Protesting Can Sometimes Be In Tents!

Posted: August 7, 2013 in Politics, society, Uncategorized


Robert Doyle on Occupy Melbourne:

“…a self-righteous, narcissistic, self-indulgent rabble tried to capture the city.”

“Occupy Melbourne”? Maybe. But also a hard core of serial and professional protesters, hell-bent on trouble, infiltrating a protest for their own purposes, then holding the city to ransom.”
“The protest was infiltrated by professionals: what were those knives, hammers, bottles, bricks and fuel for? 

From “The Age” 26th November, 2012

Cr Doyle said today there was never a problem with access to Town Hall

“Any developer can come along and argue to the council and that’s what they do and that’s reasonable,” he said. “Access is access, that’s what local government is about.”
Cr Doyle accused The Age of running a campaign against him after it published a story claiming that the Lord Mayor’s lead council candidate, Kevin Louey, had asked developers for up to $100,000 for special council access.

“In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear”
    William Blake’s London


Every Generation is worse than the previous one. The youth of the 60’s railed against The Establishment and broke down the civilised order that kept everyone in their place and women in the kitchen – this generation would ultimately go on to elect Reagan and Thatcher. The 70’s ended with Punk, leading people to lament that at least the 60’s generations had ideals, even if they were naive. The 80’s youth were like their times, greedy and shallow. But as for Gen Y., well. they’re “brats”! They’re disloyal, easily bribed and have no problem with corruption. They lack respect, hard work and an interest in the world.

The Occupy Movement just shows how “bratty” they are. I mean, here they are complaining about people who through their own hard work have made it. People on Wall Street make their money by taking risks and they don’t expect Governments to interfere, or bail them out. Apart, of course, when they lose lots and lots of money. And then it’s in everyone’s interest for the Government to pay off their loans. But the Government shouldn’t expect them to pay anything back through higher taxes -that’d just stifle the recovery!

I thought that perhaps I should explain these obvious things to Sara who some of you may remember as the girl involved in the “Tent Incident” with police during  Occupy Melbourne. We go to “Joe’s Garage” – an eating place in Fitzroy, and I can’t help but think of the opening to the Frank Zappa album of the same name:

“This is the CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER…it is my responsibility to enforce all the laws that haven’t been passed yet. It is also my responsibility to alert each and every one of you to the potential consequences of various ordinary everyday activities you might be performing which could eventually lead to The Death Penalty (or affect your parents’ credit rating).”

I order a latte and a pizza, and she orders a hot chocolate.

“So,” I ask her, “tell me about Occupy Melbourne.”

“I always cared about the state of the world. But I, like many people was mired in the mindset that one person can’t make a substantive difference. People aren’t naturally apathetic, they long to make a positive difference, but lack the community support to do so. Occupy was a collective effort towards individual empowerment.

“How did you get on with the police generally?”

“As authority liaison for the Occupy Melbourne movement I generally found the police very cordial. They were very reasonable, until they are given an order, then there is a swift change.”

“How did you find the sudden fame after the tent incident?”

“It was my first experience with the media, and I was amazed by the amount of factual inaccuracies. One article reported that I had just finished high school, when I actually graduated several years ago. Another claimed that we were dangerous because we they found knives, gas cartridges and bricks among the items claimed from the occupation site after the eviction. Whereas in actuality we ran a kitchen that provided free food to absolutely anyone; the knives were for cutting cabbages and the bricks were for weighing down the marquees. So whilst relatively minor, at a national scale this kind of lazy reporting effectively skews public opinion.” 

She shakes her head.

“Did you accomplish your objectives?”

She considers.

I think it was 100% worthwhile. For me personally the Occupy Movement was more then a protest, it was a process; of teaching and sharing empowerment through education. So in that context it was successful because it transformed me from a stagnant to an active citizen.

And so, tell me about the tent.”

“It occured in a context where we’d be given ‘Notices to Comply’. It was a way of hassling us by doing things like picking a backpack and pointing out that it was advertising material which we weren’t allowed to have. So wearing the tents was a way around this. It was a protest at the…

“I didn’t think that they’d react like that. I didn’t think I’d have what I was wearing ripped off me like that. It was pretty shocking. “

“What about the view that you must have known what was going to happen?”

“That I was I asking for it?”

“In a way, yeah…”

“There just comes a point where you have to decide if what you are fighting for is important enough for you to risk the consequences.”

“You ended up in Court.”

I was never arrested or charged for anything relating to that incident. I’m in court for several different matters, the most recent being resistance and hindering. 

“What happened there?”

“I was found guilty and fined a $1000. No conviction record.”

“So what are you up to now?”

At the moment I’m working as the campaign coordinator for the Wikileaks Party, and with a group called the Wikileaks Australian Citizens Alliance. “

“How so?”

“Well, it’s really worthwhile and there’s lots of great stuff. But there’s a lot of boring administrative stuff that I’m doing.”

My pizza has arrived.  As I can’t take notes and write, I put down my pen.  We discuss Chomsky and “The Life of Brian”. And how one person can never be sure that they haven’t made a difference. She something about people imposing their own limits and tries to remember a quote from a poem that she did in Year 11.

“That’d be ‘mind- forged manacles’. It’s from  ‘London’ by William Blake.”

That’s it! Thanks.” 

I offer some of my pizza, but she’s vegetarian.

Ah, Generation Y – they’re just so choosy!


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