Yellow Vests Australia- Week 1
The first Yellow Vest protests have begun in Capital cities and some regional towns. Attendance has been quite low in the first week, which has led to some people expressing their frustration, also lamenting the fact that there has been no mainstream media coverage.
I was part of the Occupy Melbourne protest in late 2011, which, surprisingly (not) protested the same thing : banking, corporate and political corruption. Plenty of fringe elements there , but few people from the mainstream. Kept going for two months at the time, then Christmas came and it never recovered, although people were involved in a variety of protests afterwards, the weekly Free Shop/Free Kitchen at City Square corner being the most visible.
We protested the imprisonment of Bradley Manning ( who was pardoned) The TPP, which has been scaled down and abandoned by the US, Monsanto ,and staged a mock- funeral for the career of Robert Doyle, the Melbourne Mayor responsible for the OM evictions. (He left in disgrace a few years ago) We tried to help Julian Assange, which so far has not worked, but I’m sure he was glad of the support coming from Melbourne
Most Australians are like a slow boiled frog : wages have not gone up in 20 odd years, house prices through the roof, unfettered immigration and foreign ownership , corporates not paying tax ….but people are still managing, somewhat …or maybe they are not and think it’s their fault. Maybe things have not come to a head as they have in France or maybe we are too laid back? By and large, people still do not understand what is going on, it’s too abstract for the average person unless there is an enormous housing/employment crisis.
The Occupy movement was unsustainable, as an ongoing camp proved a logistic nightmare on top of the ongoing police evictions.
The Yellow vest movement may have a chance because of the hi-vis vests and protests on weekend so wage-slaves can attend, going into autumn and winter when protesting is a lot easier than in the heat. I would give it at least 6 months and don’t worry about the mainstream media at this stage.
I understand the frustration of lack of numbers but without the Occupy movement, small as individual protests may have been, we would not be having this conversation right now. It takes years to change things.