SA joins as 'Indignant' protests go global

2011-10-15 08:01

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 world.

"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 (

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 politicians.

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 arrested.

Organisers called a rally in Times Square for 17:00 (21:00 GMT), saying they would be at the centre of the international protests.

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 conditions.


  • Michael - 2011-10-15 08:22

    Brilliant! I love the notion of people power. Enough is enough - we cannot have 1% of the world governing the lives of 99%. The greed and corruption has to stop!

      Ivan - 2011-10-15 09:20

      They shouldn't be protesting big corporations but rather big government. As long as governments are allowed to tax corporations and individuals who have means and "distribute" those funds to people who are unwilling to work or earn a living for themselves, it will only perpetuate the notion that government will take care of you. Government doesn't generate any money. It can only take money from productive taxpayers reducing the amount of money that these taxpayers can generate and thereby reducing the amount of people they can employ and still be profitable. Governments have caused this worldwide financial crises, not corporations.

      Michael - 2011-10-15 09:33

      Sorry but that's contradictory and totally incorrect @Ivan. Governments aref controlled by big business - finish and klaar!

      Martin - 2011-10-15 09:52

      Michael, I have three reading suggestions for you: 1) The road to Serfdom, by Friedrich Hayek. 2) Anything on the Austrian school of economics. 3) Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.

      Mart - 2011-10-15 09:55

      What would in your opinion be better, 100% of the world governing themselves? Your problem sir is this. 50% of the 99% that you speak of comprise people that are surplus to the worlds requirements..people that are competing against you for the proverbial piece of the pie. The social wellbeing of your 50% is disadvantaged by virtue of their very existance. This undesirable 50% is made up of natures deviants, the inherantly evil, lazy, unwanted, ungovernable and the irresponsible.....and it is they who compete with you daily. I don't deny that there are issues that must be addressed to and by your said 1% ......but until you find a way to cut the numbers of the 99% this problem you have identified will only get worse. Think some more about the result of shifting the balance of power to a larger body....imagine your rugby team having 5 captains, each with his own agenda, playing in the Currie Cup final.

      Servaas - 2011-10-15 09:58

      Yes Michael.. Our current government is 100% proof of your statement.. EE/BEE controls MAJORITY of the business in SA.

      werner.smidt - 2011-10-15 10:12

      Yet how many people buy lotto tickets? Are you sure you want "the power" to be in the hands of people just leaving it up to fate?

      Phillip - 2011-10-15 10:32

      @Martin - Yes, that's right - all three of them latter day Nazis

      Phillip - 2011-10-15 10:48

      @Mart - "but until you find a way to cut the numbers of the 99% this problem you have identified will only get worse." So what do you suggest? Gas chambers? or have you some more modern in mind, like good old-fashioned mass starvation? Az long az ve soluut pvroperly, ve shoot be fine, Ja?

      Martin - 2011-10-15 10:57

      @Phillip, really? Is name-calling the best that you can do?

      Martin - 2011-10-15 11:00

      @Phillip, I think what Mart is saying is that we need to get people off of welfare and into jobs, so that they can be productive and contribute to society.

      Phillip - 2011-10-15 11:20

      @Martin - No, that's not name-calling. All three have direct links to the US far-right. As for Mart - that is not what he said. ("This undesirable 50% is made up of natures deviants, the inherantly evil, lazy, unwanted, ungovernable and the irresponsible....") That's about as close to quoting Hitler as you get. So he plans to put them to work, does he? What is he going to pay them with? We've heard that story before too!

      Eugene - 2011-10-15 11:48

      Yes, this greed and corruption brought the ANC to power here. And deprived Whites of their self determination.

      Martin - 2011-10-15 12:26

      "All three have direct links to the US far-right." Please provide some proof... And remember that conservatism does not equate far-right.

      Dirk - 2011-10-15 13:09

      Big business in SA was only to happy to ignore "immoral "labour practices under apartheid, but are now the very ones who are doing the dirty work for the regime through AA. "peoples power" sounds very romantic and idealistic, but very often is the forerunner to anarchy. It has bitten many in the back- dont be naive, particularly not in a volatile state as SA

      Thomas - 2011-10-15 14:09

      Michael your comment is idealistic but very naive; I for one am totally on the side of big business, the people that have the knowledge, drive, tenacity, ect, to create jobs. The people that are organizing these mass protests are appealing to "the sit back and let someone else do it for me" generation, they themselves are driven by greed. Our problem is not big business but useless governance, unproductive, fat cat politicians that are enriching themselves at the cost of the taxpayer ALL OVER THE WORLD. This is where taxpayers and business should step up and rein in government for what it is and what it should be doing, by holding back revenue from its coffers. Attacking business is a sure way to keep productive people out of a job, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face…

      Phillip - 2011-10-16 00:38

      @Martin - Hayek: While he was clearly not actually a Nazi (during WWII), there can be no doubt that he laid the foundations for modern monetarism, and what became known as Reaganomics and Thatcherism, and hence the domination of Western politics by corporate interests. Perhaps this result was unintentional, but in view of his apparently cordial relationship with the murderous and corrupt dictator, General Pinochet, I find that a bit doubtful. The Austrian School: friends and associates of Hayek. No doubt there is some variation of thought, but the theme is the same. Ayn Rand: A complete wacko whose only contribution to society is her praise of her own importance, and her 'Institute', whose followers seem to believe that the present US government is 'socialist' and that environmentalism is a communist plot. That you can put her in the same box as Hayek, and then defend someone who says that 50% of the world's population is 'surplus' worries me. I rest my case.

  • Nico - 2011-10-15 08:34

    All is good and well, but what is the alternative? Socialism and communism didn't work, they failed miserably. So if Capitalism is not working, what is the alternative?

      Owen - 2011-10-15 09:11

      The whole world is now working on planned economy principles (socialism). The central banks decides which copmanies fail. Under capitalism the 2008 bailouts would not have happened but even so called capitalist countries like the USA used tax payers money to bail out greedy bankers and are still doing so. Democracy does not = capitalism but favours socialism as the masses will always vote the easy way out. Capitalism = I am because we are not Communism = I am not because we are. Humanism = I am because we are. But none of the above matters so long as central banks / politicians can print money.

      indigokrista - 2011-10-15 09:28

      Everyon has been so blinded by the politics of Global Control that they see only the systems that have failed before, instead of working together to fond solutions that will work for the 99% and not continue to keep the 1% overfed! This movement is about mobilizing the people to co-create change by holding assembly to discuss the imbalance of 1 vs 99. The ratio is grossly disproportionate and change is NOW, it's happening because people have had enough AND....we are not aligning with One World Order, we are not SHEEP, we are the humanity that keeps our mother Earth alive with our heartbeat while to greed of the 1% continue their rapacious control of our global natural resources etc leaving WHAT for the 99%????? Capitalism is also failing miserably (at least for the 99%) to how about a system where EVERYONE is included and EVERYONE benefits? That is what we must aim for....It's time the Corporates and Government stop wiping each others arses on the backs of the people who make the country the country!!!! 99% cannot be wrong!!!!!!!!!!!! Ubuntu...

  • Ariado - 2011-10-15 09:03

    Here in SA, 99% is black. What do they want to do?

      Michael - 2011-10-15 09:17

      It has nothing to do with black and white - get a life!

  • Fakmore - 2011-10-15 09:32

    What do the Protestors want to happen in South Africa? Indigenise the wealth of South Africa? This is akin to a black slave (Uncle Tom) crying with emotion that "our house has burnt down"...after the Masters house catches fire. I bet you will see blacks being herded by whites in that March. All South Africa needs is transfer of ownership of tha land and what lies under it to the masses....Pure and Simple. "This is criminality, Pure and Simple" - David Cameron.

  • Lendyll - 2011-10-15 09:36

    Alleged corporate greed? What planet are you living on dude? We're protesting the rape of society for the benefit of a select few gaining pieces of paper that hold psychological value. Corporates have got to go. People before money. This revolution will not be privatised.

      fishycraig - 2011-10-15 15:25

      News 24 is a corporation. The computer you are using to write on this site was built by a corporation. The operating system you have on your computer was developed by a corporation. Just about every aspect that governs your life, makes it easier, more enjoyable, more productive came about from corporations. Who would rise up from these ashes you envision and give you that computer, or software, or news organisations? And, if per chance, some revolutionary does get off his lazy, sense of entitlement ass and develop these ideas... guess what... Your "revolution" will start all over to out him.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2011-10-16 12:10

      Wrong, they were developed by human beings working with other human beings.

  • mpiyakhe.dhlamini - 2011-10-15 09:36

    every movement or revolution eventually fails because most people hardly ever participate in the political process when these policies that disadvantage them are passed,only getting involved when something dramatic happens(financial crisis).I tend to hold the view that in a democratic country you get the government you deserve

  • Hermann - 2011-10-15 10:02

    Should they not also protest against labour unions that out priced wages causing minimum employment and hords on unemployed while China laughs.

  • rory.short1 - 2011-10-15 11:23

    I am in agreement with this statement of the protest organiser -"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,"

  • helizna - 2011-10-15 11:40 wys bietjie meer hieroor

  • Joel - 2011-10-15 12:25

    1% versus 99%! This pathological reality would not pervade if the 99% were not complicit in their own gradual impoverishment. The drive to ever cheaper goods with its elected choices of: Price over quality! Price over service! Price over integrity! Price over knowledge! As a community we reject the small business entity. We reject true entrepreneurial spirit. We blindly 'bargain' hunt like sharks at a freezing frenzy then wonder why the sea is only filled with sharks and sardines. Until our consumption habits change nothing will change.

      markplstephens - 2011-10-15 14:06

      I was about to post the same thing, we are protesting a condition we allowed to to develop. This may be an unpopular view, bt in this respect I rate ol' Julius is right; Wer are all too happy to let massive multinationals buy out our local entities (Wallmart) because it will bring lower prices for goods and dividends for investors. However once that dust has settled and we realise that all the cheap goods are imported rather than produced locally and jobs start being lost, then we must complain- and take it back. (this is just one example) Imagine everyone had the sense to think of tomorrow rather than "here and now"

  • anne.sewell - 2011-10-15 14:08

    errmmmm... the Madrid protesters were actually inspired by the Egyptian and Tunisian movements, and started the whole ball rolling... :o)

  • lolouw - 2011-10-15 14:51

    SA has the second widest class divide in the world after Brazil, 40% of our people are jobless, the wealthiest 10% earn half of our wealth. As a result of this legal robbery poverty and despair has spread and so have social ills. Today we have a murder rate which surpasses the worst warzones in the world such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine but we are fondly referred to as “The Rainbow Nation”. On Saturday we say to the government and to the corporates: Do not patronize us, you have our blood, sweat and tears on your hands and while we may have trusted you once before, South Africans refuse to be bitten from the same hole twice. (ALL governments are corporations)

  • fishycraig - 2011-10-15 15:12

    And all along they use Facebook (Zuckerberg worth billions), Twitter (Dorsey worth billions), iPhones (Jobs was worth billions)... The irony is poignant. There will always be those who have this sense of entitlement. The world owes them something. For what I don't know. For being born perhaps?

      Heinrich - 2011-10-16 21:01

      fishycraig : This is perhaps the best illustration I have seen so far. Were the inventors/discoverers of the wheel, the telephone, penicillin, the diode,the internal combustion engine, etc. such fabulously rich people? Guaranteed, if there were no such things in existence today, and they were discovered /invented tomorrow, the picture will be clear. Improving quality of life means nothing if it is not meant for all to share.

  • fishycraig - 2011-10-15 15:48

    The pro-protesters do have a monopoly when it comes to news coverage. And why? Because the 1% are too busy working to give a damn.

      fishycraig - 2011-10-15 16:33

      And the 99% are watching shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and other reality shows of the rich and famous. Why? So they can infiltrate the filthy rich and learn secrets to topple them? No. More like cause that is what they want for themselves. But only for themselves. Nobody else.

  • Hügo - 2011-10-15 16:41

    More welfare expenditure will only cause more problems

  • Gail - 2011-10-15 18:55

    I am not going to deny the right of the have nots to show their displeasure at the hardships which are very real and not self inflicted anymore than having a particular skin colour is self inflicted or criminallity is a direct result of poverty etc. The real truth here is that nobody is addressing the bottom line because it is not good news. The bottom line is that there are too many people on the planet and that each and every human being takes no responsibility for planning their own future never mind anybody else's. The natural order of life has been irreversibly changed by mankind alone and their acquisition of and greed for things other than the simplest of resources for survival. Water is a key to this as is the ground which we all share animals, insects and all other organisms. In reality man did not create the circle of life upon which all are dependent for survival, but his desire to be immortal and for power are insatiable. Man cannot survive untill they eradicate those two desires. Money and power for possessions are just symptoms of the need for survival being skewed. Man cannot change the universe despite his "progress" and civilisation. Taking from the 1% and sharing equally between the 99% will not improve things for long for the 99%.It is an uncomfortable thought to contemplate that our so-called superiority is actually only partially responsible for the crises we face on a global basis. Ultimately our star will die and with it life on this planet will cease.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2011-10-16 12:01

      Didn't take long before the over population Malthus disciples descended onto the thread. This is probably going to go over your head now, but people do not starve because there is not enough food, but because they can't afford it. Ever wondered how industrialised nations get continually larger yet don't suffer food shortages? The population of the UK is predicted to rise from 62m to 74 million in the next 30 years (one generation). Given that they can't produce enough food to feed the population in the UK as it is now, where do you think it will come from? There are enough resources to feed everybody in the world, is just that the multinational corporations and their puppet governments could not care less if thousands or millions of people die, as long as they make their profits.

  • mnbain - 2011-10-15 19:47

    By labelling the protests as being "Indignant" you are diminishing the true message of the protest, and missing the the point.

  • Thinus - 2011-10-16 09:14

    The current people management system in the world is NOT working, bottomline. If it did the spread of wealth would have been more equal. Greed is the problem of the oligarchy, and the tool they mainly employ to achieve this goal is, the creation of "want" with the help of the mainstream media.The name of Edward Bernays comes to mind when I think about "WANT". Some of the older BIG corporations does indeed control the governments of the world, not all corporations though. Names like Carnegie & Rockerfeller comes to mind. The education system in general creates a " I am looking for a job" attitude.Names like Rockerfeller and Carnegie again comes to mind. John Gatto explains this well. The worlds goernments are corporations, fact. The commercial law comes to mind, at the same time consider " Your Strawman", we the citizens of the world belongs to the state, and it starts with your birth certificate. Colonel Edward Mandell House comes to mind. Capitalism is not all bad, inventions, competition ect. are great traits of this system. Currently however it is pickpocketing the masses or 99% of the population through the financing sector, the Federal Reserve (which is a private owned), and then Rothchild comes to mind. The population of this earth can fit into the state of Taxas and each will have space to move. The rest of the world will be available to plant food. The Oligarchy controlling the governements and the media makes us believe otherwise. This is just some info!

  • MattQ4 - 2011-10-16 10:40

    We were there in CT.. this is just the start.... I will keep going back day after day after day until we see the government overthrown and replaced by a structure which actually serves us and doesn't rob us blind IT IS ENOUGH!!!!

  • Heinrich - 2011-10-16 14:45

    Ultimately everything is cyclical. The longer one tries to maintain an open ended system where "more" is the operative word, the more severe and traumatic the turning point will be. In terms of quality of life, I guess we are way beyond the natural turning points of present economic models and population growth already, and only interventions requiring energy inputs on a massive scale can initiate a change which can ensure a sustained presence of homo sapiens on this planet.

  • John - 2011-10-16 17:37

    Dear Anti- Capitalists, You don't have to keep money as a store of value. You don't need a bank account. When you get paid in money, pay out your obligations, like rent, energy, grocery accounts, etc. Convert the remaining money into some thing/s, like animals your place is suited for, or bottles of lpg, bottles of wine, booze, wood, etc. Later you sell and trade your wares for more value, via money if needed. And you carry on doing that until you have enough to buy a bigger place, because you are not going to be exploited and oppressed by the banks, you are going to make lots of value! And so you buy bigger places, keep bigger stores of value in materials and animals, and you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams. Lets see you do it! All it takes is lots of HARD WORK! But a bit of brains will make it easier...

      Phillip - 2011-10-17 11:45

      There's something in that. A story about three people in a small town: One ivested 200 000 in a bank and got 8% interest, the second invested 400 000 at 8%. The third borrowed the same money (600 000) from the same bank and paid 22%. If they had got together and split the difference at say 12% they'd all have been smiling!

  • Ryno - 2011-10-16 20:58

    Okay, I have no idea how these protests went, but thus far they have been peacefull and speaking to a real problem in society. I am proud of such a concerted and peace human movement towards change has been achieved and spread to my country. But I question what will come of it. Most of these protesters rely on the rich every day for jobs and credit cards and who knows what else. We can protest all we want, but if the mentality of those in power doesn't change, nothing will come of this. Now I still say that something must be done and that peaceful protest is by far better than revolution, but the problem is deeper than just some greedy people at the top. I know that I have a credit card and that I have at times opted not to give money to charity and instead bought something for myself. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this, but when I look at myslef honestly I realize that I often make choices to benefit me and not humanity. I realize that I have been hot-wired to hold on to my own vanity and pride at the cost of people around me. I don't earn a great salary by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel somewhere in me that could be employiong it better. So my conclusion (to myself at least) is to continue challanging those in power to change, but also to challange myself to do the same. After all if I cannot use my little money to help those around me responsibly, wouldn't I be a hypocrite to expect someone else to?

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