Occupy Melbourne Ctd – Saturday, 12 November 2011 at Treasury Gardens

Occupy Melbourne defends the Indigenous Embassy
The first General Assembly since the injunction hearings – see reports on OMDigest and Raili Simojoki’s blog – followed the erection of three ‘not-tents’ including one housing a new Indigenous Embassy. Council officers backed by a small number of police duly arrived and warned that a compliance notice would be issued if the ‘structures’ were not removed within first 30, then 45 minutes – later further extended as the subsequent discussion at the GA continued. When they did move in there was standoff, from which they sensibly enough retreated. The GA then continued, and was still in session when the last of the following photos was taken, around 6pm. By this time a number of motions had been voted upon, among which was agreement to defend the Indigenous Embassy against any further attempts to remove it. At time of writing, the latest word from OM on Twitter is that people were settling down for a night under the stars…
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Welcome to OM banner on grass
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Erecting marquees
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Robbie Thorpe spoke at the start of the first session of the GA, announcing the establishment of the Embassy and inviting OM participants to furnish themselves with Aboriginal Passports, amongst other things as a defence against the imposition of jurisdiction that Indigenous Australians did not recognise:

Robhie Thorpe holding up passport

There was a steady stream of applicants:
OM participant signing for passport
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The GA in session:
Overview of GA session 1
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The council arrives:
Council officers and police arriving
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Negotiation:
Council compliance officer faced by OM including Robbie Thorpe

Some time later, the council officers returned with more police, some equipped with cameras, and as we said before, there was a standoff of some minutes before an official retreat:
Aboriginal flag prominent in standoff at Embassy
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Another view, including uniformed police officer with camera
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Expressions of victory:
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The standoff coming to an end
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The council and police withdraw:

Council officer etc retreat
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Followed by the Aboriginal flag:
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Aboriginal flag displayed as council officers etc withdraw
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Conference of council and police:
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Police and council officers confer at distance
……….

The GA resumed, and resolved to defend the Embassy:
Overwhelming show of hands support for vote
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This was the position at 6pm.
Some more from the afternoon:
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Group making music
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Dog attending GA
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Placard held up to traffic - We don't want ca$h, we want change!

“OM”
Occupier with placard on her back - We are the 99% etc inside Sanskrit 'OM"
…..

Updates should be sought on the Occupy Melbourne website and related social media, as well as Melbourne Indymedia [14 nov - there is a detailed account of the GA plus ongoing discussion on Melbourne Indymedia here]:

http://occupymelbourne.org/

http://www.facebook.com/occupymelb?sk=wall

http://twitter.com/#!/occupymelbourne

http://omdigest.org/

http://indymedia.org.au/melbourne