Sydney unoccupied

The SMH reports that the 100 or so kids that have occupied Martin Place for eight days in sympathy with the “Occupy Wall Street” protests have been forcibly removed, following the eviction of the Melbourne chapter Friday afternoon. I still don’t think this was necessary and, at least according to the SMH poll, it appears I’m not alone:

Interesting to note that a large majority disagree with a forcible eviction.


  1. I agree, the last thing authorities should be doing is legitimizing these kids’ grievances by over-reacting to this juvenile nonevent. The Occupiers aren’t protesting because they support or oppose something tangible- they just like protesting. Sending in the police (who, by the way, just like strong-arming people), merely fans their illusory belief that they’re locked in a legitimate struggle with The Man. Let these responsible adult I mean kids have their fun, they’re of no consequence. Fortunately.

  2. The thing is H&H that you have to come up with an alternative on how these people were to be removed without force as the they were clearly in breach of the law which is designed to protect both the rights of individuals and the community.
    They were in breach of the law by occupying common property.
    They were clearly causing harm to the local traders who were trying conducting their business.
    They then were in breach of the law by failing to follow the the instructions of an officer of the law.
    The police were then compelled to remove the offenders with force as they are required to do to uphold the law.

    Moral of the story is that if you dis-obey the police (an illegal act) then your going to cop it. The law is designed to protect us so I have no sympathy for people who break it.

    • So I guess you think the Egyption police should have forcibly cleared Tahrir Square in Cairo? I suppose you would have sent tanks into Tiananmen Square too.

      I think H&H is calling into question the idea that protestors “had to be” removed. There are protestors occupying hundreds of cities around the world, and they have only been forcibly removed in a small number of cases.

      I’m still flabbergasted that the media can say “violent clashes errupted” to describe police unilaterally attacking protestors. Call a spade a spade FFS

    • ‘these adults’ (‘kids’ when it suits some..) were not breaking any law,the City if Sydney was not even informed of that police action (for some obvious reasons, no? Mr Premier?) and we are used to reading about the heavy handed tactics of the police in our country, they will kill you with their guns if your resist in any way, in any state, thru sheer lack of proper training, perhaps? Our democracy suffers from such police acts, unless of course, we live in a so-call ‘police state’, I wonder sometimes…

  3. Resorting to violence in an attempt to defeat an idea only escalates the conflict. (Refer to: War on Drugs; War on Terrorism).

  4. Ronin8317MEMBER

    I went to the Occupy Sydney rally on Saturday. The ‘Occupy’ movement is a ‘mixed bag’ of ideology : there are placards calling for an end to taxation, protest against ‘Quantitative Esasing’, wealth inequality, executive remuneration, Climate Change, ‘Protect the children’, anti-apartheid??, etc. The event organisation is pretty good, however the lack of a message is a problem. Except for the ‘99%’ which is borrowed from Occupy WallStreet, the aim of the event seems to be protesting as a way to show solidarity. They do not have an agenda which would resonate with the public majority.

    It would have been a lot different if they focused on something like affordability of housing. Unfortunately, it’s obvious that most of them are economically naive.

    Steve Keen made an interesting speech at Saturday’s rally, and I like his remark on how ‘economist don’t know anything about the economy’. However, I think his insight on ‘loan create deposits’ have totally lost the audience. In this kind of rally, you have to feed the audience ‘red meat’.

    I am disappointed that the protested ended with massive arrest, however, in the long term this is probably preferred to the protest dying out in a whimper due to boredom. I actually see the ‘Occupy’ movement as the best chance Australia will have to breaking the ‘house and holes’ mentality which dominates our government right now. Right now they know something is wrong, however they don’t know how to diagnose it, or the solution.

  5. “Yes, but not like this: 11%”

    Thank goodness the other 89% of people asked could make their YES/NO choice and accept that it came with real consequences.

    Maybe the event organisers could have done a Masterchef cook off to get rid of people in an orderly fashion. Or divide into teams, have some challenges and then vote people off the island each night?

    Might have got them some interest and more time on the news. But in a real world where police training and protocols are well understood you can gain news time, illustrate and define your cause by resisting arrest.

    See, we ARE living in a facist/Oligachy/Alien invaded state. He’s pulling my hair, look at my blood nose. You know they will be kicking your door down next.

    • Julian Morrow addressed the 2009 Andrew Olle Media Lecture. He said the following in the context of the “realistic wish” sketch backlash. It’s a more elloquent expression of the idea of not lumping together those who feel genuine hurt with those who are just trying to push our emotional buttons.

      “But the inevitable corollary to freedom of speech is that there is no such thing as a general right to not be offended. So, to be honest, perhaps too honest, if you were just offended by that sketch I’m not really sorry. Of course, you have every right to be outraged and to express your offence to whoever you like. In many, but certainly not all, cases, I recognise that your outrage springs from a good place, from compassion for the suffering of the others I’ve just mentioned. But if you were just offended, unlike those who’ve been hurt, I don’t believe you’re owed an apology. You can demand one. And it’s possible that some people will say sorry to you – some for noble reasons, some for cowardly ones, some just to get you to shut up. But offence is a much lesser category of wrong, and I believe it should be responded to most cautiously in dealing with questions or taste and decency.

      And that’s because of the third category – those who didn’t find the sketch funny, who thought it was insensitive, ill-advised, or that it reflected poorly on its creators, but who weren’t hurt by it or outraged by it. My sense is that there were more people in this latter category than media coverage of outrages acknowledges.”

      • With the slight differences that 1) the Occupy movement is a global movement that has captured the imaginations of millions of people, 2) it hasn’t been captured by vested interests or people with pet projects that they want to push, 3) in some places it has grown into a prescence that governments cannot easily ignore, and 4) the people participating are deeply committed to trying to find common ground.

        I’m not sure that they’ll succeed, but then again I’m not sure that they won’t.

  6. People should read some first hand accounts of the police actions (in Melbourne) before making up their minds:

    “to first threaten a group with violence and to then blame them for the violence after they don’t give in to your threats is an incredibly dangerous brand of flawed logic”

    “And all because… what? Because people chose to demonstrate peacefully, out of the belief that they, in our progressive, democratic society, have a right to do so? Is it okay for the police to rough up citizens, just because they make political gestures that are a bit inconvenient?”

    “And a big shout out to the police. You have just radicalized a bunch of people, and opened up the eyes of so many more to what others have been well aware of. Dissent is quashed in our allegedly democratic society. That is just ONE of the reasons we are looking for a new way. We are the 99%. We are peaceful, we are committed, and we are not going anywhere. And you just brought more people in to join us.


  7. This is why we need a Bill of Rights, so we can assembly on public property.

    I don’t care for the Occupy movement, but I think I’ll be joining them after this.