27 February, 2017 – Around 11PM on the night of Saturday the 25th of February, 2017 a small group of anarchists and homeless people gathered outside the South Melbourne residence of Robert Doyle, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, to let him know how they felt about the Melbourne City Council’s proposed new laws that aim to criminalise homelessness in the CBD.
A noisy demonstration soon ensued involving the playing of real and improvised musical instruments, loud singing and raucous chanting. Banners and placards were raised reading ‘THE EVICTED HOMELESS AT YOUR DOOR, GET USED TO IT’, ‘WAIT TILL WE FIND YOUR EMPTY SUMMER HOUSE’, ‘NO MORE GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP FOR THE IDLE RICH’ and SLEEPING ROUGH IS NOT A CRIME’.
For once Robert Doyle had nothing to say for himself, most likely because he wasn’t insulated from those he sneeringly dismisses as ‘rabble’ by an army of police and security guards. He spent the entire duration of the protest hiding inside his house with the lights switched off. Some of his well-to-do neighbours did however confront the protesters, apparently half an hour of rowdy party noise before midnight on a Saturday night was just too much to handle for the well-heeled parasites who inhabit this elite neighbourhood.
After about half an hour the local police finally arrived at the scene so the protesters decided to leave, having made their point loud and clear. They wandered off into the night at a leisurely place chanting ‘WE’LL BE BACK!’
After taking 24 hours to recover from the ‘trauma’ of enduring a noisy but completely peaceful protest outside his home, Robert Doyle colluded with his favorite right-wing media outlets the Herald Sun newspaper and radio 3AW to present a highly exagerrated account of the protest that centered himself and his family as innocent victims under siege from ‘well organized protesters’ and ‘thugs’. According to Robert Doyle’s logic it is completely acceptable to send in heavily armed police to violently evict homeless people sleeping in public space but peacefully protesting outside his home is ‘beyond the pale’ (whatever that means).
The protesters have vowed to continue their protests outside Robert Doyle’s home at a future date and time of their choosing.