, I’ll be there, I’ll join in, but the agenda is so wooly, politically fluffy, and happy-hippy, that without a drastic re-think and some serious political planning, with ultimatums set, this entire global street party may turn out to be the kiss of death for democracy, not the start of anything new and liberating.

    Why put so much energy into something with no real coherent objective? How will you feel when the powers that be cannot meet your objectives because they were never made clear in the first place?

    Rather than simply joining this vague global protest which has too many demands to be met or even addressed; and rather than seeing this as an opportunity for self expression (which will ultimately be self-defeating when the selves have expressed themselves and nothing has changed), what occupy Edinburgh needs to do is try to lead the other occupy organisations – by coming up with a concrete agenda and specific demands.

    Also, it needs to take direct action. 50,000 people threatening to remove their funds from a specific bank,on a specific date, unless that bank delivers its CEO up for prosecution, and opens all of its accounts to autonomous non-govt regulators – for example. Organising that would be a lot more effective than organising tents and toilets.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      I think these are really fair points Ewan – but there’s alot more clarity speaking to people on the ground and in ‘the air’, we’ll be posting some good analysis of clearer paths we’ve come across (and bringing hot soup)

      1. Ray Bell says:

        While I’ve got some reservations about it (People and Planet seems to be a little too based around Edinburgh University students, for example), I suppose at least they’re out there. There’s all too little defiance in this country, and it’s not really something you can do on your own.

  2. dlgrant422 says:

    Printing out the leaflets – I’ll be there with you when I can. In the meantime, I’ll spread the word!

  3. Ray Bell says:

    I walked through the encampment on Sunday.

    Will it engage the public? Probably not, although I think the majority of people are annoyed at the banks.

    Once again, though I feel the protesters are missing other obvious aspects. (Obvious to me anyway.) Apart from the Harvey Nicks nearby, which has to be the bastion of capitalist crassness… how many of them know who is on top of that pillar, and why aren’t they campaigning to have him taken down? Dundas, dictator and “uncrowned king of Scotland”.

  4. MacNaughton says:

    Ewan, Zygmunt Bauman (“Liquid Modernity”) recently made the very same point when visiting Spain the other day, describing the 15-M as “an emotional movement” but without a clear agenda or objectives.

    Nonetheless, the habit of political activism has been so eroded over the last few decades that just to see some kind of response is a good thing. If you read Hessel’s pamphlet, it is very light, with very little substance.

  5. dave says:

    the current leaflet being handed out contains some really embarassingly bad, poorly thought out schemes. “central banks should create money, this would be given to govts and individuals” ??

    “use some of the new central bank money to cancel current debts”

    Oh, hey just create money, now why didnt i think of that. This is the type of thing that turns people off and makes demo movements look like silly kids. Better to have no leaflet than a whacky 12 year olds view of economics one.

  6. Siôn Jones says:

    I’ll be there in spirit, though as I live Wales I can’t be there in person! We in Wales don’t have a banking sector, which has always been held against our national aspirations. There is no appropriate square of street to occupy. Perhaps that is something we could use to our advantage in the next few years as we forge the Welsh democratic socialist republic!

  7. Ard Righ says:

    Yeah they’re all B’stards, the face less corporations, parasitic governments, back handing councils, dodgy NGO’s, complicit lobbyists, intelligence agency terrorists, American “world” bank holding many countries to ransom, the fictitious person of Roman corporate law, public land being sold for private gain, morally righteousness charities as vehicles for fascists, the perversion of the meaning of language by advertising agencies, english media and its trivia, idiots and the general incompetence, BUT I can’t help remembering a particularly good comedy show from the turn of the ninties the crowd in the square chant……….

    What do we want? DON’T KNOW.
    When do we want it? NOW.

    What do we want? DON’T KNOW.
    When do we want it? NOW.

    What do we want? DON’T KNOW.
    When do we want it? NOW.

    What do we want? DON’T KNOW.
    When do we want it? NOW.

    What do we want? DON’T KNOW.
    When do we want it? NOW.

    What do we want? DON’T KNOW.
    When do we want it? NOW.

    What do we want? DON’T KNOW.
    When do we want it? NOW.

    What do we want? DON’T KNOW.
    When do we want it? NOW.

    Yes, we are all disenfranchised from our very own lives 7:84, 1:99 24;7;365
    Let it all collapse and do a Iceland,

  8. trevor campbell says:

    BIG: ‘what are your demands?
    we(e): we will start with the impossible
    BIG: IMPOSSIBLE!
    we(e): You see there’s the start
    BIG: You’ve NO FOCUS
    we(e): right.. no focus….focu

  9. Micky Stock says:

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know that you can count me out?

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    Alright?
    Alright?
    Alright?

    You say you’ve got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We are doing what we can
    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is, brother, you’ll have to wait

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    Alright?
    Alright?
    Alright?

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You’d better free your mind instead
    But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    Alright?
    Alright?
    Alright?

    Enought said
    Alright?
    Alright?
    Alright?

  10. mackenzie says:

    During the London riots I saw someone pushing over a garbage bin in Bruntsfield

  11. mackenzie says:

    Perhaps if Paul had not split up the band causing the death of John the only Beatle who might have made a difference

  12. Hi! Enjoying the coverage here. I was there on Saturday and poped some stuff up on my blog which includes some nice (I think anyway) photos that might interest other visitors to your site. My blog is at http://theoligarchkings.wordpress.com

    Thanks

    David

  13. Andrew Doyle says:

    please watch this video if you have not seen it before its going to get you even more angry with your Government as well as big pharmacuticals companies please wath all this video link thank you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0psJhQHk_GI

  14. Iris says:

    I still don’t understand quite what you guys want to achieve. I recognise that there is a need for change, but as far as I can tell you have no actual alternate structure to implement. Peaceful protest is great, but have there been any real results so far? (This is a genuine question not a jibe) I would be really interested in hearing other peoples opinions, or counter arguments,
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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