The mood at Occupy Melbourne yesterday was more Woodstock than Wall Street.
Economic conditions and employment rates in Australia are a world away from those in the US, let alone Greece. No Molotov cocktails on Swanston St then. Alongside posters exhorting ‘World revolution today!’ are others urging passers-by to smile, or reminding them that all you need is love.
There is something whimsical, almost bucolic about the Occupy Melbourne site: a waterside tent-village that everyone knows will soon disappear. City workers sip lattés a few metres away from earnest workshops on global peace and biodynamic farming. Children splash and giggle in what is usually a sterile ‘water feature’. It has to be said that the the tent-village, on aesthetic grounds alone, is arguably an improvement on the usual barren, sandy expanse of the City Square.
Will any of this make a difference? The pictures speak for themselves.