This is my opinion. I speak as an individual supporting Occupy Sydney and in solidarity with others worldwide.
So the police finally broke up the site at approx. 5am Sunday morning. Many people at site have written about their experience. I was not there having left a few hours before this time.
In light of this, I maybe have to get a bit poetic. Many people get very angry that they can’t be given a succinct answer to ‘what Occupy is about’. For me, it’s because the movement has yet to arrive at that point. That is okay. Sometimes I feel people demand an answer knowing it can’t be given. Maybe it feels easier to dismiss a growing or developing movement.
For me, Occupy is not a protest against a specific issue and has no finite set of demands. Rather it is a process or method of confronting fundamental and difficult questions, and facilitating critical and open discourse. It is people having the right to congregate peacefully in public to talk about where our society fail us, to work inclusively and to learn through participation.
Occupy challenges my assumptions and privilege. Occupy is not about emulating other countries, but being in solidarity. I know our situation is different and my discussions with people in the Sydney movement confirm this.
Occupy is a radical use of public space.
Occupy is a way to talk and meet different people without being bound by the walls of a building or an institution.
Occupy takes what is often private in out society, and makes it public.
Occupy is a method of democratic consensus and decision making in a society where *individuals* do not have a powerful voice.
Occupy allows us to discus a method for change
Occupy is about giving voice to the voiceless in our society. Most people, I think, understand that the 1% / 99% idea is not broadly representative, but it can be used to start a discussion: Who benefits, and who does not, in the current system.
Occupy is not perfect, and it does not claim to be.
Occupy is not the only method, and it doesn’t claim to be.
Occupy inspires me.
Inequality exists in Australia. We must be able to publicly talk about it. Australia is part of a global financial and political system, we do not exist in a bubble.
Some can be scared of public protest because it calls into question their own silence. Or their own judgements. If you believe that things that are wrong in society, you should stand up and say something/do something. Every voice matters, even one’s you don’t agree with. All methods should be encouraged, activism, letter writing, discussion, volunteering, sit-ins, protest. Occupy.
People congregating peacefully in public do not deserve violence. EVER.
Privilege shows itself most when you tell others their desire to speak out lacks legitimacy.