At the beginning of the year a number of our crew were interviewed by Nick & Katie from Perth’s Progressive Podcast. We talked about the history of Street Medicine, Occupy (Melbourne), organizing using Anarchist principles, Activist Burnout and building Affinity Groups.
Click on the image below to listen to the complete interview.
And if you are desperate to hear independent media in Australia:
be sure to listen to the Progressive Podcast each and every month.
We’re suckers for Rites of Passage. As a people we are compelled to commemorate moments in time.
And what a moment in time Occupy Melbourne turned out to be!
“Occupy” and “Melbourne” those two words are branded onto the consciousness of all those who lived it like retina burns created from staring at the sun for too long. There was no way its year anniversary was going to pass without commentary or ceremony.
I was always divided on how to approach the date. Of course, a return to Occupying City Square was a flickering phantom of an idea; but I had neither the personal resources or the belief the movement had the momentum to go down that path again so soon.
There was talk of holding a memorial at City Square. An OM museum springing into life within which we could relive the good times and pore scorn on the The State which sponsored our eviction Yet, on land stolen from it’s First Nation owners and in a nation where refugees in mandatory detention sew their lips closed as the only form of protest available to them I couldn’t escape the notion such a memorial was a bit self-indulgent.
Fortunately, better organized comrades in distant lands were far in advance of our planning.
When I heard about the potbanging actions actions rolling out across the planet I thought: “here was a show of defiance that I could get behind!”. After a year of watching OM being ground down by the unrelenting bullying of the Council and Police what better way of marking the day which radicalized hundreds than by taking our racket to the streets. After all, the economic inequalities that created Occupy Melbourne are still present … and they have intensified!
So on Oct 13th we made such a noise to remind the 1%masters of the world that we are still here and that we are still pissed off!
FACT played multiple roles on this day: from organizing and endorsing the Casserole pot-banging march (which united with the Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights outside Parliament House to stand in defiance of a crowd of 2,000 Pro-Lifers who are demanding the repeal of Victorian abortion laws where we all drowned out a real-life 1%’er in line to the British Throne speaker!), to performing some minor first-aid and marshalling.
“Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it. It is this working with experience that is important in learning.”
Occupy Melbourne: Day 3
An untold story from Melbourne Street Medic Collective early history is contained within the pages of the Occupy Melbourne Reflects Journal (click here for the FREE DOWNLOAD)
The Occupy Movement sought to bring together a diversity of voices. In June 2012, some of those voices answered a call to contribute to the Occupy Melbourne Reflects project. The resulting stories are a snap shot of opinions and reflections upon the events of the preceding tumultuous 9 months.
This collection of thoughts, analysis and stories offer a valuable resource because so much of the Occupy Story played out on social networks where considered perspectives were often lost in a cacophony and where reflection is all but impossible to practice. And lessons must be learned if activists and social movements are to flourish. A life-changing convergence like Occupy offers valuable insights into where to go next with our struggle against the policy’s of the 1%.Some of those lessons may very well be preserved within this zine as a lasting legacy on how Occupy played out in Australia.
The MelbFACT story is called: THE SECRET ORIGIN OF AN AFFINITY GROUP and can be found on Page 25 of the journal.
The opening quote is from: ^ Boud D, Keogh R and Walker D (1985) Reflection, Turning Experience into Learning, Routledge. ISBN 0-85038-864-3. p. 19