The Tent Monster Incident: What is our problem with Occupy Melbourne?

It’s all too easy for someone like me to sit here at my comfortable desk, on my comfortable chair, typing away on my relatively new laptop funded by my comfortable job, and judge the Occupy Melbourne protesters as an absolute joke. What are they complaining about? I wonder out loud.

We live in a city devoid of most of the major power imbalances of the USA. Our rich are the most taxed individuals, we’ve just passed a lofty Resource Rent tax specifically designed to take the huge profits away and pour that back into taxpayer dollars. Our cities spend millions upon millions to provide us with jobs, clean streets, morale-boosting sights and culture, so that Australia, when compared to the rest of the world, is the world’s envy.

Sure, not every single citizen has it good, but on average, we’re doing pretty darn well. Our poverty and unemployment is comparatively very low, our median wage vs cost of living is comparatively the second or third highest of any nation in the world, and our economy is not wallowing in sickening levels of public debt thanks to overspending. Add to that, we’re setting an example the rest of the world, even if only symbolically, by penalising businesses who pollute.

So what is driving the remaining Occupy Melbourne protesters? Is it boredom? Is it that they think camping out with their friends, annoying police and trying to get on TV is fun? The below video certainly seems to portray them like the laughing stock we tend to think they are.

What kind of people are these? They look like a creative bunch of attention-seeking twenty-somethings, defiant and continuing to be a nuisance for a cause that has no actual solution but the total dissemination of capitalist society as we know it.

Yes, it’s far, far too easy for me to cast judgement on these people. But at the same time, I have to admit this is highly creative. It has taken some brilliant brainstorming and planning on the part of the Occupy protesters to come up with yet another loophole to Victorian law against camping or squatting in public parks and spaces. It has even become inspiration to other Occupy movements elsewhere in the world. This of course reinforces that these protesters are clever, well educated people who, if they would actually put this much effort into job hunting rather than protesting, could quite easily get a job. The reason they do not work, is not because they are lazy or downtrodden, but because they do not believe in being a part of the society they studied through secondary and tertiary education to, ironically, become part.

Watching this video above, it is easy for me to judge that they would rather prance around in beautifully maintained, free public gardens indefinitely funded by the society they so condemn. What else is their point?

The point to all of this, however, is brilliantly and shockingly revealed upon viewing this next video:

This is exactly what the Occupy protesters were hoping for. Exactly, because this reveals the dark undercurrent of the society we all live in. There actually is no freedom, here. We live in an illusion of freedom, an Orwellian world where on the outside, everything looks like it is pristine and great and the envy of the world, but only if you don’t step even slightly out of line. If you try to be anything other than sheeple, you will be, quite literally, cut down.

THE Ethical Standards Department is investigating a physical assault complaint over an incident in which police stripped an Occupy Melbourne protester down to her underwear.
“This is not consensual!’’ she says as police work to tear the tent off her body. “Don’t take my clothes off!’’
After a minor scuffle police are filmed walking away with the tent, leaving the distressed woman semi-naked and cowering on the grass.

Police said they advised protesters that if they chose not to wear clothes under the tents, they would be given reasonable time to dress before the structures were seized.

”Three of the four protesters co-operated and evacuated their tents. The fourth, a female, refused to comply with direction,” police said.

According to Occupy Melbourne spokesperson Tal Slome, “Sarah” was just out of high school and was “extremely distressed” by the incident.
Ms Slome described the incident as a “completely unnecessary form of brutality. Who decides what constitutes clothing in our society?”

Read more:

I think the girl is right. Given reasonable time to dress in other clothing or not, existing laws here were not blurred by the girl: they clearly were not broken at all. Wearing a tent as a costume does not constitute camping, and besides being an irritation to the ill-prepared council officers and police who were taken by surprise, she was acting 100% within the law. How can we be proud to live in a so-called democracy if police can give citizens notice that they are about to break the law themselves by cutting you out of your clothes because you’re annoying?

This protest doesn’t warrant creating new laws on the spot, abusing people’s personal space, and it disgusts me that this is the level our law enforcement stoops to in order to ensure otherwise totally harmless and innocent individuals go back to acting like society drones.

I could understand this level of action from police if the people in question harbored weapons or had plans to blow up buildings. But we’re talking about citizens here, merely expressing free will and protesting in a non-extreme way. The most disgusting part is that – you watch – like it or not, no action whatsoever will be taken against police acting in this way, now or in the future.

What is our problem with the Occupy movement? What is our problem with harmless, law abiding protests, even if most of us think it’s stupid? If a tiny minority of morons want to run around our parks in tents for a laugh, I don’t have to condone it, but they should be free to do so.

So congratulations, Occupy Melbourne. You’ve made me aware of a worrying trend that seems to run deep in our society.

Should we not be freer than this?

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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Crime, Events, Multiculturalism, People, Politics, Law

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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28 Comments on “The Tent Monster Incident: What is our problem with Occupy Melbourne?”

  1. Krystle Mizzi
    December 7, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    The police were right in what they did. This idiot was given a clear direction, she does not pay tax and has raped our education system for all the resouces and is not going to give back to society for which she has taken. It is all too easy to play the battered woman syndrone these days and quite frankly, I am over retards like this. Good on you cops, job well done.

  2. Jp
    December 8, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    I cannot believe that anyone could see this as anything other than flagrant sexual assault.

    It sickens me that our police are allowed and condoned in their actions. These are the people we are supposed to be able to call for help to in times of distress. I cannot imagine feeling safe in the hands of the Victorian Police force.

    • December 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

      I am with you. The sexual assault apologists and victim blaming is sickening! It shows a general lack of understand of 1) the law 2) this protest and then also shows people enjoy writing inflammatory comments for fun, which makes them pretty despicable people!

  3. James Hill
    December 8, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Firstly, there’s an ethical standards inquiry into the case, so the comparisons to some kind of Orwellian police state aren’t valid, because everyone– even idiots– are entitled to have their grievances heard.

    Personally, I have no problems with the police’s actions in this case. The Occupy protesters cooked up a way to create a confrontation with the police, and then cried about it when they lost that confrontation with the police. Just because the tent monster prank was “clever” doesn’t detract away from the fact that they’re a public nuisance and wasting tax payer money and police resources. The Occupy movement is not a protest movement, it’s simply a neutered mob: it’s what happens in Western countries when people unfamiliar with violence try to riot. After 3+ months they still don’t have a coherent set of demands or even a coherent set of grievances. How much longer should they be allowed to waste everyone’s time?

    • December 8, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      I agree with you commenters above that a) they’re a nuicance, b) they’re stupid/idiots, c) wasting tax payer money and resources and d) not giving back to society. Nevertheless, so what? They are still free to be loathed and act like this if they want to. Others out there who are wasting tax payers money in quieter ways, such as raping the Centrelink system for bong money and remaining unemployed, are also allowed to do so. My problem isn’t that the cops intervened. They were entitled to intervene, by issuing them hefty fines. You don’t give cops knives and allow them to literally slice you out of your possessions. No. They can arrest you, or fine you, but that girl should have remained wearing the costume. I don’t care how fucking tired we all are of these losers. Law enforcement needs to do things by the book. The enquiry won’t achieve anything unless there is sustained public outcry, which is what this piece is hopefully helping to highlight. Cops are also responsible for wasting their own resources on this small harmless bunch of hippies. Leave them alone to “pretend to camp out in the park” and go do something useful.

      • James Hill
        December 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

        Occupy Melbourne have been camping in public grounds in violation of local laws and the police had authority to seize camping gear. This stunt was an attempt to circumvent that rule by pretending a tent costume isn’t camping gear. I think the police should have arrested her for being a public nuisance and thrown her in the can for four hours when she refused to remove the tent. In retrospect, that’s probably what the police wish they did. In any event, the internal investigation will reveal if the police breached their own ethics by cutting her out of her costume.

        Honestly though? I’ll be happy if the investigation finds that the police acted ethically and this woman is entitled to zero compensation from VicPol and the Victorian tax payer. She put herself in that situation, she chose to put on a tent without putting on appropriate clothing underneath and she chose to not comply with the police when they made a lawful request.

        I don’t think there’ll be any significant public outcry about this. After seeing what happened in London when the police there took a soft hand with rioters, I don’t think ordinary Australians want to risk something like that happening in our own back yard. It’s best to come down hard on a small group of malcontents than play their stupid games and risk sending the message that the police are weak and unable to enforce the law.

    • December 9, 2011 at 11:06 am #

      Let me summarise thisd comemnt for people who find it TL;DR “women put themselves in situations and invite sexual assault. Its theiuir fault”

      • December 9, 2011 at 11:12 am #

        whoops, spelling fail. Let me summarise this comment for people who find it TL;DR “women put themselves in situations and invite sexual assault. It’s their fault”

        • jimmy
          December 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

          If the Police had cut the tent off a man it would not have been sexual assault. Why is the fact that she is a woman change the situation? Stop being ridiculous! She was taunting Police in flagrant violation of the law and she paid for it. I am of the opinion that the boys and girls in blue should be allowed a firmer hand in general. The law is way too soft in Australia and as a result it has led to a lack of respect for the Police and the law its self! While I think they probably should have just arrested her for loitering, I would be deeply disappointed if the Police involved were penalised in any way and down right pissed off if that ridiculous woman receives any compensation!

          • December 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

            Actually it would have been if it was a man too.

        • James Hill
          December 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

          For the uninitiated: MarlaR is using the modern feminist definition of sexual assault which is “anything that happens that a woman later regrets.”

          • December 12, 2011 at 1:54 am #

            What? You mean the mythical ‘women cry wolf syndrome’. For those uninitiated: James Hill or Jimmyh888 is using the modern rape/assault apologist definition of sexual assault which is “She wanted it anyway/she asked for it/flaunted it/chose to be assaulted. Oh, and then had a whinge later.” Yeah……….. yr right on the ball there James.

            • jimmy
              December 12, 2011 at 2:52 am #

              MarlaR, so no woman in all of human history has ever cried wolf eh? Rape and sexual assault are, as even a simpleton would know, horrific and unforgivable crimes. False allegations of these crimes are very real and just as despicable!

            • December 12, 2011 at 9:42 am #

              The fact she is stuck outside in her underwear after they remove the supposedly “law violating” tent “costume” still doesn’t make it sexual assault. Yes, I have a problem with enforcement decision to get in there with knives and cutters instead of simply issuing a fine, but come on. Nothing about this was sexual in any way.

            • James Hill
              December 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

              Nope, I never said anything close to that MarlaR. You’re either making a strawman argument because you’re afraid to defend your point of view, or you’re so outraged you’ve lost your reading comprehension. Both reactions are pretty common in hysterical, emotionally unhinged people. Your attempt to equate sexual assault with someone dumb enough to wear a tent after being warned her tent would be removed is laughable. Congratulations on trivializing sexual assaults to try to further your agenda.

        • Krystle Mizzi
          December 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

          Get over yourself. It’s lefties like you that makes makes the general population vomit. The woman clearly created this situation is now crying sex assult. The general population can see through the feminist bull that is being played out hear and generally support right and wrong. This lefty retard is clearlt in the wrong!

          • December 12, 2011 at 1:55 am #

            Your spelling is awful, and so is your argument. Also – your mocking of people with a disability is pretty gross.

            • jimmy
              December 12, 2011 at 2:59 am #

              Oh dear, your starting to sound sound a little sad now champ… Do you seriously think this is anything more than a bored hippy with too much time on her hands manufacturing controversy?

              • James Hill
                December 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

                Jimmy, your mocking of hippies is pretty gross. I’m going to cry into my organic, hemp based poncho about it.

  4. Anonymous
    December 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Im with K Mizzi well said . Just another gig being put on by a bunch of professional students eating up and using the resources of our already stretched police. Pack up your tents and go get a job.

    Maybe ,someone will give them a job repairing and putting back in order our public spaces. Better still some of their spare time could be given free to volunteer to the needy in their community. That would win them 100 brownie points in the eyes of people.

  5. Diane
    December 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Here I am thinking I’ve found an intelligent debate about this issue and have to read through more reactionary, narrow-minded hyperbole about “getting jobs” and “tax-payers money.” Whether you disagree with their actions or not, you know nothing about their private lives. It was retaliatory by the police after being made fools of. Unless they thought she was carrying a concealed weapon underneath they had no right to remove her clothing, tent or otherwise. It was a violation of basic human rights. How is pointing out terrible conditions in other countries relevant anyway. How do you think people won the freedoms that we enjoy? I’m sure the suffragettes were ridiculed also yet how many women would give up the right to vote? Why don’t you visit the occupy website and inform yourself of what they are actually trying to achieve. If we live in such a great society why are there so many abused children, murders, rapes, mental illnesses, stress related illnesses etc
    Capitalism is not the great panacea for the problems in the world. Look at what is happening in America. Wake up!Change is necessary and inevitable. We are destroying our environment and our society is imploding. Have you got an alternative? The world ends not with a bang but a whimper? An apathetic one

    • James Hill
      December 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      Has the message of the protestors changed significantly since the original Occupy protests in the city square? I was at those, and the only people there with thought out agendas were the socialist alliance, climate change activists and refugee activists. Sorry, but they’re no the 99% of Australians and people like the socialist alliance aren’t even 99% of Australia’s left.

      I don’t know if Occupy Melbourne (or Sydney etc.) noticed, but there has been quite a bit of ill will directed against the big four banks over the last few days when it looked like they weren’t going to pass on interest rate cuts to borrowers. If the Occupy movement had any kind of structure and purpose they could have capitalized on that, instead they were in the paper clashing with the police again. Occupy Melbourne seem to think that if they make a big enough nuisance of themselves that they’ll somehow get what they want, even if they don’t bother to articulate what that is either. What happens instead is they get shut down.

      • December 12, 2011 at 9:47 am #

        James – they certainly suck at their goal. But isn’t it ironic that you and everyone else can see what they “should” be capitalising on, how they “could” be doing it better….. Yeah, no one wants to leave a movement to an incapable bunch of hipsters, but that irony still says something to me.

        • James Hill
          December 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

          You find it ironic that I refuse to join an organisation that I think is fundamentally broken and totally at odds with how I’d go about resolving the issues? The American Nazi party are pretty upset about the state of the financial industry too, but I don’t plan on joining them any time soon either.

          • December 14, 2011 at 9:51 am #

            Who said anything about joining them? They’re free to do what they want: and I’d much rather have Occupy protesters in my streets than Neo Nazis, thank you very much.

            • James Hill
              December 14, 2011 at 11:30 am #

              Haha, I can certainly agree with you on that, Andrew *uptwinkles*

  6. March 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Who are the police to judge what constitutes clothing? Look at the crap that Lady Gaga gets away with wearing in public.
    The Victorian Police would rather see this young lady cowering on the ground in next to nothing than be shrouded in a tent? What does this say about our society?
    Everyone is up in arms about her disobeying the police, but lets examine why the police think it is so utterly unacceptable to wear a tent in public. Because its not normal? Because it makes people stand up and take notice? We all are meant to comform and sit here like mindless drones…and god help us if we stand up and do anything different (afterall, the police can give any riddiculous directive they please and we’re expected to obey without thinking twice). If any other member of the public had fprcibly stripped this woman down to her underwear, they’d be thrown in jail without anyone batting an eyelid. The police themselves have become the criminals. Bring on Prime Law!

  7. March 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Who are the police to judge what constitutes clothing? Look at the crap that Lady Gaga gets away with wearing in public.
    The Victorian Police would rather see this young lady cowering on the ground in next to nothing than be shrouded in a tent? What does this say about our society?
    Everyone is up in arms about her disobeying the police, but lets examine why the police think it is so utterly unacceptable to wear a tent in public. Because its not normal? Because it makes people stand up and take notice? We all are meant to comform and sit here like mindless drones…and god help us if we stand up and do anything different (afterall, the police can give any riddiculous directive they please and we’re expected to obey without thinking twice). If any other member of the public had forcibly stripped this woman down to her underwear, they’d be thrown in jail without anyone batting an eyelid. The police themselves have become the criminals. Bring on Prime Law!

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