The last few days have seen Occupy Melbourne develop some very creative tactics to prevent the convisgation of their property by the Melbourne City Council and Police. On Friday 25th of November after the Council served Notice of Compliance on the camp and came down with police protestors took their gear and left the park. However this wasn't enough a police and the police gave chase to the tents! One protestor, Sean Bedlam was arrested for "hindering council officers" whilst sitting on a tarp on the footpath outside the park. The police actually tried to place a bail condition on Sean that he was not to return to the park on the basis "he would just continue protesting". The Magistrate rightfully rejected this on the basis that Sean had every right to return to the park to protest or have a picnic if he so desired!
Related Keystone Kops and the great tent chase
Footage from Friday November 25th
Saturday 26th - the runaway camp strikes again!
On the Saturday 26th, protestors took there tactics one step further and completely skedaddled as soon as the 30 or so police and council workers entered the park. The sight of tents crossing the road whilst a group of bewildered police and council workers walked aimless around an empty park was really quite something. Soon after the police left, as if by some magical process, the OM tent city reappeared with its kitchen etc in full swing, which was just as well as that night saw the camp soaked with torrential rain.
This tactic of cat and mouse relies on the fact that the Council has to issue fresh compliance notices each time it wishes to call in the cops. It also relies on people coming down to the park to help take away gear temporarily in cars etc whenever the call goes it of new compliance notices. If you can help out please do so and help maintain the camp. OM now it has found a way to playfully evade or deal with the constant harrassment from the council and police can once again start dealing more with the politics of the movement. It was interesting to read that on the Saturday a motion was moved but did not pass to return to daily GA's. I think this reflects the growing strength and resolve of those people who are camping in the park. It is also apparent that the police themselves are becoming less enthusiastic about the daily absurdist events down at the park.
|Tents on the move on the 26th||Cops in search of a camp on the 26th|
Sunday 27th - the soggy mattress raid
A repeat performance on Sunday saw fifteen police succesfully remove a mattress that had become sodden during the rain of the night before!
Cartoon by Jai Hallam