The Occupy Castlemaine Free Shop

By Ben Laycock

Come to the Free Shop every week at The Wesley Hill Market for a truly unique shopping experience. At our shop absolutely everything is absolutely gratis, can you believe that? No fiddly Eftpos, no burdensome credit cards, at The Free Shop we take the hassle out of shopping because we take the cash out of the equation. No bills, no tax returns, no worries!

Why do we give everything away? Because we care, that’s why. We care about you, our most valued customer. Just bring along those things that are lying about the attic gathering dust and take home something you really need, or that extra special trinket that you will cherish forever. Are you looking for that certain je ne se quoi that will fill the gaping void in your soul? We just might have what you have always been looking for. Our specially trained staff are more than willing to turn a blind ear to your parsimonious thrift in order to ‘make a sale’.

So what’s in it for us? you may well ask
Well, to cut to the chase, it’s all about Things. People go to work to buy the Things they need, do they not? Now, many, many people sadly do not find their work satisfying, enjoyable or even mildly amusing. Far too many of us are forced to do BAD Things, in order to earn our daily bread: Destroying the environment, depleting valuable resources, exploiting our fellow creatures, etc, etc. “I am not a real Nazi, I am just doing my job”.

Not to mention degrading our own self worth in the process. Now try, if you may, to imagine a world where we get everything we need for nothing. We would no longer be compelled to do irksome tasks that go against the grain of our finely tuned consciences – Bad Things. We would only do the things we truly enjoyed doing – Good Things. (Except of course for the psychopaths who unfortunately feel compelled to do Bad Things for the sheer pleasure of it. But at least we wouldn’t be paying them to do it, would we?)

“Who would do all the work? you may well ask, and this is a reasonable question
Work will be abolished. Recently I had the pleasure of picking walnuts in Wonnangatta for a friend. A bunch of us spent the best part of a week picking and sorting and bagging nuts all day and drinking and singing and carousing all night. A thoroughly enjoyable experience. But if we did it week in, week out, ad infinitum we would no doubt be bored to tears. One man’s fish is another man’s bicycle, as the Feminists would say.

Obviously there is a plethora of exciting, meaningful, worthy exploits we would dearly love to sink our teeth into, if only we weren’t weighed down by the weight of our mortgages. (Sorry to interrupt your dreams with a jolt of Reality). So if we can manage to fulfil our basic needs without spending money, then maybe, just maybe we can carve out a couple of days a week when we aren’t working for The Man or The Bank to devote to the projects we dearly love.

Here at Occupy Castlemaine, we already have a few worthy projects on the boil:

A Festival of Activists Groups
We are looking to have a ‘Day of Change’ involving all the people dedicated to ‘subverting the dominant paradigm’ having an information stall.

Progressive Films
We would like to show political and environmental films, possibly in the courtyard at the back of the Theatre Royal on a regular basis

Don’t Buy New
A database of outlets for recycled goods. We already have The Free Shop and Retro-Fit for recycled electronic Goods situated at CASPA above Stonemans Bookroom. Please feel free to add to the list.

Public Transport
In our effort to eradicate the car from the face of the are setting up a group to work with the local council to encourage the use of trains, buses, bicycles, walking and all other sustainable methods of transport.

Affordable Housing
In order to do away with the slavery of the Mortgage we are looking at ways to create secure debt free housing.

I forget what that acronym actually stands for but it is on the web. It is talks by people on vital topics for our continued growth as the only species on this planet and quite possibly any other planet in the neighbourhood with a fully developed awareness of our own existence and the consequences that existence has on all the other blissfully ignorant species with whom we share this swiftly spinning orb.
It would be great to get some local Teds up and running.

Greening the Planet
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the buildings in Castlemaine and everywhere else in the known universe were covered with creeper? This would do wonders for reabsorbing our profligate greenhouse emissions and it would look nice too.

These are just a few of the exciting projects you could be involved with if you weren’t so busy earning a dollar.

If you would like to be involved with any of these things come along to the Wesley Hill Market of a Saturday and sign on the dotted line.

If you have some exciting projects of your own to add to the list, let us know, come along to the market or check out Occupy Castlemaine on the worldwide spy network, Facebook.

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Posted in Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, Economics, Employment, Environment, Ethical Investment, Featured slide, Food, Live in Castlemaine, Local news, Politics, Social Justice

18 Responses

  1. John

    I prefer to donate my excess goods to the Salvation Army where I know they will be turned into cash which in turn will assist the genuine needy.

  2. Nathaniel Muller

    WOW! count us in.
    see you at the market with my treasure of things

  3. Golden Girl

    I applaud the young for getting active even if I don’t agree with everything they say or all their goals. Idealists are needed in these days.

  4. Tom Tucker

    Has anyone involved with Occupy Castlemaine ever had a job? Or Occupy anywhere?

  5. Debbie Smith

    Hey Tom, it looks like they’re all working to me! but without wages. Would you say the same to all the volunteer workers across the shire who aren’t being paid? Good on you Occupy Castlemaine. Visionaries for sure.

  6. ringo

    A couple of quotes:

    “I am not a real Nazi, I am just doing my job”.


    “These are just a few of the exciting projects you could be involved with if you weren’t so busy earning a dollar.”

    Wow Ben, what world do you live in? Despite your callous Nazi reference you touch on a number of worthwhile points – however you obviously don’t exist in same socio-economic reality as the rest of us. Have fun picking walnuts for your wealthy landowning friends while the rest of us toil to keep a roof over our family’s heads.

    Yes, the system is a rigged mess but exclusive film fests and creeper covered homes aren’t going to solve a dammed thing.

    Enjoy lazily preaching to the converted and, if you can be bothered, you can find the definition of “TED” on Wikipedia in about 5 seconds.

  7. Isaac

    You know, to be fair, when you have a good crew setting up the free shop Saturday Morning, as early as it may be, it doesn’t really feel like WORK… It’s actually kinda FUN.

    But please don’t mistake it for being worthless, futile, or ill-informed.

  8. Vaughan Greenberg

    I looked for a je ne se quoi in every shop in Castlemaine. Can you tell me where it is available?
    And if I hear anyone say “subvert the dominant paradigm” again, even in jest, instead of some phrase we all understand I will search them out and maim them horribly.

  9. Ben Laycock

    Well Vaughan, I’m sure we could help you find that ‘je ne se quoi’ to fill the gaping void in your soul, if you would only tell us what you are looking for. The Dominant Paridigm is made up of all the bogans who don’t know what it means because they don’t possess a Dictionary

  10. Tony Smark

    Let’s have the stall give away “a sense of humour” for those who have lost theirs along the way. Some “unconditional love” wouldn’t go astray either.

  11. Vaughan Greenberg

    Dear Ben, The original Greek term Paradeigma was used in Greek texts such as Plato’s Timaeus as the model or the pattern that the Demiurge (god) used to create the cosmos. The Merriam Webster dictionarydefines its use only only in the context of grammar or, in rhetoric, as a term for an illustrative parable or fable. In linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure used paradigm to refer to a class of elements with similarities.
    The word has come to refer to a thought pattern in any scientific discipline or other epistemological context or more broadly a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind. Thank goodness knowing this has filled the gaping hole in my soul.

  12. Elizabeth Scanlon

    Yay Ringo. And isn’t je ne sais quoi the gaping void in your soul…or would I be subverting the dominant paradigm?
    I don’t know what, is it not? I’d fill any gaping void with I don’t konw what, might be a good point to make about now.

  13. I have a dream

    I’m having a paradoxical reaction to this paradigmabolic diatribe, at least the Bogans know how to “Break it Down”, straight up, even!

  14. Cath

    Bogans are okay. It’s yobbos you need to watch out for – they’re in all classes of society.

  15. I have a dream

    Classes of Society? Maaaaate, this is Orstraya, we dont discrimanate between the Haves and the Have Nots,wer’e all in this toghether, like sharing and caring and being a Major Social Engineering Experiment..Geez, get real!

  16. Christine

    What say all you knockers stop being so damned self-important. Just go dig out some good goodies in your house that haven’t seen the light of day in the last 12 months and take them down to the stall next Saturday. If nothing else, they will enjoy the daylight, and so might you.

  17. jac

    is this still happening Ben? If so, I’ve got some things to bring along.

  18. Grace McCaughey

    “Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

    — Henry David Thoreau
    circa 1850