Occupy Melbourne -Day 1.

There is something magical about walking into a publicly held space, a space being  reclaimed for change. City Square in central Melbourne occupied  peacefully despite the four mounted police of the occupation, despite police cameras filming the crowd from above and a crowd representing a diverse range of political opinions.It is inspirational.

Poets, punks, anarchist dogs (“no leads, no leaders!”), children, environmentalists,performance artists,film makers, hipsters, unionists, curious teenagers joggled alongside one another, took to the mic, workshopped, assisted organisers, played drums and marched in support of others (BDS protestors) who had previously arranged a march. It became more and more obvious as the day continued that peacefully and together we have real power. Even though in Melbourne they are only just picking up the reins started with the Madrid Occupation that started in May, it feels like this movement has the potential to facilitate change. No other reason for all the police, surveillance and undercover cops in the crowd unless the occupation movement was a real challenge to the inequitable status of now.

One of the criticisms of the #occupy movement is that it doesn’t have concrete aims. But from what I see internationally not having concrete aims at this early stage of the movement is the point. Huge sections of the population globally are dissatisfied with the status quo. With the insane inequality of wealth distribution , a correlating power resting in the hands of the very few and governments globally facilitating this concentration of power (As one occupier said to me yesterday. “Governments no longer govern, they are corporate administrators”) to have a cohesive plan already laid out would be unrealistic and non representational of the diversity of the movement. The movement needs to be representational, grassroots based so it cannot be co-opted to represent current government/corporate interests. This is something I found evident yesterday, the general assembly model while slow-moving means that strategies developed are truly representational of the majority.

It became clear  after speaking to more people than I can count that not only do occupiers want the world to be equitable,they want real community , they want purpose and meaning, they are claiming back our connectedness. Occupation is about putting humanity first.

A sign of the times - #occupymelbourne day 1. Copyright Alexandra Bremner 2011

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