Wednesday 19th October 2011
LAND close to St Paul’s Cathedral remains occupied by a group of anarchists who show no signs of abandoning the camp first established there in 886 AD.
Calling themselves ‘The City’ and funded by worldwide donations to their cause, the occupants are confident of surviving the cold winter ahead.
“We simply line our pockets,” one of the many anonymous figures told me, keeping his identity hidden behind an expressionless mask.
It’s immediately evident to any casual passer-by that the camp is well organised. Security guards prevent troublemakers getting into the larger tents, all of which have toilet facilities, coffee-making machines and internet access. Despite rumours of the presence of drugs and alcohol, the police don’t appear to be planning to evict anyone within the Square Mile.
But why are they there? What do they want? Will they be publishing a manifesto?
“We prefer to call it a portfolio. If you are on the same government benefits as we are, join us. Millions give us money every day. They wouldn’t do that if they didn’t trust us… would they?”
The City does indeed have many followers. Their banners and slogans have been erected across the globe:
“Don’t Give More to the Tax Man! He’ll Only Spend it on Things Like Hospitals and Schools! Want to Find a Haven for Your Investments? Talk to One of Our Advisers Today!”
The occupants have also established a strong working relationship with the media. Their approach is simply to refuse to be interviewed about corruption or corporate greed.
“Our City of London Corporation doesn’t abide by the usual democratic processes. It stops those who live here having any say in the affairs of those who work here. And don’t forget it was the last Labour government that revised the rules in our favour. We may not be popular with everyone, but the bonuses we get in The City far outweigh anything else.”
Justice has a long, hard road ahead before these determined anarchists abandon their camp to the forces of Morality and Equality.