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Is It Time For The Occupy London Protesters To Go Home?

BY Boon Koh
Published 31 October 2011

I confess that I’ve never taken part in a protest in my entire life. So you could say that I don’t understand what the Occupy London movement is trying to achieve. I’m trying to remember the last time that a protest was successful in London – and I really can’t recall any in recent memory.

We had huge protests over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – but our forces are still over there. We have had various protests over the years – from tuition fees to protests about human rights in China in front of the Chinese Embassy, but as far as I know the fees keep rising and China hasn’t listened. The only protests that I can recall being successful were the ones in Egypt and Tunisia, but those turned violent.

Here in the UK, the protesters are softies. We do have some rogue militants wreacking havoc once in a while during peaceful protests. But its the violence that really strikes fear into the heart of the ruling classes – not some union members or students waving a wobbly bit of cardboard banner.

I’m not one to advocate violence – what I am advocating is that if you’re going to protest peacefully, you might as well not protest at all. Take the Occupy London, and the Occupy Wall Street movements. How many days has it gone on already? What have they achieved? Nothing. Its just a bunch of people with no jobs to go to during the day, no family or financial obligations, venting their anger and frustration. They’re not even hardy enough to stay out in front of St Paul’s Cathedral at night in a tent. I doubt the bankers at Goldman Sachs and the politicians at the Bank of England are losing sleep at night wondering whether they’ll be prosecuted for crimes against the people, let alone hanged or burned at the stake.

So my message to the protestors is this: go home. At least do something useful like work, and contribute to the country’s economy. If what you are trying to do really is in the interest of the general public, there would be thousands of people out on the streets and the population at large would be ostracising bankers. Instead, you’re wasting the MET Police’s already stretched funding, you’re scaring away tourists from London (a valuable source of revenue for the economy), and you’re costing the St Paul’s Cathedral significant amounts of lost revenue – which they would have otherwise put to good charitable use. Clearly you’ve tried, over the last few weeks, to raise a popular protest. But in case you haven’t realised, the successful protests, the ones in Egypt and Tunisia, gathered momentum and the support of the people within days of starting.

  • alex burton

    This protest will not stop until the issues have been addressed if you have so little to say why spend so long saying it wilst ignoring the crimes that have caused so many people to have to get off their asses and try to do something that you are in a better possision to achieve. Stop pandering to your bosses and abusing your possition you insult the inteligence of your readers.

  • Ron Coobie

    how on earth do you deem yourself fit to write a story about protests if you’ve never taken part in one in your entire Life ???  Then perhaps you won’t come out with such condescending drivvel like ” my message to the protestors is this: go home. At least do something useful like work, and contribute to the country’s economy.” — if that is your opinion, you have no idea what this protest movement is about, and therefore, no place reporting on it.

    Nothing less than A pathetic piece of pseudo-journalism and ditto — you insult the audience’s intelligence with your total lack of awareness of the issues.

  • Neo

    The Occupy London protest is going really well. The protesters are raising awareness and fueling debate. The “Treasure Islands” book is becoming well know and middle income citizens in the UK are waking up to the reality that there is a party going on somewhere in the City of London that they are not invited to.

    Every time a junior trader or accountant passes the tents they have to ask themselves if the protesters are actually fighting for their rights, their job, their economic future.

    Clearly the super rich in the UK are not getting more wealthy because they are working hard… clearly the super rich in the UK are not getting richer because they are building strong UK companies that employ people.

    So has been going on?