Why Occupy? An Australian Perspective

Written on:October 29, 2011
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Who was hacked this week you ask?  THE SYSTEM

This post was inspired by a conversation I had recently with an Australian Information Technology study-buddy of mine.

I was, as you can imagine, posting links to the Occupy Movement all over my social networking arena, including one for where people are occupying in Australia.

My friend commented on my Facebook wall:

Doesn’t it kind of not make a whole lot of sense in Australia? Our banks are well regulated, so they didn’t get involved in the greedy repackaging of high-risk loans or shorting of the market. We’re currently in a boom at a time when the rest of the developed world has stalled or is in decline. We’re not suffering under austerity measures like much of Europe, where gutless politicans plundered the treasury to fund election promises. We don’t have the same problems as the US with runaway capitalism causing an ever increasing divide between the wealthy elites and the middle/lower classes.

Yes our current crop of politicians are probably the worst we’ve had in recent times, but the closeness in polling ensures neither of the two major parties can achieve anything too unpopular and have been relegated into a stable paralysis. While I support the actions of the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd (although I think they got the address wrong – occupy midtown may be more appropriate), I don’t think the same grievances apply in Australia.

He caused me to pause; Why WAS I so quick to jump on this bandwagon? “Why do we do what we do?” is a question that we should all ask ourselves regularly to ensure that we are fulfilling a purpose and not wasting time.

We had a brief exchange where talked about problems specific to Australia, such as our banks talking people into mortgages that they really could not afford when they were employed, and now that so many are unemployed, they are selling these homes for far less than their true value.  We discussed Australia’s trading arrangement with China. We discussed our Prime Ministers’ new $3000 chair, and the fact that anyone giving birth is given $5500, which has encouraged breeding amongst teenagers and increased the sales of extremely large television sets here. The “Carbon-tax” that is being implemented here next year did not come up then, but it is yet another issue to contend with.

However, since that exchange I have had time to reflect, and I have realised that it is more than that. The reason why I support the Occupy Movement from the comfort of a country where we have access to healthcare and education, and where homelessness is really not an issue, is because occupying within Australia shows the 1% of the world that the 99% are coming together – you have the figures, but we have the numbers. The current system does not work for everyone, ergo, IT DOES NOT WORK. A herd is only as strong as its weakest member, so our species is in grave danger. Now we ARE being heard.


It is the same reason that I walked out of class when I was fourteen years old in protest of the genocide in Rwanda – we tried to arrange a walk-out and a sit-in on the oval at my high-school, but the teachers got wind of it beforehand and called an assembly to say that walking out of class and defying them would not solve anything, so it was just myself and a seventeen year old girl whose name I never caught sitting out on the oval that afternoon. They did not understand that we weren’t walking out on THEM, we were walking out FOR our brothers and sisters in Rwanda. (We weren’t even given detention; I think the teachers felt sorry for us). But that day did not waiver my resolve – if it had, I would not be here today communicating this with you.

I also support Occupy Australia because lately I have found that my government does not “have my back”.  Not only have they not supported Julian Assange (I don’t think I need to reiterate that saga here; If you are reading this then you already know that which I am referring to) but they have also said in writing that they will not be investigating the allegations of torture upon Australian citizen and former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, David Hicks. Therefore, it is clear to me that my citizenship means nothing to my current governments’ administration. Therefore it is also clear that the only way for Australian citizens to be protected is to come together, stand together, and protect each other.

TORTURE IS ILLEGAL.  End of story.  Julian Assange said in an interview recently “The only job that the Australian Government has is to protect Australian citizens.  That’s it.”

So, I stand with my brothers and sisters today. as I stood with them in 1994, from my admittedly comfortable perspective, and I implore you to do the same. The problem is not “over there”, it is everywhere. We are the 99%. We are getting organised. We are hacking the system – ethically. We WILL change the world together – YES WE WILL!   😉

6 Comments add one

  1. Alan says:

    Pamela you are right today there is no government there is only the rich people who buy the government and do what they want with it. That is why we have so many problems all over the globe and is a virus that must be stopped, but how?? i mean, I few hackers can crack the system but after that what if they are caught and the government offers them a job with them? Is hard to imagine that fighting for justice this days is blind everywhere, very very blind… However, i do agree that we must take a stand, no matter if is in Australia or in the US. Sometimes there is the urge of doing something about it because in theory is not fair that governments work for us but they do what they want with our money…

    • MoreFreedom says:

      You say “the rich people who buy the government” but is this really what’s happening? I’ll grant that capitalism has been corrupted, but not by the rich, but instead by politicians.

      It used to be that government didn’t meddle in commerce, it just kept the peace. But thanks to progressives, government now “regulates” commerce so much that the number of pages of regulations isn’t known. And I use quotes because the world control is more accurate. The rich don’t control government, government controls commerce.

      When politicians can write laws that affect the bottom lines of whole industries or specific businesses, it’s no wonder that money starts flowing to politicians. Some money flows to get government favors (subsidies, tax breaks, restrictions on competition, government contracts, etc.) while other money flows from companies that want government to leave their industry alone. The prior case is what you refer to as “rich people who buy the government”, but not the second case.

      Politicians love this because of the money/favors that flow to them because of their power over commerce.

      If you really want to stop this crony crapitalism, then you need to support getting government out of “regulating” commerce. This of course, reduces government power and returns it to the people, who get to decide what they buy and from whom, rather than government putting all kinds of restrictions on what can be sold and to whom.

      It’s not money corrupting politics, it corrupt politicians corrupting free commerce.

  2. ulysses adkins says:

    I agree with you Pamela. Never give up. Einstein said it best, but to paraphrase him, if the human race is to survive it must change it behavior. We must help those in need, look to the future and make this planet the best it can be.

  3. Pamela Taylor says:

    Hmm, I am unable to edit, so I will just clarify something here; Just by living in Australia, I am essentially in the “1%”, although whomever came up with these figures for this movement is bad at mathematics, which is irrelevant to my point – unless my point is that the poor have less access to education! The current system is now based in debt, not wealth creation. Over the last decade, ALL of our western governments have spent far more on wars than it would have taken to FIX this problem! Wars based on LIES! Millions of innocent civilians killed. I am happy to pay my taxes to support a system that works, but not a system that is broken. This does not mean that I will stop paying my taxes, because then I’d just be another hippy. So I demand a system that works. I remember having to get passports to go to New Zealand as a small child, and that it didn’t make sense. I asked my parents why everyone couldn’t just go anywhere they wanted to go. They explained that “others” would take what was “ours” because they didn’t have it. I asked why we (Australia) didn’t share what we had with those who didn’t have it – I was always told to share with my brothers, and I was also told that all humans were related to those who first walked out of Africa (although we now know we were in Asia first, but that is irrelevant to my point) which means that all humans are my brothers – and sisters – so we should share, yes? My parents smiled and said that they hoped I never lost that perspective, and I haven’t. I do not care about 99% this and 1% that; the Occupy Movement is giving a voice to solutions that many scholars have had for awhile, but who were not being heard until now. I do not resent the wealthy. I was brought up to work my guts out and reap that which I sew, but the current system does not provide that equation. None are free until we are all free, regardless of whether we are talking about starving Ethiopian children (one of whom I’ve sponsored via World Vision since 2003) or the homeless war veterans on the streets of the USA. I am very fortunate, so that means that it is my responsibility as a global citizen to be an advocate for those who can not stand up for themselves right now. If enough people do it then it will be enough. It comes back to being the change you wish to see in the world. If some people feel compelled to do more, then that’s great! But if they “just” set up automatic payments to sponsor children and alike, then that’s great too (and a tax deduction remember). If they do nothing at all, then as long as they stay out of the way of those who are doing something, that’s ok too. But if they do nothing, and then they try and stand in the way of those who feel compelled to do something, THEN I get PO’d! By the same token, I despise anyone who thinks that they are entitled to a handout – I promote the hand-UP, but not out.

  4. @MoreFreedom
    We had this very discussion at Occupy Cairns last night after viewing the documentary “The BIllionaires’ Tea Party.” It is the government officials who are supposed to represent the people and yet take money from corporations who are the problem; the corporations are just doing what they do best. Therefore we need more transparency in government to see who and what exactly we are voting for. I am going to run for Federal MP for Leichhardt next year, and my bank account will be an open book to the public, and I will be livestreaming my life as much as is practical to do so, because I will be working for the people whose taxes pay me to advocate for them. I don’t want the “power” but I can not vote for any of the other cnadidates as they are corrupt and unworthy, so it is time to put my name on the ballot. I don’t expect to win, but at least I will have the opportunity to vote for someone whom I believe in.

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