A blogger from Eastleigh is currently in the thick of the controversial ‘Occupy London’ protest at St Pauls Cathedral.
Matthew Myatt – a professional photo- journalist who contributes regularly to Eastleigh News went to report on the protest and ended up working there as the official photographer for Occupied Times – a weekly newspaper printed and distributed by the protestors on site.
Matthew is a seasoned local campaigner and is clearly relishing his new role at the forefront of a national campaign calling for a reform of the financial system in the interests of social and economic justice.
Although he currently spends most of his week camping in the square while working for the paper and keeping a photo diary of the protest, he popped back to Eastleigh over the weekend to stock up on fresh socks and had time to answer some questions for Eastleigh News:
Why are you at the Camp?
The reason I decided to go to the camp is that I attended the main rally that took place on 15 October to give my support to the campaign to bring about a change in the way that the one per cent of people feed off 99% of the population. I hate greed and I hate the fact that these people and the government are borrowing huge amounts of money to keep the system running and are relying on my children to pay these debts in the future through taxation and cuts.
What are the goals of the camp?
That’s a good question and one that is asked by many people who come to visit the camp. I cannot speak for everyone but for me I am here to ask one simple question. Is there a better way than the system we have right now. I do not have the answers and I am not trying to force my views on others, I just want to ask the question and engage others in the debate. It is my hope that by raising the question others will stop and think and perhaps a consensus of change will come about.
Some critics say the camp is full of middle class part timers – others say it’s full of students and the work shy – what’s the truth?
The camp is a cross-section of society; there are people from all walks of life living at St. Paul’s court yard. This is important because it is only through a consensus of all of the 99% that real change will be brought about.
Is this just a left wing protest?
No. The camp has people of all political beliefs. From Greens to Tories, all sharing a common understanding that the system as it is cannot continue if society as a whole is to benefit.
How can people who can’t make it to the protest help?
Protest comes in many forms. It’s not just about holding a sign and shouting in Parliament Square. The best way people can help is to look beyond the newspaper headlines. Do a little research for themselves and see what is going on around them, to their friends and family, in their community and to a society as a whole. I have great faith in people and that at heart people want what is fair and just. Asking difficult questions of the people who want power is a great way to start the change. The next time someone comes to your door asking you to vote for them, ask them what they will give back to ensure our society and our community will benefit from the policies and decisions they will make once they have your vote.
How long are you prepared to stick it out?
Change takes a long time. Some of the biggest changes to come about have taken years, even decades. No one is under the false belief that things will change tomorrow or next week, but change has already started by the fact that people are prepared to sleep on the streets to voice their anger at the injustice of greed. How long will it take? Who knows, but unless we take that first step nothing will change. I am in it to win it, so my answer I guess would be that I am prepared for a very long slog for the sake of my children and my children’s children.