The people of Brisbane have many reasons to join the global occupy movement. Living costs are rising, while the state government is bent on privatising the state’s public services and has endorsed the expansion of the destructive and unwanted coal seam gas industry.
In line with the international day of action for real democracy on October 15, the “99%” in Brisbane will meet at Post Office square in the city at 9am. Protesters plan to occupy for as long as is necessary.
As with the occupy movement in the US, the exact demands of the occupy protest will be determined through by the democratic assembly held at the event itself.
At first, there was some confusion over the event due to the existence of two separate organising groups, one calling for an occupy action on October 15, and another calling for a planning meeting the next day to discuss organising an occupy action at some point in the future.
This division has been overcome and, according to one organiser Kate Haskett, the two groups are now “completely unified and working together with the same vision and values”. The meeting on October 16 will now include all participants to discuss next steps for the movement.
A lively four-hour organising meeting was held on October 9 for Saturday’s, attended by more than 15 local activists and community members. The meeting discussed issues of democratic procedure, security, supplies, media and culture.
When asked what the occupy movement means in an Queensland or Australian context, Haskett downplayed the differences between states and nations, instead focussing on what unites people around the world.
She said: “The people feel angry, they feel tired of being in debt and being unheard, of working hard in a system that creates division based on fear, inequality, competition, power, greed, corruption and basic survival needs.”