News24

'Indignant protests' take root in SA

2011-10-15 22:42

Rome - Protesters torched cars, smashed up banks and set fire to a military building in Rome on Saturday in the worst violence of worldwide demonstrations against corporate greed and government cutbacks.

Tens of thousands took to the streets of the Italian capital for a march that turned violent and equal numbers rallied in Madrid and Lisbon while Wikileaks founder Julian Assange joined angry demonstrators in London.

About 50 protesters gathered outside Africa's biggest bourse, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, to voice concern over South Africa's widening gap between rich and poor.

In Cape Town, protesters gathered in the Company Gardens behind Parliament while in Durban their counterparts gathered at City Hall. Protests were also held in Grahamstown.

Biggest show of a movement’s power yet


The protests were inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement in the US and the "Indignants" in Spain, targeting 951 cities in 82 countries across the planet in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

It was the biggest show of power yet by a movement born on May 15 when a rally in Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square sparked a worldwide movement that focussed anger over unemployment and opposition to the financial elite.

"I think it is very moving that the movement that was born here has extended throughout the world. It was about time for people to rise up," said 24-year-old Carmen Martin as she marched towards Puerta del Sol.

In the Portuguese capital, where some 50 000 rallied, Mathieu Rego, 25, said: "We are victims of financial speculation and this austerity programme is going to ruin us. We have to change this rotten system."

The protests received unexpected support from Italian central bank governor Mario Draghi, a former executive at Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs who is set to take over as president of the European Central Bank next.

"Young people are right to be indignant," Draghi was reported as saying on the sidelines of talks among G20 financial powers in Paris.

"They're angry against the world of finance. I understand them," he added. But as reports of the violence filtered through, he said: "It's a great shame."

Scuffles in London

There were more protests staged in Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Geneva, Paris, Sarajevo and Zurich.

Thousands also rallied in New York and Washington, where they protested outside the White House and the US Treasury.

Scuffles broke out in London where about 800 people rallied in the financial district by St Paul's Cathedral, raising banners saying: "Strike back!"; "No cuts!" and "Goldman Sachs is the work of the devil!"

Three lines of police, and one line at the rear on horseback, blocked them from heading to the London Stock Exchange and pushed back against lead marchers, some wearing masks.

"I am here today mainly as a sense of solidarity with the movements that are going on around the world," said Ben Walker, a 33-year-old teacher from the eastern English city of Norwich.

Flanked by bodyguards, Assange spoke from the steps of St Paul's.

"One of the reasons why we support what is happening here in 'Occupy London' is because the banking system in London is the recipient of corrupt money," he said.

The European Union also became a target for anger as the eurozone debt crisis continues, with some 9 000 protesters marching to the EU's headquarters in Brussels and rallying outside the ECB's headquarters in Frankfurt.

Just the beginning


In Rome, the march quickly degenerated into running street battles between groups of hooded protesters and riot police who fired tear gas and water jets into the crowd amid a security lockdown in the Italian capital.

"Today is only the beginning. We hope to move forward with a global movement. There are many of us and we want the same things," said one protester, Andrea Muraro, a 24-year-old engineering student from Padua.

"Only One Solution: Revolution!" read a placard. One group carried a cardboard coffin with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's name on it.

Berlusconi later condemned the "incredible level of violence" at the march.

He said the clashes were "a very worrying signal for civil co-existence".

"The violent protesters are a very organised group that infiltrated the demonstration," Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno told reporters.

"We've seen the worst of Europe today in Rome," he added.

Seventy people were injured in the clashes and treated by medics, including three in a serious condition, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Backing from Italy's main trade unions and student movements boosted the numbers at the protest in Rome - in contrast to most of the other rallies.

As the day began, around 500 people gathered in the heart of Hong Kong's financial district to vent their anger. About 100 demonstrators in Tokyo also voiced fury at the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Another 600 demonstrators in Sydney set up camp outside Australia's central bank, where the plight of refugees and Aboriginal Australians was added to the financial concerns.

Comments
  • cosmos.ndebele - 2011-10-15 23:37

    YOUTUBE SEARCH 'Message from Anonymous: To the South African people ; very impressive message

      Dirk - 2011-10-16 05:40

      One cannot deny the greed by corporates, but the greediest of them all, are the corrupt regimes which lurk in the shadows in Africa,China, India, Asia and arab states, They pretend to be the voice of the poor and the oppressed while in reality they are the biggest exploiters. Not only do they exploit, but they steal from, and plunder the poor.And the gullible and misled masses march on--to nowhere.

      Jason - 2011-10-16 06:36

      maybe its the annunaki/illuminati using their internet propaganda to gather the masses for the BIG sacrifice.. careful, the aliens coming to rapture you away in their project blue beam.their god is Kukulkan, his eye is on the one dollar bill, the all knowing all seeing god.pfft

      Mthuthuzeli - 2011-10-16 11:35

      @Dirk Always those thirdworlders' fault, if its not overpopulation its the economic crisis, those damn thirdwolders.

      Dave - 2011-10-16 11:45

      Maybe some of our corrupt officials had better watch out.

      sachasea - 2011-10-16 21:48

      Change must happen http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_world_vs_wall_st/?slideshow

  • kevin.rack - 2011-10-15 23:43

    People fighting for their rights and for their childrens future. Well done! As a conservative I find these Bankers greed appalling but what I am most alarmed about is the man in the street does nothing nor does his representative in government neither. Time to stand up and be counted, look in you kids eyes and say I fought for your future.

  • Fawzia - 2011-10-15 23:53

    It is ok to protest but why resort to violence & destructive behaviour? yes without doubt greed in the global corporate sector needs to addressed & routed out ,but a more structured & rational methodology should be employed to fight that element. it is advisable when addressing a problem to get to the upper most echelons & eradicate the problem from there, starting with the particular individuals who are responsible for the present problem.of course the corporate sector also have their mafia ,so beware

      Julie - 2011-10-16 05:51

      FAWZIA PEOPLE ON THE GRAVY TRAIN WILL OBVIOUSLY BE SUPPORTIVE OF THE COPORATE GREEDY THIEVES,SUPPORT THE PROTESTERS WITH PRIDE AND DIGNITY, BE COUNTED.I WONT TRADE MY SOUL WITH THE DEVIL,INSTEAD I WILL LEND MY VOICE TO THE VOICELESS.PROSPERITY INTEGRITY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, STARTS AT CONCEPTION.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2011-10-16 11:45

      Peacefull protests achieves nothing.

      Dirk - 2011-10-16 13:36

      No doubt, you require stone and bottle throwing- complete anarchy. PROVIDING of course that your own yellow belly is somewhere safe. Like the "brave" ANC terrorists who were so good at blowing up defenseless women and children.

      jeffery.stokes - 2011-10-16 17:18

      and as usual this turns into an ANC thing. Im honestly surprised you are not blaming global corruption and fraud on the ANC.

  • fishycraig - 2011-10-15 23:59

    I know this is all an anti-capitalistic movement but please News24... Capitalise "wall".

  • joeballito - 2011-10-16 01:15

    About 30 years ago the dean of our faculty warned us: In fifty years the whole world would be run by about one hundred companies......and his predictions were not far off.Monopolies rule,purchasing power forces the small man out of bussiness,eventually the big guns buy the small man,and the loss of jobs (sorry "I")ensue. the Bastards like Vodacom ,all banks,(they are in colussion,sic)are taking us all for a massive ride.The F word comes to mind but ..them.I am a total capitalist,but blatant greed is the norm.I have never been in a protest but this time I say the big companies must go,break down.Power corrupts,absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      peter.storbeck - 2011-10-16 09:31

      Vodacom Prepaid Rates comparison (per minute, vodacom to vodacom) SA = R2,58 Tanzania = 71 South African cents (on conversion, 120THS) Vodacom Mozambique = R1,92 (on conversion, 6,75MZN) Vodacom Prepaid DATA comparison SA 1GB = R279-00 (27c in Bundle,R2,00 out of bundle, per MB) Tanzania 1GB = R69-00 (6,9c in Bundle,R0,20 out of bundle, per MB) Vodacom Mozambique = R263-00 (26c in bundle, R1,02 out of bundle, per MB) Considering that both Mozambique and Tanzania have smaller markets, and vastly higher running costs (in Tanzania, where I was, the tower was powered by a diesel generator requiring weekly refills) do you think we are being ripped off? Maybe if SA consumers were a little more vocal, this would not happen. That is why I suppport the occupy movement, and I also support capitalism, but not this perversion we are experiencing.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2011-10-16 11:48

      Since 1994, SA has become a paradise for profiteers, often those with ANC connections. A new class of black profiteer has sprung up, as ready and willing to exploit SA's black poor as ever existed in the white regime:- capitalism, exploitative capitalism, is colour-blind, and knows no colour-consciousness. Have a look at the banking industry, Insurance, energy and transportation, Telecommunication. It's nothing but one big collussion and monopoly so that we as citzens have no real choice at all.

      Thinus - 2011-10-16 19:31

      joeballito - I agree fully, the Dean had vision and understands how the system works and what the end result will be. a Capitalistic system is a breeding ground for monopolies, it is as simple as that. It is a volume game, the bigger the volume the cheaper the item. Big corporations will therefore take over as you rightly mentioned.

  • havenga2 - 2011-10-16 02:31

    Nonviolence is fine, as long as it works. Starting at the upper most echelon won't bring us anywhere. Every sector of economy has been infiltrated by these self-righteous elitists. Change will not come if we don't let them know we are serious. A right delayed is a right denied. A riot is the language of the unheard. If you're not ready to die for it put the word freedom out of your vocabulary.

  • Thomas - 2011-10-16 05:26

    THE OCUPATION AND PROTESTS WERE INSPIRED AND SECRETLY ENGINEERED,BY VICTIMS OF SERIOUS FRAUD, COMMITTED BY THE ABSA BANKING GROUP IN SOUTH AFRICA DURING 1989-1994.INTERNATIONAL COMPLAINTS INVOLVING U.S,INTERNATIONAL COMUNITY,INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT THE UNITED NATIONS, THE IMF. ALL COMUNICATIONS WILL GO ONLINE SOON,THEY ALL IGNORED WHAT WAS OUR LEGITIMATE RIGHTS TO SEEK JUSTICE.THE BABY GOT THROWN OUT WITH THE BIRTH WATER,AND THE AFTER BIRTH KEPT. ITS PAYBACK TIME DEAL WITH IT.

  • keesbus - 2011-10-16 07:25

    The greedy one's must listen to the peoples voice!!!

  • peter.storbeck - 2011-10-16 09:03

    When the banksters and corporates own the government, your vote is a farce. When voters claim, as in South Africa, there is no one else to vote for, it is because they CHOOSE not to vote for anyone else, perpetuating their own hardships. This makes them fools of the highest order. Thank the Lord this movement is gaining momentum. It might (I stress might) shake us out of our stupor.

  • shaheeda.strydom - 2011-10-16 09:03

    We should all stick together - STOP PAYING THE BANKS!! What are they going to do. They cannot arrest us all. I have already done this because I chose to look after my kids and family first before giving them another dime. So many banks in the States and UK collapsed during the recent recession, why not any of the SA banks? They're greedy, look at their service fees, cash dep fees, its ludicrous! Come on people, we outnumber them, lets rise up and stick together. We'll be fighting for freedom, is that not a worthy fight?

      peter.storbeck - 2011-10-16 09:40

      Remember when the competion commission investigated the banks a few years ago (the full report was only available on Wikileaks, bless their souls), even the banks admitted they could not accurate give the costs of running an account due to the complexity of their pricing models. That is how they operate, hidden charges. Our banks cost to income ratios (inefficiency) is amongst the highest in the world, yet they still manage double digit profits. Why? Ripping us off. Some people wonder why smaller banks don't challenge the big 4. It's simple, they control the inter bank clearing house, and charge the smaller banks exhorbitant fees. Cost of an interbank transfer is 12c, but if you are an FNB customer you get charged R30 for using another banks ATM. Enough is enough.

      Bulelani - 2011-10-16 13:07

      You'll need to start with the Reserve Bank Peter. A subsidiary of the London Banking Cartels that have tanticles over much of the banking institutions in the world, except funnly enough Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq (Before the regime changes in those two countries)and North Korea.

      Horst - 2011-10-16 15:35

      STOP PAYING THE BANKS!! ??? Hmm, how do you propose we do that?

  • John - 2011-10-16 14:22

    I am indignant at the A N C, Abortion Murder Genocide! These mentals lost 1 MILLION formal jobs in 2009!

  • selfdiscovery - 2011-10-16 17:17

    Do your bit to help bring change about peacefully! http://www.ashtarontheroad.com/stg_nesara_brings_peace.html http://www.galacticroundtable.com/forum/topics/st-germain-nesara-brings-peace-on-earth

  • Cheryl - 2011-10-16 21:03

    We need to mobilise a larger public prosecutor ORGANISATION infrastructure to deal with the hundreds and hundreds of corrupt people currently in power.....Every day there is more news of corrupt people .... ANCYL members perhaps check on your leaders too? they may be exploiting you and your loyalty.

  • Stephen - 2011-10-17 12:57

    "About 50 protesters gathered outside Africa's biggest bourse, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, to voice concern over South Africa's widening gap between rich and poor." what? we voted to widen the gap.

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