As part of a “global day of action” inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests, around 400 anti-austerity protesters in Edinburgh have occupied St. Andrew’s Square, setting up a makeshift tent city. By nightfall, over 100 occupiers from across the political spectrum, outraged by the entire political and economic systems, remained in the square, vowing to stay the night.

Similar protests today took place in over 1500 cities across the world, from Glagow, Melbourne and London to New York, where protesters representing “the 99%,” those from all socio-economic backgrounds other than the country’s richest 1% of individuals, have camped out on Wall Street for weeks, demanding that the wealthiest individuals in society pay fair taxes and that the influence of big business on policy making is curbed.

“It is outrageous that at a time when we are being told we need to tighten our belts, millionaires are excused of billions in unpaid tax. Austerity didn’t work in Greece, it didn’t work in Ireland and it isn’t going to work here in Scotland, in Spain or anywhere else,” said Lewis White, one of the occupiers of the square in Edinburgh, “and we’re here to show the Coalition Government that we won’t let them decimate the NHS, education and welfare to fund the lifestyles of millionaire bankers and tax-avoiders. Whether it’s the IMF, the Government in Westminster or Edinburgh City Council, we can’t let this agenda of austerity and privatisation destroy our society, and we encourage anyone else who feels the same to join us.”