the 99%, the 1% and ‘anti-finance’

Oisín Mac Giallomóir argues the Occupy movement needs to oppose capitalist production not just capitalist finance and governments

A lot of people have commented that a problem with the Occupy  movement is that it is not clear what they are for. I think that is a smaller problem than the lack of clarity about what they are against. It is against the rule of the 1%. But who are the 1%? What role do they have in society?

The statistical fact that there is a very, very small section of society that is in ‘control’ is clear but the nature and basis of their control isn’t. Certainly the argument is in some sense ‘anti-capitalist’. We are against the tiny minority who control the majority of the earth’s wealth and in the process have huge political power. And we are against the system that enables this to happen. But after that questions arise. What is the system that enables this to happen? Continue reading “the 99%, the 1% and ‘anti-finance’”

november issue of the commune

The November issue of our free newspaper is now available. It features extensive coverage of the Occupy movement, four pages on the travellers’ struggle at Dale Farm, and much more. See the list of articles below as they are posted online… or click the picture to download the PDF.

As always we ask that if you enjoy or disagree with any of our features then please write to us and we can feature your views in the next edition. If you would like copies to distribute then send us a message at, and we will send some copies in the post.


N30: there is an alternative – The Commune’s editorial looks forward to the 30th November strike against austerity

there’s more to politics than westminster – Greg Brown asks what is the way forward for students’ struggles after last year’s defeat on fees and EMA

make or break for the ‘sparks’ – Adam Ford reports on developments in the electricians’ movement


bishops, tents and the city – Sharon Borthwick reports on the occupations at London’s St Paul’s and Finsbury Square

all eyes on oakland [online only] – Donagh Davis reports from Occupy Oakland

the same old slogans? – Bristol Communards headed down to their local ‘Occupy’ space

the 99%, the 1% and ‘anti-finance’ – Oisín Mac Giallomóir argues the Occupy movement needs to oppose capitalist production not just capitalist finance and governments

occupy tel-aviv: the israeli summer – Lee Meidan writes from Israel on a rare wave of social unrest

Dale Farm

dale farm: a community under siege – Dominic Fitzgerald reports on the eviction of the Dale Farm traveller site

travellers, the state and the meaning of solidarity –  Richard B. argues that traveller support must now become a part of our movement


the power to make change for ourselves – David Broder was unconvinced by ‘Anarchism: a Marxist Critique’ by John Molyneux

‘when the crisis comes’ – an essay by Henrik Johansson, exploring the perverse ideology perpetuated during capitalist crisis

a platform for struggle – Sheila Cohen, co-editor of Trade Union Solidarity, writes on the new venture

the same old slogans? occupying bristol

Bristol Commune report on the goings-on at the city’s Occupy camp

The occupation of the open space area in front of the Bristol Council building began on the 15th October. The number of tents has grown since then, from 20 to over 40 at the beginning of November. People who have made the camp and ‘visitors’ come from all sorts of life. One day you may get a slightly middle class hippy feel to it, on another day you hear more of Bristolian accent or mix up with local homeless people. The camp has got relatively well-built basic infrastructure (for example a marquee with chairs to have meetings while it’s raining) and holds regular assemblies and ad hoc workshops. Every weekend there is a community fun day with arts, skills workshops and various discussions.

Bristol Commune went to two of them. In the discussion on financial crisis people were respectful and tried to listen to each other. One strand of participants argued that we need to get the banks under state control. People from ‘zeitgeist’ group argued for abolition of money and a resource-based economy. We said that it is impossible to reform capitalism by ‘cleaning’ it of the ‘bad’ financial capital. By doing that we would cut the essential blood veins of the system, which would bring it to even deeper crisis. We spoke against raising demands by the ‘occupy’ movement, instead of searching for links and coordination with sections of the working class. Most people were surprised and interested to hear about the encounter between the sparks and Occupy London, which we mentioned as an example. Continue reading “the same old slogans? occupying bristol”