Tomorrow, as part of the Global Financial Action Day June 18th, Amsterdam will see a total transformation of its stock market exchange (the fifth in Europe). The action is organised by an action collective called Beurs Appel*, which links up organisations such as Strohalm (Dutch LETS-link and experimenting with financialalternatives) and action-collective Eurodusnie.
It will look like this: At noon, a 8 by 6 meter banner will be hung from the balcony of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, showing a huge empty slice of bread, stating that "De meeste mensen hebben NIETS te beleggen" ["Most people have NOTHING to invest/spread"]. Two graphs show the growing gap between poor and rich. For stock market prices, big companies' profits and 10% of the population, things are going very well. For the environment and the well-being of 90% of the population, things are going pretty terrible. People can still enter the stock exchange building, but have to step over a big plank with 'moral objections'.
While a tape plays songs like 'Money Money Money' by ABBA and 'Money's Too Tight To Mention' by The Valentine Brothers, the crowd of around 100 people get a flyer (about trade and finances) and a balloon, which will demonstrate the functioning of the Trade in Expectations, which the stock exchange really is. The more air you put into the balloon, the bigger it gets, and the shinier it looks. Until there comes a point when it's impossible to add more air. But a red-faced speaker urges the people to keep on blowing up, and a hundred loud bangs are heard over the busy streets of Amsterdam.
After this demonstration of the inherent unsustainability of the financial-economic system, it's time to really close the stock exchange. A financial official is invited to tie the two ends of a colourful ribbon, the people applaud and cheap cider is flowing. To finish it off, the financial official hammers a board to the front of the building with Ten Proposals To Reform The Financial-Economic System. The proposals vary from a Tobin-tax on speculative activities to interest-free and local money systems.
Frank van Schaik
Contact: Beurs Appèl - 18 juni! (contact: Frank van Schaik)