(Image: AAP/David Crosling)

When you’ve been going to demonstrations as a participant and observer for 35 years, there's an urge to write them up as a minor counties cricket matches. This is only inhibited by the fact that some people are still washing pepper spray out of their eyes, and worse.

So I won't say that this week the Protesters Combined squared off against the Policepersons Gentlemen's Eleven in a three-innings stoush in front of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Cops put the protesters into bat on Monday, trying to blockade the whole thing -- not doable with about 300 protesters, though the point was made. Put back into bat for day two after low-run yields, the protesters acquitted themselves ably by non-violently surrounding the various suits going in and out, and berating them.