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Occupy London tours Canary Wharf
Duncan Money, East London Socialist Party
Despite being one of the capital's most recognisable landmarks, Canary Wharf is not exactly on the regular tourist trail.
In fact, since Canary Wharf Group was recently granted an injunction banning protest across the entire site, which is private land, you would almost think the area had something to hide.
Spotting an opening in the market, some of us from Occupy London organised the first Occupy Tour, a guided walking tour explaining the recent history of the area and visiting local sites of interest.
These sites include a number of financial institutions internationally famous for sucking up taxpayers' money through bailouts and splurging out on gigantic bonuses while trying their best to pay as little tax as possible.
What makes this even more obscene is that Canary Wharf is in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, the local authority with the second-highest rate of child poverty in the country.
The level of interest generated by the tour was an incredible surprise for us. The tour was joined by journalists from across the globe.
We were also surprised to find a large number of Canary Wharf security staff joining the tour, obviously eager to learn something about their employers.
There was some confusion when the head of security seemed to suggest the injunction would also apply to walking tours but this misunderstanding was soon cleared up and he too joined the tour.
The astonishing response we got means that the tours may become a regular fixture and branch out into other areas of the City.
In The Socialist 14 December 2011:
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party editorial
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Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis