Why i left occupy Brisbane, Part II

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding my initial piece (here) regarding this matter.

The sheer number of views, and the debate and attention it has gained across many pages and platforms is a fine tribute to this controversy.  And boy (!) is such tumult the kind of tasty morsel that we’ve all come to enjoy devouring these days hmmmm? A sort of vicarious thrill in an otherwise mundane, struggle-filled, toiling existence.

It’s kind of akin to watching a ‘current affairs’ programme:

You get all the thrills of investigating an unsolved kidnapping, naming and shaming a plumber, finding cheaper washing liquid, discovering the latest hidden secret to curing your depression (because lets face it, you’re shit, and so’s your life) and witnessing the first breakdancing performance from a troupe of poodles – all while sitting around and doing nothing!  (Sounds familiar) ..

Anyway, you’re welcome.  Because fuck, i understand how tough life can be when you make it so.  – Perhaps its as thrilling as camping in a public park, and shouting abuses at scapegoats.  Something like this.  Anyway, let me just straighten a few things out:

‘Why i left occupy Brisbane’ (here), wasn’t meant to be a guide on how i expected its ‘occupiers’ to behave;  nor did i think that i was the ‘individual‘ that had ‘the authority to tell the rest of us who is welcome and who isn’t‘, as someone suggested i may have felt; it wasn’t even the final ultimatum for the poor state of our status-quo’s affairs.  But i make no compromise when it comes to voicing my opinions.

What i outlined, is what i saw.  It was an explanation towards ‘Why i left occupy Brisbane‘ (the title ‘Why i left occupy Brisbane’ [click here to read] may have alluded to this – see here).  Needless to say, what i wrote attracted a vast amount of attention from all sides.  Maybe even more attention than occupy Brisbane itself.  Who knows.  This was always my aim.  This will always be the aim whenever i write anything – for knowledge is power, and independent media is free to express any views its proponents see fit, as we all indeed are.  Ok?

As i say, it wasn’t a list of guidelines, it wasn’t a do-or-die critique.  This is a radical moment.  Of radical change…  And while the groundswell relies on a mass awakening of the vast majority (inclusive of all – the so-called ‘1%’ and the ‘99%’ as well – yes, thats right: 100%!) there was nothing progressively radical about what was happening here in Brisbane.  Sure it was radical (as in, rag-tag; radical as in, lets ‘organise a protest, without actually organising it’), but that’s not the kind of radical i was looking for.

Personally, i was looking for a group that was already engaged in a total, massive shift.  A community of people that operate under the laws of respect for each other and the environment of our community, and nothing else – not the laws of consumption and vice that they feel ‘trapped’ in.

I was looking for a people who push each other to the extremes of physical and mental capability through forced and practiced mind-expansion, high level physical and mental activity, undeniably mind-altering music, play, conversation, sex, drugs, travel, relationships, challenges and experiences.

Perhaps if there were more people wearing shoes and they were waving around maces, instead of firesticks, i might have felt emboldened too.

a member of the 'plundergroud' crew on London's underground, installing their own advertisements (click to enlargen)

Yes this is all a process, yes there is a path, but im done talking about it – i am doing it.  Living it.  I am less and less a part of the ‘system’.  So don’t hold it against me.  And don’t hold it against me if bad renditions of Bob Marley’s ‘redemption song’ lubricated with Toohey’s Extra Dry don’t inspire me.  I am free to walk away.  I need less rabble, less ranting, my solace, my silence and my pot, my music and my guitar and my time to continue writing and working towards our common goal…

And if our common goal is indeed to crush the corporations, wake up the banks and lift the foot from the throat of our mother earth’s neck, then it must also be to give the corps and the banks less of a say in our life, reduce our impact on our earth – as those who spawned this universal fight – the Occupy Wall St’ers – are now starting to dare to outline for us.

– Move your money to a credit union, they offer (I’m even considering a safe); buy nothing new for the U.S holiday season; buy nothing new for Christmas – ever again; make gifts; consume less!!; abstain from anything that generates money into ‘the system’ for just one day: no television, internet, phonecalls, electricity or purchasing; hell, they’re even sending out calls (entitled ‘Tactical Briefings’) to special mailing lists that cry out that its time to ‘amp up the edgy theatrics‘, with ‘deviant pranks, subversive performances and playful détournements of all kinds

It’s not even worth outlining how incapable Occupy Brisbane’s folk (an apt name for them) would have been of carrying out such wild and adventurous antics (see the paragraph about halfway through this article, where i suggested ‘who i was looking for’ for some possible criteria).

As I’ve mentioned previously too, there are surely much more passionate, powerful cries resonating from other occupations.  Power to them.  Fuck! – Power to everybody!

Careful though, nobody really has the right to tell anyone how to behave – even if it is actually in aid of crippling the very institutions we are all trying to cripple.  No.  We must do it together, slowly but surely.  Fuck off.

the finished work

Do i need to repeat the fact that its OWS that are giving this advice?  – We are transforming society.  We are transforming the way we eat, live, transport ourselves, communicate.  We are throwing a cat amongst the pigeons of the status quo.  A big fucking ravenous blood-thirsty lion, in fact.  And we need lots of them.  A whole fucking pack.  So I’m going to find a zoo, not a playground.

FYI:  people – many of us –  have been fighting for this change,  for more than a few weeks.  Or Months.  Or years.  A couple of decades, in fact.  Here’s a clue: click

5 thoughts on “Why i left occupy Brisbane, Part II

  1. I thought that I understood your first piece and enjoyed it very much. I’m doubting that understanding now though, having read your second. But this is probably down to issues with my interpretation rather than your language. What I distilled from your first (at least in part) was that you felt the participants were the usual suspects of the disenfranchised left so to speak. Possibly the 1% off the other end of the scale, or at least believing that they were, but with no apparent commitment to the anti corporate platform being demonstrated by their actions. Maybe I have this right, maybe not.

    In this piece you note that:
    “Personally, i was looking for a group that was already engaged in a total, massive shift. A community of people that operate under the laws of respect for each other and the environment of our community, and nothing else – not the laws of consumption and vice that they feel ‘trapped’ in.”

    I suppose that you could expect that in a core body somewhere. But is not the value of this movement inclusiveness of those who really represent the 99%. That means people ranging from those who are very aware of their consumption and act on it, those that try but fail, and maybe those that are just starting to get it. Would you have been happier to find a cross section of people like this (because I would have been)?

    I don’t think I am disagreeing with you by the way – I have no wish to participate in a socialist vegan revolution. To my mind the occupy movement in Australia would be better if it did have strong representation of very average people at its core. Unfortunately the truth is that Australia is really not as bad as the US (yet) in many ways and most of us are too comfortable to do anything about it.

    I’m just not sure whether your hopes for who would be present were really realistic, or even representative of what the “Occupy Movement” represents. Or, of course whether I have just misunderstood, which is entirely possible.

  2. Interesting to read your commentary. Can’t say I expected much from Brisbane (though the ridicule it’s getting is pretty embarrassing). I’m sorry to hear that you think retreating to the land is the answer. I’m a firm believer in “no personal salvation” not in the religious sense but the very scientific sense of resource over consumption and environmental damage affecting us all eventually (and many of the most disadvantaged first). That said, I don’t blame you for feeling Occupy Brisbane wasn’t your platform.

    • I know what you mean about the embarrassing part. I am glad to have found this blog because I too believe in personal activism, actually being that change you want. However this is an opportunity we are fortunate to have (albeit with its quirks and constraints) and if this mob could actually get the focus on the local issues for real people in Brisbane or name and shame these corrupt banksters and corporations then they might have a shot. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think they could…

      I haven’t camped there and probably never will, but I do like going to the general assemblies. Some speakers are sometimes inspiring but not so much the folks who have been there for a while.

  3. Disappointed to hear of the schism in the OB and appreciate what your thoughts are.
    Still feel that egos need to be left at the bus stop ( please, this is not directed only to you ) and unification is needed. Its too powerful a movement for it to be franchised to ‘fuck offs’.
    save our anger and grievance for the 1%.
    May we all stay real and now what it is the 99% ( the 99%!!! so there will ALWAYS be disagreements and misunderstandings) are ulimately against… tyranny, disrespect, greed… to name a few of my non-favourite things…..
    Good luck with how you consolidate now ..
    as said ; this is too powerful a moment/ movement to let the momentum slip away with splits..
    hope to stay abreast of where you are and what you are doing….

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