NEW YORK (Reuters) - An activist group that sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement has called for global protests on Saturday to demand G20 leaders impose a “Robin Hood” tax on financial transactions and currency trades.
Canada-based Adbusters wants the Occupy Wall Street protest movement against economic inequality to take to the streets to call for a 1 percent tax on such deals ahead of a November 3-4 summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in France.
“Let’s send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3 trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day -- enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world,” the activist group said on its website, www.adbusters.org.
Adbusters put out the initial call for Occupy Wall Street and since protesters set up camp in a park in New York City’s financial district on September 17, they have inspired solidarity demonstrations and so-called occupations around the world.
Thousands turned out for a global day of protests on October 15, which were mostly peaceful apart from in Rome, where there were riots.
Occupy Arrests, a Twitter feed compiling arrests related to Occupy Wall Street, said that since the movement began five weeks ago, nearly 2,400 people have been arrested around the world, including in New York City.
Occupy Wall Street prides itself on not having any leaders and doing everything by consensus at daily general assemblies. Adbusters has asked protesters to approve its plan for a “Robin Hood” tax and global protests at their general assemblies.
The proposal by Adbusters comes as some people question whether the movement can sustain momentum and ask what will happen next. Critics accuse the group of not having a clear message.
“As the movement matures, let’s consider a response to our critics. Let’s occupy the core of our global system. Let’s dethrone the greed that defines this new century,” Adbusters said on its website.
The protesters say they are upset that the billions of dollars in bank bailouts doled out during the recession allowed banks to resume earning huge profits while average Americans have had no relief from high unemployment and job insecurity.
They also believe the richest 1 percent of Americans do not pay their fair share in taxes.
A CNN/ORC International poll of 1,007 Americans, taken between October 14-16 and released on Monday, found that one third had a favourable opinion of the anti-Wall Street protests, 29 percent had an unfavourable opinion, 13 percent had no opinion and 26 percent had never heard of the movement.
Occupy Wall Street is urging protesters to close their bank accounts and transfer their money to credit unions, a move that is due to culminate with a bank transfer day on November 5.
Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Doina Chiacu