Miliband's qualified support welcomed by Occupy

By staff writers
November 7, 2011

Occupy London has welcomed Labour leader Ed Miliband’s recognition that they have something important to add to the conversation about the economic future.

But the group, which has been camped outside St Paul's Cathedral since 15 October 2011 to open a space for debate about alternatives to corporate greed and unjust economics, stressed that their response is not a party political one.

They welcomed Mr Miliband's qualified backing "just as we would welcome the support of anyone else", a statement issued over the weekend said.

Many involved with the group, part of a British and global movement, remain sceptical about the dominant party machines, however.

Writing in the Observer newspaper on 6 November 2011, Mr Miliband, leader of the official Westminster opposition, commented: “The challenge is that [the Occupy protesters] reflect a crisis of concern for millions of people about the biggest issue of our time: the gap between their values and the way our country is run.”

Meanwhile, the weekend's Occupy 'Sermon on the Steps' event outside the Cathedral involved people of different faiths and beliefs in making two minute contributions towards a collective spiritual take on the issues embodied by OLSX, with time for responses from the wider assembly.

Occupy's 'Tent City University' also featured teaching sessions on the financial system, and ran a panel-led discussion entitled ‘Reflections: a media perspective’.

Three weeks into the occupation, deputy comment editor of the Guardian, Libby Brooks, and special correspondent Audrey Gillan analysed mainstream media coverage of the protest.

They looked at the challenges the movement faces in terms of courting positive attention as well as the challenges the media face in reporting about a networked global movement that operates in an unorthodox way and cannot be defined in simple soundbites.

Other invited journalists also took part in the debate.

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