Occupy Birmingham will be leaving the park behind Symphony Hall today. The occupiers have had a permanent presence in Birmingham City center since October 15th, first in Victoria Square and latterly in the park on Cambridge Street.
This has resulted in occupiers assisting student’s campaigns such as UK Pro Essay Help for college and the boycott of Workfare and the development of practical solutions, such as working to establish a Free University.
The camp is the longest occupation in England, it might be dismantling but this does not end the activities of Occupy, far from it. This is not the beginning of the end, but is the end of the beginning phase of Occupy.
Since October cities (over a thousand around the world) spontaneously became occupied by people seeking economic and social justice, many of these occupations formed camps. In Birmingham around a hundred people gathered in Victoria Square and a presence was established. The camps have acted as a visual symbol and a collective meeting point.
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Occupy has helped change the political agenda. In today’s edition of the Independent it is notable that 60% of people polled want a redistribution of wealth with calls for those who are richer taking on a greater burden of taxation.
Today we learn that a leading UK bank has been prevented by HMRC from exploiting tax loopholes and saving itself paying more than £500 million in taxation. It is clear our work has not been completed.
Occupy Birmingham have worked in federation with other occupiers across Britain and Ireland to question why it is that the financial system has been allowed to develop to service the interests of an elite few rather than service the collective benefit of the societies that generate the wealth. This has resulted in occupiers assisting campaigns such as UK Uncut and the boycott of Workfare and the development of practical solutions, such as working to establish a Free University.
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Occupy Birmingham would like to thank the supporters who have helped the camp get through the Winter months and to encourage people to become involved in activities that support economic justice. We will be holding a open GA on Saturday March 3rd at 1.00pm to ask people what measures they most want to see in the Coalitions forthcoming budget.