CALLING ALL LOVERS OF DEMOCRACY TO GATHER IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE THIS VALENTINE’S WEEKEND!

Calling All Lovers Of Democracy To Gather In Parliament Square This Valentines Weekend

Do you love the idea of a corruption free, transparent, accountable and representative democracy? Do you believe that respect and human dignity should be at the heart of what we are doing, for ourselves, for each other, for society, for our environment and for the kind of democratic governance we seek?

Then join Occupy Democracy [1] in Parliament Square to continue building a social movement for democracy free from corporate control in the run up to the general election and beyond.

* Join in a Direct Democracy General Assembly * Hear Powerful Speakers * Share Stories * Raise Your Voice * Be Inspired * Demand Fairness and Freedom * Have Fun * Love our Future *

This weekend’s theme is Equality and Representation, hosting activists from Sisters Uncut, Syriza, London Black Revs, 50:50 Parliament, Women Against the Cuts, the New Economics Foundation and author Kerry-Anne Mendoza (aka Scriptonite), who will be leading discussions and workshops on the lack of democratic representation with regard to gender, race and ability.

See the draft programme for the 14th and 15th February, here: https://occupydemocracy.org.uk/2015/02/10/february-programme/


More speakers to be confirmed, for the latest updates follow:
http://facebook.com/action4democracy and http://twitter.com/occupydemocracy aand join the facebook event page, here: http://tinyurl.com/Equality-Representation.

They Don’t Represent Us!

Statistics show a clear discrepancy between those within parliament and the population they are supposed to represent.

  • Only 22% of the House of Commons are women [2]
  • Only 4% are from ethnic minorities [3]
  • 62% of the total are white men aged over 40 [4]
  • Over 33% attended private schools (including 20 Old Etonians) compared to 7% of the population as a whole [5]
  • MPs earn at least £67,000 before expenses and second jobs are taken into account, putting them immediately in the top 5% of wage earners in this country [6]

Our so-called “representatives” are in fact a privileged elite who are isolated from the pain and misery their policies inflict on us. Corruption is widespread in the UK with parliamentarians often having a direct financial interest in supporting policies that are against the public interest. For example:

  • A third of MPs are buy-to-rent landlords [7]
  • 206 parliamentarians have recent or present financial private healthcare connections and 142 Lords have recent or present financial connections to companies involved in private healthcare [8]
  • 27 of the 59 wealthiest hedge fund managers have donated more than £19 million to the Conservative Party [9]
  • 46% of the top 50 traded companies in the UK have a British parliamentarian as either a director or shareholder – six times the Western European average [10]

It’s no wonder that over 50% of Britons think MPs put their own interests first, that 72% don’t trust them to tell the truth and 65% think that at least half of MPs use their power for personal gain [11].

Our parliamentarians put corporate interests first and foremost [12] [13]. By next year, 1% of the world’s population will own more wealth than the other 99%. All major parties in this election are here to keep the “neo-liberal” gravy train running for the 1%. [14]

Mandela Vigil for the Death of UK Democracy 

As part of the occupation on Saturday 14th, there will be a symbolic funeral procession and vigil beside the statue of Nelson Mandela, marking the death of the UK’s democracy. A coffin symbolising Britain’s murdered democracy will be placed in a position of honour in front of Winston Churchill’s Statue at 3.30pm. At 5.30pm it will be taken in procession around ‘Tarpaulin Square’ (formerly known as Parliament Square) to the statue of Nelson Mandela where a rally and vigil will be held. Please bring candles, jam jars and tarpaulin.

Solidarity events

We have moved the start time back to 3:30pm so that people can show solidarity with other actions happening on Saturday morning, and invite them back to come and join us at Parliament Square:

Notes: 

[1] #OccupyDemocracy (https://occupydemocracy.org.uk/) was formed in March 2014 as a working group of Occupy London (http://occupylondon.org.uk/) to build a social movement for genuine democracy that is free from corporate influence. #OccupyDemocracy’s four occupations of Parliament Square to date have attracted hundreds of people including prominent figures such as Russell Brand, Ken Loach, Vivienne Westwood and Jolyon Rubinstein; politicians such as Caroline Lucas MP, John McDonnell MP, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Baroness Jenny Jones and Michael Meacher MP; and representatives of dozens of civil society organisations who, in turn represent millions of people who have little voice in our democracy, including: Friends of the Earth, UK Uncut, World Development Movement, War on Want, Fuel Poverty Action and numerous others. Working by consensus decision-making, #occupydemocracy has a safer spaces policy and is dedicated to non-violence. Our current list of “demands” can be read here: 

https://occupydemocracy.org.uk/occupy-democracy-current-demands-list/

https://occupydemocracy.org.uk/further-reading-links

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