Hundreds of occupiers (young as well as old) showed up at Riksbanken (the Swedish Central Bank) in Stockholm last weekend – the Stockholm version of the now global protest movement against the financial world’s greediness. Some were calling for an end to the banking system as it currently exists. Others demanded more socialism. Several speakers also promoted the “global revolution” they said was still in its early stages. The protest group calls itself “Occupy Stockholm” as an analogy to the movement’s name in a string of cities around the world.
They shouted: “Who are we? Everyone, everyone, everyone!” “Whose money? Our money!” and “Hang the directors in the strings to their golden parachutes.”
There are no formal leaders behind “Occupy Stockholm”. Said one of the participators, Johan Båge to Dagens Nyheter: “That’s what so great with this, that there’s no agenda. We went here because there was a proposal and then we had a voting. It’s a democratic movement. It is what people make it to be.”
According to Båge there were everyone from anarchists to liberal economists among the demonstrators, what unites them all is criticism towards how the state finances banks that are not behaving and that the people who suffer the consequences are regular people, not those in power. “Our goal is to make people aware of the financial system in which we live, and its shortcomings,” Båge says. “We aren’t against people taking risks with money, but great bonuses should not be given to those who make decisions which mean everyone is hit should things go wrong.” Another participant, Annamaria Bergren-Ericsson said she showed up just to show solidarity with the movement. “It’s amazing that the protest can spread so quickly around the world. For now there’s a feeling of belonging. And joy that we have managed to unite.” When asked if this is a left-wing movement, she said: “Only in the way that it is a criticism to capitalism.”
Protesters took to the streets of Stockholm last Saturday to demonstrate against the bankers and politicians they accuse of ruining the global economy through their greed. Photo: Maja Suslin.