On Christmas day Occupy Auckland is supposed to be being moved on. I’m not going to talk about the pros and cons of this movement in this post but more about their presence in Aotea square in general.
One of the major arguments that the Auckland Council has put forward is that they are causing thousands of dollars of damage to the grass, trees etc. The actual price they’re quoting is debatable, as is the amount of damage. But what does this price equate to in real terms? A lot of people seem to be afraid of the protestors, or anti them purely because some of them are ‘Career protestors,’ (for me that doesn’t really wash because ‘career protestors’ have been responsible for real and important change). Another call is that they’re all dirty hippies, or intimidating or something but if you look closer, there’s the occasional guy in camo and with dreads but when I was in the square yesterday there was also a very nicely dressed older couple, and an Asian man in a suit etc etc.
So what I want to put forward is what’s better? Luscious grass or a square that’s buzzing with life. When else can you see people playing cricket in the heart of the city? Or a market, jazz band and group of campers all in the same place in the heart of a city? I think that if you forget about the fact that they’re protestors and just look a little closer you could see that something that has the potential to be very special is happening in Aotea Square, but come Christmas day that will be no more.
And maybe this is just my interpretation, but don’t you think it looks like Sir Dove Myer Robinson is cheering them on? And also, that first picture of the police with the protestor, they’re not looking away because they’re being stand offish, they’re looking away because they started giggling when I stopped to take their picture.