I have spent the last few evenings at the Occupy Leeds camp in the city centre. I think before I went down there, I, like a lot of other people in the UK had the opinion that the umbrella movement which has now come to be known as "Occupy" was a bit of a waste of time, but I have now done a total U-turn and changed my mind.
Given that my boyfriend is from quite a political background, I knew it would only be a matter of time before he wanted to go to Leeds City Centre and check out the Occupy camp which has been formed there, like in many other places across the world. You can read all about what’s going on down there and a really interesting mission statement on their website.
They are growing in numbers all the time, as more people want to get involved and express their agreement with the movement. I wasn’t sure at first whether or not I thought they could make a difference but I think now I have been down there with the people involved it is fair to say they already are making that difference every day. They are incredibly well organized for a start, their info tent is manned almost 24/7 (apart from sleep times) and this is an invaluable resource to enlighten other Leeds folk about the movement and general gripes with our government.
People, whether or not they identify with the protesters occupying Leeds are stopping to chat to the campers and a lot of them, I feel are learning something, whether that be about the NHS, public sector pensions, rising fuel costs, youth unemployment or something else. This is key because I feel the public need to understand what is going wrong in the UK at the moment. When I first arrived for example, there was a girl giving a talk about how rising fuel costs, coupled with a reduction in fuel allowance for elderly people will lead to a lot of cold people this winter and this is unacceptable. I am in full support of the occupy movement now I know a bit more about it and have seen them in action. Please support this movement if there is one in your hometown, as they represent all of us – We are the 99%.
You can read a bit more about it on my blog