Odex saga: The protest that never was

Posted on 13 October 2011

The call to protest turned out to be the result of one man’s mischief.

By Mary-Anne Lee

The movement to Occupy Raffles Place is eerily reminiscent of what I experienced back in 2007, when the Odex Saga was in full swing.

At that point, thousands of people were up in arms against Odex, angry with how they had been (mis)treating the common man whose only mistake was to torrent anime (read this for background). Someone stepped up, out from the crowd, to proclaim on Hardwarezone and other forums that we would be sticking it to the man, as one people.

ATTENTION:

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THERE WILL BE AN ODEX BURNING CEREMONY ON AUGUST 25TH, 2007 AT THE YOUTH PARK OPPOSITE ORCHARD CINELEISURE! PLEASE BRING ALONG YOUR ODEX BOX CASES TO TRADE THEM IN FOR A BLACK RIBBON. THE ODEX BURNING CEREMONY WILL TAKE PLACE AT 5:00PM (1700 HRS). YOUTUBERS FEEL FREE TO VISIT, ALL ARE WELCOME. http://odex-rebellion.blogspot.com/

The thread is still available on EDMW: http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?t=1668619&page=40

But while people started to rally behind this mysterious figurehead, much like V from the movie V for Vendetta, a friend I knew as Mantis confessed that he was the mastermind.

And he wasn’t intending to show up.

It was, he told me, a social experiment on his part, to see how many (I quote) stupid Singaporeans would show up and stand around looking like lost sheep.

He saw no wrong in potentially sacrificing innocent people to the riot police. News of his ‘experiment’ got out in time and the event didn’t take place, but a local otaku stepped up to continue it in a more peacable fashion.

The irony was, while the public received the warning in time, the police didn’t. The full-scale Odex CD burning event was toned down to a low key, toy figurine Odex protest with only about eight people in attendance.

The still police came down with four riot buses and six to eight plainclothes personnel.

So occupy Raffles Place all you want, but know what you’re fighting for, and keep in mind that there are people who have nothing better to do than to help you get arrested. 😉

Mary-Anne is a member of Girlaxy, a new all-girl e-sports team in Singapore.

This post was written by:

- who has written 81 posts on New Nation.

Terence is an online media nut that is obsessed with writing and publishing on the Internet. Recently, he took up photography to expand his repertoire, and hopes to learn videography soon. He has worked in both online and print publications such as The Straits Times, Today, Mind Your Body, The Online Citizen, and Funkygrad. He is currently the assistant editor with SGEntrepreneurs, a website that covers entrepreneurship in Singapore and Asia. Terence can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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