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Articles from the Peace News log: Occupy movement

Articles from the Peace News log.
For articles in this category from the whole site, look here

The Inaugural Alternative Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture 2018

Kerry-Anne MendozaIn a tucked away corner of Rotherhithe, down a little cobbled street oozing with history, stands Sands Film Studios. Well-known amongst lefties and radicals, this unique corner of London was the perfect place to hear from a unique, leftie and often radical character, Kerry-Anne Mendoza.

Mendoza began by talking about the namesake of the lecture, Claudia Jones. Like Mendoza, Jones was a radical leftie – both women do not sit back and wait for change, they get on and make change happen. Born in Trinidad in 1915, at the height of Empire, Jones didn't keep her birth name but changed it in what she called an act of 'self-protective disinformation' - to avoid receiving judgement based purely on her race. Despite a deeply disadvantaged background, including the loss of her mother at a young age, Claudia was very able academically, and won the Theodore Roosevelt Award for Good Citizenship in high school. However, being a working-class woman of colour, she was prevented from pursuing higher education in an act of triple oppression. While she worked in a laundry, Jones wrote a column in the Harlem Journal. When the case of the Scottsboro Boys hit the news, Claudia became politically active, and joined the Young Communist League.

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Natalia Grana reflects on the circumstances of her involvement with Occupy Manchester

Wednesday 9th November: Having started what I describe as my first full-time “proper adult job” I become even more aware of the enormous and important job we “peace makers” have to do. I can fit in my peace-making activities around the hours of work which are school hours, and the children I help are primary age and mainly Muslim in my particular school so the Peace issue raises to an even higher profile (for me).

The teachers are very positive and in the main swinging to the left politically and I had passing thoughts and conversations about the idea that if all these very well-meaning but highly busy and work-a-day professional folk could join some sort of no-taxes-for-war scheme we could have a lot of power.  Most people if made aware of the capitalist scams – who they benefit in the main, how wars and oppression is all set up and the general seedy goings on of the mega-rich and power megalomaniacs – would all be up for a complete overhaul of the system.  I feel it in my bones we are ripe as a society for MAJOR changes.

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Natalia Grana writes from the occupation in the city centre.

ImageSince 2 October, a group of around 30-40 people have made an Occupy camp in Manchester city centre which is still growing. Its conception started at the same time as the TUC march against the Tory conference (which was held in Manchester from 2-5 October).

The camp began by taking over Albert Square and a few days later, when a food festival came to the square, occupiers negotiated with authorities to peacefully maintain a presence in one corner of the square with a stall and a tent. They moved the camp to the Peace Gardens in St Peter’s square just 200 yards down the road, which is right by a tram stop, so is still very visible to the general public.

The diverse group of motivated and committed occupiers may stay indefinitely. They have had good relations with Manchester police so far. The one exception was on the night of 15 October, when police did not show up despitebeing asked to be present when right-wing “English Defence League” supporters were in the city. Luckily no-one was hurt, although a board was lobbed at a tent, which stayed up.

The Occupy MCR group hold regular general assemblies open to the public in which anyone who wishes to is free to speak. Public meetings are held daily at 1pm and 8pm. Topics covered include how society is dehumanising us, how the system worldwide is corrupt and keeping down 99% of the population while 1% live it up and control the banks, corporations and are even now trying to demolish our NHS and our other public services.

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Photos and video from the start of Occupy London Stock Exchange.

At 12 noon, outside St Pauls Cathedral and the London Stock Exchange, 15 October 2011.

For more info see www.occupylondon.org.uk

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