It’s all too easy for someone like me to sit here at my comfortable desk, on my comfortable chair, typing away on my relatively new laptop funded by my comfortable job, and judge the Occupy Melbourne protesters as an absolute joke. What are they complaining about? I wonder out loud.
We live in a city devoid of most of the major power imbalances of the USA. Our rich are the most taxed individuals, we’ve just passed a lofty Resource Rent tax specifically designed to take the huge profits away and pour that back into taxpayer dollars. Our cities spend millions upon millions to provide us with jobs, clean streets, morale-boosting sights and culture, so that Australia, when compared to the rest of the world, is the world’s envy.
Sure, not every single citizen has it good, but on average, we’re doing pretty darn well. Our poverty and unemployment is comparatively very low, our median wage vs cost of living is comparatively the second or third highest of any nation in the world, and our economy is not wallowing in sickening levels of public debt thanks to overspending. Add to that, we’re setting an example the rest of the world, even if only symbolically, by penalising businesses who pollute.
So what is driving the remaining Occupy Melbourne protesters? Is it boredom? Is it that they think camping out with their friends, annoying police and trying to get on TV is fun? The below video certainly seems to portray them like the laughing stock we tend to think they are.
What kind of people are these? They look like a creative bunch of attention-seeking twenty-somethings, defiant and continuing to be a nuisance for a cause that has no actual solution but the total dissemination of capitalist society as we know it.
Yes, it’s far, far too easy for me to cast judgement on these people. But at the same time, I have to admit this is highly creative. It has taken some brilliant brainstorming and planning on the part of the Occupy protesters to come up with yet another loophole to Victorian law against camping or squatting in public parks and spaces. It has even become inspiration to other Occupy movements elsewhere in the world. This of course reinforces that these protesters are clever, well educated people who, if they would actually put this much effort into job hunting rather than protesting, could quite easily get a job. The reason they do not work, is not because they are lazy or downtrodden, but because they do not believe in being a part of the society they studied through secondary and tertiary education to, ironically, become part.
Watching this video above, it is easy for me to judge that they would rather prance around in beautifully maintained, free public gardens indefinitely funded by the society they so condemn. What else is their point?
The point to all of this, however, is brilliantly and shockingly revealed upon viewing this next video:
This is exactly what the Occupy protesters were hoping for. Exactly, because this reveals the dark undercurrent of the society we all live in. There actually is no freedom, here. We live in an illusion of freedom, an Orwellian world where on the outside, everything looks like it is pristine and great and the envy of the world, but only if you don’t step even slightly out of line. If you try to be anything other than sheeple, you will be, quite literally, cut down.
THE Ethical Standards Department is investigating a physical assault complaint over an incident in which police stripped an Occupy Melbourne protester down to her underwear.
“This is not consensual!’’ she says as police work to tear the tent off her body. “Don’t take my clothes off!’’
After a minor scuffle police are filmed walking away with the tent, leaving the distressed woman semi-naked and cowering on the grass.
Police said they advised protesters that if they chose not to wear clothes under the tents, they would be given reasonable time to dress before the structures were seized.
”Three of the four protesters co-operated and evacuated their tents. The fourth, a female, refused to comply with direction,” police said.
According to Occupy Melbourne spokesperson Tal Slome, “Sarah” was just out of high school and was “extremely distressed” by the incident.
Ms Slome described the incident as a “completely unnecessary form of brutality. Who decides what constitutes clothing in our society?”
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/police-criticised-after-tent-dress-torn-off-occupy-protester/story-e6frfkp9-1226215166929#ixzz1folLsPI4
I think the girl is right. Given reasonable time to dress in other clothing or not, existing laws here were not blurred by the girl: they clearly were not broken at all. Wearing a tent as a costume does not constitute camping, and besides being an irritation to the ill-prepared council officers and police who were taken by surprise, she was acting 100% within the law. How can we be proud to live in a so-called democracy if police can give citizens notice that they are about to break the law themselves by cutting you out of your clothes because you’re annoying?
This protest doesn’t warrant creating new laws on the spot, abusing people’s personal space, and it disgusts me that this is the level our law enforcement stoops to in order to ensure otherwise totally harmless and innocent individuals go back to acting like society drones.
I could understand this level of action from police if the people in question harbored weapons or had plans to blow up buildings. But we’re talking about citizens here, merely expressing free will and protesting in a non-extreme way. The most disgusting part is that – you watch – like it or not, no action whatsoever will be taken against police acting in this way, now or in the future.
What is our problem with the Occupy movement? What is our problem with harmless, law abiding protests, even if most of us think it’s stupid? If a tiny minority of morons want to run around our parks in tents for a laugh, I don’t have to condone it, but they should be free to do so.
So congratulations, Occupy Melbourne. You’ve made me aware of a worrying trend that seems to run deep in our society.
Should we not be freer than this?