'Indignant' protests pick up

2011-10-15 14:42

Hong Kong - Protesters across the Asia-Pacific region Saturday joined worldwide demonstrations inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street" and "Indignants" movements.

Rallies are planned for Saturday in more than 950 cities across 82 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Africa in a show of power by a movement born on May 15 when a rally in Madrid's central square of Puerta del Sol sparked a protest that spread nationwide, then to other countries.

Protesters in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Grahamstown showed their support.

Around 500 people gathered in the heart of Hong Kong's financial district to express their anger at the inequities and excesses of free-market capitalism, while demonstrators in Tokyo also voiced fury at the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Wong Weng-chi, a demonstrator from a group calling themselves "Left 21", said the "Occupy Central" rally in Hong Kong was more than just an act of solidarity with the Wall Street protest, which began in September.

"Hong Kong is a key financial hub in Asia, it is a base that serves many multinational financial institutions. It is a base that serves many capitalists and the upper class to monopolise the wealth," he told AFP.

Hong Kong, a city of seven million people, is known for its super-rich tycoons, low taxes and teeming shopping districts.

But it is also a case study in economic inequality, with thousands of low-income residents forced to live in "cage" accommodation because of the skyrocketing cost of housing fuelled by wealthy property speculators.

Around 600 demonstrators in Sydney set up camp outside Australia's central bank. Corporate greed, the political influence of big firms, climate change and the plight of refugees and Aboriginal Australians were repeatedly raised as issues.

In Tokyo, around 100 protesters marched through the streets, shouting "Occupy Tokyo!". They added anti-nuclear slogans as they passed the offices of Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the stricken Fukushima plant.

Tomoko Horaguchi, a 22-year-old student at Hosei University, said she was moved by the protesters on Wall Street.

"I feel the same anger," Horaguchi said. "In particular I am angry at nuclear power plants. Only one percent of people want to run them still."

The Fukushima nuclear accident, the world's worst since Chernobyl, was sparked after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant's cooling systems and led to reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks.

In Seoul, some 200 protestors rallied outside an old palace near the City Hall, carrying banners including one reading "Capitalism for one percent has failed."

"We're fed up with a government of one percent, by one percent and for one percent," a female activist shouted through a loudspeaker.

Hundreds of riot police troops wearing fluorescent waterproofs and carrying shields stopped the protestors from marching towards a nearby square.

Earlier, some 70 activists braved driving rain to rally outside the headquarters of the country's financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Service, waving banners and chanting slogans.

"Occupy Yeoido," they chanted in reference to the main financial district of Seoul. "We're the 99%."


- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • Coco - 2011-10-15 14:52

    Without the trolls the comments have become dull and boring. I prefer things the way they were.

      Alva - 2011-10-15 15:01

      You are so right. Better to do battle with the trolls.

      Dirk - 2011-10-15 15:38

      The Neo Left- the bleeding hearts, to seize every opportunity to point fingers at "Wall ST" It does not take a rocket scientist that they actually mean the US.At the same time, turning a blind eye to the large scale plunder taking place in Africa, Asia, the Brics and arab countries. Whip capitalism, while denying the failures of communism and socialism- the most murderous and corrupt systems in human memory. The Third world must stop acting as the "victims" while invariably, they are the biggest culprits when it comes to exploitation.

      Bulelani - 2011-10-16 12:57

      @Dirk If you haven't noticed it is people from the 1st world countries that are protesting against their governments and corporations from the PIIGS countries to now the US and other European countries. But you couldn't pass up the opportunity to rant against non-whites.

  • Alva - 2011-10-15 15:10

    Can't really see the point of this protest. Since time began, the world has been divided into rich and poor, upper and lower,haves and have nots. Poor, lower and have nots were always in the majority. No miracle about to happen to change that. Not even through revolution. Could the cause be the pinch of the recession?

      fishycraig - 2011-10-15 16:06

      Or perhaps it is due to the 99% having too much time on their hands because they aren't working?

      V.P. - 2011-10-15 16:15

      Since the dawn of mankind, you had people that were more fortunate and hard working entrepreneurs, and greed. In comparison, you had the less fortunate and sometimes lazy people. It was, is and will be. But…Factor the words “lazy” and “Greed” out of the equation, then only, might we have positive results.

      fishycraig - 2011-10-15 16:30

      Greed is the only reason we have evolved, developed, expanded. Some people with foresight and yes, greed, pushed the boundaries and great risk built up corporations (and the jobs that come with them). Bad? Good? I am going to go with the latter. And why? Just look at the "credits" at these protests and ask yourself this: just who would you prefer to run this world? Not some warm and fuzzy utopia but the world we live in now.

      V.P. - 2011-10-15 16:53

      fishycraig, you are right, but there need to be check and balances. It is also a fact, that when hard work which result in profit, is rewarded well, potential, stimulus, and growth are the results. Unfortunately, many prefer handouts, are misguided and prefer not to grow. But, the situation elsewhere differs completely than that of SA and need a more of a “paradigm” shift in thinking. I am also reminded of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and where we stand respectively.

      Jeremy - 2011-10-15 17:25

      LOL u really dont know your ass from your elbow - Go back to sleep Alva

      fishycraig - 2011-10-15 17:34

      Sounds like we are saying the same thing V.P. (I hope that doesn't stand for Vice President of some evil corporation!). I do agree with you on the checks and balances. But is the responsible, self-imposed checks and balances that are missing here. No one held a gun against the heads of the poor in America and told them to buy a house with horrendous repayments. No one told them to go into debt, borrow beyond their means, etc. And no one has told the poor that a benefit of welfare is to waste money on booze and sit around bemoaning their lot in life. On the other hand there must be measures taken against flagrant greed. But really, the people demonstrating at Wall Street can't even come up with a cohesive statement about their grievances. Wall Street is such a nice scape goat. When instead they should be examining their own lives and wondering why they are unemployed. Now in this country I will agree with you more. But it all goes for a ball of wax when the people entrusted to change things, i.e. government, don't really care.

      Michael - 2011-10-15 21:33

      @fishycraig. Tx 4 your point of view- WONDERFUL 2b in a country where we still enjoy free speech! Very lucky too. Specially u, bud, cos yr logical, level-headed, un-bigoted, educated, informed and non-judgmental contribution is exactly that. Joke's on u 2: u ARE IN the 99% numbnuts.U're not a $/Euro/Pound billionaire r u? R u perhaps Royalty from any of the royal families? President, top senator, prime minister, UN, Nato, COFR? IMF? No? That puts u up to yr neck in 99%. Yr comments give me the impression that you think working yr ass off and making an ok living puts you the top 1% - did I interpret you correctly? Remember also, that the concept of "evolve" and "develop" is an ENTIRELY contextual concept, and more often than not, also relative. Have we developed? & u may NOT answer with "automobile" "modern medicine" or any of that typical crap. "Expansion" - if you map human expansion behavior patterns and you will find it mimick that of a virus'. behaves the same way that a virus does. These complexes of concrete metal glass scabs, growing and spreading their tendrils ever deeper ever wider, growing and strengthening their bodies - crackling with electronics, dripping with digital magnetic electro soup. City? in their current formats, they're nothing more than a weeping, infected boil on the Earth's skin. And, I'd prefer people who WANT a fuzzy future Utopia &who'll dedicate themselves 2ward it. More 2the point: Dude, do you even KNOW what's been happening? don't think so

      jeffery.stokes - 2011-10-17 06:18

      @fishycraig -really know one told them too. try the bankers told them too. and even the ones that could not afford it they gave loans to anyway. and once the people had those loans. the bankers packaged the loans and then sold the loans off to pension funds as investments. the loans were even rated triple A by the rating commission. if you don’t know for a investment to be rated AAA means its as safe as government bonds. then the banks took out insurance in case people default on these packaged loans from guys like AIG. and they also bet on aig's stock falling. then the same bankers who didnt make any of this happen or are innocent according to your logic started raising the interest rates until people started to default. Once that happened the bankers were in the pound seats.they made money on insurance then they made money aig's stock falling when the market crach and they had an asset in their possession because they repossessed the people’s homes(which they could now borrow more money on because of the fractional reserve system). and when it got really bad they got bailed out by the Gov using tax payers money and they made money on the bet that aig's or whoever they insured with stock would fall. and what did the bankers do when they got that money? they gave themselves huge bonuses and they bought Gov bonds guaranteeing them a return of 5% and they made even more money.It turned into a government sponsored ponzi scheme! Before you open your mouth get your facts straight

      fishycraig - 2011-10-17 12:14

      @ Michael and co. No, I don't think I am in the 1%. But you can divide the 99% into those who want to work, do work and strive to make a change as opposed to those waiting for handouts. Personally, I do think the problem lies with the 99%. And I am not saying that in the way you probably think I am. Look at how we are being bombarded by advertising and slick lines to get things we don't want or need. Bogus insurance policies, latest cell phones, flashy cars, new houses, etc. I fell for this debt trap when I was younger but managed to get out of it and never go back. But people just don't seem to grasp it. I actually grew up in America and the conspicuous spending by the 99% is outrageous. The need to beat the Joneses' is so prevalent there. All I am saying is that the 99% should look inwards rather than outwards for solutions. Instead of a new car they should save for an education for their kids. Instead of buying the latest cell phone buy healthy food. Simplistic? For sure. Cliched? Damn straight. But the thing about cliches is that they are a cliche for a reason - because they have worked in the past. And take a look at the people who are occupying Wall Street. Are they genuinely the poorest of the poor? Burning an innocent person's car in Rome achieves what? It is like in this country - so much time is given to help the poor but what about the poor who help themselves? Conferences for the youth that waste millions? What about the poor who are actually working?

      fishycraig - 2011-10-17 12:35

      @ Jeffery - If you read what I wrote you will see I lay the blame both at the corporations and the people. Sure, we have advertisements for cars where you pay a ridiculously small monthly payment and there at the bottom in small print it mentions a balloon payment 3 times the worth of the car. That is daylight robbery. But the car salesman isn't holding you hostage whereby you have to buy the said car. And here is where the crux of the problem lies - people's greed. Yes, there is the corporate greed but what about the people in the street? Are they absolutely devoid of greed? Hardly. Kids nowadays wouldn't bee seen dead in an old runabout. No, only the latest car for them. And whose fault is that? The same with the housing market in America. Sure, the whole selling off of the debts was terrible but some of the blame can be placed at the feet of the buyers. How many were duped into easy initial payments because of their own greed? It is a 50/50 problem - just wish people would take more responsibility for their own actions.

      jeffery.stokes - 2011-10-17 15:39

      @fishycraig And what about the people who did not take loans for houses. the people who lost their pensions because fund managers were told that the investments were AAA rated and thought is was a safe investment for their clients were they also greedy?. you telling me, the man that wanted a house for his family is greedy? he is greedy because he thought he was getting a good deal? and then got f**** over by the bank because they wanted to make a bigger profit off of the insurance they had on the loan and the fact that they could add a new asset to their books...go talk sh** somewhere else. you are either an idiot or a banker yourself. because the attitude you are showing is what lead to this mess.

      jeffery.stokes - 2011-10-17 16:05

      another thing the "greedy" people who got these loans have paid for their greed, they lost there houses and whatever else they had. but what has happened to those who are ultimately responsible? This was the kind of things the bankers were getting up too that makes them responsible. a study showed that about 70% of all defaulted loans was because of fraudulent applications. But hey its cool we are all greedy..

  • Kent - 2011-10-15 15:39

    It Begins!

      fishycraig - 2011-10-15 16:39

      No, it has been going on since man climbed down from the trees. That is why they call it a revolution. It revolves. Comes around every few years.

      Anthony - 2011-10-15 17:17

      I think our leaders are still in the trees. they all act the part so dam well

  • larkforsure - 2011-10-15 16:06

    [ SOS ] Complaint about Human Rights Violations by IBM China on Centennial Please Google: Tragedy of Labor Rights Repression in IBM China or How Much IBM Can Get Away with is the Responsibility of the Media or IBM detained mother of ex-employee on the day of centennial

  • wmbokazi1 - 2011-10-15 16:12

    Soldier on galactic ground crew the time is now and ever, victory is certain!!!

      John - 2011-10-16 12:03

      manpara ideology!

  • John - 2011-10-15 22:11

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

  • John - 2011-10-16 12:28

    Alva, Your comment is valid. VP: Without 'lazy' and 'greed', you only find the Christians. Originally the Labour Party was founded by 3 Christians, so they tell me. Infiltrated by communists and mental retards, it is unrecognizable today. What is going on? The left wingers, totally discredited since the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the admission by Gorbachov of the Failure of the Communist Central Control Economy is a Double Admission: The Failure of Communism. The Failure of the Central Control System. In SA we have the ANC prepared to Destroy the Economy for the sake of their Total Central Control. Just like Rob Murder Mugabe.

  • Mark - 2011-10-16 14:13

    The word is INDIGENT not INDIGNANT

      jeffery.stokes - 2011-10-17 06:23

      INDIGNANT:Feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment. people arent protesting because they are poor but because they are angry

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