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Amar Shah & Patrick Callan

Notes on Occupy London, Ontario

Occupy London grew last weekend; roughly 150 protesters participated each day.In solidarity with synchronized Occupy events around the world, those present at the Occupy London rally voiced their displeasure with the economic system.The protesters ranged in age and motivation. Despite the movement’s lack of either organization or coherence, many protesters believe the movement itself is the change. The lack of official structure is good, said some of the protesters, because it makes the movement easy for anyone to join.Protesters met in Campbell Park on Saturday. This spot was chosen because it had been the site of a successful protest years ago. The protesters quickly found it was not convenient and moved the protest to Victoria Park, a more spacious area in the heart of the city. Victoria Park hosts all types of festivals and events throughout the summer. Since Saturday, it has been occupied by at least a dozen tents of those who have been staying overnight.Many protesters were chanting, “Whose park? Our park.” Others were wearing Guy Fawkes masks, a reference to the cult classic film V for Vendetta. Finally, there were many signs and brochures being circulated, complaining of problems with the capitalist system and holes in the democratic process.Many on hand were unable to offer a policy prescription for their grievances, but nonetheless felt that their protest was not in vain because it had helped to build a sense of community and common cause across different groups in society.Over the past year, the city of London has been one of the worst-hit by job loss. In September, Statistics Canada reported that the rate of unemployment in London was at 9%, almost two full percentage points higher than the national average.photo credit Nano_Dan Read More