The Global Day Against Debt

On this global day of debt action, OWS had what most people involved thought was one of the best days of action for a while, in terms of targets hit, lots of funs and no arrests:) Oh, and two banner drops at Columbus Circle and Rockefeller Center and a fun afterparty at Times Square.

Debt Is the New Colonialism

The convergence was at 4pm and almost at once a banner was dropped from the current installation surrounding the Columbus statue. It read: “Debt Is the New Colonialism.” It was not up for very long but it was photographed by many of us and far more tourists and passers-by. A session on the “Future Without Debt” from Free University followed and at 6pm an Assembly celebrated the Global Day of Action. I had the fun experience of mic checking the French call for today’s action– in French! The crowd gamely followed and cheered when we got to la resistance.

Yo Soy 132 in New York today

People from Yo Soy 132 in Mexico, the Japanese anti-nuclear movement, and Quebec’s student movement reported on actions in their locations and we heard the news from Spain.

The first action stop took the gathering of about 300 people to Goldman Sachs chair Lloyd Blankfein’s residence.

O13 chez Blankfein

Some of us got inside while casseroling and after the police sealed the building, the gathering mic checked the “vampire squid” CEO. Off to a selection of one per cent destinations across the mid-town area, casseroling all the way. We checked in at the Plaza Hotel.

Casseroling at the Plaza

Given a power lift by a passing performance artist, I led a mic check of the global day of debt to the patrons of this prime one per cent venue. New York’s “finest” were not thrilled and used a good deal of force to clear the doorways. So off we went to Tiffany’s, who took one look and closed their security doors (below).

Sorry, Audrey, Tiffany’s is now closed

Perhaps the best received action of the night came when some people managed to hang the Occupy Wall Street banner off the balcony at Rockefeller Plaza, right in front of Rockefeller Center. Sorry the picture isn’t that good, I was on the other side of the skating rink

One of the things that was fun about all this was that, even as stores and restaurants closed their doors, their staff smiled at us, waved support and gave surreptitious thumbs-up. Even at Gucci. It turns out that those who see the one per cent close up have no particular love for them.

So we made our way casseroling to Times Square, where so many gathered last year. A happy afterparty waved at themselves in the Jumbotron and celebrated a successful action that did not put anyone in jail.

If anyone wants to play Where’s Waldo, your correspondent is visible somewhere in this picture.

The easy judgment is that there were of course far fewer people in Times Square this year than during last years O15 mass rally. But if you count it a different way, there were far more. Because people all over the world held rallies and marches today and did so on similar themes and ideas. There were 100,000 in Madrid alone. By way of confirmation, here’s the call from the US, Spain, France and Portugal:

From Strike Debt/OWS

To the financial institutions of the world, we have only one thing to say: we owe you NOTHING!

To our friends, families, our communities, to humanity and to the natural world that makes our lives possible, we owe you everything.

To the people of the world, we say: join the resistance, you have nothing to lose but your debts.

From: Plataforma Auditoria Ciudadana de la Deuda (PACD) España

A las instituciones financieras del mundo, una sola cosa para deciros: ¡No os debemos NADA! A nuestras familias, comunidades, a la humanidad y nuestro entorno natural que hacen nuestras vidas posibles, os lo debemos todo.

A todos aquello@s que habitan el mundo, les decimos: uniros a la resistencia, no tenéis nada que perder excepto vuestras deudas.

From: Democratie Réelle Maintenant! Paris

Aux institutions financières du monde, nous n’avons qu’une seule chose à dire : nous ne vous devons RIEN !

A nos amis, familles, communautés, à l’humanité et à notre environnement qui rendent nos vies possibles, nous vous devons tout.

A celles et ceux qui peuplent le monde, nous disons : rejoignez la résistance, vous n’avez rien d’autre à perdre que vos dettes.

From: Primavera Global em Portugal

Às instituições financeiras do mundo, só temos uma coisa a dizer: não pagamos o que não devemos!

Aos nossos amigos, famílias, comunidades, à humanidade e à natureza que torna a nossa vida possível, devemos tudo.

Aos povos do mundo, apelamos: juntem-se à resistência, não têm nada a perder, apenas as vossas dívidas.

Yes, that’s right: we’re all saying the same thing. We owe you, the financial institutions, nothing. We owe you, our loved ones, friends and communities, everything.

It’s a moment.

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