I had a superb day on Saturday speaking to people at St Pauls, the epicentre of Occupy London. I had three events, in fact: first, after a warm-up by Vivienne Westwood, I spoke to people on the steps of St. Paul’s (see a short clip from this, here) and got a name check in the Observer for my troubles. Next, I did a very short talk at Tent City University, followed by a question and answer session; that was followed by a slightly more raucous showing at the Bank of Ideas, which to my delight was held inside their occupied UBS building in the City of London just next to their Finsbury Square encampment.
The last one was interrupted with a ‘technical intervention’ when someone announced that supporters of the English Defence League (I think) had started pulling down posters and causing trouble at the Finsbury Square encampment nearby, and called for volunteers to come and help confront them. That settled down pretty fast.
Overall my impression was that the whole thing was incredibly well organised, remarkably democratic (of course) and civil, and the events were attended by a very wide variety of people, ranging from an unemployed construction worker to a think tank representative to a (yes, really) tax haven financial insider. I spoke alongside Anthea Lawson from Global Witness and Montfort Tadier, a politician in the tax haven in Jersey, each of which added crucial perspectives on what has gone wrong in the global economy.
A few weeks ago, a reporter had called me and told me that if I didn’t go to London and participate in the Occupy protests, I would probably regret it for the rest of my life. I knew when he said it that he was right. And it was an unforgettable day. More on this soon. For now, that short clip in front of St Paul’s.