Never read the comments. They'll just make you angry. I've been keeping up with the mainstream media's (read: the Dominion Post's) response to the rather New Zealand sized occupation of the grassier areas of Civic Square.
I'm seeing again and again comments about the occupiers both here and overseas being dirty, filthy and a health risk. I even saw one accusation of faeces being left on a staircase at Occupy Wellington. What is it with this continual theme of filth anyway? A sociologist could probably have a heap of fun unpacking that one.
I'm also hearing the other side, stories of a remarkable self-organising leaderless global movement. So I went down to see for myself.
What I found was a crowd of probably 50-100 people, some of whom, yes, had dreads, but none appeared so filthy that I'd be reluctant to sit next to them on the bus (not something that can be said for all users of public transport in Wellington). What were they doing? Listening to a lecture on global economics, money markets and the effect of near instantaneous communications and the wider media on them. The phrase "ends up as a Ponzi scheme" came up several times. I wish I'd managed to catch the beginning of the talk.
Yaknow, I can think of worse ways for people, employed or unemployed, young or old, dreads or no dreads, to spend a Saturday afternoon, than getting educated about this thing that is affecting all of us right now. I wonder what's on the programme for tomorrow.
Also, the council that's being called upon to evict the Occupiers? That's their logo on the blue marquee they've loaned the Occupation. Make of that what you will.