Adelaide Occupied and an assumption busted

Leaving London for Adelaide presented me with a number of considerations. One entry in the “Con” column was an assumption that the type of political activity available in London, would not be available in Adelaide. Out of hope rather than expectation I today Australian-Googled “occu” and felt a tingle of excitement (along with a hint of embarassment) when the Google list of suggested searches included, third from the top, in all its glory, “occupy adelaide”.

Yes, Occupy Adelaide (OA) is alive and well. The camp was set up yesterday, and some hardy souls are currently occupying Hindmarsh Square (spare a thought for Occupy London Stock Exchange, who will increasingly need their thermals). I wrote a message on the OA Facebook wall and encouragingly, got a response within minutes.

The Vision Statement for OA brings attention to four prominent issues and calls for the following;

  • a fundamental revision of the social, economic, and political structures that have given rise to those inequalities (of wealth and power), giving particular support to vulnerable and marginalised peoples and communities.
  • transition to systems of renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure, and we support the emergence of more resilient, local economies.
  • a treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,which acknowledges their rights as the original people of this land.
  • Australia’s withdrawal from unjust overseas wars, the dismantling of our weapons industry, and the active pursuit of global peace.

I shall let my lesson be learned, and endeavour not to make assumptions about a place or a people again.

OA has 15  camped out making them relatively few in number and they have nothing like the media attention of Occupy LSX  or Occupy Wall Street. In terms of online support, 1,200 people have indicated that they “like” OA on Facebook compared with 30,000 for LSX and 312,000 for Wall Street. But this is what makes them all the more deserving of our admiration and support. OA is a recent conception and this stage is the hard grind with relatively little to show for their efforts and only their principles and belief (as well as some tents and food donations) to keep them going. These people are true champions of fairness and equality, genuine heroes living in our time. They didn’t wait for someone else to take the lead or be content with whingeing over a cup of coffee, they got off their arses and are doing something about it. Everyone among us who sees injustice in this world should make role models of those currently occupying Hindmarsh Square.

Occupy Adelaide, you have my complete and utter respect.

Follow OA on twitter

This entry was posted in adelaide, inequality, occupy, protests. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Adelaide Occupied and an assumption busted

  1. Phil says:

    Brilliant. Gives lie to the propaganda that ‘they don’t know what they’re protesting about’.

    Keep us posted Pat.

  2. Lady says:

    I think your adulation goes too far. As far as taking the lead, clearly they’re just following a global movement. And protesting by hanging around in a public space is not taking direct action to any of the inequalities they are protesting. I understand there is some direct action planned and I await the results of this. I personally think accepting donations of food is absolutely ridiculous; why not donate it to the homeless they’re supposedly supporting?

  3. Rodger says:

    Lady, we are! And we’re NOT jumping on any bandwagon. What the article meant by “getting off their arses” is exactly that. Not just reading/watching it online, but to bloody organise tents, rosters, shifts, housekeeping, police liaison, legal teams, working groups, general assemblies….(inhales) mission statements, consensus, and soooo much more. This has taken ENOURMOUS EFFORTS by dedicated individuals and the wider community.

    This has been physically and emotionally draining, yet we fight on. We fight on for your rights and those of your family and friends…and those who do NOT HAVE A VOICE. Those who have no internet. Or food. Or any recognisable remains of a soul left.

  4. Ali says:

    Hi Lady,
    We are feeding anyone who arrives at the camp, including the homeless.

  5. julie jordan says:

    Hi Lady, a number of ‘homeless’ people are part of Occupy Adelaide, why don’t you come down & join us too, all welcome, cheers jj 🙂

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