Day 229 (Updated)

OM Community responds to Julian Assange extradiction

Source: News, Facebook, Indymedia

The OM Community have been very active in sharing links and sharing their opinions on the extradiction of Julian Assange to Sweden.

There is an event tomorrow night in support of this.

UPDATED: Rap News 13: A News Hope

Source: Youtube

Rap news has done it again. May these thoughts be with you!

OM Facebook Likes on the rise

Source: Occupy Melbourne Facebook Page (Official)

Whilst this is not a record for the most amount of likes, it certainly is a positive sign that interest again is on the increase on the 99% rising up and rebuilding a fair, just and democratic world.

Occupy Melbourne, 2011

Source: Submitted by Occupy Melbourne supporter, Tate S.

“This is a letter I found sitting on the ground at the Treasury Gardens yesterday.

I opened it up and it was to Occupy Melbourne written on the day after the Eviction, october 22nd.

This letter magically happened to be written by Rex Pirie (Rex was a teacher at my High School in Wangaratta, he became the vice principal after I finished – I found it very synchronistic that I happened to pick it up in a park I resided at for a few weeks) :) and I want to share it with the 99%.”

We made these people. We gave birth to these kids. We raised them. We taught them to walk, to speak, to think, to debate, to challenge. We helped teach them to appreciate their good fortune to be born into a democracy and a free and tolerant society; we helped give them the voice to challenge us to make us all stronger and better. Yes, I’m proud that we did that.

I went to the City Square on Saturday 15th October and watched their demonstration form. I went there on Thursday 20th to get to know who they were, what their story was; why they were there; what they wanted; how they were going about it.

I walked in, a stranger in a suit; I was welcomed, offered food and water. People spoke to me, I talked to them, and they explained to me what they were doing and why.

I realised that they were all kids – I call them kids because as a parent, and nearly 50 years old, they are kids to me. My kids. Your kids. Our kids. I saw a community of young adults. That’s when I chose to offer to help. I have a car, time, resources. I drove around town with some of them that night collecting donations of furniture.

They asked me about ways to set up delegations of the mandate of the General Assembly for the authority and accountability of a subcommittee to manage the finances of the group. They had received about $1,000 in donations and wanted to make sure they had an equitable, democratic and accountable system in place to use it.

They told me about how they wanted to establish good liaisons with the police. They told me about how every member of the community was delegated to be a police and public liaison person. They staunchly had no leader. They decided everything after discussion at frequent and regular General Assemblies.

At the core of every conversation I heard a clear and simple set of moral principles; equality, equity, justice, compassion and generosity. They expressed these values with passion, humour, politeness and showed more trust than fear, more humour than anger, more hope than cynicism.

I am proud I helped and saw how they operated. I was proud to see a peaceful and democratic community come together in the very heart of our city.

I arrived on Friday 21st morning to see our kids herded into a small square fenced in with 2 metre high barricades. Lined up in front of them were about 50 riot police equipped with helmets, shields and batons. Surrounding all of this were hundreds of police.

These are our kids: the product of all our love and efforts standing in the rain like cattle while their camp was being destroyed, smashed and thrown into garbage trucks. Our kids were surrounded by police in the middle of our city.

I spoke to members of the police cordon; one asked me if I was with the media. I was dressed in a suit carrying a bag – I could have passed for media. So I said I was and I was allowed through to stand with the other media. The police cordon was keeping all people away – allowing no one in. I asked a police what they were going to do. When? Why? Where to? How? None of them knew or would tell me. They were ‘just waiting for orders’.

Then the police moved in and started picking out ‘leaders’ and dragging them out of the group. They forced the community out onto Swanston St. If the strategy on the part of the police was to disperse the community they significantly underestimated the community’s cohesiveness. The police clearly did not understand what they were dealing with.

Young people had been arrested, kids bloodied, hurt. The community reformed in the intersection of Collins and Swanston and sat down. They sang and chanted and drew themselves back together. They protected each other, supported and grew stronger in the face of violence. They were exposed in the middle of the street, surrounded by police, police cars, vans, mounted police and police with dogs.

I was part of a crowd of hundreds who stayed to serve as witness and document this. Citizens who each contribute in our little ways to the society that serves and protects us. Our city, our police and our kids.

I was witness to brutality, violence, stupidity and ignorance. Our society failed me. Our society failed our kids. I stood witness to the integrity of a democratic movement being trampled, attacked and charged by mounted police in my city.

The police charged, led by 6 mounted officers, and forced the community up Swanston St. The police cordon forced the witnesses along the footpath, pushing, punching, and violently threatening us. People like me, witnesses like me.

This community of young people are our kids. They are our young people. They are the future. We should never have to stand as witnesses to them being treated brutally, violently in our city. They should not have been treated this way.

My face twisted, tears welled up, a lump formed in my throat and stomach and made me sick as I saw people we raised; expressing the ideals we taught them in the city we gave them, be brutally treated. No one should ever see a society turn on its own kids this way.

Our politicians showed no understanding, no compassion, and no imagination. Whoever directed the police showed no strategy, they underestimated the community and caused the disruption to the city.

I am not proud of our leaders and the police.

Our young people showed strength, patience, bravery, compassion, integrity and never lost sight of the cause. Their chants and songs continued to show us where the real strength of democracy lies.

Their peaceful actions, their passive resistance, remind us where true strength lies.

We who took the time to understand them, witnessed their community come together, saw it develop, and then stand up under the most violent treatment should be proud of our young people.

I am proud of them.

Image of the day

Source: unofficial Occupy Melbourne discussion page

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