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PHOTOS FROM M1 DEMONSTRATION
WORSE THAN MINDLESS THUGS.
THE M1 EXPOSED. AND CHALLENGED!
They smashed windows, they screamed slogans, they burned
effigies, they hurled paint, they pushed, hit, threatened, swore, and
shouted down dissenters. They terrorised the innocent. Were the M1
protesters mindless thugs? No. Something much worse.
On May 1, 2001, The "M1" demonstrators rallied in every city around
Australia. Their goal was to stage a "peaceful protest." which "Shut
Down Corporate Australia". Doesn't make sense? It does actually, from a
very particular perspective as you'll find out shortly.
PRODOS.COM reporters were on the scene in 4 capital cities to speak
directly with the these highly articulate idealists and to expose their
ideas and ideology of violence.
But! . . . As you will hear and as you will read in the notes below, PRODOS.COM went one step further.
In Perth we challenged - physically and philosophically (yes, you read it right) - one of the human blockades. Thus allowing some of the workers to get through to their place of work.
This is not just your typical sensationalist reporting. PRODOS.COM has made history. PRODOS.COM is not only the world's most
pro capitalist media outlet, but the first to have, on the job, a team
of ardently pro capitalist reporters. And we haven't just reported on
the "liveliest" scenes. We have brought you M1's head on a platter. At
least the ideas in the heads of those who created and drove M1.
I guess that's why PRODOS.COM really is the biggest, brainiest, blockbuster show on the planet! But you already knew that, right? ;-)
The PRODOS.COM reporters were:
Adelaide: Jerome Symons
Perth: Matthew White
Sydney: Paul Wright
(Thanks also to Renee Sobczak, Steve Clancy & Monica Muski)
Highlights and observations from the demos, transcripts of interviews
with demonstrators. Also interview with billionaire author, Robert Kiyosaki. And with Australian actor Robert Veitch.
- RealPlayer coordinates
00.00 = 9.00 AM Melbourne & Sydney, 8.30 AM Adelaide, 7.00 AM Perth.
Melbourne - MP
McDonalds in Collins Street has been closed down.
Banners reading: CANCEL THIRD WORLD DEBT, MCDONALD'S KILLS, ELIMINATE CORPORATE PARASITES, UNIONISE MACDONALDS
Sydney - Paul Wright
About 100 media people present, Bridge Street & Pitt Street.
Banner reading: Receiver of stolen goods - Yallourn Energy, Mobil, Shell
Melbourne protestor, Rob:
McDonalds exploits children ... Destroys environment ... Destroys local
environment ... F**ks over the local workers ... Is anti union ...
We're sick of the way they treat people, workers, young children ...
Our goal is shut them (the corporations) down ... Not prepared to put
up with corporate greed any more ... We're prepared to come out on the
street and defend our rights ... To stop them pushing the line of
Paul Wright reads out signs demanding East Timor get 100% of its
oil royalties - "RECEIVERS OF STOLEN GOODS ... YALLOURN ENERGY, MOBIL,
Perth Reporter - Matthew White
Just after 7.00 AM. Large police presence. Few demonstrators at this
stage. 60 have started to blockade Perth Stock Exchange building.
Perth Demonstrator: Shaun, (Irish accent?)
We're here to stop the stock exchange and get the message out ... We
want a world that works in the interests of people, not for the profit
of a few ... We want to blockade it (the stock exchange building), stop
people getting in ... disrupt some of the activities ... The stock
exchange symbolises some of the worst excesses of the profit driven
corporate system ... Capitalism works in the interests of a small
minority of people. It impoverishes people on the material side.
But more than that it separates people from having power over their own
lives, over what they want their lives to be like, what they want the
world to be like. It destroys the environment. But it also makes
people's lives quite hollow. So we want to try to provide an
alternative here. It's not just a negative thing. We're not just saying
it's a terrble system. We want to provide an alternative. (To say that)
life can be better than that.
Adelaide reporter - Jerome Symons
About 8.45 AM in Adelaide. 150 demonstrators.
Perth counter demonstrator, Lorraine
PRODOS: Are you in favour of capitalism?
Lorraine: We're in favour of free trade. And we believe free
trade is the best way to raise the standard of living in Australia ...
We believe that a large proportion of young people do support free
trade ... And we don't really think that many of the M1 protesters
understand the issues of really know what they're here for ... Haven't
seen violence ... hoping there's be no violence ... not expecting there
Adelaide. Demonstrator and legal adviser, Willa
Willa: I'm here to protest against the expansion of
globalisation beacause (as I see it) it's givem more power to
corporations (over) indigenous rights in many countries. It causes more
environmental degradation than any other practice. In Australia it's
causing less power in the state and more power invested in a small
number of people which is contributing to an unequal distribution of
Willa: (As a legal adviser here today I'm here) to help people understand their legal rights within this protest.
Willa: Also because I believe that the legislative mechanism
allowing corporations to take more power are actually resulting in an
extreme erosion of rights for many people ... The purpose of M1 is to
shut down the stock exchange to voice huge dissent about the way the
power is being controlled in Australia
Willa: (As a legal adviser I'm) there to ensure that any
interaction between police and protesters doesn't involve any breach of
rights (and) that the police use due process in arresting anyone and in
all their interactions basically. Also to inform people of their rights
in the law (as they are) exercising their right to protest.
Perth reporter - Matthew White
Small blockade formed at entrance to Perth stock exchange. About 8 people.
Matthew verbally tests blockade. Asks to be let through. Reports: "They're not letting me through"
Interview with Perth blockader, Matt
PRODOS: Are you prepared to physically prevent people from entering the building?
Matt: (We're) just demonstrating against the (signatures) of the corporate world and the corporate domination of Australia.
PRODOS: Why have you chosen this strategy? To "Shut Down
Corporate Australia"? If our reporter, Matthew White, wants to go
through, will you let him through?
Matt: Unfortunately no. No people are getting through whatsoever.
PRODOS: If he attempts to get through, what will you do?
Matt: We'll stand here and hold our ground basically. We wouldn't sock him or anything, that would be just wrong.
Matt: Capitalism is exploiting the poor people so that the rich
people can get more money. If you've got money you can make money. If
you don't have money you can't make money.
Matt: I would like to see a fairer distribution of the wealth
we've got now. And putting an end to rich people controlling everything.
Adelaide reporter - Jerome Symons.
Workers were getting into the Adelaide stock exchange building.
John, blockader at Perth stock exchange.
PRODOS.COM asks him why people are being let through. John responds
that there are not yet enough people there yet to effect a blockade ...
to stop people getting through ... that the proportion of police are
still too high. The police are pushing the blockaders out of the way to
let people (workers) come in.
PRODOS: If my reporter wants to go through, will you let him through?
John: Yes (but then he wanders off, away from the blockade.)
PRODOS.COM Perth reporter, Matthew White, tests blockade
Matthew White: (to blockaders) John said I could go through.
Matthew gets through.
Adelaide. Jerome Symons.
Reports that protest seems ineffectual.
Melbourne. Reporter, MP.
High school students at protest.
McDonalds is closed down. About 20 police inside McDonalds. About 2,000 protesters nearby.
Sydney. Reporter Paul Wright.
Paul Wright, inside McDonalds across the road from the stock exchange,
watching protests and eating a Big Mac in "a moment of corporate
No blockade, no violence. 200 cops. 1,000 demonstrators.
Melbourne, Reporter, MP
McDonalds continues to be defaced. Signs carried by protesters: VEGAN
JIHAD (Holy War), RONAL MCDONALD IS A PEDOPHILE. No-one can get into
Melbourne stock exchange building due to blockade.
Seven students from Saint Mary's College. One of the students, Tony,
says they don't agree with M1 and they are there to display St Mary's
colors and to indicate "not all University students are like what
people are here"
MP confirms from police officer that no one has been able
to enter Melbourne stock exchange. Not many protesters but very loud.
Paul Wright reports that a combie van full of protesters has
just driven onto Pitt Street in Sydney. Lots of media present ("it's a
scrum") making it difficult to see or get close.
Famous Australian actor, Michael Veitch talks with PRODOS.COM
PRODOS: Do you support M1 and their goal to "Shut Down Corporate Australia"?
Michael Veitch: Yes, absolutely! I'm completely in favour of it
on all sorts of levels ... There are some wonderful traits about
Australia but one of the less attractive ones is how typically
compliant and complacent we are ...
PRODOS: About what?
Michael Veitch: About injustice. About inequality. All those
basic fundamentals of why we live in an inequitable society and in an
inequitable world ... Basically, it's a reasonably comfortable country
to live in.
PRODOS: What is wrong with corporate Australia and capitalism in your view?
Michael Veitch: I would be reluctant as such to say capitalism
was bad. I think it's just not realistic to say that. We live in a
capitalist society. We live in an age where material concerns are an
extremely high priority. Now, that's not going to change. We're the
lucky few of the world.
PRODOS: Is that good or bad?
Michael Veitch: Well, bad really. It's the other 90% of this
poor little rock hurtling through space who has it much harder. What
I'm enjoying about this (M1 protest) is that there are some people that
are willing to say "Hang on, things are not quite right here".
PRODOS: But the goal of trying to shut down corporate Australia is coercion rather than persuation isn't it? You follow my point?
Michael Veitch: Sure, sure. Really let's face it, no one is
going to shut down corporate Australia. You might slow it down even for
a couple of hours. But if it gets 5 or 3 or even 2 percent more people
in the general public stopping to think about and saying "Hang on, why is the world like that? Why am I so lucky? And why am I becoming less lucky?" Because what's happening is that many people in this country are becoming the victims of corporate greed themselves.
Interview with Stephanie, 16 year old, high school student.
PRODOS: Are you in favour of shutting down corporate Australia today?
Stephanie: Yes. I'm walking on the streets today and I'm hoping to make a statement - and make a proud statement.
PRODOS: What is your statement Stephanie? What is it you want to make clear to people?
Stephane: That we should get rid of all the Third World debt
because they can't afford it. And I think, (as) a young (country)
Australia, we should be (wanting to make) a difference. And if we do
(want to make a difference) that's what we need to do (get rid of Third
World debt) ...
PRODOS: Are you against globalisation or for it?
Stephenie: I am against it. I just want all Third World debt to
go away and I think that's what we really need to do. And it needs to
be done right now!
Interview with Shane, one of the blockaders at the Sydney stock exchange.
PRODOS: Do yo support M1's goal, to "Shut Down Corporate Australia"?
Shane: We want to shut down the stock exchanges across the world.
PRODOS: Isn't there a discrepancy between the idea of a "peaceful protest" and wanting to "shut down corporate Australa"?
Shane: I don't think there's a discrepancy at all actually. For
one, (consider) this corporate system - how many people does that stop
from working? There's 800,000 people unemployed just in Australia alone.
You look at the Third World, I mean it (capitalism) enslaves millions
of people into absolute poverty. So stopping the stock exchange for one
day - in comparison to the crimes - and they are crimes - that happen
around the world because of this corporate system (laughs) there's no
comparison quite frankly ...
The corporations are out for one thing. They're out to maximise their
profits. Human rights, workers rights, the environment, don't figure in
PRODOS: Is there any way to have both profits and human rights?
Shane: Short answer is "no". I don't think you can have profits and
human rights at the end of the day. The only way we can have human
rights and workers' rights is by campaigning and fighting for them -
whether it's out here at M1 today, whether it's the Patrick (Stevedore)
dispute with the Maritime Union (of Australia) that happened a few
The corporations are always trying to shaft working people. And the
only weapon we really have is to get out on the street - demonstrate,
blockade, strike. That sort of thing.
PRODOS: What if an unemployed person wanted to get through the blockade? Would you let them through?
Shane: Well, I'd be wondering why an unemployed person would
want to get into the stock exchange today. I wouldn't think they'd have
any shares (laughs).
PRODOS: But what if they did? Would you stop them?
Shane: We'd obviously try and encourage them to join the
blockade. That'd be the first thing. To talk to them and say "What do
you want to go in for? Do you realise that this is what's keeping you
unemployted, and ..."
PRODOS: (interupting) What if they still insisted that they'd like to go through?
Shane: I think we've got every right to peacefully blockade here. To stop people from going in and out.
PRODOS: So if my reporter, Paul Wright, wanted to go through, would you stop him?
Shane: Well, I think the blockade would stop him, yes that's
right. There's a lot of democracy down here. People would talk about
it. They'd say, "Well, there's a reporter here, he wants to go in, what
do people think?" They'd vote 'yes' or they'd vote 'no'. And the
decision would be carried out basically.
But we are
trying to blockade the stock exchange, we're trying to make sure that
no-one gets in or out. A few people have gotten in or out today, but
we'll try harder ... It's a symbolic gesture more than anything ...
There's quite a few police here today and I don't think there's too
many people getting in and out anyway. They (the police) are doing a
bit of their own blockading. But yes, if the decision was made, we'd
say we don't want to let you in.
PRODOS: What would you like to see Australia go towards? do you support a Socialist Australia?
Shane: Well, personally, I do. I'm a member of the Democratic
Socialist Party. Not everyone here is affiliated or a socialist or
anything like that. There's people that are just here to protest
against refugee rights, (there are) high school students, there's
workers, and all the rest of it. I think, at the end of the day,
working people should control society. They should control their
workplace (and) politics more broadly. That sort of thing. Call it
socialism, call it what you like.
Demonstrators left McDonalds around 9.45 AM leaving behind a few and have gone to Quantas Airlines site.
Mathew White reports that whereas people were let through earlier, now
the demonstrators have formed a blockade around the Perth stock
exchange entrances, 50 meters in length, 2 people thick.
Has seen people in suits trying to get in but they were pushed back physically.
Police broke through at one point. Protesters responed by using
megaphones, directed others to join to reinforce the human chain
blockading the building.
Matthew White verbally challenges blockade.
He asks if he can be let through. He's refused. Goes to a different area of the blockade.
Matthew White tries to enter Perth stock exchange.
PHYSICALLY HELD BACK BY DEMONSTRATORS. A group of demonstrators
restrain and grab Matthew.
After spotting Matthew as a reporter, protest leader comes over and
suggests to Matthew that he try a different entrance, around the back
of the building.
MP reports that he tried to go through human chain blockading Quantas
Airlines' office in Melbourne and was stopped verbally. As he
approached the blockade the demonstrators put their hands/arms together
to close access.
He was not willing to physically challenge them, saying "They're pretty rowdy (i.e. intimidating) at the moment"
Sign reads: PEOPLE, NOT CORPORATE GREED.
Mario notes that M1 is not as well organised as s11 (which he also
covered for PRODOS.COM). Reading some M1 literature, he notes that 10
sites have been targetted around Melbourne, marching from one to the
other. A lot of property defaced. Grafittied slogans, some windows
broken, and other property damaged (later, off-line, Mario reports that
someone had, using crayons, written "F**K CARS" on his car.)
M1 blockade has been successful in Melbourne.
Police with riot shields and truncheons have arrived. Also, mounted police.
Two absailers have leapt and flown off the top of a building.
Mathew White reports that a worker is trying to get through the
blockade by physically challenging it. He is being forcefully pushed
Mathew White goes up to protesters and repeatedly
shouts: "LET HIM IN!" and "You are initiating force!" Police rush in
and push through the barricade. Matthew physically pushes through the
blockade. He gets through!
But other workers are not willing to try any more.
Reporter, Matthew White, claims that by declaring the moral issue he was able to get through the human blockade.
Protesters trying to bring down police horses. Policeman pulled off his horse.
Mathew White shouts to demonstrators "Leave the policeman alone!"
MP reports that many city office buildings have covered their entrances for protection. The Nike store has closed for the day.
Jerome Symons reports demonstration seems to be fizzling out. People
leaving. Stock exchange entrance closed in anticipation of M1 protest.
But workers able to get in from a side entrance.
Workers denied access to Perth stock exchange.
Matthew White reports that he and Monica successfully got several workders through the barricade.
Protesters have let through several public service workers. It seems
there was an agreement with their union and the M1 demonstrators.
Paul Wright reports that demonstrators have sat down and lay down on
Pitt Street. Police trying to remove them. About 20 mounted police
present. About 50 special operations police present.
Ring of police has enclosed 200 demonstrators. Lots of media cameras
and equipment in the way, blocking visibility. Estimates there are 2
media people for every 10 protesters.
Seems to be no vandalsim in Sydney.
Interview with Robert Kiyosaki, billionaire author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad
PRODOS: Do you support M1's goal to "Shut Down Corporate Australia"?
Robert Kiyosaki: I undestand what people are upset about. But I
don't know if shutting them (corporations) down is the answer. I can
understand what they're saying. I've said about the power of big,
multinational, global corporations for years. That's why I write and do
what I do. It is because you can protest it or you can use the same
power they (corporations) use. I understand the process that the big,
global corporations go through. And what I say to people is use the
same thing ... because they (corporations) are going to keep going.
PRODOS: do you support or reject capitalism?
Robert Kiyosaki: I don't do either one. It's like saying do I
support air or not. I like capitalism. But I think what's happening is
people are being left behind and being trampled. And one way to stop
the trampling is either to get educated or just get trampled more.
PRODOS: What's your message to Australia today?
Robert Kiyosaki: Get educated. I mean you can use the same power
that the big global corporations use - as an individual. But to protest
it - it's just going to keep going.
PRODOS: You mean corporations are going to keep going?
Robert Kiyosaki: Yes.
PRODOS: Do corporations create benefits or problems for the world?
Robert Kiyosaki: Both! It's like "Is air good for you?" Too much air can kill you.
PRODOS: Could you spell out botht he good and bad points about corporations?
Robert Kiyosaki: Big corporations improve civilization. But they
also trample the weak. It's like an elephant gooing through a patch,
you know what I mean? So you can sit there and complain about it or
what I chose to do is understand it and use it.
PRODOS: Is it effective what they're doing today with the M1 protest?
Robert Kiyosaki: Yeah! I think it's a very good thing. I mean, I'm on their side! I just do it differently.
PRODOS: What the solution? What sort of country should Australia become in your view?
Robert Kiyosaki: Better educated. I keep asking why doesn't the
school system teach people about basic money management? How to use a
corporation to (defend) themselves. If you read my books, that's all I
cover. About the power of corporations and how you should use one too.
PRODOS: What's the problem with corporations? Inequality? Environmental problems? ...
Robert Kiyosaki: All of the above. What's happening is that people are being left behind and they fell disenfranchised.
This has been going on since before 1500. My 'A' subject in school was
'Admiralty Law'. And Admirality Law is where the corporation was
created, the legal entity called 'corporate body' was created for men
of the sea. It was to protect the rich from, in case the ship went down
at sea, the crew could not sue the owner of the ship.
So ever since then the rich have used corporations to shield and
protect themselves so that nobody can penetrate. So that's what people
If you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad I put in there how to use your own corporation to do the same thing.
PRODOS: If the corporation were not granted special privileges and special laws would that improve things?
Robert Kiyosaki: No. Because without the big corporations
there's fewer jobs. So the government must naturally side with
corporations. Even look at Clinton, who was supposed to be a socialist
- (former) President Clinton - he took medical benefits away from the
poor - because he has to.
Money is power. People have got to wake up to the fact that money is power. If you haven't got money, you haven't got power.
PRODOS: Some would argue for the separation of the state from the economy - that would solve that problem.
Robert Kiyosaki: They're dreaming, they're dreaming.
PRODOS: Why do you say that?
Robert Kiyosaki: Because how can you separate the thing which
gives energy to the whole thing - which is business? Do you think
Clinton, Kim Beazley (Leader of the opposition, Australian Labor Party)
or John Howard (Australian Prime Minister, Liberal Party) don't get
elected (with) money? They've got their hands out ... and the most
money buys the politician. What makes you think that's going to change?
Look at John (McCain) from Arizona (USA). He tried to get the campaign
spending change put through America, and they laughed at him.
Everybody knows money is power except our school system. Financial
ignorance is the problem, that's what I think. And it's going to get
bigger as the corporations get worse and worse.
Matthew White talks about the shock of the protesters when they heard him and Monica arguing against them.
Matthew White: (quoting a famous saying) One man with reason against a mob is a majority of one.
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