Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Dunedin's Octagon has finally been vacated by the remaining members of the local Occupy movement.

According to the Otago Daily Times, one of the members, Kieran Trass, said it was unclear whether they would return, or what the next phase would entail.  And he added, This is not a battle to be won in the media. 

I'm not actually sure what he means by that...if it wasn't for the media, the movement wouldn't have had a fraction of the publicity they've had.   In fact, the media have been their protector on a number of occasions, particularly overseas, where it has highlighted injustices done to the members of the movement.

But it was Mr Trass' last statement that puzzles me.  He is reported to have said, I don't know why people seem to think we want to camp here, and why we want to be here for a long time. 

That calls for a 'Huh?' - a very loud one, in fact.

We know why they wanted to camp in the Octagon, surely.  They were 'occupying,' and were most aggrieved when the City Council threatened them with a trespass order.   If it hadn't been that the police somehow aligned freedom of assembly with some alleged right to take over a public place, to the detriment not only of the place but also to the inconvenience of the local users of it, they would have been long gone.

As to why they wanted to be there for a long time, it has surely come from their own statements to this effect.   It's been part of the Occupy movement's approach around the world: to occupy and stay. 

Come on, Mr Trass - many of us agree with what you're protesting about.  Don't treat us like idiots because you've finally decided, apparently of your own accord, to suddenly go home for Christmas.

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