‘This is what democracy looks like’

The banks are made of marble,
there’s a guard at every door,
their vaults are stuffed with silver
that  workers sweated for

The #Occupy movement is based on a democratic system of consensus. This creates collective control of the occupation through a General Assembly, held daily.

On Sunday 23 October 2011 #Occupy Brisbane met at the usual time of 5.30pm. A cloud hung over the meeting. Both #Occupy Melbourne and Sydney had been attacked by police and moved on with large numbers of people being arrested, particularly in Melbourne. To date #Occupy Brisbane  is the only one of the the three eastern seaboard capitals remaining intact where we began 8 days previous. The tent city has grown and last night tent could be found throughout Post Office Square.

Nevertheless the threat of police intervention loomed over the meeting. Speakers addressed this issue over a period of five hours last night. We broke for dinner at about 8pm which lasted about an hour and then we continued with the meeting which but did not finish till 10.30PM.

Organizational committees run the activities of #OccupyBris. There are committees that are responsible for safety & security, communications, Information, Kitchen, PR, IT etc

Despite threat of repression there was consensus that #Occupy Brisbane continue in Post Office Square.

Just prior to the meeting a person came up and asked what our objective was. She had come with her friend to see the Zombie march that filled Queen Street with 5,000 marching’ Zombies’. It turned out that she worked for a bank. She told me that the Australian Taxation Officers were very hard on banks. Yet banks pay very little tax and when they were underwritten by the Australian Government during the Global Financial Crisis GFC the largest banks were charged the lower amounts of insurance than the smaller banks and the credit unions.

There has been a shift in peoples thinking – they recognise where real power lies in society, it does not lie with the parliament, it lies with the big corporations.

Earlier in the day an Open University was held. Speakers addressed a gathering of about 40 people about past struggles in Brisbane — the 1912 Tramways Strike, Unions campaign for health & safety helmets during the building of Brisbane’s first high rise apartment block, Talbrek  at Highgate Hill (Jeff Rickerts); The 1967 Civil Liberties March (Dan O’Neill) and the 1977-79 Democratic Rights struggle (Ian Curr). The band ‘Jumping Fences’ played  original songs about community and union projects around Brisbane. Thanks to Jumping Fences and especial thanks to Dave Eden for organizing the Open ‘Free’ University.

People can read more reports at Occupy Brisbane

Ian Curr
23 October 2011

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