Occupy London

Ed Thompson

Published on 16/11/11

© Ed Thompson

On the 15th of Octo­ber 2011 a num­ber of people from diverse back­grounds and ideo­lo­gies came together to dis­pute the cul­ture of greed that exists in the cur­rent fin­an­cial sys­tem. They are part of a global move­ment that is cur­rently ‘Occupy­ing’ over a 1000 cit­ies world­wide, most fam­ously, Occupy Wall Street. Although the mass media con­tin­ues to brand the move­ment ‘Anti-Capitalist’ in real­ity the major­ity of the protest­ors think that Cap­it­al­ism is the best sys­tem, it’s just been left unchecked and become bloated and cor­rupt. Ori­gin­ally the protest­ors planned to ‘Occupy’ the Lon­don Stock Exchange (LSX), how­ever, they fell short of that goal and ended up occupy­ing the space out­side it, on the edge of land between the LSX and St Pauls Cathedral.

Occupy London. London, October 18th 2011.  Anonymous U.K. Anonymous are a global group of Hacktivists who have a uniform identity. They all wear the 'V' mask from the comic book and film 'V for Vendetta'. These photographs were taken at Occupy The London Stock Exchange St Pauls and other Anonymous events in London. (Ed Thompson)

© Ed Thompson

With this work I aimed to show another side to the Occu­pi­ers, to illus­trate the level of organ­isa­tion and com­pas­sion that is hap­pen­ing. There are no vil­lains in this photo-series; the only city worker I pho­to­graphed is depic­ted donat­ing cheese to the occu­pi­ers. Instead I want the images to pro­voke a wider respect and under­stand­ing for what the occu­pi­ers are attempt­ing to accom­plish, which is draw atten­tion to the inad­equa­cies of our cur­rent fin­an­cial sys­tem. From the start I pho­to­graphed the Occu­pa­tion only at night, there was some­thing quieter about the place when the tour­ists and bulk of the media had gone home, the camp really came to life then, des­pite what some journ­al­ists reported.

The spoken word poetry that accom­pan­ies the slideshow is of a young black occu­pier I met called J.J, he’d never had any of his poetry recor­ded before, and there is some­thing cool about the fact the first and only poem he has ever had recor­ded was in a tent out­side St Pauls Cathedral.

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