Mike Stuchbery reports on the crushing of protest in Melbourne:
As I write this, the remaining participants in Occupy Melbourne are involved in a dispute with police over their signs and belongings. They’ve been told they can stay, but that everything needs to go – signs, belongings, anything that could feasibly sustain or indicate a protest action.
Apparently the signs around the encampment – all uniformly anti-corporate – are considered a kind of advertising, and therefore ‘illegal’.
This latest development comes after a violent eviction from City Square, a huge police presence moving them on from Bowen Street at RMIT and another eviction from the State Library of Victoria.
It is obvious that the City of Melbourne, presided over by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, has declared war on Occupy Melbourne and is using every bylaw, every relevant piece of legislation to whittle away at the group until exhaustion, intimidation and hopelessness crumble the group.
How deeply, deeply undemocratic.
What should bother us more? Potential limits on the powers of the powerful to destroy the powerless? Or squashing the voice of ordinary people just because they’re daring to raise up a voice against the establishment?
The national media are up in arms about the former and couldn’t care less about the latter.
I don’t know if that worries you. It truly disturbs me.