The Australian government, in cooperation with the NSW state government, has walled off several square kilometres of downtown Sydney in preparation for this week’s APEC leaders’ summit meeting.
The 2.8 metre wire mesh barricades are ostensibly to stop terr’rists from gaining access to all this important flesh on display. But a neat little side-effect is that the 15000 or so protestors who planned to demonstrate against this orgy of imperialism and war-mongering will also be kept away.
Speaking to the media about these extraordinary security precautions, Prime Minister John Howard made the following statement:
“It does represent an opportunity for this country to be displayed to the world and most particularly to our region,” he said. “I see this as an opportunity for . . . this country to be paraded for the modern, sophisticated, tolerant, multi-racial society that it is.”
I assume he said this without a hint of irony.
But don’t worry, those fearless investigative journalists at Limited News have uncovered a “secret” plot by a bunch of anarchists to use “violence”. Luckily, this dastardly plot has been exposed.
Mr Howard yesterday acknowledged the threats of violence and the response of intrusive security precautions in Sydney’s CBD.
But he said if violence occurred people should not blame him or Mr Bush.
“Don’t blame the police, don’t blame the NSW Government, don’t blame any of our (heads of government) guests, don’t blame the Federal Government,” he said.
“Blame the people who threaten violence.”
In tolerant, multi-cultural Australia, blame anyone but the Howard government and, what ever you do, don’t blame Dubya for anything.
As an aside, a quick google search soon uncovers the fact that the “secret” plan to mount a protest at APEC has been public for some months. However, not to be outdone, the Sydney Morning Herald is also carrying an APEC protest story, this time explaining how the police have been spying on organisers via email surveillance.
POLICE have spent months secretly monitoring university political groups in the run-up to this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, documents obtained under freedom-of-information laws reveal.
A unit operating in the intelligence section of the NSW Police APEC Security Command has been in contact with security personnel at Wollongong University, Macquarie University and the University of Technology, Sydney, requesting permission to covertly monitor “IMGs”, or interest-motivated groups.
I’m grateful to SlackBastard for this insight and for this delightfully tongue-in-cheek send-up of the term “IMG” which means “Interest-Motivated Group”, or spook-talk for protestor exercising a democratic right.