Occupy Melbourne–a group of people the Lord Mayor describes as a “self-righteous, narcissistic, self-indulgent rabble”–returns to the Treasury Gardens later today by way of the State Library. A vaguely unsympathetic report by ABC-TV’s 7.30 Report is here, while photographic evidence of the Untermenschen is assembled on tumblr here.
Police have declared that they intend to sabotage any attempt to re-establish a camp at the new site, after they violently evicted the original camp at City Square last Friday, on rather dubious legal grounds. In an interview with Neil Mitchell on 3AW on October 24, Acting Police Commissioner Ken Lay blamed the “anti-Jewish” BDS group and the Socialist Alliance for the police violence.
See also : Activities Local Law 2009 | Summary Offences Act 1966 – SECT 6 : Direction by police to move on | Agencies split over eviction, Jason Dowling and Dewi Cooke, The Age, October 28, 2011. You can also listen to an interview by Dr Cam on 3CR’s The SUWA Show with Tamar Hopkins of Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre here regarding some of the legal issues raised by the police riot.
NB. Occupy Melbourne Legal Support can be contacted on 0434 126 515 or by email at: OccupyMelbourneLegal[at]gmail[dot]com.
Note that in celebration of the Stolenwealth Games, on March 12, 2006 another camp, Camp Sovereignty, was established in the Kings Domain. Among other things, it served to remind the general public of the reality behind the rhetoric regarding the Commonwealth.
In Queensland, state authorities have generously offered Aboriginal workers whose wages were stolen the sums of $2000 and $4000 in exchange for indemnifying the state against any further legal action.
Florence Luff was not even 14 when she was sent out to work as a housemaid and nanny, the government ‘banking’ half her weekly wage of 15 shillings (about $45 today). She continued working full-time with her husband, paid mostly in clothing and food, always fearful that without any money they would be locked up as vagrants. She never saw a bank passbook, had no idea how much she earned or where the money went. If she and her husband had been paid their wages, she said, perhaps they might have been able to buy a little house. She planned to use the $4000 to put a headstone on her husband’s grave. Fred Edwards worked for 25 years as a stockman on stations around the Gulf of Carpentaria, mostly unpaid except for ‘tucker’. He remembered the humiliation of being refused permission to withdraw even small amounts from his compulsory savings. He estimated he was owed around $400 000 and without it he would have to ‘go on slaving’. He was unsure if he could afford to refuse the $4000. Percy Bedourie was contracted out to work when he was 12 and paid mainly in rations, tobacco and an occasional pair of boots. He never saw his pay which went direct to the protector. The $4000 offer equated to $181 per year for each of the 22 years he worked under the system. He said that if he didn’t accept it he’d get nothing.
~ Ros Kidd, Trustees on Trial: Recovering the stolen wages, Aboriginal Studies Press, 2006, pp.9–10.
Speaking of Occupy(ed) Land…