Next time you’re inspecting a crowd for deteriorating activists consider your vantage point.  Patrolling around the edges or standing amongst you comrades will only allow you to see a small portion of the crowd. Perhaps your time would be better invested in seeking some high ground from which to observe the surroundings.

A common opportunity is while a rally is passing or ascending stairs as is seen in this recent example from the March against Monsanto held at the State Library of Victoria.  Witness the  vigilance that a MelbSMC’er exudes from her vantage point.  She’s like a well adjusted Batman.

You may also wish to perch above static gatherings.  During large  Occupy Melbourne general assemblies this proved to be a valuable method of spotting problems early and co-coordinating first-aid interventions for us.

When choosing your perch first consider your own safety.  Swan diving from a traffic light onto a casualty is awesome but probably sub-optimally effective [randomised controlled trials not yet complete].  The danger of becoming an easy target for abuse from state or corporate agents must also be appreciated.  Next consider the effort required to get to and from the perch; there’s no point spotting where you’re needed but not being able to get there in time.  Finally make sure you won’t be leaving your post by perching; at some events you’ll be assigned a specific area to attend, make sure you can actually see it.

On Friday the 10th of May there was a nation wide action, calling for the end of mandatory detention and also for an end to the imprisonment of the ASIO Negative assessment refugees. We attended the Midday vigil out the front of DFAT (Casselden Place, Melbourne) to show our support to refugees and the demand to ending indefinite detention.

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