The Stop Bush Coalition protest march planned for Saturday has been put under a “prohibition order” by the NSW Supreme Court.
This is a legally strange decision – the march is not actually banned, but according to the ruling it will lose any “protections” that it might have had under the law. Go figure!
The police commissioner was pleased with the result, he told the ABC that:
it means if the protesters follows their original route, people could be arrested for obstructing traffic.
“They will be charged and put before a court, they could find themselves in a cell for many days,” he said.
According to the ABC the police tendered evidence that if the route of the march was not changed: “a riot with an unprecedented level of violence would occur”.
Yep, with the police already geared up and psyched for a rumble, there will be a riot. The police will riot with the full protection of the law.
The marchers are planning a sit down in the centre of the city, but the cops said that this is not acceptable either. At least if everyone’s sitting down they’re easier to punch, kick and club.
There’s no doubt that the boys and girls in blue are ready to bring it on. The “riot squad” – how well monickered – is up for a bit of biff, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald:
The commander of the NSW Police Public Order and Riot Squad, Chief Superintendent Stephen Cullen, told the Supreme Court yesterday that Sydney would face unprecedented violence during APEC and “full-scale riots” if the protest were allowed down George Street.
In a well-drilled display of scare-mongering, Sup. Cullen told the court that he expected trouble:
“Well-drilled and disciplined” members of violent splinter groups would agitate during the protests, stirring up usually peaceful marchers.
“Based upon my research, experience, current intelligence and evidence from internationally similar events – more recently G20 in Melbourne – I have absolutely no doubt that minority groups will engage in a level of violence not previously experienced in Sydney.
“Never in my career have I held such serious concerns for public safety as I do during the conduct of APEC, or more specifically this particular march”.
These cops are nutters and shameless provocateurs. The irony is that there’s no irony. The “minority groups” who are “well-drilled and disciplined” will all be easy to spot on Saturday. They won’t be a ragtag bunch of anarchists, it will be those in the uniform of state power. Brainless thugs who will happily follow the orders of their political masters to create a specatacle worthy of the Roman colossuem.
It is, as many have pointed out, an election stunt of the most gross dimensions. Howard and Iemma should be totally ashamed of themselves.