Occupy are stepping up their campaign in the run-up to next May

Occupy are stepping up their campaign in the run-up to next May

Occupy Democracy, the loose group behind the recent occupations of Parliament Square, have announced they will be holding a demonstration every month in the run up to next year’s General Election.

In a clear plan to pressure the major parties before May to take action on social justice and the democratic deficit, they pledged to take over Parliament Square from 11am on the 20th December until 9pm on the 21st, stating: “They tried to bury us, [but] they didn’t realise we were seeds!”

Hundreds of Greens have attended previous occupations, including Green peer Jenny Jones who was arrested.

Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack, who has attended the last take-overs of Parliament Square, told Bright Green: “The occupy movement has woken people up to the violation of being unable to protest in one of the most historic and symbolic areas of London – Parliament Square. We’re now seeing the majority of demonstrations going via parliament square to liberate the square from being fenced off.

“In addition, these monthly occupations prove that the pressure on parliament won’t stop until our democratic rights to protest in this spot have been restored”.

The protests aim to highlight “the corporate takeover of our democracy” to build “a movement to take it back,” claiming “our diversity of tactics are beginning to converge, our numbers are growing and the movement is snowballing.”

In an email to supporters, the coalition announced the next occupation date would be the (chilly) weekend before Christmas. They are appealing for sleeping gear to give to the homeless.

Over a hundred have already pledged to attend on Facebook, a similar number to those who appeared at the last protest on the 25th November.

The group said:

Join us, from 11am on Saturday 20th December, to remind Westminster and the people of Britain that none of us voted for poverty, hunger, homelessness and unemployment. We do not want a parliament that works for vested intersts and a tiny, wealthy elite, we want real democracy now!
We are told that the recession is over, but millions in this country do not feel it. Real wages have fallen for the past six years in succession, while the number of billionaires in the UK has increased to an all time high.
At this time of year most people will be concerned with their families. But for many families in Britain, Christmas will be a nightmare as record numbers are turning to food banks. 
In the UK, 3.5 million children are living in poverty. 63% of these children have at least one parent in work. 90,000 children across England, Scotland and Wales, will wake up homeless this Christmas.
Parliament, which is supposed to represent the people, has presided over this social crisis.
Only a true democracy free from corporate influence can address these problems.
The collective also threw its weight behind the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts‘ Day of Action this Wednesday for free education. The actions will include ‘marches, rallies, sit-ins and occupations at universities up and down the country,’ while December 6th will see major local demonstrations in Birmingham, Bath and elsewhere.

Correction: an earlier version of this article stated that protests would be every week, instead of every month. This has now been amended. Thanks to Occupy for highlighting this!

Josiah Mortimer

About Josiah Mortimer

Josiah Mortimer is a Senior Correspondent for Bright Green, writing on Westminster politics and the Green Party of England and Wales. He was Co-Editor of Bright Green between 2014-15, and is now a Contributing Editor for Left Foot Forward.