I travelled by 86 tram with a group from the City Square, and it seemed an appropriate beginning that Melbourne City Council officials were there to request the removal of Occupy signage - please do not despair, minions, life can be more meaningful, as we were all about to demonstrate.
When we arrived at Martin Ferguson's Preston electorate office, an advance protest party was already there in force, as was a contingent of Victorian and Australian Federal Police with enough vehicles to give the strange impression of an outdoor law enforcement vehicle showroom.
It was a cause of some amusement to the gathering that Ferguson's office had been closed in response to the protest on "occupational health and safety" grounds. It occurred to me then that if Ferguson is allowed to continue with his lust for burning and exporting fossil fuels, we might just have to close the planet. Fortunately, many worthy campaigners stand in the way.
Among these was Quit Coal's Shaun Murray, recent author of a powerful opinion piece making the case for democratic protest against coal, and giving the lie to Ferguson's spin regarding the imaginary "risks" posed by protest groups.
Murray had earlier participated in a very funny Tuesday protest filmed to the accompaniment of music from Get Smart.
The addresses continued with Friends of the Earth's Dr Jim Green on Ferguson's complementary delusion that we should not only burn or sell all our coal, we should sell uranium too in a dangerous pretence of action on climate change.
Historian and ALP member Wil Wallace voiced his own disappointment at the party he has followed, a disappointment he has channelled into participatory democracy and protest.
Sadly, we also heard testimony of spying on lawful and peaceful coal protests, including on children, in Queensland and elsewhere - spying that simply isn't justified on any public interest basis - whether or not, as one speaker rightly pointed out, that spying is undertaken by government, or by private agencies directed by government, such as the National Open Source Intelligence Centre (NOSIC).
In accordance with the participatory nature of Occupy, everyone was afforded an opportunity to take a turn with the microphone, so I decided I would also say a few words, transcribed here from my notebook scrawls:
The protest wrapped up with a group photo and chalked messages on the footpath in front of Ferguson's office (my own, "Regards, DL-H"). This was a positive protest organised to communicate a very serious message, and I commend Occupy Melbourne for their democratic achievement.
The Australian Federal Police are here not to repel any real threat from us - we are lawful and peaceful protesters.
They are, however, here to defend a threat - to protect and perpetuate the threat of Martin Ferguson to our climate.
We are here today thanks to Occupy Melbourne, to Say No to NOSIC, to say no to spying on behalf of private interests against public interest campaigners seeking a safer climate. We are here to oppose those who work for the benefit of the 1% against the common good.
We are here to say no to that, and to send a message to Martin Ferguson and the Gillard Labor Government, that the 99% will be heard, that they will be heard on the globally urgent question of climate.
P.S. Don't forget Friday is National Check in with Martin Ferguson Day. Please ensure your heart is in the right place, and report on yourself to help the government save money on spies!