Unoccupying Melbourne


I must admit, beyond writing a story about why we might want to carry the Occupy Wall Street banner downunder a few weeks ago, I haven’t shown a lot of interest in the various “Occupy” movements in Australian cities. Not for any particular reason beyond that I assumed, rightly it seems, that any Australian movement was likely to founder quickly on the immovable rock of Australian middle class conservatism.

We have our reasons for protest here, but so long as those reasons don’t actually cosy the majority anything – or, at least, cost them anything in the open, then there’ll be no movement. Tony Abbott’s economically illiterate campaign against the carbon tax has surely proven that a stupid policy with hidden costs is infinitely more preferable to the Australian polity than a well thought through one with open costs.

But I’m not sure that means we need push around and boot out the young and mangy who can be bothered sitting in the rain to protest. Check out the below video of police shifting the Occupy Melbourne gathering.


The story comes from The Age, where you’ll find more violent pictures than are in the video. The voice over is what got me. Patronising and biased, it sheets the blame for the violence straight home to the protesters whose non-violence is apparently contradicted by their refusal to move.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.