For weeks, protesters have been camped out on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, trying to call attention to economic injustices like those caused by the financial practices of the nearby London Stock Exchange. These Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstrators found a new ally tonight: Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Williams said that it was time for protesters to get specific and stated that Prime Minister David Cameron should stop opposing the financial transactions tax:
[Williams] urged David Cameron and George Osborne to drop their opposition to a European-wide tax on financial transactions, which is expected to be formally proposed by France and Germany at the G20 summit of world leaders starting tomorrow. “The demands of the protesters have been vague. Many people are frustrated beyond measure at what they see as the disastrous effects of global capitalism; but it isn’t easy to say what we should do differently. It is time we tried to be more specific,” Dr Williams said.
“The objections made by some who claim it would mean a substantial drop in employment and in the economy generally seem to rest on exaggerated and sharply challenged projections — and, more important, ignore the potential of such a tax to stabilise currency markets in a way to boost rather than damage the real economy,” continued Williams.
The G20 will be meeting in the coming days and a possible financial transactions tax is expected to be on the agenda.