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      Adam Jung: Occupying London, 'Building Relationships'

      Adam Jung on Occupy London:

      JAN. 5. -- Things are progressing here amazingly. We have had a much larger impact on British society and policy then I think we fully realize. In reality it has been nearly as much luck as organizing.

      Ending up occupying on the steps of St. Paul's cathedral after being shoved back from the Stock Exchange created a situation that brought the Church of England to it's knees, prompting massive soul-searching and creating a sense that Occupy London was the new moral voice of the nation. The Church has now fully backed us and I meet with bishops and staff weekly to coordinate the launch of nationwide General Assemblies this March.

      I have a lot of hope for what these democratic forums can spur on, and with the backing of the unions, I think we may be able to put the government in a defensive position, and perhaps, eventually, push for the dissolution of the coalition government. A lot of the work we are doing at this time we don't do under the Occupy name. 

      We've got our name out there and built some power. Now we're focusing on building relationships and impacting communities. When we come back out into the streets we want to include much more of the 99%. Towards that goal a project we are working on, which I am helping to coordinate, is helping the campaign against fuel poverty in the UK. Lack of heating was blamed for something over 20,000 elderly deaths in the UK last year. In our view this is a direct result of government austerity programs, privatization since Thatcher (another reason to hate her,) and lack of regulation. We are looking for ways forward that concretely improve these people lives (and save them,) further strengthen the ties and power of allied groups, and embarrass the government to the public. 

      David Cameron has pushed his concept of "The Big Society." It's not much different than Bush's "compassionate conservatism." Basically, in rhetoric it is asking society to step up and take care of each other voluntarily, in practice it would be asking charities to take on services the government has provided since WW2, in reality it's nothing but words. Many journalists have put Cameron in an uncomfortable position by asking if Occupy London wasn't, in fact, the real "Big Society."

      Adam Jung is an organizer for Occupy London. Follow him @AdamJung.

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      January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJustin
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