Published on 25 Oct 2011

Are the St Paul's protesters part time?

A police helicopter hovering over the tented Occupy London protest group outside St Paul’s Cathedral has detected with infra-red cameras that in the early hours of the morning, only one in 10 of the tents had anyone inside. I’m indebted to the Daily Telegraph for this information.

If true, it certainly casts a new light on the nature of protest in the year 2011.

Clearly there is something somehow not quite right about a protest that gives the appearance of 24 hour dedication, but which in reality finds only 20 of the 200 tents actually occupied at 3.00 am. The whole issue somehow feels a little less urgent, a little less committed, than it seemed to boast.

But I’m more intrigued by the position of the church in the matter. The once permissive Dean and Chapter claim it is costing them tens of thousand of pounds a week to keep the place shut for “health and safety” reasons.

Attending a remote village church last Sunday, I heard the presiding cleric expressing her dismay at the attitude of the St Paul’s authorities in shutting the cathedral doors against the protest. She conjured the commandment “Love thy Neighbour”. Indeed the Dean’s initial reaction was to do just that and to tolerate the protest on his forecourt. Later, other counsels prevailed and he had the doors locked.

It begs the question: which neighbour to love? Should it be the banker, the financier, the hedge fundista, down the road in the Square Mile, or the neighbour on your forecourt ?

Christ, we are told, “cast out the money changers”. Have the Dean and his Chapter chosen the “money changer”, over the “common protester”?

On the other hand, when I “sat in” with hundreds of others, in a student protest in 1970, we never left, even for a shower, for six long and increasingly odour strewn weeks.

Now that it seems the protesters are not quite what they seem, is a blur developing with the bankers who claimed to be “doing God’s work?”

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52 reader comments

  1. margaret brandreth-jones says:

    I thought at first there was sarcasm in your thanks to the Telegraph, but I was wrong as it panned out, The information about unoccupied tents at 3.0 am heralded a recapture of your well spent misspent youth.
    Oh you can’t get away with it . We all saw those long legs standing on a table at the front of the hall, presenting ‘what’ in those days? We saw the Afghan jacket and the fervour.We saw the fun, we saw a snapshot of the late 60’s /70’s Where did we see it? on the net.
    Protestations have changed . Causes seem to be lost in mountains of quantitive eased competitive gold and thats not sterling.

    I can’t remember a time when any church wasn’t reliant on collective wealth and splendour and the power thereof and therein. The flocks almost respect and feel secure looking at the solid representation of the Church, not built on sand , but with good foundations. What are foundations? are they solid , spiritual , metaphysical .. whatever !

  2. adrian clarke says:

    It still will not let me blog
    What good are the protesters doing?Are they supported in their protest?Will bankers, financiers or government listen?
    To my mind the protesters are succeeding in nothing other to be a nuisance and disrupt normal life in the street.There is a deep mistrust and almost hatred of bankers and financiers , but the way to hurt them is not futile street protest but stop using certain banks and hit them in their overflowing pockets.
    Will those being protested against listen.If the government will not listen to over 100,000 petitioners ,they certainly will not listen to a few street protesters.
    If the dean of St Pauls closes over health and safety issues,it shows what a mess our laws are in.If anyone is injured because of a protester , they should sue the protester and the organisers of the protest.I wonder what the Police are doing in the event of what is a clear obstruction of the highway?There are plenty of laws to be found to move the protest on,if there is a desire so to do.Or in our new politically correct country can anyone just do as they like?
    If there was no one in the tents ,why were they not removed.

  3. zefrog says:
  4. Jimmy says:

    Another blog that has gone straight from Gadaffi to the protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral and by-passes the brutal eviction of the community of 86 families on Dale Farm.
    Closing the doors was probably an ill advised excuse for asking them to leave. As the Apostle Paul was a tent maker to trade visiting the tents could be more appropriate than visiting the Cathedral.

    1. adrian clarke says:

      What a load of c**p.The brutal attempt by anarchists to maintain an illegal camp on a green field site.It should have been cleared years ago but the people who once again benefit are those lawyers who make a fortune making this country and its laws seem stupid.They are aided and abetted by judges who are so politically correct they should be exported to Brussels and the Hague or even the Middle East letting some true British providers of the law take over

    2. adrian clarke says:

      Wow did anyone see todays report of the law firm that made 6 millions in legal aid over the past five years over the Dale Farm fiasco.
      I well remember Saltaire complaining that a cut in legal aid would harm the poor man.This makes a mockery of legal aid

  5. Saltaire Sam says:

    Not sure your argument stands up, Jon. It smacks rather of ‘protesters are not as dedicated as we were’ in much the way I complain about modern music.

    While you as a soon-to-be-sacked student had nothing else to do but protest, many who sympathise with the current OWS campaign, don’t have that luxury. That doesn’t make them insincere.

    While holidaying in the USA recently I briefly joined the protests in Washington, Philadelphia and Wall Street. By your reckoning, mine was not a real protest because I didn’t sleep out on the streets, yet I would claim my support is genuine.

    It seems that the only way those of us who want to urge politicians to get a grip of global capitalism is protest, preferably protest that leads to arrests or the shutting of somewhere like St Paul’s because that attracts coverage and may even highlight the issues.

    As a banner in Philadelphia said ‘I can’t afford a lobbyist’. Neither can we afford to fund a political party, so the hope that we might have real influence is probably illusory but if we can frighten individual MPs enough that they think they might lose their seat, we might just start to shift them.

    1. adrian clarke says:

      Saltaire , such a protest on the street is meaningless to those in power.
      Even the promise and supposed process of democracy in the E petitions is meaningless to them.
      Financiers will only understand one protest and that is removing their business and funds.I swapped to the Coop.How many others still bank with those arrogant bankers who believe they can do what they wish with monies not theirs and pay themselves what they wish?
      If you believe we should have a vote on Europe and staying in , will you still vote for Politician who this week refused us that democratic opportunity.I am a Tory in my beliefs but i will support Natasha Engels if she stands at the next election.To me it is about democracy and not party or power.
      I believe that Capitalism pays the way for everyone to have a decent standard of living and needs to be supported .I do not believe all Capatalists either earn what they take or deserve it

  6. waffle007 says:

    It’s a bit of a farce and a shame for those who have actually remained on site to see their fellow protesters abandon posts for the comforts of home. Much is gained in solidarity for which those part timers will miss out on. Solidarity is what bonds people together and strengthens resolve to make their important statement. Although not well put, the greater discussion regarding our capitalism driven society needs to be had. These protesters are kind of helping this along. Fiscal policy is ultimately underpinned by profit and self gain, from a companies balance sheet to an overpaid bankers bonus. Capitalism is not fundamentally a bad instrument but it requires regulation, especially of those who are now paying the piper. Regulation and a little more balance between those taking real risks and those who simply paper push behind a trading screen.

  7. Saltaire Sam says:

    Jon,
    Having nailed my support to the OWS mast, I also have to admit to a degree of concern, the main of which is that there is no single message coming out apart from the fact that we all disapprove of the antics of bankers.

    On the various visits I made to protests the subjects covered included education, health, capitalism, war, lobbying, political corruption etc.

    While Vietnam protests had the simple message of ‘bring em home’ that finally politicians couldn’t ignore, here it’s too easy to play one group off against another while doing nothing.

    What we need is a single idea and the only one I can come up with is that every political election paper should include a box for ‘none of the above.’ It would allow people to register their protest in a way that spoiling a ballot paper or abstaining doesn’t achieve.

    If ‘none of the above’ received a massive vote, it would demonstrate to politicians that they are not tackling the real concerns of people and they would have to return to the country with policies that chimed closer to what ordinary voters want.

  8. e says:

    Perhaps the tent dwellers are cuddling up overnight for warmth? Whatever, part-time or not in my view they’re to be applauded nonetheless….

    St. Paul’s and its money: its irrelevance to the lives of the majority is its shaming indictment; its locked doors speak the truth…

    What’s the real message of this post? Is it: don’t talk about the issues raised by the protestors, undermine and discredit those taking part instead; history shows that sustained effort on the part of all willing commentators and broadcasters will help move them on nicely, or justify state violence should it be deemed necessary.

    1. mandy mckenna says:

      @e:you hit the nail on the head here-‘don’t talk about the issues undermine the protesters-‘ this movement is global & has only just begun. The honesty of the protesters to sit and discuss and admit they do not have all the answers compared to the idiocy of the bankers, politicians and the media ….lazy blogging Jon..we’re in crisis..sharpen up

  9. Mudplugger says:

    A revealing chink in the hipocrisy of the established church – it’s actually just another facet of the entertainment business, providing amusement for some deluded folk who need an imaginary friend.
    This one ‘branch-office’ apparently needs £20,000 a day to operate, that’s almost £7.5m a year, and if the cash stops rolling in, the cynical candles get snuffed out.
    Once the outside world started to impinge on its revenue stream, its priorities were shouted out loud and clear. Some of us knew that already, this episode will have informed many others – well done CofE, that’s about as good an example of abysmal management as Cameron’s three-line whip against democracy.

  10. Philip says:

    Presumably people like the civil servant quoted yesterday who’d just taken a week’s leave have to go back to work. But it seems this may be more about wishing to make a statement rather than putting oneself to too much personal inconvenience. A rather stark picture of Britain today, I fear. It might also explain why it’s easy to understand what the protesters are against than it what they are for, what their alternative (feasible, credible) is. (For the record, I’ve nothing against people protesting as long as they like against anything, but I find it hard to believe that this particular protest is going anywhere).

  11. David Wearing says:

    I would expect the Torygraph, which can’t engage with the issues raised by the protestors on their merits, to try and make cheap, trivial digs instead. Louise Mensch tried the same on Have I Got News For You last week, and came a hilarious cropper.

    Shame Channel Four News has decided to pick up this non-story though.

  12. Donna says:

    Should we not also remember that St Paul’s is not open to the public anyway – unless they have £15 in their hands to pay their way in?

  13. Rev. Paul says:

    So Channel4 is happy to quote figures made up by Corporation of London spokespersons and repeat unverified stories from obviously biased newspapers. Shame.

    1. Meg Howarth says:

      Have to agree with Rev Paul, Jon and Channel 4. Am relisting the link re media stories about thermal imaging cameras:

      http://youtu.be/aBYAUl4O5v4

      and the piece which exposes media claims that the police were involved:

      http://gu.com/p/33xym/tw

      Occupy London has complained – rightly in my view – to the PCC. The significance of this media manipulation and its falsehoods can’t be over-stated.

      Rev Paul will appreciate more than most this elegant ‘turning of the tables’ by the protestors. I think Jesus would have approved!

  14. Paul says:

    The tents aren’t empty overnight. The torygraph just made that up to pleasure their readers.

  15. samwaltonyeah says:

    I am normally 100% behind protests against the upper echelons of society getting to do what they want at the expense of “the 99%”, or against a government that clearly isn’t acting in the whole country’s best interest, which appears to be what the current protests are about.

    However, the water seems far muddier than usual. The protestors said, in an article in the Guardian over the weekend, that “our response to systemic failure is not to propose a new system, but to start making one. We’re in the business of defining process, and specific demands will evolve from this in time.”

    Does this mean they want to give birth to a new society that will replace the current one, out of a collection of camped protests around the world? If so, I admire their lofty goals, but is it even remotely doable?

    Meanwhile, while we’re discovering whether it is or not, St Paul’s – an entirely self-supported instution that recieves funds neither from the state or the Church of England – is going bankrupt because it is being forced to stop supporting itself.

    Surely both sides need to define their terms properly. Then they might be able to work out a way to co-exist.

  16. DrWright says:

    Very disappointing to see St Pauls take this line. To hide behind the catch all of “health and safety” the first excuse of the timid or petty minded is nonsense as the boom in trade of local stores and cafes is proving. But most of all this is a betrayal of the fundamental teachings of the Church to speak out and protect the poor at a time when it should show some moral leadership. Cowardly, mean spirited and deeply disappointing.

  17. Jonathan Webber says:

    But how reliable is that “1 in 10” statistic? Daily Telegraph’s own images show how good those tents are at keeping heat in. See: http://bit.ly/vQWKwA

    City of London has said that there is no health risk posed by the protest. Fire Brigade has said there is no safety issue. Cathedral refuses to publish the internal document behind the decision to close. It seems only reasonable to conclude that closure is at behest of corporate donors, who want to manipulate media into discussing the closure of te church instead of tax avoidance, the dismantling of the welfare state, and the corporate dominance of the political parties.

    Please stop playing along.

  18. cimidyue says:

    1. Not sure what the relationship is between validity of the issue and whether the tents are occupied at night or not. There is not the opportunity to come back once you’ve left so I guess it’s the equivalent of german towels on sunbeds?

    2. BTW I question the figures quoted by the media about the cost to St P: As far as I can tell they have taken the total amount raised by St Pauls in a year and divided it by 52, ignoring the fact that much of the income comes from activities unassociated with visitors, and also not allowing for seasonal variations in visitor income. A bit pedantic but lets get the facts straight!

  19. proton says:

    Things have changed since the 70’s, now visitors to theme parks ( even evangelical theme parks) exit through the gift shop.

  20. Jonathan Webber says:

    And here’s the bit the Daily Telegraph didn’t tell you: how their journalist harassed sleeping protestors in the middle of the night: http://t.co/gpTNpULx

  21. Neil says:

    This blog nicely debunks the Telegraph’s “evidence” of unoccupied tents – helpfully fed to them by a City Corporation councillor.
    I would have thought we could expect a little more journalistic rigour from Jon Snow, but he’s clearly as willing to swallow the propaganda as the right-wing press.
    http://alexhern.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/9-out-of-10-tents-are-empty-bullshit/

  22. owen says:

    Jon you might want to read this before going along with the establishment story: http://alexhern.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/9-out-of-10-tents-are-empty-bullshit/

  23. noel says:

    Talking about St pauls’, te royal wedding etc;

    Was that where Diana’s funeral took place;

    Can you show C$ and Jon snow’s perfomranace coverage of the funeral from 6 Sept 1997;

    Is snow still wearing the same suit, assuming he has not put on weight and has still got the same waistline.

    Performing a montage of his most memeoprable bits in preop for hsi retiremenet. Lets hope its not until he’s 70.

  24. brobof says:

    Jon Instead of questioning the occupancy of the Occupation. Question how the Telegraph got access to Police helicopter infra-red imagery. And then question why the need for the Police Infra red surveillance and how much said helicopter imagery costs.
    As for the Telegraph
    https://occupywiki.co.uk/London/2011-10-25_thermal_imaging_lies

    Thanks for spreading the disinformation Jon.
    My estimation of your credibility has taken a severe blow.

  25. brobof says:

    However there is a way to redeem yourself:
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/600/thermalhogwash.png/
    Is the analysis by Tom Mason true? Get an expert in to testify one way or the other. If true then ask the Telegraph why they are spreading lies. Rather than reporting truth. If false then fair enough. Gasp! Some protesters have jobs and families and can’t be unwashed layabout dole scrounging hippies. Either way, it would seem, they can’t win.
    But we will.

  26. Meg Howarth says:

    Why St Paul’s Cathedral is, for a lot of people, always closed. Brilliant pic via Twitter: http://twitpic.com/75l3v1

    We should be less bothered about empty tents than about the UK’s empty homes, estimated at between 700,000 and 1m. Stand that statistic alongside the UK’s, particularly London’s obscene property prices and the numbers on housing waiting-lists, and we can see why the occupiers are doing us all a favour by providing an opportunity for positive demands to be put forward.

    Land value tax has already been discussed at one of the St Paul’s General Assemblies, and it’s hoped will be raised at the overspill in Finsbury Square. A Citizen’s Income and a 4-hr working week as a way forward from profiteering GDP fail and the myth of full employment is also to be discussed.

    At least the protestors have had the courage to take the first move. It’s up to the rest of us to make positive suggestions for a better fairer world. As the FoxWerritty affair has revealed – and as the daily lobbying briefings confirm – we take a back-seat at our peril. Governments and politicians don’t want citizens to become activists for change because they know we’ll discover they’re standing in the way

  27. Meg Howarth says:

    Beware thermal imaging cameras – From Occupy LSX Twitter: ‘It would be nice to see @Telegraph @Daily_Express @MailOnline offer us an apology for innacurate reporting’ http://youtu.be/aBYAUl4O5v4

  28. girl12345 says:

    How are you allowed to run a story without any fact checking?!!

    On the 24th and the 25th October The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Telegraph and The Times published articles claiming that 9 out of 10 tents at the Occupy protest at St Paul’s were empty. This has since been proven to be false and deliberately misleading information based on inaccurate and/or fabricated sources. I draw your attention to the following:

    1) The Daily Mail claimed they had obtained ‘footage from a thermal imaging camera shot by a police helicopter’ that revealed the camp is ‘almost completely empty’ during the night, calling the protest a ‘big charade’ as a result. The Sun also claimed to have received ‘images collected by a police helicopter’s thermal imaging camera’ which led them to conclude the protest was a ‘phantom occupation.’

    However, since then the police have categorically denied that ‘neither details of the thermal imaging cameras nor the occupancy estimates had come from them.’ A police spokesperson told The Guardian: “We’ve no idea where this has come from but the point is it hasn’t come from us. We haven’t commented on this.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/25/occupy-london-tents-night

  29. girl12345 says:

    2) The Telegraph also cite a police helicopter as the source of the images (link one from the Telegraph), but also claim to have ‘shot its own video of the St Paul’s camp using thermal imaging equipment which appears to confirm these claims’ (link two from the Telegraph). However, close inspection of the Telegraph’s own footage reveals that it cannot infact see if a person is inside a tent or not. In the following screenshot from the Telegraph’s video you can see a protestor’s leg evaporating from sight behind a tent: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/600/thermalhogwash.png/

  30. girl12345 says:

    The below has been confirmed by another video shot at St Paul’s which uses *exactly* the same thermal imagine camera which demonstrates that one cannot tell from this camera whether or not someone is inside a tent:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBYAUl4O5v4&feature=player_embedded

    This is also supported by a scientist specialising in camouflage who has said that such thermal imaging cameras would not be able to see inside camping tents:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/26/occupy-london-tents-rubbish-science

    1. adrian clarke says:

      Girl, does it really matter??? They are afew idealists who may have a good cause yet are not supported by anyone.
      I wonder how many who blog on here or elsewhwere and support such futile protest do anythinf themselves.
      There is only one way , put your money where your thoughts are, GO to an ethical bank.Withdraw your funds from those you criticise.As for other Capitalists support the job providers , boycott the spivs.
      I have no problem with criticism but i do with hypocrasy

    2. Meg Howarth says:

      Adrian, your prejudice continues to get the better of you.

      I invite you to come down to London, visit the Occupy camps at St Paul’s and Finsbury Square, and see for yourself the diversity of people involved and those expressing support in a variety of ways – eg buying food and other supplies for the campers during their lunch-breaks from City office blocks.

      This evening #LVT land tax is being discussed at #OccupyLFS and tomorrow #CitizensIncome (#BI).

      The times they are fast a’changing, Adrian. People are beginning to feel that a better fairer world is possible. You might like to participate in whatever way you can.

    3. adrian clarke says:

      Meg,i have no desire to leave my beautiful Peak District to talk to a FEW left wing activists who will never change the world with their futile mini protest.
      When hundreds of thousands can not change anything what chance them?Legal disobedience might,by the method i suggested.Remove the bankers funds.It is no use a few doing it ,it has to be such a mass it hurts financially.One financial institution at a time.
      The times are not changing at all Meg.They are not changing because there is not the will or leadership to change them. You can talk about LVT all day all year,all decade , it will not come about because there is no way to force governments hand.Whilst ever we vote on a Party basis there will be no change , other than Labour or Tory with a possible coalition .Yet what is happening now aught to destroy the idea of coalition for ever.
      Those MP’s that disagree with the cynical manoeuvering of Cameron and his fellow Liberals should form a “Protect Britain Party” and give the people true democracy,ruling according to the views of the majority,not left or right wing activists,but the majority. Then you might get your LVT,which in principle i support

  31. girl12345 says:

    This a blatant and deliberate distortion of information. It is blatant because all of the sources these newspapers claim to support their accusations are clearly inaccurate and/or fabricated. It is deliberate because this is clearly part of a concerted attempt by the media to slander the protests and turn public opinion against them by concealing their own views and agendas as objective truth. This is clearly in direct violation of the Editor’s Code.

    1. Accuracy

    i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

    ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with the PCC in advance.

    iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

  32. mandy mckenna says:

    @Adrian Clarke. Yes it does matter. Proliferation of disinformation leads to a climate of lies and deception. Most people assume received information from seemingly professional sources such as Channel 4 News to be well researched. This was obviously not the case in this instance and Channel 4 should apologise.Most protesters and supporters will have withdrawn money and be banking with the Co-Op or the like.If not they perhaps will be encouraged to do so by this protest. Yes, of course boycott the spivs but the spivs need to be exposed for who they are. I think the global protest is making links for us all about media, government, the law and business and making it clear who really is in power, who profits and who pays. It is so easy to discredit protest. No-one blamed anyone at Greenham Common for going home. Women understand that children have to be fed, money has to be earned and the cat has to be fed.We do what we can in the circumstances.A little more generosity please to those who will feel the cold in the next few months. They are doing it for a greater good.I think this is a very significant protest and will go down in history.

  33. mandy mckenna says:

    also: the link between the Church and Business. Jon Snow- as the son of a Bishop and an ardent student protester himself he might be able to do a really good piece. Forget grumpy old man…use your experience…make a contribution.

  34. adrian clarke says:

    Mandy,there is so much disinformation about nearly every subject under the sun , from Blair’s dodgy dossiers,the coalitions E petitions.Energy suppliers charges,Banks activities.News outlets,Newspapers,Europe.You name it and there is information to support the project,most of it twisted to suit.
    I do not see this protest as the slightest bit significant.It has little support,it has little publicity.They may well feel it is for the
    greater good,but not if it achieves nothing.
    You say most supporters have withdrawn money and gone to more ethical sources yet there is no financial indication to support that misinformation,within the markets.Perhaps , unfortunately as i said, there is not the support required.
    Northern Rock was supported by government, because there was a run on its funds.If you could get that kind of momentum against a bank then we would see the support

  35. mandy mckenna says:

    I absolutely agree that more Direct Action on banks would be a most effective protest. Let’s spread the word.More ideas please how this could be done.
    However, I disagree that this protest is insignificant. I have campaigned for 50 years and many demos and petitions have been fairly ineffective in he big scheme of things but there are moments in history when protest has worked- (Nixon and Vietnam, Suffragettes, Greenham Common) but what protest does do is that it seeps into the zeitgeist.The OWS and the global protest going on at the moment provides visible evidence that the 99% are not happy and are not willing to take it silently.Politicians, police, bankers, media,church have been made aware that not everyone agrees with them. The St Paul’s protest is an extraordinary case study where you can see very clearly the interests of power and how it operates. It should be analysed in schools to explain how society works!

  36. Andrew says:

    Why are you ignoring the global aspect of the protest?

    You were very keen on the ‘Arab Spring’.

    Disappointed in Channel 4’s coverage, expected more from you. It’s starting to smell like a media blackout.

  37. adrian clarke says:

    I have to change the wording and Email to get published.
    Mandy and Andrew.A protest that is confined to a few hundred , even if it were in every country in the world is going to change nothing.
    Governments ignore it ,the Capitalist system that sustains government will certainly ignore it.
    I do not condone direct violent protest,but that has worked in Greece,for what politicians fear the most is loss of office.That is why they give huge sweeteners coming up to an election.Blair stayed in office not because of his actions over Iraq and Afghanistan but despite them , for to many there was a feelgood factor of jobs money and rising living standards,Albeit built on quicksand as i predicted long before the fall. Unfortunately the Labour Government tried to support those Capitalist banks that drove us and the world into recession ,because of the income they were seemingly providing.You now only have to look at the monies they have invested in Greece to know we should never trust them. Only direct action against the financial institutions will bring a sense of realism to them and to government.
    We all aught to know how power works.Destroy its base and it falls

  38. Andrew says:

    Adrian,

    You may be correct. However, that was not my point.

    Mainstream media in this country are not reporting OWS movement. On 19th October, Naomi Wolf was arrested in NY. Meanwhile, on the streets of Athens, Communists and Anarchists clashed in running battles.

    On 19th Oct, Channel 4 and the other mainstream media ran with Dale Farm Evictions.

    A couple of days later, an Iraq vet was nearly killed at the Oakland OWS by riot cops.

    UK media’s ignoring such events, in itself is probably the biggest story.

  39. adrian clarke says:

    Andrew,i think it hardly fair against channel 4 that they have not reported on OWS.They may have ignored the USA situation because it has little impact this side of the Atlantic.The St.Pauls sit in has had more coverage than its worth,but as it is an organisation that describes itself as leaderless,and has no viable policies or ambitions , it does not deserve any more publicity.It is certainly not a society changing organisation with the backing and support of millions.
    As regards your direct criticism,many would say who the hell is “Naomi Wolf”?Yes Athens should have topped the news as it could well be world changing,Euro changing,European Union changing.To me the Greek stand is more democratic than OWS will ever be.I would agree that Dale Farm got an undeserved amount of publicity.
    I am all for democracy,let the protesters stay on the church land,if the church do not mind,but they are wasting their time,and the media’s if they report on them.
    I have previously said they should be removed ,by force ,if necessary ,but at that time i believed they were obstructing thoroughfares.

  40. Andrew says:

    Adrian,

    Looks like the MSM will run with this eventually. From the Guardian today:
    ———————————————

    Links between political upheavals in the Arab world and the campaign against financial injustice in the west have strengthened in recent weeks, with demonstrators on both sides claiming inspiration from the others’ struggle. On Wednesday protesters in Oakland waved an Egyptian flag during their general strike, prompting some Cairo-based bloggers to reflect on the similarities between the police tactics used in the US and Egypt. On Thursday activists camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London conducted a live video link with anti-regime protesters in Syria.

    ———————————————

    Still think there’s a story somewhere about recent decisions by news orgs to downplay OWS.

  41. mandy mckenna says:

    I am really quite shocked at how Channel 4 has become an arm of the establishment.It was appalling on Iran last night. There is much better reporting elsewhere:It is making my family so bad tempered after supper that I have to switch channels to keep the peace. So much shouting at the anchorpeople!

  42. adrian clarke says:

    Andrew,there is certainly a news story or stories about OWS.Most written by the Daily Mail,about the hippy like behaviour of the protesters.From the drug taking,to the typical left wing organisations selling their ideas from stalls as they try to do on many of our town markets,but what are they trying to achieve? What is their agenda?does it command univeral approval.Are we the masses,the majority in support of such a ramshackle mob?If we support the aims are the means correct?
    Can such a minor protest either excite the massess or effect a change in government or the Capitalist system?Of course not.
    Is there a need to change the system?Of course there is,but i do not know how.

  43. mandy mckenna says:

    Adrian, I do think you underestimate the protests. A friend has just returned from the States- a big trip from New York to the Rocky Mountains via Vegas, Denver etc and he says that there are occupations in most major cities and towns! Over 900 cities have occupations. Here we have a student protest on the 9th Nov. and a public service strike on 30th Nov. The protesters have closed down the port at Oakland….all this adds up to something significant whatever the Daily Mail say or don’t say about it. What it also exposes is the lack of investigation by our mainstream media and the inability to ask penetrating questions but go with reactive prejudicial soundbites. There is some really good reportig out there. I am impressed by Al Jazeera English and RT online. I recommend both these to those who want to be better informed.

  44. Andrew says:

    Adrian,

    Back to my original point. There is a story here about MSM ignoring OWS. Is it deliberate? Smells like it to me.

    Hundreds of cities around the world witnessing OWS events. Links between Arab protesters & OWS. Two Iraq vets critically injured in Oakland. Celebs visiting NY OWS & some getting arrested for their pains. This is an ongoing story that aint going away and demands mature & open debate.

    What are we in fact being fed? The possibility of invading Iran. Go figure.

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