Occupy Sydney Rally – November 5th 2011

Posted: November 6, 2011 in Australia, Human Rights, Journals, News
Tags: , , , , , ,

November 6th, 2011.

Occupy Sydney held their first major Rally yesterday. Starting at 12noon.

I was at Town Hall at around 11am and met with some Occupy Sydney Facilitators to offer a hand for the day with anything needed. I was asked to assist the First Aid team and gladly took on this task. Donning a white arm band with a red cross on it, I was given a crash course in CPR assistance as well as other issues.

Being a mum I felt confident in myself caring for a minor injury such as fall and cuts etc but whoa! CPR! Hope we don’t need that. I thought to myself.

During this time the Maritime Union members arrived along with some from 4 different local Teachers Unions. The PA system was set up and people giving speech’s. We heard speakers from MUA, Teachers Unions, NT Intervention and were given an official “Welcome to Country” by an Indigenous leader with blessing from her elders. Welcome to country provides those whom are welcomed with permission to occupy the land and protection. I felt we needed the protection from the police, after witnessing first hand the forceful eviction a few weeks earlier.

After all speech’s were given, we formed our marching group with MUA leading the charge, the riff raff band right behind to provide the tunes for the march. I took my place on the side nearest the gutter to be assessable if needed. My sign read: “Don’t Abuse our human rights. Freedom of Speech” # OccupySydney” the other side read. “End Wars. I want peace on earth for all children, not just my own! #OccupyTogether.”

I proudly marched through the city from Town Hall to Martin Place carrying this message with me. I believe in our Human Rights, Australia is supposed to as well, considering they are signatory to the Geneva Convention!

Upon arriving at Martin Place, audio was connected and more speech’s and songs/ dancing followed. A GA was then called and members of the public were asked to put their makes on the speaking list if they wanted to say something. I happily did! I introduced myself and told of my experience of occupy. How safe i felt with my fellow occupiers and was only scared when police took forceful action. I am in awe if the love and peace and solidarity at occupy Sydney.

Lots of points came up at the GA but I’ll touch on 2. 1. Was to vote to re-occupy Sydney. 2. The location of the occupy.

A concensus was formed we would re-occupy. A few suggestions were floated around, but due to our time running our at Martin Place we had to rap it up. We decided we would head to Hyde Park and continue the GA. We then walked to Hyde park and were followed again by police.

We re-assembled at Hyde Park and continued our GA. Consensus was to occupy Hyde Park hut if move on orders came, we would have a plan b. This plan b was Victoria park where an indigenous Tent Embassy would be established, this would give occupiers the right to sleep without hassles by police.

At one point someone in the crowd had put up a tent AGAINSt advice of occupy Sydney. This immediately drew police attention and a crowd of police formed. (I’m of the opinion it was probably the undercover cop we had in our crowd that did this). The tent was removed and a tense stand off persisted for about another 5 or so mins.

Things calmed again and we all went back to our GA.

Our speaker had to leave due to the stand off taking his speaking time. (police knew he was speaking at that time, that iswhy I believe it was set up) as he is a professor from a local uni.

Police then continued to pick people off one by one. Anyone with a yoga mat was told it was camping equipment and that it could be used in committing a crime! What bullshit! We had yoga instructors in the crowd and people were meditating as well. We are for peace! Not brutality.

A woman was arrested after climbing a tree. More tense stand offs happened and people grouped together and formed human ring to continue Talking and to protect others from any police harm. They were too worries to sit at this point due to intimidating tactics used by the mounted police. No one wanted to be trampled.

I was sitting on the outskirts and decided to lay down and read a book for a little while. Deciding what to do as it was getting late and I knew I needed to bus it home which is at least 1 hr I’d not longer.

It was at this point I left occupy with another first aider and decided to head home. I have family commitments on Sunday so was what I needed to do.

My phone had gone flat by this time and it wasn’t until I got home that I could get twitter updates.

At around 1.30-2am occupy Sydney was given an official “move on” order to which consensus was taken and all protesters peacefully dispersed from Hyde park, heading to a place they had been offered by someone so they could not be moved on.

From what I’m aware police followed the group over 6 blocks through the city. Then deemed it as illegal march! What bullshit!

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