News - Economics / markets
Anti-capitalist protesters occupied stock exchanges around the world over the weekend, with sit-ins continuing today as organisers claimed 950 protests have been held in over 80 countries.
The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement that began in New York last week spread worldwide, as protesters holding placards reading "We are the 99%" voiced their anger at the wealth gap between the richest 1% and the rest.
In London, about 1,000 protesters massed in St Paul’s churchyard after they were barred from protesting outside the London Stock Exchange. A hard core of 300 people who camped out over the weekend say they are determined to stay on the site.
Smaller-scale protests were seen in Asian cities including Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo. Protests in Europe were larger and more intense - in Rome a march involving tens of thousands of people triggered violent clashes and caused an estimated €2m of damage.
A spokesperson for the ‘Occupy’ movement said the aim was "to challenge the bankers and the financial institutions which recklessly gambled with the economy,” the Guardian reports.
“This and 20 other occupations all around the UK have been directly inspired by what is happening all across America and especially in Wall Street," the spokesperson said.
Naomi Colvin, a supporter of the ‘Occupy the London Stock Exchange’ movement, told the BBC people are “concerned about the role the financial services industry plays in this country – and the relationship between the financial services industry and government.”
She said: “We need a flourishing financial services sector in order to recover as a country, but what happened in 2008 is not a sign of a flourishing industry. It is hard to think of failure on a more catastrophic scale. It's difficult to have faith that kind of thing could not happen again, which is not good three years on.”
Updating your subscription status