Friday 14 October 2011

Occupy Sydney Day 1

Saturday October 15.

14:38 I arrived at Martin Place Train Station.

After a rain that lasted all night and continued through the morning, a magnificent Sydney springtime afternoon (22 C).

More people than I expected, to be honest.

At the lousy loudspeaker, a lady on a wheel chair. I couldn't quite catch her meaning, but she was speaking about Aboriginal issues.

Many attendants were quite young, with that nice middle-class kid and uni student look to them. Big smiles in their faces. It's hard to believe, but once I probably looked like that.

Mostly lefties (from all flavours: tiny groups, micro-groups. atomic-size groups), but some "libertarians", as well. You could tell them because they were more serious, as befitting Young Liberals, I guess.

But there were other people too. Some older, probably long-time left-wing militants; middle-aged migrants protesting the Iran regime, or supporting this cause or that; refugee supporters, working-class looking people, including Maritime Union members; young backpackers and other more adult tourists speaking German and some Scandinavian language; some young Asian tourists having great fun, raising their fists clenched and laughing; ordinary looking people, pushing prams.

The Maritime Union stocky guy spoke well, very articulate and with excellent pronunciation: he did not really need a loudspeaker.

No apparent Greens or mainstream parties representation. Many cameras, but not a single one seemed to be mainstream media. No TV network vans.

Plenty of police around, but without riot gear and a rather relaxed air to them. Some of them were smiling: the nice weather, I tell you.

A group of well-dressed Caucasian adults were seating along Macquarie Street, away from the crowd, when a lefty militant distributing fliers approached them. Suddenly, one of the well-dressed guys, overweight, fortish, started yelling at the lefty: "why don't you ask for airstrikes against Syria?".

His companions, perhaps a bit uncomfortable with the attention they were attracting, tried to calm him down, but fatso would not stop. Finally, they and the lefty militant left him seating there.

There were also some Lyndon LaRouche fans, at the edges of the crowd. After speaking with some ladies, the skinny, gray hair, middle-aged man, with evident reluctance, decided to speak to me (after all, the wog -yours truly, that is- was the only one who seemed interested).

It takes all sorts, I guess.

15:52 I left. I have to work tonight.

15-10-2011 Zuccotti Park Cleanup Canceled, Occupy Wall Street Protesters Claim Victory. ABC News (US)
16-10-2011 "Indignants all over the world" photo gallery. O Globo (Brazil)
Occupy protests live blog Aljazeera in English

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