This weekend marked the spread of America’s Occupy Wall Street protests to other cities in the world. Several hundreds marched in Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong, carrying signs that spelled out solidarity with the message of the thousands camping in New York city and rallying in Boston, LA, Chicago and Denver. The message, you may or may not have heard, is a statement of outrage over the vast gap between the wealthy (and especially the super-wealthy) and the poor, and against the broad policies which seem to reflect this disparity. Like invading Iraq when nobody on earth felt it was anything but murderous oil-grubbing lunacy, just another Bushist death spasm in the Republic’s decline. Nutty policies like keeping US troops stationed in almost every country not named America and allowing the International Monetary Fund to ruin the futures of people in underdeveloped countries while making the climate in those countries favorable for investment and foreign business. Good reasons to protest, according to global public opinion.
Groups numbering into the many hundreds gathered in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, some determined to stay for long periods, some having permits. More anemic crowds formed in Taiwan and Hong Kong, for obvious reasons, but their rhetoric was more florid than in other countries,
“Hong Kong is heaven for capitalists,”said Lee Chun Wing, 29, a community college social sciences lecturer in Hong Kong. “Wealth is created by workers and so should be shared with the workers as well. Capitalism is not a just system.”
One sign in Tokyo said, “We Should Complain more.” Another apologized for the Fukushima disaster, saying “nuclear radiation has no borders,” just like greed and CIA drone-assassins. A paltry gathering of a few dozens protesters in Indonesia’s capital expressed a more daring complaint, one that is certainly felt in other areas of the world, if not often voiced openly or quoted,
“We wanted to show that the American regime, its system of imperialism needs to be destroyed,” said Rudi Daman, leader of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle in Jakarta.
Now that’s just going too damn far. No need to mention imperialism, tut tut.
European marches and demonstrations are scheduled for today. The “Group of 20 Industrialized Nations” is meeting in Paris, and some of the protests were planned to coincide with this forum, months before the OWS movement broke out.