Why i left occupy Brisbane

Hi, my name is (such and such) and I’m with the Socialist Alliance and…  Hi, my name is (such and such) and I’m also with the Socialist Alliance, and the Socialist Alternative and… Hi everyone, my name is (also such and such), and I’m a Marxist Leninist and i think that Zionists, capitalist pigs, these greedy fucking corporations (insert other various predictable rantings here) … Hi, my name is (such and such) and I’m with the Revolutionary Socialist Party..  Have i lost you already?  (I know this is sufficient explanation but please, let me expand)..

I too could have been lost at this stage (this is actually how everybody introduced themselves at Occupy Brisbane’s organisational meeting, (just) one week prior to the actual worldwide ‘occupation’ date) – with almost every single person (all but 3, if i remember correctly) choosing to affiliate themselves with the dead and dying of the left  (and it was well bandied – a more formal term would be flattery – that the group was ‘apolitical’), but i chose to go on, fighting for what i believed in, emboldened by the power of the collective conscience.

Boy was i wrong.  These people do not speak for the 99%.  They are just the typical ‘the system has failed us (me)’, ‘down with the corporations that are doing us (me) wrong’, blame-filled, hopeless philistines who you might expect at such a meeting.  Especially in the sleepy (suffocated) little town of Brisbane.  Quite simply, I was foolish to consider the fact that there might be anything other than skilless, unambitious, lazy, inactive, rich-slandering, small-minded, shit-talkers.  The kind of people who love a conspiracy theory, to strengthen their spines.  Or should i say need, rather than love? 

They are hypocrites.  Even the ‘staunch’, older participants, who say things like “Ive been trying to do something about this ‘system’ for years: these ‘greedy fucking corporations’ and their ‘cronies’, and these ‘corrupt fucking politicians” – ranting at you, while they munch down some Hungry Jacks and sip on Coca-Cola, incessantly checking their  bank balance (Commonwealth) on their smartphone, made by the biggest corporation of them all.  And that’s in the breath before they tell someone passing by that “we want to form a political party”.   Yeah, fuck politics.

They get up on their high horse (because they’re part of the organisational committe – i think their horse too, is actually high) and tell you about how many cops they know, the time they went to jail for protesting, and the fact that they haven’t paid tax or a fine, or voted for years even though the week prior, they were boasting about how they were ‘a company director’ (pretty sure that not paying company tax is highly fraudulent – or impossibly hard – under ASIC’s company laws) and how they haven’t voted for a major party ever before (implying that they do in fact, vote), and that they only had to pay a fine to get out of jail (although he hasn’t paid one in years.  Perhaps i was looking at – and talking to – his astrally projected spirit-self?).

I’d like to hear him show me the proof that he really didn’t pay tax.  Then he’d truly be able to join the ‘greedy corporations’ that they all so readily attack.  Did i mention hypocrite?

You start to wonder how foolish they are that they can even kid themselvesCompletely.  And how foolish those they’ve been spending the last ‘years’ fighting ‘the system’ with are that they didn’t notice how full of shit they were.  Misery loves company, i suppose.

I know it sounds like I’m making this up.  These are factual recollections.  I’m literally just recalling what i experienced.

Its a game of blame.  And when you suggest to them that they have the choice to actually not buy from these companies (the very ones that they lay their misinformed blame on) their typical response is:   “but we’re trapped in this system.  We dont even have the choice!”  Right.  So the very system that you oppose has succeeded in brainwashing you also. You’re so against it, i can tell.

Trust me, i dont support the corps either, or politics, or the state.  But id rather take action against not supporting them, every day of the year

– and not just when the bandwagon pulls up and promises to drive me to a park in a public place where i can share conspiracy theories with everyone who’ll only confirm them, then piss on the street and eat and ‘camp’ for free, as we all wave signs and chant slogans at the ‘rich’ who are to blame for all of our problems.

Sure, the corporations are mindlessly, needlessly raping the earth; sure, our governments are failing to represent the people – they’re not even listening, in fact; and sure, there are some ‘rich’ people around the world who have more money than anyone could know what to do with (sometimes, more money than an entire continent) but these are people problems, and the people i came across at Occupy Brisbane, arent even willing to start with applying their beliefs to those who they can most easily access, influence and change – themselves.

They are just as obsessed with ‘money’ and ‘success’ as ‘the rich’ (it must be ‘the system’s’ fault that they want these things though, right?) – they just have none, and no answer, ambition, skill, ability or hope to acquire it.

All the slanderous comments about ‘hippies’ and ‘fools’ and ‘uneducated sheeple’ are true.  I’m not saying that out of spite, I’m saying that as a portrayal of what i observed.  I was there.  A 15 year old stoner, with an already developed taste for cheap booze (again, observations, not assumptions), who didn’t even graduate from primary school, hitched a ride up from Nimbin (his admission) and then headed over with his friends to an anti coal seam gas rally to scream abuse through a megaphone at Mr Drew Hutton (a staunch anti CSG supporter) while Mr Hutton was interviewed for television, isn’t really worth much respect.  His own mother probably doesn’t even respect him.  I bet ‘the 99%’ are happy to be represented by such people.  He certainly spoke for me.  NOT!

and oh did they cry "hooray! free food and free camping"

Ok.  Maybe that was a bit bitter.  But try this for bitter:  While explaining to a possible capitalism-deserter just what is exactly wrong with ‘the system‘  (a favored term, thrown around with malice, as though they aren’t even a part of it, with their ipads and Macdonalds and instant Coles lunches) an ‘occupier’ was overheard saying: “All i want is to earn 60 grand a year, and own my own house! – I’m not asking for much” …  I was enraged.

I would have liked to have asked him firstly: Why?  Why do you even need 60 grand a year?  And why do you need to own your own house?  Why are any of these clearly capitalist consumerist mores even important to you (as you go on attacking them)?  And secondly, what would you be paid ’60 grand a year’ for?  Wanking?  Looking like a fool?  Reading books to children?  What skills do you have?  A well qualified head of department at a decent school would be on about 60k in this country.  Maybe not.  The police arent.  I’m sure ‘the system’ is to blame for that though, right?

Their great idol, Mr Karl Marx was the one who said: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution“.  I fail, as hard as i look, to see what exactly these people are contributing.  Sure, they’re contributing to some collective consciousness (i doubt that 99% of the 99% even know what that is, or have learned to tap into theirs) and their voices (however misguided and uneducated and blame-ridden they are) are making some people take notice of them (and now that ive noticed them, you’re reading my conclusion) but that’s it.

It’s ‘the system’s‘ fault that they only have a TAFE degree in basket weaving, are forced to drink coke, don’t have enough initiative to find work that will pay them enough to adequately house themselves, were forced into having children that they can’t support.  Sure it is.

The hardest people to be critical of are ourselves.  These people are simply too caught up in blaming everybody else, and making sweeping generalisations about ‘the rich’ and ‘the corporations’ and ‘the banks’ to even realise that they too are well and truly entrenched in the system.  And not because they don’t have a choice.  May i repeat that: NOT BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE!   (thought i’d put it in red, since its your favourite colour).

It is your choice to lust for 60grand a year and a ‘house you own’.  It is your choice to not educate yourself (and before you say you ‘can’t afford university’ – or school – LIBRARIES ARE FREE!)  It is your choice to have children you can’t afford, drink coke, buy from Coles, drink unfiltered water, own a car, not own a car.  What’s that you say?  We are free?  Yes, we are…  The hypocrisy is mindblowing, blatant and all-too-0bvious to even be mildly tolerable.

So I left.  It only took me 48 hours to become disenfranchised with the ‘disenfranchised’.  What’s worse, is that there is no directive, no aim (that’s what they say, and won’t be the case if the socialists have their way). It’s all well and good to let this process ‘grow organically’, but would you want to eat food grown out of misguided, ill-informed anger and hostility?  I don’t imagine it’d taste too good.

When referring to this movement ‘grow organically’ seems to be a term for ‘we have no idea and we cant agree, because we aren’t actually intelligent or educated enough to form a solution’.  Like i said, they all still suckle from the tits of the very beast they say is poisoned and poisoning us, even though severance from that particular ‘system’ would be the most profound and lasting protest they could actually make.  But they’re trapped, aren’t they.  Oh yes indeed they are – in themselves…

I would love to see them handed the wheels of the world.  How quickly would their numbers dwindle.  Hell, the population might decrease to a level our earth can actually manage, as she breathes a sigh of relief.  These people can’t even afford to nourish themselves enough to prevent their skin from peeling away from their body in protest of the vessel that is carrying it.  Who will save the rest of us?  I suppose i deserve to die anyway, because I’m ‘rich’.  Rich with perspective…

I will continue to fight for my beliefs, write for my beliefs and live in my beliefs.  Slowly but surely, i am accumulating enough experience, skill and wealth (as little as it may be, and as little as is necessary), and enough of a like-minded community, to truly detach myself from our world’s failing system, on a remote tract of loved land, when i can finally live in peace, truly at one with and respecting to the utmost, the earth that is sustaining all life as we know it, for there is no beauty that matches life and its profound complexities.

And until then, i wish you a speedy journey to your slow and painful death.

Please note:  I really really really hope it isn’t like this in every city, and that this is just a reflection of the city where i made these observations...

35 thoughts on “Why i left occupy Brisbane

  1. It makes me so angry that people get together and point blame at “the system” that completely enables them to get off their own butts and be as rich or as poor as they want. They forget that people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates actually ate scraps in the process to creating their big corporations and whilst I whole-heartedly agree that these big guys have a major responsibility to take care of our planet and those who can’t take care of themselves I don’t think bitching, moaning and protesting is going to do much to get that happening. I was told when I was EIGHT if you want to make the world a better place you need to think global and act local lol. So funny writing that now but it’s so true. It all starts at home, the more people that take responsibility for themselves the better the world will be.

  2. Phew!! That was an angry rant, but certainly not unfounded. I think if you’d been in Adelaide you’d have felt a very different vibe – one of congregation, not occupation, one of peace and love, not rage and hate, one of collaboration in search of solutions, not finger-pointing and blame… I feel so lucky to be based in Adelaide and a part of something special beginning to blossom here.

    I am fully aware of the level of hypocrisy present among some people at these occupations, and am also frustrated by it. It is correct that we are free – and that we can choose, at any moment, to stop supporting the system that is oppressing us. If we truly are the 99% then there can really be little difficulty in us all achieving a sustainable future for humans, animals and our beautiful earth – if we can re-connect our communities and begin to support one another once again.

    I feel your frustration and fully understand it – and I have days when I want to run off to the hills too… but then I remember that I’m not just occupied with occupy for my own sake, but also for the sake of others who feel less empowered that I do, and for those who are yet to even learn what the issues are, and, indeed, for future generations to come – I cannot abandon them no matter how hard it may sometimes feel.

    Thank you for your honesty – it is much needed.

    I hope you can regain the inspiration that brought you to occupy.

    Take care,
    Kari (Occupy Adelaide)

  3. I believe the ethos of the said global movement is to show support to our friends in the US who have risen to the hypocrisies of the democratic state that systematically deregulates the economy to allow the neo-libertarian economic institutions to place private profit before people as if engaging in an anarchical system.

    Occupy Melbourne did attract a very diverse crowd and indeed many socialist preachers. Many people showed their support on the day, each with their own opinion, belief and reason. I cherish that, regardless of if I share the same ideals or not. On the day of global action, I probably spent 45 minutes to show my support to friends in the US and turned a blind eye to the socialists who seemed to have boycotted the ethos of Occupy Wall Street. But I would have also been a hypocrite if I didn’t go.

    My understanding is that most protests and gatherings in Australia are organised by the many respective socialist organisations, whether it’s Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternatives or otherwise. I always try to exercise my democratic rights by attending protests that I support. In that, I don’t engage with said people in my daily life because:

    A) I don’t share the same theoretical interpretation of socialism as most of them.
    B) I don’t respect their disregard of social or political theory other than that of popular socialist texts
    C) They never compile or advocate alternative policies nor act as a peak advisory body which will actually effect change
    D) Their debates and forums are based around the pretentious display of their knowledge of various socialist theories rather than arguing the status quo
    E) They are never willing to engage in solid theoretical exchanges as they will disregard non-socialists as mass-consuming and brainwashed plebs who have lost their will to marketing, communications and media vehicles
    F) They are generally lacking life skills, unemployed, dole bludging, whinging, blame-shifting, sociopathic and disengaged from the status quo

    I live my life learning, sharing knowledge and embracing diversity. Saying that, as every year that passes, my tolerance for people have declined dramatically and I have become accustomed to conducting instant “cost-benefit analyses” (get the irony?!) of people. Life is too short to engage with said cunts.

    This movement is about the 99% but we are also all part of a 1%. My 1% is the people that I share beliefs, morals, ethics and interests amongst other commonalities whom I love and whom inspire me, like you. We affect society, politics, music, art, design or otherwise and I’m proud to be part of that. Fuck cunts.

  4. Sure, so trots and dead shits are irritating, stupid and often hypocrites. That’s also an old story. The trots were their standing around Occupy Brisbane eating Hungry Jacks, while raving about the revolution.

    But their is no point in stepping back and letting them ruin everything though. Because otherwise, every time something positive turns up, they will attach themselves to it like a virus and kill it, again, and again, and again.

    These things fail when functional people get impatient and leave, thinking they can make systematic changes on there own instead. Your not the first person to do this, or the last.

    Sure people are messed up. But they need their own time to learn, and often people to guide or inspire them.

  5. Yep. had a similar expreience organising an ‘apolitical’ ‘celebration’ in Queens Park, Brissy a few years ago. Actually, they conceded to the term ‘celebration’ after much negotiation to avoid attaching the term ‘rally’ that they at first insisted upon… But of course it became a rally anyway, complete with red shirts and banners- an entire ‘red’ theme. Complete with blameful slogans that contradicted the words of the intelligent speakers invited by the *actually* politically unaffiliated members of the organising team. Anyway, short story goes: it turned me off ‘consensus-building’ efforts for years. A ‘celebration’ hijacked by the socialist agenda, with well-meaning individuals and families that attended marginalised along with the general public…
    Seriously disappointing…

  6. Pingback: #OccupyBrisbane round up « Groupthink

  7. As much as I think the Occupy Brisbane protest is foolish, this web post is equally foolish. You talk about your beliefs….what beliefs? Clearly they have little to do with the whole occupywallstreet idealogy (which isn’t necessary socialist, but closer to it than neo-liberal market capitalism). It makes me wonder why the hell you were at the Occupy Brisbane event in the first place. Unless of course it was to find inspiration for this little rant of yours.

    • take some time to have a look through the rest of the blog. you will find my beliefs: all pertinent to the preservation and respect of our mother earth and positive, affirmative action that embraces those who enact the same, free love, less obsession with money, consumption and consumerism and the adoption and living of a lifestyle that accepts no less than these beliefs. I went to occupy Brisbane, because i have ties with OWS and yes, i was seeking inspiration. Unfortunately, it seemed that the ‘core’ group (who i also found to be slightly bigoted and small-minded: Brisbane, perhaps?) would rather saddle up their high horses with their beliefs, rather than enacting them. thanks for your input

      • Sure, but instead of wanting to help bring about change you intend to flee into hiding and turn your back on everyone else.

      • im helping myself mate. and the earth. certainly not ‘hiding’.
        My life’s actions and philosophy, in every single thing that i do, and every action i take assure this. Suggesting that these people are helping to ‘bring about change’ – when they still buy from the corporations, bank with the banks etc (the very institutions that they so loudly detest!) is quite far-fetched in my eyes.
        Here’s a hint at what ‘action’ could really mean: http://tiny.cc/1rnu5

    • judgment may have been passed, yes. there were also some judgements that were made strictlyin observation of people’s behaviour, language and articulation. this is warrant enough. its ironic though, because ‘judgement’ is the gaze which OB (and many other occupiers) have looked upon ‘the rich’ with too. i cant repeat enough the importance of ACTION in this time. walk your talk. dont buy from the corps. dont bank with the big banks. stop drinking the poisoned water. stop supporting food and business that isnt local or independent.

  8. I think it’s sad that you won’t be involved with anyone whose views you don’t agree with. Isn’t that the opposite of this movement? Surely everyone who agrees with the ideas of OWS should be united, and no individual like you has the authority to tell the rest of us who is welcome and who isn’t.

    • hang on a second. i never defined who was and wasnt welcome. certainly not. i said in a nutshell, that i wasnt into politics, and there were many people there that were. simple. so i left. you should respect the fact that i didnt agree with it, and was polite enough to leave and let you continue with your life, in the way you wish to live it, as i will mine.

      • But you didn’t just leave politely, you wrote a public letter denouncing all the people who are still involved. Democracy is messy, and it involves us having to negotiate with people who have very different views to our own, *for the good of the movement as a whole*, to keep it going. What the movement needs is to become bigger and broader, with all views represented and your post just discourages that from happening. Constructive criticism is welcome, but you made the choice to use your blog to divide the movement.

      • a community that are all on the same wavelength, bringing their resources and skills together to survive, completely separate from state or system, only connected to the earth, is what i seek. I simply didnt find this at occupy Brisbane, so i left. I dont need a democracy, perhaps you do. Consequently, i am free to leave it as i choose, and make whatever comment i feel compelled to make, from what i observe and believe. I have simply stated my opinion. It is absolutely absurd to suggest that the ‘division’ that you speak of is my doing – you are as strong as your weakest link. The irony of your need to blame someone is amusing.

      • You were looking for people just like yourself and when you didn’t find it you fled; you gave up. You are certainly free to do so but what did you expect from a movement that is attempting to bring people together from all walks of life. You come off as someone that thinks they have “the” true answer. If only the rest of us were so pure as you but if we all take your lead there won’t be enough “remote tract of loved land” to go around so that everyone can “truly detach” themselves from “our world’s failing system”. And, I’ve got news for you. If we don’t stop the current level of destruction to the ecosystems necessary to maintain life on this planet then even you won’t find what you seek.

      • … “If we don’t stop the current level of destruction to the ecosystems necessary to maintain life on this planet then even you won’t find what you seek.” .. you really are missing the point of most of what im writing. woe to you for implying that ‘what i seek’ is so far away.
        good luck with your life

  9. A friend who is no fan of the Occupy movement, retweeted this and I thought I’d give it a go.

    I completely agree with your views on seeing through your beliefs with your own actions. I went to Occupy Perth and while the Socialist Alliance was present, they gave everyone an open forum to discuss their experiences and ideas.

    I’m disappointed that the one in Brisbane gave you so little reason for hope as the one in Perth, while far from being perfect, has motivated me to become more involved in activism.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this and I really do hope that the majority of the people who attended around Australia had a more positive experience.

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  11. Pingback: Why i left occupy Brisbane, Part II « think again

  12. It is exactly like this in Adelaide, and is the reason I and others left. There are so many people who have been totally turned off by the hijacking that has occurred by opportunistic socilaist/zeitgeist drones.

    • Hi Cm (and Craig),

      This was an interesting read. I can really feel your frustration with the Occupy Brisbane movement through your words and it’s a shame that your experience was so negative. I attended the Occupy Adelaide event last Saturday and despite being a little (and only a little) put off by what appeared to be self-promotion on behalf of some political groups including (but not limited to) the Zeitgeist Movement, Socialist Alliance etc, was interested in doing more to support the movement than just turning up.

      I got involved in some of the online discussions and turned up to the forum last night. To say that the meeting was inspiring is an understatement. Here was a collection of people, most of whom had never met, none of whom were there to self-promote, sharing ideas, knowledge and ideals in a truly democratic way. Sure, I didn’t agree with everything I heard, but that’s the point of this movement. We should be leaving aside the things that divide us and focusing on the common goals which unite us. For me, that’s essentially what Occupy is all about.

      Hope that makes sense. I really hope that Brisbane can regenerate at some point after having learned some lessons from the experience. The time for change is now, and we need as many people working towards it as possible.


      PS Craig I believe I messaged you on Facebook asking you to reconsider your decision to leave because I felt that while initially there may have been fairly heavy representation in event organising by some groups, the more people got involved, the more this would be diluted and we would have a “purer” Occupy Adelaide movement by way of the sheer number of non-politically associated people such as myself joining. Haven’t received a reply yet.

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