On April 28 at 7am, Right to the City and Jonathan Sri attempted to attend the Infrastructure Association of Queensland’s breakfast event.
At the breakfast, wealthy developers who can pay to attend heard updates from Matt Bekier, CEO of Star Entertainment and the biggest backer of the Queen’s Wharf Casino.
We wanted to question Mr Bekier about the plans for the casino, as Brisbane residents have had no meaningful input or information about what will actually be built on the site.
However, when we tried to approach the entrance we were turned back by security. They informed us that it was a private, invitation only event.
While we were having discussions with security, we could see through the doors of the foyer at least 8 police. Think about that, 8 police for 15 peaceful, reasonable protesters.
Check it out:
We then moved to voice our opposition on the front steps and unfurled banners to highlight our concerns.
Very soon the police moved in to shut down our dissent and demonstrated that police resources were apparently best served protecting CEOs from peaceful, concerned Brisbane residents.
This is the system as it exists: meetings behind closed doors and Brisbane residents being locked out of how their city evolves and grows.
This action is just the start.
Our creative occupation Queen's Park was very successful in highlighting how public space should and can be used: to hold political discussion, assemble and protest, engage in fun and creative events and enable communities to gather in a de-commodified space.
So what's next?
We are going to ramp it. We have plans for more disruptive actions, blockades and pickets.
We are going to take this fight to the decision-makers and show them that Brisbane residents will come together to take back control of their city.
We have some ideas of how this can happen, but we want your input and your ideas. This is your movement and we want to make sure you can own it.
Come along to our strategy meeting, on Saturday 13th May, 1-5pm, at Jagera Hall.