Two Cities, Two Solutions


London and New York both currently have Occupy protests, but with markedly different reactions. The tents outside St Paul’s in the heart of the financial district were met with argument about the right to protest, dithering clergymen, three ecclesiastical resignations, and a final agreement to let the protestors stay until the new year.

On Wall Street, the story played out differently as police launched an overnight operation to clear Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park. Hundreds of officers in riot gear descended on the encampment in Lower Manhattan armed with pepper spray and tear gas and shifted the lot, bulldozing the remains.

What strikes me in particular is that the New York refusal to allow legitimate protest is occurring under a Democrat president while the London protest continues under a Conservative Prime Minister. As my friend Jennifer points out about the difference in the two countries; ‘Your right wing ends where our left wing starts.’

Unusually for a such a widespread protest movement, it remains to be seen what anyone can actually achieve by protesting without any practical goals…

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