Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Eyewitness: Occupy Sydney - Day 116

So for the first time since I got back to Australia, I made time to head down to Occupy Sydney for the General Assembly tonight. Overall I found it quite an enthusing experience and a really inspiring movement to be a part of, despite the fact that I missed out on the height of mobilisations while I was in Palestine (something which people at the GA told me not to feel guilty for!) and also despite the particular personal politics that develop in movement groups like this.

Occupy Sydney General Assembly, 08/02
After a bit of debate about the future direction of the Occupy movement through websites and previous meetings, tonight's General Assembly included an item for open discussion with a mind towards setting some more concrete proposals for future actions in stone at a future meeting in 1 or 2 weeks. Some people argued in favour of maintaining the overnight occupation site as a permanent 24/7 situation, some argued against it. Personally I think there is a bit of a false division between some different visions of Occupy; the question to me is how the movement continues to grow. The fact that the police are constantly harrassing this movement would be bound to generate public sympathy if the police weren't managing the mainstream media narrative; when it's not so late and I've got some more time, and perhaps a chance to interview some of the people involved in the legal action (rather overworked given the number of cases running out of the movement!), I plan to write up a much more detailed account of the police's attacks on this movement. However, at the same time I think it's real to acknowledge that it's draining resources to maintain a constant legal war of attrition with the cops. It's important that our time as people who want to change the world and don't have the convenience of money and power to do it with focus our energy as much as possible on the strategic goals. To me, actions, events and campaigns which will involve more people and potentially reclaim a mass audience for the movement are exciting, especially given we're at a time when Australia's workers are being made to start paying for the global crisis (even though it "hasn't hit us" yet...). But the Martin Place campsite can play a part in that too.

Occupy Sydney General Assembly, while falling governments tick by overhead...
Some great sounding plans for ramping up campaigning for the year were floated around, so I don't think we've heard the last from this movement, no matter what the police do to try and wear the campers down or drain the scant resources we have.

Police pull over a motorist in the background of the #OSyd campsite...
I still don't think I'll be camping out just yet... but who knows :p

1 comment:

  1. thanks so much for writing this, its great to get some perspective from someone *new* at least to Martin Place site, and so good you joined on an important discussion for many ppl involved.