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On June 18th 1999, around 50 activists gathered in front of the Amsterdam stock exchange, as part of a global action day aimed at the financial-economic centres of the world.

A 6 by 8 meter banner was prepared to transform the pseudo-classical front of the money making building, leaving a gate for the moneymakers. A special threshold with 'Moral Objections' needed to be stepped over in order to enter the building. The banner showed rising graphs for business profits, shares and 10% of the people, and corresponding falling graphs for the environment, labour conditions and 90% of the people.

Police and security were present, and as no permission was sought beforehand, the banner wasn't allowed anywhere near the building, nor any amplified sound equipment (not even from within a car). Improvising, the activists managed to hoist the banner on two lampposts, a picture that proved publishable for 4 national and some 8 regional newspapers (paper copies sent to RTS). apart from that, local and national radio was present, but no TV.

A one hour programme was then followed, involving a crash course in financial trading and a practical example of what happens when a balloon economy is filled with pyramid-like trade in expectations. 250 Euro balloons were blown up to explode.

After this, it was clear that such a total unstable and unsustainable system is about to collaspe in a dangerous way. Therefore it should be stopped an closed as soon as possible, and replaced with something better. The protestors moved towards the front door of the stock exchange (which miraculously closed very rapidly!) and officially closed the system with a colourful ribbon and cheap cider.

In order to fill the vacuum that such a closure would leave for the exchange of goods and services between people, 10 Statements For The Reform Of The Financial-Economic System were presented and virtually hammered onto the front door, in the memory of Luther in 1516.

Nobody got hurt that day, except a few thousand families in the South.

J18 Global Action Day |