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Wall Street protesters march in Sweden

TT/Clara Guibourg · 16 Oct 2011, 09:24

Published: 16 Oct 2011 09:24 GMT+02:00

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Einar Stensson, sociologist and one of the Stockholm protest's organisers, was one of many to speak at the demonstration held at central Sergels Torg in Stockholm, where several hundred had gathered on Saturday.

"The financial crisis has hit us, and we've had to pay while those responsible get away scot-free," he said to news agency TT.

"Now we're looking to get organised and create our own power, because the political parties have disassembled their own people's movements, and aren't interested in having our influence in politics," he said.

The Stockholm protest attracted a mixed crowd, from punk teens to well-dressed pensioners. Protesters wrote slogans and demands with crayon on Sergels Torg's signature black and white-patterned floor, and around 2pm marched on the nearby Riksbank.

At 5pm, over a hundred protesters were still gathered in the park outside Riksbanken, with several having pitched tents and set up camp.

Home-painted placards demanded from the politicians answers to questions like "Where are our bailout packages?" and an impromptu Speaker's Corner had been made out of a covered fountain.

Kaife Amin and his friend were at the site, holding a large banner with the message "The system is the problem".

"The capitalist system is about to collapse economically, ecologically, morally and in every way and every direction," he said to TT.

Protests were planned in more than 70 countries and 700 cities.

Thousands gathered in London's and and Frankfurt's financial areas, and tens of thousands convened in Rome, where protests turned violent as windows were broken and cars set alight, according to reports from AFP.

Story continues below…

The Roman protesters received unexpected support from Mario Draghi, expected to be the next head of the European Central Bank (ECB).

"They're angry at the world of finance. I understand them," said the 64 year-old economist, currently heading the Italian central bank.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:09 October 16, 2011 by J Jack
get a job and a haircut hippies!
14:28 October 16, 2011 by Roy E
These demonstrations have turned out to be one big one big, huge orchestrated epic failure. It sure has some journalists excited! But not many others.

Most people realize that today's economic troubles are the result of failed government policies. These demonstrations are primarily an effort to divert attention and shift the blame away from the responsible parties.
15:56 October 16, 2011 by Svensksmith
Rebels without a clue.
16:43 October 16, 2011 by Great Scott
@J Jack & Svensksmith

If you are so clued up, why dont you all get together and give us a show of strength. Tell everybody how the fix the mesh that the fat cat bankers and incompentent consevatives have got us into. Don't gob off at others if you dont have a clue yourself.
17:03 October 16, 2011 by calebian22
Great Scott,

A conservative may have started this mess, but there is an incompetant liberal in the White House right now. I see no dazzling solutions coming from him. Unless by dazzling, you mean print worthless money and spend your way out of debt.
18:20 October 16, 2011 by vancer
all these protesters could have a much bigger impact on the problems by getting a job, paying tax and not being so jealous towards people who have worked to be successful.
18:39 October 16, 2011 by Lavaux
I've got a place in the country. For the past ten years, I've been learning how to make it feed my family and keep them warm.

If capitalism ends, how are the rest of you going to survive? Oh, and don't bother coming round to my place.
20:21 October 16, 2011 by Svensksmith
@ Great Scott

Gonna take a lot more than waving signs around to fix this mess.
22:34 October 16, 2011 by Twiceshy
calebian22 don't fall for (or spread) that divide & conquer crap. Both Bush and Obama are doing exactly the same in every way that matters... they're both ignoring to address the real problems - the banksters' crimes and unsustainability of budgets.
23:31 October 16, 2011 by Not Dumb
@Svensksmith; @Lavaux; @vancer; @calebian22; @J Jack

Excuse me, but it is past time for a few facts. First, according to the above article the Roman protesters "received unexpected support from Mario Draghi, expected to be the next head of the European Central Bank", and maybe there's a good reason for this. It isn't that these folks are lazy, crazy, or strange, just that a system has evolved over the last thirty years that is based upon Corporate welfare instead of citizen welfare, Sweden's spate of tax 'reform' and 'corporate welfare' highlighting this widespread problem.

To my eyes, the financial crisis occurred because 'Banksters' knowingly misrepresented trillions of dollars of investments and financial instruments, something that on a lesser scale would be called 'fraud', but today we call 'neoliberalism'. Those few among the elite, and those many more vicariously taking pleasure in their successes while misguidedly praying to join them, continue to promote a system that serves the interests of the very few over the many.

I won't point out that when Wall Street and major corporations were 'bailed out' with taxpayer funds, what happened was the tremendous losses that a corrupt system generated were then 'socialized' (ie, taxpayers got them, not the business owners, bondholders, etc), but profits from these same firms never were shared, just the losses.

In Sweden, tax cuts and corporate welfare emptied the amount of available resources for A-Kassa, elder care, children's programs, medical programs, etc, and while the very rich have gotten richer, it is a redistribution of wealth from the bottom and middle to the top! Things here are so bad that the right-wing US magazine, American Spectator, actually wrote how far ahead of the US Sweden's neoliberal (free-market) economy is! Of course, a journalist from American Spectator also acted as an agent provocateur at the Smithsonian recently, the result being substantive numbers of innocent people being pepper sprayed. How's that for conservative integrity? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/10/washington-protest-american-spectator-patrick-howley?newsfeed=true

Insatiable greed must stop!

As to the reality of where we stand today, according to the late US President, FDR, "The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism#Franklin_D._Roosevelt

And, aside from my best wishes to those courageous many who are now struggling for change, that is ALL I HAVE TO SAY -- Punkt Slut!
06:56 October 17, 2011 by Migga
Say what you want about the issue but standing in the streets, fighting the police won`t solve anything.
07:02 October 17, 2011 by SecondGen
One of the more disturbing articles I read recently was how major companies were beginning to use 'hourglass' marketing strategies with the belief that the middle class was vanishing and that sales would be primarily to the top and bottom, with little in the middle.

When Wall Street accepted bailouts the government should have nixed bonus payments to those asleep at the wheel, but it stood by and did nothing except make some noise. All in all totally unacceptable.

On the other hand, having worked for larger companies such as IBM, I don't really see corporations setting government agendas (at least not computer firms), Perhaps it was the level I was at, but the top doesn't really seems to be as smart or evil as they are depicted as.
10:23 October 17, 2011 by EtoileBrilliant
As somebody who works in financial services, the idea of protests is smack right on. I've worked with greedy bankers for years and they deserved to be hang, drawn and quartered.

....but I've never seen a more uncoordinated bunch of losers than this global movement. There are so many smoking guns it beggars belief that these guys can't find one.

I mean in London they're petitioning the LSE on a Saturday/Sunday. Like that's really going to hurt. Since the late 1980s when the market went electronic, there's nothing there apart from a tourist guide and a few servers.

If I was in charge of this rabble, I'd find a way of making this protest work.

Storm the Bank of England during the next MPC meeting. Start outing the wives of Goldman executives at their country clubs. Hit them where it hurts.
10:25 October 17, 2011 by Great Scott

Once again you are one of the many that criticise without a supported argument. We know who got us into this mess and is it these very people we should be dealing with, they have too much power. Governments as Not Dumb said, should be putting people first not the rich few. It's the people that run this world, not conservative politicians, bankers or stock markets, without the people these institutions would not survive. This is what the protesters are saying, "listen and join the movement to control these manipulating and robbing thieves". They are trying to bring awareness and change the balance of power. People have listened to long to conservative politicians threats of "if you don't listen to us you will be doomed", it is in fact the very opposite.

@Not Dumb

It seems that you are the only one to write anything constructive here. Unlike many others just making meaningless statements. Maybe some of these people could learn something from you instead of just throwing their dummy's out of their pram.


"Say what you want about the issue but standing in the streets, fighting the police won`t solve anything." It worked in the UK, got rid of Thatcher's look after the rich Poll Tax.
16:01 October 17, 2011 by Svensksmith
I don't disagree with a lot of what you are saying, GS, but these protests are too disorganized. There's no coherent strategy. When somebody comes up with one, maybe I'll join in.
18:22 October 17, 2011 by Prat
When sheep escape their pen, of course they wander awhile.

Being "disorganized" is the effect of freedom, without officers in command. Previous circumstances were organized, but led to the slaughterhouse and premature death.

Why not visit the Brunkebergstorg encampment, Stockholm (in front of Riksbanken)? Anyone is welcome. People are there 24-hours a day; you can discuss your thoughts and analyses in English or other languages. Share your ideas, or bring some snacks, or both.
20:28 October 17, 2011 by HYBRED

This mess goes back 30yrs plus. And every president and congressmen since has a share of the blame. Even if it by doing nothing. But I am sure they accepted a lot of contributions from the banks, big business/Wall Street crowd.

And actually you DO spend your way out of it. As in the Great Depresion, the govenment hired the unemployed to do infrastructure and conservation projects. You have to get money into the hands of the unemployed and lower income. When they spend money business's will take off, hence creating jobs. There in no such thing as "trickle down economics", one of the biggest lines of GOP BS of all time. It is a shame so many bite into it. Money trickles UP the food chain, not down. And obviously the bailout money went to the top of the food chain to pay bonus's, dividends and such, and nothing trickled down.
04:06 October 18, 2011 by shahislam
Honest Human intelligence is sharp enough to intuitively know exactly who (even though Political Criminal Leaders conceal the evidences) is currently making or made in the past: things like assassination, secret bombings or such plots etc..

Political assassination is a cowardly crime of a old nasty political minded group of internally very ugly guys such as: Plane hijackers of 1960's or of their low humanly, extreme negativity charged counterpart.

Only the political power of Today's USA can immediately start paving the permanent ways of a new UN's System that will make future decisions on Usage of Nuclear Power by any of the nations in the world or whether such programs will be approved or not; on the basis of credibility, past acts or behaviors etc.

The attempts by heads of Syria, Iran, Pakistan, India, Divided Korea, Russia, China etc. to copy old style of 'out of date' politics is being viewed as stupid, funny but dangerous by the evolved new generation of Global Public-who have become smarter and more wise than the old styled isolated heads or continuing hereditary power holders of the scattered pieces of territorial public lands that even include Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal, Bhutan etc..

As long as we are aware of Ego and Greed-Blind stupid groups of power-manipulators, nothing can be a real threat to the great Humanitarian Power of the West!
09:31 October 18, 2011 by samwise
I'd like to see an example of an independent hippie country where it's of the hippies, by the hippies and for the hippies.

the more money the politicians print, the more crony financial institutions we have to manage all that fresh money. but after all, we the people ask for that free lunch type of magic money, don't we?
14:42 October 18, 2011 by cogito
#16 "every president and congressmen ...accepted a lot of contributions from the banks, big business/Wall Street "


But none took more $$$ from Wall Street bankers than Obama. He holds the record in crony-capitalism.
18:30 October 18, 2011 by Iraniboy
Some of the posters here suffer from some sort of paranoia and think they are the only ones on the planet who have jobs and pay taxes!!!
00:14 October 19, 2011 by godnatt
This isn't a capitalist country... What are they complaining about? ;)
02:20 October 19, 2011 by jswede1149
Why are there people protesting in Sweden? This makes no sense. Sweden is not capitalistic nor is the Euro it's currency. Now if they protested Kungen och Drottening, I'd understand.

The reason why the Wall Street protest will not work well is everyone has their selfish reasons and it is not cohesive.

The article is right. Capitalism is about to collapse. It seems americans do not even realize this.
10:59 October 19, 2011 by trsgrv
Idiot Europeans. Without American capitalism, you wouldn't be on your computer. You wouldn't have a cell phone. Or electricity or planes or cars or air conditioning or nikes or TV or movies or or or. Capitalism is freedom for the creator and entrepreneur to provide you with the life you have. You're against it? Give it all up and live in a cave. The problem we all have now is welfare parasites, the lazy entitlement generation. The 'give me stuff for free; give me all that you've worked for' generation. Those who are encouraged by politicians to want more free stuff so the politicians can stay in power. And the government and the lazy selfish protestors are destroying us all. Disgusting.
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