London

Designer Vivienne Westwood addresses at St Paul's camp

  • 19 November 2011
  • From the section London
Vivienne Westwood
The designer told activists that people are being 'trained up to be consumers'

Designer Dame Vivienne Westwood has addressed a protest camp outside London's St Paul's Cathedral.

Dame Vivienne told activists: "What you're doing, I think it's wonderful."

Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) set up camp outside the cathedral last month. Activists also took over the unoccupied UBS building on Friday.

The speeches came as the OLSX campaigners opened the building to the public as a "Bank of Ideas".

'No art today'

Standing on a wooden crate facing the 200-odd tents, Dame Westwood said: "I'm terrified by the problem of climate change. Climate change is connected completely to the financial situation.

"We have nothing else cheap left to exploit. We are completely in danger from lack of culture.

"We were all trained up to be consumers...throw away the past, the future will take care of itself, catch the latest thing and suck it up. We don't have any art today."

Occupy London activists ceremoniously opened the building for the public

Urging people to visit the National Gallery and the British Museum, she said: "An art lover is a freedom fighter."

Earlier activists marked their occupation of the former UBS building by opening it to visitors.

Demonstrators said sleeping bags, drugs and alcohol will not be allowed into the building.

Occupier Spyro Van Leemnen, 27, from London, said: "It is about reclaiming space. It is symbolic for us because we know so many homes have been repossessed.

"We occupied to give it back to the public."

On Friday a spokeswoman for the Swiss bank said: "We are aware of the situation and are taking appropriate action."

The City of London Corporation began legal proceedings against the Occupy London on Thursday after demonstrators refused to remove tents from the public highway and corporation's land surrounding the cathedral.

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