Occupy Treasury Gardens

Occupy Melbourne protesters set up camp in the Treasury Gardens. Picture: Norm Oorloff Herald Sun

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By: Aleks Devic  Herald Sun  November 03, 2011

About 60 anti-capitalist demonstrators set up overnight, with the lawn littered with tarps that are being used as makeshift beds.

OCCUPY Melbourne protesters have taken over Treasury Gardens “indefinitely”.

Protester Nick Carson today said they were not “camping” but rather “occupying open space to have discussions”.

By late today there

He said protesters were now widening the protest demanding change to health care, refugees, transport, education and aged care.

But he denied the group had lost focus of the original concept of why the protest started – to fight against big companies.

“This movement is the most significant social movement of our generation and it’s not going anywhere until fundamental changes are made,” Mr Carson said.

“It’s a complex social movement.

“We don’t have any goals or grievances and we are formulating a declaration.

“It’s definitely not a lost cause because it is enabling dialogue to be had.”

Mr Carson said the Treasury Gardens would be home to the movement “indefinitely”.

In Melbourne police and officers from Melbourne City Council have visited the site.

Protesters said they did not anticipate the violent chaos with police to happen at the location as seen in City Square last month.

But as the Melbourne protest attempts to dig in, a similar Occupy Brisbane movement seems all but over, with just 12 protesters remaining at the city’s King George Square after being evicted earlier.

Minutes before, key organisers posted on the Occupy Brisbane Facebook page to announce they had stepped down from the movement, alluding to “insurgency” and disunity in the group.

We believe the damage done to this movement in the last 24 hours is now irreparable,” they wrote.

“It seems obvious that a spirit of unity, peace and love is simply not as feasible here as it is in New York.

“We wish those on the ground the best of luck and goodwill. But we don’t care to join you at the moment.”

The protesters who remained in the square today sweltered in the afternoon sun, while around ten police officers kept watch nearby.

They remained adamant the group would rally for a general assembly at 5pm today and said a protest was planned at Queens Park at noon this Saturday.

One occupier named Kathy, who did not want her last name published, said tensions within the group were “inevitable” and denied the protest had been taken over by radicals.

“It’s not possible for one person or group to take control of a movement that sits on consensus-based decisions,” she said.

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