Squaring Up To The Square Mile: A rough guide to the City of London

A booklet produced by Corporate Watch and Reclaim The Streets in April 1999, prior to the J18 Carnival Against Capitalism in London.

Submitted by Fozzie on January 7, 2022

PDF courtesy of the comrades at Sparrows Nest Archive in Nottingham.


Our planet is controlled by a few financial centres - principally London, New York, Chicago,Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Frankfurt. Here shares, bonds, commodities and currencies- lives, in effect - are traded like chips at the roulette table. The game is played over linked-up computers by people who have little conception of what life is like for those at the other end of the chain, whose lives and livelihoods are made or broken at their hands. A hiccup in the markets can close a business and put thousands out of work; a lack of ‘confidence’ can bring a government to its knees.

Capital (and the profit it demands), lies at the root of the world's social and ecological crises. Whether it's casualisation in the Merseyside docks or rising sea levels in Bangladesh, a path can be traced back to the City.

Campaigners rarely target finance, intimidated perhaps by its steel and glass towers,its digital trading systems, its upmarket watering holes and its blanket CCTV. But beneath the facade, its institutions and individuals are simply members of an undignified yet highly overpaid herd - sometimes a herd of bulls*, sometimes of bears*, but most commonly of lemmings.

This guide hopes to be a first step towards unlocking the City's mystique. With the right information and a little imagination, it could be rocked. So read on, and good luck in your endeavours...
(*see phrasebook - p.30)