It's difficult to know when it comes to OccupyLSX (an entirely misleading descriptive term/hash tag, seeing as the group miserably failed to occupy the stock exchange) which side is being the more disingenuous. The obvious problem for the demonstrators is that having been prevented from taking control of an actual target identified with the 1%, they're now occupying the square in front of what is possibly Britain's best loved building. This immediately diminishes the potency of their message, which in any case is disjointed and vague on what exactly should be done to redress the balance in favour of the 99% (and really, while the American government might be for the 1%, here let's be honest and go for either 5% or 10%). Combined with the image in the media of their being fully responsible for the closure of St. Paul's, they're now almost certainly doing more harm than good by staying there. Highly interconnected as the group is with the utterly cretinous strategists of UK Uncut, rather than dismantling the camp and moving to their new site fully in Finsbury Square which would now make the best sense, they appear determined to stay, all because they apparently failed to have a proper back-up plan.
This said, and as much as I agree with Simon Jenkins in that this whole tactic of occupying is facile when direct, proper action is now the only message that properly gets across, it's equally laughable that the Occupy camp is such a health and safety risk that the cathedral must be closed, except of course for the few clergy who have thrown caution to the wind. If they don't want a bunch of incoherent radicals likely to be embarrassed in a few years at themselves semi-permanently on their doorstep, then say so. It's a perfectly reasonable position to take. St, Paul's, regardless of its location in the City, is hardly Threadneedle Street. Now if only both sides could stop being so pathetic, an accord could quite possibly be reached.
Labels: Occupy London, politics, protests, spending cuts, St. Paul's, UK Uncut