How To Occupy With Dignity


We all love a good protest, don’t we?

Not in a literal sense, of course — as decent law-abiding Australians we naturally abhor anyone who exercises their democratic right to express their displeasure with political and social issues — but figuratively speaking we are big fans of anyone with the guts and passion to stand up for what they believe in and cause the voice of the marginalised and oppressed to ring out, provided they don’t actually cause any trouble or talk too loud or leave their houses or anything anarchic like that.

I guess what I’m trying to say, we all love a good letter to the paper about why various people should get jobs. That’s the way to go about things, and we can all agree that it’s entirely counter-productive to go running about the streets, holding placards and shouting slogans and smelling like burnt lentils.

But that’s not to say that we don’t have serious problems in Australia today. Statistics show that the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer, which would be fine if the poor would just shut up about it. Research undertaken by independent think tanks like the Institute for Public Affairs, the Centre for Independent Studies, and the Australian Rolling Around Naked Rubbing Yourself With Hundred Dollar Bills Association (ARANRYWHDBA), demonstrates clearly that the average poor person in Australia today has become 50 per cent louder in the last five years, and is wearing even uglier clothes. No wonder anger is rising. And that’s before you even consider the issue of the elimination of democracy by the lesbian Marxist sewing circle currently squatting in Parliament House.

Also there are apparently things happening in the global economy, like Greece recently lost its job and the president of America is Barack Obama. So all in all it’s a big bowl of Trouble Soup, brimming with croutons of socio-economic disintegration.

It’s no wonder then that certain members of what we are pleased to call "society" choose to react to these problems in the only way they know how — by going out and sitting down in various places for a while. And hence the "Occupy" movement was born.

Perhaps the most distressing branch of the Occupy movement was seen in my own home town of Melbourne, where according to a story that I saw, literally millions of protesters viciously attacked a small band of passing police officers who were on their way to lunch, for no reason other than an innate love of violence.

Thankfully the rebellion was quelled by Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, as brave and noble a civic leader as ever pulled on a possum-skin robe to avoid being mistaken for a giant potato by hungry villagers. As soon as he saw those feral protesters occupying City Square — the ancestral home of the Doyle clan — he knew he had to take action, and so, under his reserve powers, which state that the Lord Mayor has full control over the state police force and is allowed to hit unemployed people with bamboo shoots, he sent the fuzz in to sort things out, and thing-sort they did.

And to think all this could have been avoided, if only the lazy parasitic dirtbags had made the effort to gain a bit of public sympathy before they tried to blackmail us all into giving them free drugs. That’s the problem with bottom-feeding hippie psychopaths: they’re stupid as well as covered with fleas.

Because the problem with the protesters was never that we didn’t want them protesting — we didn’t, of course, but if they’d handled things a little bit better I, for one, would at least have given them the courtesy of a series of dull and poorly reasoned blog postings about it.

No, the problem was that Occupy Melbourne, and all the other Occupies — Wall Street, Oakland, Cooper Pedy — just weren’t sure what they were protesting about. Was it corporate greed? Political corruption? Whales? Those ads where Sarah Murdoch has a slow-motion epileptic seizure from eating too much yoghurt? Who knows? And so they lacked the number-one requirement for any successful entitlement-culture socialist mass whinge: focus.

It’s no good just heading out into the streets and crying, "We want things to change!" You have to be more specific, or you’re doomed to unending mockery from newspaper editorials, right-wing commentators, and pissed-off bloggers who disapprove of civic disobedience that is not in blog form.

Basically, if you want to protest, you need something to protest about. After all, the Convoy of No Confidence protesters knew exactly what they were protesting about: the matron at the nursing home who was trying to poison them. And so, free of charge, I am providing the Occupy movement with some Handy Suggestions on things they could protest about while retaining their dignity.

1. People selling things in the middle of shopping centres. Who are these people? Why do they keep stepping out in front of me and trying to sell me skincare products and treadmills? Why doesn’t the Government introduce some proper controls on this outlaw industry, like a strict licensing system or aerial spraying? Why is it that it’s illegal for me to hit a perfume saleswoman in the face with a piece of wood, but it’s perfectly all right for her to ask offensive questions about my personal odour? These are all questions a well-organised protest movement could ask with much justification.

2. Foreigners. Where do they come from, and why don’t they speak proper English? Is it true that the Government is trying to make Australia a foreign country? How can we prevent this? Is there even anything overseas? Has Catriona Rowntree been lying to us? Why does the guy at 7-11 look at me like that? It’s important we find out.

3. Executive remuneration. Why is it spelled like that? Shouldn’t it be "renumberation"? What the hell, guys?

4. Fat kids. Let’s get ’em.

5. Climate change. Can’t we just admit it was a bad idea and stop talking about it? Do we really need to go on and on about it, considering that so far no scientist has even managed to prove that we have a climate? Isn’t it time we stopped pouring resources into renewable energy and started pouring resources all over scientists’ ugly heads till they suffocate?

6. Celebrity Apprentice. What the fuck?

So there are six good, solid, reliable causes for Occupiers to get behind, before we even mention Gerard Henderson. But the vital thing is that you pick ONE issue, and concentrate on that. This is no time to be walking and chewing gum at the same time. It’s no time to be chewing gum at all — you might swallow it and then it’ll stick your stomach lining together and you will DIE! Do you want that? What is it with the Left and worshipping a culture of death? Why do these so-called "progressives" want to commit suicide for the sake of a few windfarms?

Anyway I kind of got sidetracked. But that’s my point — protesters, you must not get sidetracked if you want to get any "cut-through" with the powers that be! Pick your battles, organise your plan of attack, and then stick it to the man!

You won’t actually achieve anything, of course, but there’s no need to be greedy about it, commies.


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Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.