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Occupy Movement

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Cutter, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    It strikes me that the police are being rather heavy handed in responding to what seems a relatively harmless protest, both in Sydney and elsewhere. There is footage somewhere of an Iraq veteran being felled by a tear gas (I think) canister somewhere in the US. I've not seen evidence these protests have been anything other than peaceful. Why the extreme response?

    I'm not sure the Occupy movement necessarily has a clear position, but they certainly have the right to protest and the police response seems to be designed to discourage protesters from returning rather than ensuring there is no public nuisance.

    To my mind, that is starting to move towards policing I'm not comfortable with. I'm not there so can't verify other than via what I've read. Any thoughts?
  2. Scarfman Knitter of the Scarf

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    The police reaction is part of a global movement towards what is being called the "state of exception." That is, that governments can step outside of normal law and order (and in America's case, international law and order) whenever the case justifies it.

    Domestically, that means that of course you have the democratic right to protest, EXCEPT when we decide you can't. For example, like when there is actually something to protest about, such as a foreign leader visiting. Then we lock up the city. As one of the Sydney occupiers said this week: there's no such thing as an illegal protest. Well, that's less and less true.
  3. Schadenfreude John Solomon (38)

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    Wall street donated $4.8m to the NYPD and the next day heads got cracked.

    The trail of logic isn't hard to follow.
    Bullrush likes this.
  4. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Is anyone concerned at this trend? It's hardly democratic (in the true sense of the word).
  5. waratahjesus Greg Davis (50)

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    My understanding was the protesters are legally allowed to hold a protest but not occupy public space, both in Melbourne and Sydney the leaders have been served with eviction papers and given 48-72 hours to leave. I'm happy for th police to step in if that's not handled by the protesters, I've had towalk past the Sydney guys a few times over the last fortnight and it's just rabble to me, thereisno clear message and it's losing any impact because of it. They would be better off packing up going home and having a good think about it if they actually want to create a buzz about whatever there trying to sell.
    Ignoto and Scotty like this.
  6. Swat Chilla Wilson (44)

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    I think that if the protesters actually targeted their demonstrations at actual examples of corporate greed rather than a blanket approach they would be far more effective. Taking such a open stance against corporate greed but not against specific companies just makes it seem like hippy b*llshit rather than actually doing anything constructive. Plus the fact that their occupation of CBD area's in major cities has done more harm to smaller businesses in the area than to multinationals makes this whole thing seems ridiculous and misguided.
    lily likes this.
  7. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    I'm not looking to debate the merits of their position, rather the way in which the police have handled it. The popularity, strength, political acceptability of their viewpoint should have no influence in how they're treated by the authorities. It is a slippery slope.

    For example, have the Aboriginal protesters outside parliament house in Canberra been moved on, arrested etc?
    kambah mick likes this.
  8. Bullrush Ken Catchpole (46)

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    I have been thinking about this for a while.

    We have forgotten how to protest. Living in Canberra, we have had a couple of protests happen here and one would hardly even know they were happening. For example the 'Convoy of no confidence' which became the 'Convoy of no consequence'. This was supposed to stop traffic and cause real dramas for Canberra but it was so well organised with the police and planners etc - I didn't even realise they were in town.

    People strike when they have work disputes and try to make it as little as an inconvenience as possible to customers. Folks get upset when teachers stike because they have to stay home from work or get baby-sitters etc - isn't that a big point in striking?!?! To highlight your value? To show everyone what happens if you weren't there?

    We used to protest and cause real drama so that is was front page news and people knew what we were upset about. Now, our protests barely get a mention in the hourly updates.

    Good on the Occupiers I say. I think they need to have more of a 'point' and get that across better but the general protest about the greed of the big corporates and the inequity in our society is worth highlighting. I, for one, can't stand the bullshit we have come to accept as OK mainly because we've bought into the lies capitalism has constantly feed us for years now.
    kambah mick and Ruggo like this.
  9. waratahjesus Greg Davis (50)

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    There is actually a liability issue to it. If a protest stays somewhere it becomes an event and is subject to planning laws including access, toilets, clean water etc. After this it islets to evict those without cover.

    The Aboriginal protest is actually legal and approved due to land rights issues.
  10. Scotty Simon Poidevin (60)

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    Similar to tahJ, my understanding was that they were allowed to protest. They were given a set time period in which to hold their protests (which conformed to what every other protester gets), then asked to move out of the public space by a certain time. This time in Sydney was something like 2pm. I believe the police didn't start moving them on until several hours after this.

    I'm not sure what you a getting at?

    How long should they be allowed to stay there? Weeks? Months?

    How is that fair to other users of those public spaces?
    barbarian likes this.
  11. Scotty Simon Poidevin (60)

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    I didn't realises that 'capitalism' was either a person or organisation?
  12. Swat Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Captain Capitalism is a person who lives outside of space and time, allowing him to operate in two tenses at once..
  13. ACT Crusader Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Yes, Canberra doesn't really know how to protest, but I've seen plenty of great demonstrations, rallies and protests in Melbourne and Sydney over the years.

    There is under a number of jurisdictions the ability for police to issue "move on" orders/notices. If one is issued then someone is prohibited from returning that location in some instances for 24 hours. I believe a couple of people got them last night in Sydney when they were "occupying" a vacant building.
  14. Bullrush Ken Catchpole (46)

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    Your point being....??
  15. kambah mick Chris McKivat (8)

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    Surely if we grant people the right to protest, the right to assemble, the right to free speech etc, we have no right to put a timelimit on those rights. If we do we run the risk of a Joh type bush lawyer granting permits for fleeting protest only.
    I believe these people have the right to put their case in whatever way they wish with all the normal caveats, even though I questiOn their reasons and suspect that their cause has been hijacked by the loonier fringe groups.
    Cutter and Bullrush like this.
  16. Karl Bill McLean (32)

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    The guys in Brisbane were in Post Office Square long enough to kill the grass and I walk under it from Adelaide Street to Queen Street every day using the arcade/food court thing and pop up onto Queen Street a little way along near the Queen and Creek intersection - and I didn't realise they were there until I saw Cops blocking the stairs up to Post Office Square from Adelaide Street when I got off the bus on the morning they kicked them out. They caused a bit of a ruckus then, but I thought "good on them" for exercising their democratic right. Didn't see any brutality though. One guy was being manhandled a bit, but he was struggling and refusing to leave and they looked like the police looked as though they were being as gentle as they could be in the circumstances.

    I think generally these protesters get about as good as they ask for. I mean with the Occupy crowd, you have to move them on sooner or later and if they won't leave, whaddyagonnado? They want a conflict because the mdia come out for those so they provoke it to get coverage. Win Win really. No need to be all sad about a few bruises.
  17. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    This is my view as well.

    There have been stories about protesters being "taken away" for climbing a tree. It doesn't seem to me to be a proportionate response by the police bearing in mind the "danger" or "risk" or "nuisance" to the community. The police resources thrown at it have been significant and, meanwhile, there have been how many drive by shootings in the south west of Sydney recently?
  18. stoff Bill Watson (15)

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    I think you have to balance the right to protest with the obligation to comply with council by-laws. If I decide that I want to camp without a permit in the City Square or Treasury Gardens, I am going to eventually be forced to move on by police enforcing these by-laws. All for them having their protest, but do it within the laws that govern the place you are doing it. I know it won't have all the trendiness of the Wall St protests if they went home at night, but there needs to be some give and take. In the case of the original Melbourne protests there was disruption to businesses who pay fees for permits to be able to use the City Square. I think their right to earn a living trumps the protestors right to make their point 24 hours a day. They can have their protest, just do it somewhere where it doesn't inconvenience other people.

    Also, last time I checked I was part of the 99% they go on about, and admittedly I have embraced and enslaved myself to the system created and nurtured by our capitalist overlords, but I am also sick of paying taxes which partially fund dole cheques which allow a bunch of ideologically unemployed smelly hippies to sit around on their arse all day protesting instead of going to work and contributing to society.

    On another fact of the protests, wouldn't it have been easier for the police to simply turn up in sufficient numbers at whatever time they had their daily "General Assembly" and join the protest, raise a motion to end the protest, and then vote it in? Seems it would have satisfied the protesters love of democracy and avoided bloodshed.:nta:
    Scotty and Moses like this.
  19. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Healthy protest is an essential part of a healthy democracy. Aggressively using council bylaws etc to stifle protest, police shining torches in cameras and shielding the "action" from being recorded is not consistent with a healthy democracy. I'm not having a crack at the police because I have force members in my family and I know how difficult their job can be.

    However, consider some of the other demonstrations and protests we've had over the years. Bikies, truck drivers, trade union members, teachers etc often angrily doing whatever they are doing and breaching any number of minor road rules, bylaws etc in the process. In this case, its an extremely passive protest and the police response appears to me to have been overly hostile and intimidating. If the public was endangered by the protesters, I would have some sympathy, but they aren't.

    It is this type of heavy handedness that can turn a passive venting exercise into a much more powerful movement.

    My initial post referenced not just the Australian situation as well as elsewhere. See here for a more extreme example both of a disproportionate response by police and the consequences. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/27/oakland-police-protest-wounding-veteran
  20. kambah mick Chris McKivat (8)

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    Yeah, thinking on the matter a bit I think the response is way out of proportion. The places most of the demos have been held are public places specifically designed for gatherings, whether concerts, cultural events etc. I dont see what can be discerned as dangerous what has been merely people gathering in a place designed for people to gather. The whinges of the shopkeepers complaining of too many people too close to their shops is a little bit rich too. You set up shop in a place for people to gather and then people gather and you get outraged! Hard to take too seriously.
    I think it is a couple of new Premiers (NSW and VIC) and a would be Premier (QLD, or atleast Bris mayor) trying to make an impression.

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