March 2012
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Day 8th March 2012

Occupy Sydney by Ash

I have been involved in the Occupy Sydney camp, and along with a significant portion of my friends, have been extremely dissatisfied with the media coverage. To make it worse, the ‘individual’ (and I use the term loosely, perhaps I should say ‘socialist party’) spokespeople representing the movement have done a mostly terrible job of it. This is my attempt to bring forward some very important details that have been lacking.

 

Culture of entitlement

First amongst the common criticisms of the movement has been that we are spoilt brats, demanding iPhones and laptops while we are supported by the hard working taxpayer. The Daily Telegraph even went so far as to fabricate a list of demands that we supposedly made for port-a-loos, free parking, electricity and WiFi for our protest. Whilst we were sleeping without shelter under police restrictions, being denied access to public toilets, and fined when we went to find a discrete tree, and charging our phones from a solar panel that we had brought to the protest. We are demanding one thing, and that is the right to live, and to do things for ourselves.The reason we hadn’t already hired a port-a-loo was that the police had told us they would confiscate it if we tried, they attempted to confiscate our solar panel also, but it was rescued. Where the true culture of entitlement can be found of course is amongst the targets of our occupation (the banks) and those trying to shut us down (politicians and police). We are not alone in being criticised by people who could more accurately direct their vitriol towards themselves. On the back of a huge scandal where UK MPs claimed thousands upon thousands of pounds for hotels, furniture, rugs and toasters, the same MPs are criticising mostly poor black males who stole things such as a bottle of water and a loaf of bread. The very thing we are protesting against is this culture of entitlement that exists amongst the elite of our society. Even the powerhouse of the Australian economy, mining, is born of the sense of entitlement that our generation appears to have to the limited and finite resources on this planet. And what are we asking for? Just that the authorities tolerate a hundred or so citizens occupying a few dozen square metres of their own city.