Australasia and Far East kick off global protest

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Australasia and Far East kick off global protest

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Global protests against corporate greed are taking place, beginning in the far east and Australasia before spreading to European and American cities.

In Tokyo – where other local issues such as nuclear power also dominate – hundreds marched. In the Philippines they denounced “US imperialism”. In Seoul and Taipei they turned out to condemn what they see as mismanagement and exploitation by a minority, while the majority suffer.

Against a background of austerity and financial crisis, many have their own individual complaints.

One Taiwanese protester said:

“Everyday I work 12 to 16 hours a day at home. It lasts from the moment I wake up until the minute I go to sleep. This job doesn’t give me a good life: I can’t support a family, and can’t even think about getting married or having kids.”

Australia and New Zealand got the ball rolling. There are few concrete demands but a strong common sense of injustice. In Sydney about 2000 protested outside the country’s central bank.

“Well, we’re not just talking about a change of government. I think what everyone here is talking about is a change of the entire way our system works. The entire way money dominates all of our political lives,” said Sydney protest organiser Josh Lees.

So far they have been peaceful but there are fears that rallies elsewhere may turn violent. London and Athens have witnessed trouble this year; on Friday there were scuffles in New York while in Milan a leading investment bank was attacked.