Writers defend Occupy Movement

Salman Rushdie and others express support for the anti-austerity movement sweeping the globe.

Hundreds of writers have proclaimed their support for Occupy Wall Street and the global Occupy Movement in a new online petition. There are many high profile supporters on the list, such as historian and editor of the New Left Review Tariq Ali, Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie and Pulitzer prize-winning novelists Michael Cunningham and Jennifer Egan. Other signatories include the psychologist Anne Fernald, the Director of Digital at The Onion Baratunde Thurston, and the authors Adam Horowitz and Adam Hochschild.

The Occupy Wall Street movement began in New York and has rapidly evolved into a global anti-austerity movement. It has spread to nearly 1,000 cities in more than 80 countries. These protests against socio-economic inequality and corporate greed call upon governments to respond to austerity with a sense of the common good, and free from disproportionate lobbyist influence, particularly from the financial sector. On what's next for Occupy Wall Street, read the Director of the World Development Movement, Deborah Doane here.

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"Samphire": a poem by Alison Brackenbury

"Yet how it waved, in coast’s late light. . . ."

My grandmother could cook it, for
she grew up by that dangerous shore
where the sea skulked without a wall

where I have seen it, tough as grass,
where silent men with rods trooped past
its salty ranks, without a glance.

Lear’s gatherer hangs perilously.
Why? So much is closed to me.
Did Shakespeare ever hear the sea?

Once, said my father, far inland,
from friend or stall, one clutch was found,
steamed, in my grandmother’s great pan.

Once, a smooth leaflet from a shop
claimed they could “source it”, but they stocked
bunched, peppered cress – Another gap.

Yet how it waved, in coast’s late light,
stalks I will never taste, could make
tenderly dark, my coast’s sly snake,
salt on my tongue, before I wake.

Alison Brackenbury is an award-winning poet. Her ninth collection, Skies, will be published by Carcanet in March

This article first appeared in the 11 February 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The legacy of Europe's worst battle