Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Melbourne Being Evicted

Robert Doyle is claiming that there are legal grounds for evicting the Occupy Melbourne protesters.

To me, that sounds hollow. We live in a country with very few constitutionally guaranteed rights. This includes the right to assembly. What laws can't be enacted at the federal level can almost always be enacted at the state level.

So sure, the protesters will probably be committing some legal wrong.

But when people aren't given the rights to which they are entitled, sometimes, they've just got to take them. Doyle can claim that he is "in the right," but this is a time where legal rights do not correspond with moral or ethical rights.

He wants to reclaim the square for the people, but guess what... The people are already there. They just want to stay there. He really wants to reclaim it for as an empty space, or perhaps for people acting as consumers, but not for people acting as citizens.

Shame, Robert Doyle. You are in the Liberal Party. What do you think Liberal means?

Edit: Premier Baillieu's comments that the protesters "should do it in a way that does not cause disruption" show a misunderstanding of the point of protests. Protests occur when people feel like their problems are not being listened to or dealt with. To do that in a way where their protest is ignoreable completely defeats the purpose, because shockingly, if the protesters can be ignored, the protesters will be ignored.

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