Happy October 15th! This was a very special day celebrating democracy, populism, and freedom. All over the world, demonstrators staged protests in major cities and smaller municipalities to send a message to the 1% who have stolen our future through their greed: We are the 99% and we will take back what is rightfully ours. The rule of law. Democracy. Prosperity and the hope for a better future.
Occupy Lisbon stands in solidarity with the global Occupy Movement and Occupy Wall Street.
A few days ago I started seeing signs posted around my home in Estrela about the October 15th rally. The group Anonymous called for the worldwide protests to happen on October 15th. I was taking the Tram 28 back home when I looked out the window and saw a massive crowd of people in front of the Portuguese Parliament, or Assembleia de República. I immediately hopped off the tram at the nearest station and joined the rally. The mood was festive and the protesters were cheering and chanting. People were beating drums and brandishing home made signs.
It was daytime and I didn’t have my camera with me but I decided to come back at night after eating dinner. When I finally went back several hours later there was still a large crowd of protesters. The people gathered there were from all walks of life and a mix of old an young. They represent the 99% and they are those who care enough to get out in the streets and protest the corporate and banker greed that is rapidly turning our world into a global Neofeudalistic society. Despite what mainstream corporate media will tell you, these people are not anarchists, radicals, or left wing “nutbars”.
To quote Pulitzer Prize winning writer and war correspondent Chris Hedges, “Those who are protesting the rise of the corporate state are in fact on the political spectrum the true conservatives because they are calling for the restoration of the rule of law.”
When I did come back to the protest site around 11:30 PM, I saw a large crowd of protesters facing a phalanx of heavily armed and armored riot police. The battle line clearly was the steps leading up to the Parliament building. I want to make it absolutely clear that the rank and file police officers around the world are part of the 99%. They too have been robbed by the banksters and too-big-to-fail corporations. They have seen their pensions and their salaries and benefits cut by the same people who we are protesting. So the burning question to the police becomes: Who are you protecting?
Police around the world are sworn to protect and serve the people of the community. Too bad that the truth nowadays is this oath is nothing but lip service. In truth, they are protecting the same bunch of people who have stolen from them and put their futures and their children’s futures in jeopardy. This is an untenable situation.
The police here in Lisbon from what I have seen are nothing like the thugs in NYC. I didn’t see any clubbings or pepper sprayings. They seemed almost disinterested while I and others snapped photos and chanted in front of them.
This guy started to bust out some dance moves to the amusement of all. You can see a cop in this photo trying to squelch a smile of amusement. Check out the riot gear on these cops. Pretty excessive.
What’s a rally without drums right? It was very festive at the rally with people dancing and shouting slogans. And now we move onto the videos!
As you can see there were some pretty passionate people at the rally. I’m glad that I was able to be a part of Occupy Lisbon. However, the Occupy movement is on-going and will not end until we get the money and the greed out of world politics. You and me and most of who we know are the 99%. Stand with us. Make your voice heard.