A few people I’m friends with have been talking the last few days about #OccupySydney, some are even going to participate this weekend (on Saturday the 15th at Martin Place from 2pm onwards, for anyone wondering).
I’ve been looking through some of the Facebook pages, blogs, websites set up around this as well as to news articles talking about the problems, and I’m still at a bit of a loss as to why?
Sure, there are lots of problems with our society and our systems at the current point in time. Some (but not all) are listed quite well here so I won’t really bring them up again.
One of the biggest problems being complained about is that upper management, directors, CEO’s etc are getting huge pay increases while those struggling to survive day to day are getting increases below the rate at which living costs are increasing.
All worthy things to complain about, sure. I can understand that much of #OccupySydney. The area I’m struggling to understand is what the goals of the protest and movement are. What exactly are the organisers and those attending wanting to achieve from the protests and occupation?
The best I have found so far is from this site linked to earlier – up the very top of the page they state “The Occupy Sydney Assembly demands Bank reform putting people before banks and society before economy”.
Well, that’s great. Could you be a little more specific? Exactly what reforms are you after? “putting people before banks and society before economy” is a broad idealism, it doesn’t even start to explain exactly what reforms they’re after.
So far, as far as I can tell it is little more than a bunch of people getting together to make noise for the fun of it. As my gf put it “But chanting is fun! It’s like being in a cult, besides the giving up your life savings bit “. It’s akin to changing your avatar on Twitter or Facebook and going EVERYONE LOOK AT ME I R ACTIVIST I R GUD!
Sure maybe a handful of people will look at you for a few moments, then they’ll get bored, go back to what they were doing, and absolutely nothing will change. A whole lot of smoke and noise for nothing.
Until it get some goals and objectives, it is quite literally pointless.
Edit 10:50am 11/10/2011: After a few conversations on twitter I’ve decided to add one more thing to this post. Although I am calling this particular protest pointless due to their lack of goals, there are occasions where activism/protesting can quite happily have no specific goals other than raising awareness and still have a point. The prime example I can give here is Anonymous vs Scientology, and another would be Skeptics vs Alt-Med. The reasons why “awareness” works as a goal in these situations is because the general public would not know the facts about these situations without awareness. This lack of awareness about the reality of the Cult of Scientology and the ineffectiveness of Alt Med are the main reasons these things continue so strongly in society.