SA joins as 'Indignant' protests go global
Madrid - Protesters will take to the streets
worldwide on Saturday, inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street" and
"Indignants" movements, to vent their anger against alleged corporate
greed and government cutbacks.
The organisers, relying heavily on Facebook
and Twitter, say demonstrations will be held in 951 cities across 82 countries
in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Protests in South Africa will take place in
Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Grahamstown. Organised by Operation Ubuntu,
the protests were set up to coincide with the global initiative.
The Cape Town branch planned to occupy the Companys
Garden from 08:00 on Saturday morning.
It is the first global show of power by the
movement, born May 15 when a rally in Madrid's central square of Puerta del Sol
sparked a protest that spread nationwide, then to other countries.
As governments cut deep into welfare spending
to try to trim huge sovereign debts, the protests have grown and this weekend's
demonstrations are being organised in Madrid, New York, London and around the
"The ruling powers work for the benefit
of just a few, ignoring the will of the vast majority and the human and
environmental price we all have to pay. This intolerable situation must end,"
organisers said in a statement posted on their website (http://15october.net).
The protests first took hold in Spain, which
has a jobless rate of 20.89 percent rising to 46.1 percent for 16-24 year olds,
where activists built ramshackle camps in city squares including Puerta del
Sol, the heart of Madrid.
They then spread to Europe, finding strong
backing in crisis-hit countries like Greece, and then worldwide -- last month
reaching the centre of global capitalism in Wall Street.
In Madrid, Saturday's protest will end in
Puerta del Sol, still the spiritual centre of the overwhelmingly peaceful
protests even though the protest camp was dismantled in June.
Five marches will converge on the city's emblematic
square of Cibeles at 18:00 (1600 GMT) before proceeding to Puerta del Sol for
assemblies lasting through the night.
In Italy, 70 buses are set to bring
protesters from throughout the country to a demonstration in Rome which is set
to get underway at 12:00 GMT and is expected to draw some 200 000 people.
Protests will be get under way in London's
financial district at 11:00 GMT and in Athens, which has been rocked by violent
demonstrations against government austerity measures, at 1500 GMT.
The Occupy Wall Street protest, which started
September 17 with a camp of several hundred people in a small square in the New
York financial district, has also struck a powerful chord among US media and
The protesters declared victory Friday
morning when New York authorities at the last minute postponed the evacuation
of their camp in a small Manhattan park even though several people were
Organisers called a rally in Times Square for
17:00 (21:00 GMT), saying they would be at the centre of the international
Anger over unemployment and opposition to the
financial elite are common themes in the otherwise disparate movement.
But while Spain's protesters have specific
demands such as attacking unemployment by cutting working hours and imposing
compulsory retirement at 65, others are focussed on protesting existing