‘We are the 99%’ is the refrain from Wall Street to London, from Oakland to Tel Aviv. A growing chorus of international resistance to the maintenance of the status quo following the impact of the financial crisis on individuals and societies across the developed world.
As the 99% suggests the frustration lies with growing income inequality and the fashion for austerity that is eroding the broad social benefits that in many ways are the key to the social compact that binds societies together.
In London the protest has seen a tent city arise in the churchyard of St Paul’s Cathedral, just opposite the London Stock Exchange. Since the occupation began on 15 October 2011 several high profile resignations have ensured from St Paul’s – reflecting conflicts and tensions within the church as it how it should respond to the protest at its doorstep.
St Paul’s appears to be a particularly appropriate site to challenge the status quo, as the edifice embodies the established Church of England, and by implication the State. The question posed ‘what would Jesus do’ – is perhaps at the heart of the church’s discomfort at its new neighbours.
Visit occupy london stock exchange to learn more about the campaign in London.