Most of London’s “public” spaces are privately owned, as the Occupy protesters are learning.
At Canary Wharf recently a group of activists wishing to mount a protest were contacted by advertising company JDDecaux, which told them that the space was an “experimental advertising space” for which the daily rate was £4,750. This is a model that looks at space purely as a place for investment rather than as an open democratic forum where people can meet freely and come and go.
[…] As for the area around St Paul’s, it is owned by the church, which traditionally welcomes all members of the public. Today it seems even that is in question.
The situation is much the same on the Internet today, where the ‘digital land’ is owned by big companies like Google and Facebook. You can stage your protests there, only if these corporate giants allow it.