The accompanying photos were taken over the space of a few hours from about 4pm on Wednesday 19 October: Occupy Melbourne at the City Square is obviously working, which is perhaps why some elements in society are making noises about it being time to close it down. There are accounts of the day’s news on Melbourne Indymedia and Occupy Melbourne websites, with the latter requesting circulation of the following media release:
Media Release- 19_10_2011
Award winner donates her $2000 prise money to Occupy Melbourne in opposition to Robert Doyles plan to forcefully evict Occupy Melbourne.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Melbourne resident and Mayor Award winner donates here $2000 prise money to Occupy Melbourne in opposition to Robert Doyles proposal to forcefully evict the peaceful movement Occupy Melbourne.
Melisa Hughes, the winner of the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Writing Award has announced her intention to donate her prize money to the Occupy Melbourne movement and to the struggle for social equality.
Hughes, is a respected poet and social justice campaigner, she was notified yesterday (18th October) of her winning this highly respected award of $2000. She notified the leaders of the movement of her intention to donate the money as a result of the Mayor’s response to the occupation at City Square.
Hughes: ‘After reading an article in which the Mayor called for the authorities to use their eviction powers, I decided I did not want to accept an award from someone who is in favour of using violence to break up what is a peaceful, lawful protest.’
Much of the assembly was taken up with discussion of what to do in the case of an eventual eviction, with loud applause for the proposal that Occupy Melbourne should do all in its power to remain in the City Square, and a unanimous resolve to maintain the non-violent character of the occupation. A representative of the Indigenous owners of the land, which was never ceded, issued a formal invitation to the occupation to remain, and there was some discussion of the question of support for any individuals who might be arrested or issued with infringement notices. It was considered important to resist any moves by the media, for instance, to draw a distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ protesters, and this led to debate over whether legal support should be extended to any who might depart from the declared policy of non-violence. In the end the proposal of support was passed by overwhelming majority – only two dissenting – with the addition of a preamble ‘bearing in mind the commitment to non-violence’, but undertaking unconditional support. There was also total support for a proposal that in the event of eviction, people would return the next day.
The assembly was still in session at 7pm, when the last of these photos were taken.
Tomorrow, Thursday 20 October, is the date of BHP Billiton’s AGM in London, and a day of action against the company in Australia. A march is planned from the City Square to the head office in Lonsdale Street.
On Friday there is to be a corporate scumbags tour. Details of these events on Melbourne Indymedia here and here.
(It was interesting to see that the planes and bombs in the tree north of the square were still where they were left after the anti-war vigil on October 7 – see report on this site. Also impressed by the food stall: the food was very appetising, and free to all comers…)