On Saturday, los indignados of Spain joined the indignés of France on a march through the heart of Paris as part of a global day of action against the banks.
Apart from helping to inspire the movements in Greece, Chile and Israel, the indignados might have attracted a lot of international attention, but they remained a largely nationally-based movement.
All of that changed yesterday. Next to the highly anticipated occupation of Wall Street, actions were held in San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Athens, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, and numerous other cities around the world. What is most exciting is that all of these actions were organized by local action groups, no longer just by Spanish expats. More than ever before, it has become clear that what began in Madrid on May 15 has now become a truly transnational movement with roots in every major city of the Western world.
From an article entitled “We are going slow because we are going far!” by Jérôme E. Roos published in yesterday’s RoarMag.
The report continues:
As always, the French police was omnipresent. Afraid of even the slightest chance of an escalation, dozens of riot police constantly marched alongside us as we made our way from Cité Universitaire to Banque de France, and from there to the Bastille. Every single time we passed a bank, the coppers would rally in front of it, forming a line to protect the retail arms of these corporate casinos from the innocent direct actions the indignados had planned for them. Once again, it became obvious where the allegiance of the modern state truly lies. Apparently those in power still consider it more important to protect the banks from the people than the other way around.
Arriving at Bastille, the protestors were confronted by a few hundred riot police, who had completely blocked off the square. Roos continues:
Within minutes, the police managed to ruin what even the 1,000 mile march and the torrential rainstorm could not destroy: the festive atmosphere of this entirely peaceful protest.
Rapidly, they formed a kettle around us, virtually sealing us off from the rest of the city. Hundreds of policemen surrounding a thousand protesters at most. Some of them carrying massive cannons for firing tear-gas canisters. I couldn’t help but wonder why, anytime the people take to the streets to exercise and defend their democratic right and duty to rise up against social injustice, they try to contain us, bottle us up inside their kettles, seclude and segregate us from the rest of society, annoy us with their stern faces and disrespectful words, intimidate us with their shoulder pads and weapons, refrain us from publicly airing our indignation at the current state of affairs.
The only conclusion I can possibly come up with is that they fear us. Just like Ben Ali and Mubarak were afraid of their people, our own government is afraid of us. For we represent the future and they represent the past. They represent the problem and we are presenting a solution.
Meanwhile, in America, protesters also gathered to occupy Wall Street. Here is a report from today’s Democracy Now! :
Demonstrators are marching on Wall Street today on the third day of a campaign dubbed “Occupy Wall Street,” which began on Saturday when thousands gathered in New York City’s Financial District. Inspired by the massive public protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, and Madrid’s Puerta del Sol Square, hundreds have slept outside near Wall Street for the past two nights.
To find out more or to join protests near you, go to take the square.