Peter Yeandle describes how OCCUPY, an international phenomenon, came to Lancaster one night in November 2011.
Posted by Peter Yeandle, Lancaster
A nationwide public sector pay strike was carried out across the country on 30th November 2011. In Lancaster, thousands joined a march around the town centre – this was the biggest march in Lancaster since the General Strike of 1926. Those marching processed to the steps of the town hall where a rally took place, with a series of speeches from a range of activist groups. When the marchers dispersed, a trades union gazebo remained in Dalton Square. Overnight, six tents were pitched. The Occupy movement, an international phenomenon which had begun in New York the previous September, had reached Lancaster. The camp grew in size and, supported by local businesses and citizens, was to remain in Dalton Square for three weeks until Christmas Eve.
The Occupy movement, an international phenomenon which had begun in New York the previous September, had reached Lancaster.
However, Occupy Lancaster continued to campaign after this. Various actions took place, including (to name but a few): a “Mad March Hare” event in which a mocked-up cash machine dispensed Occupy banknotes; an occupation of Barclays Bank where activists played monopoly; and, a mock funeral for the NHS in response to the passing into law of the Health and Social Care Act of 2012.
Occupy Lancaster continues to hold monthly general assemblies and has an active facebook page.
Here you can listen to excerpts of [link] an interview in which Zephyrine Barbarchild [link to oral history clips] reflects both on time spent at the camp and subsequent developments.