Saturday, 29 October 2011

What I Saw At Occupy Melbourne, Part 1

In rough chronological order:

A line of relaxed-looking cops in front of the State Library entrance, apparently in case the protesters decided to go in and read.

A man with a blackboard placard, which he erased and re-wrote several times over the course of the march.  His first sign: Evolution is the Solution for this Revolution!

Guy with a red leather jacket arguing that the Labor government obscures class struggle by preaching nationalism.  His friends nod at intervals.

Socialist Alliance people laying banners on the grass, but the wind keeps blowing them away.  Eventually they find pegs from somewhere.

A woman sitting in the shade, sketching a full-lipped female face on the back of a leaflet.  The wind blows it away a few metres, but she doesn't move to pick it up.

Four horseback cops (horse cops?) waiting in a line.  The horses have plastic head-plates, presumably the equine equivalent of riot gear.  They look hard to see through.

A huge van next to the horse cops - is it for horses or protesters?

The cops have an anti-speeding demonstration up at City Square (where Occupy Melbourne camped out before their eviction). Very clever: it makes the cops seem like they're putting the square to better use, and makes any attempt at re-occupation an asshole move.  Cry from the crowd: show us your permit!

The anti-speeding demo is totally deserted.  The few women working at the booths huddle and chat about the passing protesters.


I sort of wonder about passing out pamphlets for political parties during the march - which Socialist Alternative did constantly.  It seems like an attempt to co-opt the movement, but then again I suppose that's the point.  Everyone's co-opting the movement, including me.  That's the point.

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