Once upon a time on the internet something both spontaneous and hilarious happens and last night was one of those nights. It may be that this was just a “you had to be there” kind of moments but as word went out on twitter to watch the #occupyBrisbane webstream it quickly became clear that we were watching something very special. No doubt my words can in no way replicate the experience of the live show, but I will try and summarise this failed revolution as best as I can.
For the uninitiated the Occupy protests are a spin off of the Occupy Wall Street protest that has been happening in New York for about a month now and in this past weekend several local Occupy protests have been started in Australian cities. Occupy Sydney and Melbourne seem to be the biggest and most organised, but these also seem to be more tightly controlled by the various socialist groups that regularly attend most left of centre protests. Quickly these protests morphed into the same Free Palestine/Capitalism is bad/Boycott Max Brenner of most far left protests of recent months.
Occupy Brisbane on the other hand had more of a touch of unpredictability about it, it seemed to be less professionally organised and acted as a magnet for various unrelated people who were angry at “the government” and “the man”. The real fun started when twitter found the live feed yesterday afternoon and the spontaneous hilarity it provided. As no-one recorded the feed I will attempt to try and explain some of the lulz, but it may very well be one of those “you had to be there” things that is lost on anyone who didnt originally see it. But anyway, here is a breif summary of some of the funniest bits of Occupy Brisbane.
Photo via @JamesCroft
Big pharmaceutical companies are suppressing cures for cancer.
Reserve bank, is part of the 1% and holding down the 99%
A colourful character referred to on twitter as “ute-guy” told a story of buying a nice ute via GE Money credit. When he failed to keep up with his repayments he was horrified when GE Money repossessed his ute. Presumably he was attending Occupy Brisbane to fight for a world where he doesnt have to pay for utes, or something.
Various anti-vaccinations, chemtrails and this being Queensland anti-fluoride in the water cranks giving their screed over the feed.
And then the real star of the show turned up, 18 year old Tayne or “DC Hat Guy” to his fans because of his Fred Durst style backwards skater hat. Some of the insightful gold from DC Hat Guy.
“The vibes are so good here that I havent smoked drugs for three days”
“People are not sleeping in Africa”
“We went to like round up some homeless people to give them food, it was rad”
“I don’t think this is a political thing, it’s an equality thing, i just want people to be happy. If people were happy that would be sick!”
But just like most revolutions it wasnt long until the revolution would be betrayed. For all the talk of freedom and direct democracy slowly and slowly the big wigs of occupy Brisbane got more and more reluctant to answer questions and engage in discussions with the live webstream. More and more often the moderators of this supposedly leaderless group would ban commenters from the stream and shut down debate entirely. It was the “some animals are more equal than others” moment for Occupy Brisbane. All the youthful idealism of an ideal world of three days ago was lost as the faceless men of the movement sought to control the flow of information from the movement. They even informed the webstream that the General Assembly would NOT be livestreamed. The move from open democracy to backroom dictatorship controlled by faceless men was around 72 hours.
But there was one idealist who stayed true to the belief of the revolution and it was the one and only DC Hat Guy. Over the livestream we saw DC Hat Guy stay true to the principles of the revolution to the autocrats in the movement. When they had an argument about freedom of speech in the movement and over the webstream the autocrats supported more banning and controlling of debate but DC Hat Guy gave an impassioned plea to stay true to their principles declaring
“They can troll the crap out of me, I don’t give a shit. Trolls are people too”
Threatened by DC Hat Guys popularity with the public as the unofficial face of the revolution the autocrats had a talk about keeping strict control over the webfeed. It could be the last we see of DC hat Guy as the faceless autocrats seek to make him an unPerson. So to the Leon Trotsky of this revolution, DC Hat Guy, we support you. They may silence you but they wont silence your message. For FREEDOM!
“If people were happy that would be sick”
Lots of people on twitter mentioning bits that I didn’t see, unfortunately I only saw a small part of last night so feel free to add your own highlights in the comments section.