Chaser lot may be let off for the APEC stunt – National –

October 2, 2007

It seems the NSW police may have belatedly received some drugs to help with their apparent lack of humour.
This report, Chaser lot may be let off for the APEC stunt , from the Sydney Morning Herald speculates that the Chaser team may well not be prosecuted for their hilarious breach the rabble-proof fence during last month’s APEC bonanza in Sydney.

11 members of the Chaser team were arrested on various charges after their fake motorcade managed to breach the wall of security around the APEC leaders.

At the time the cops couldn’t see the funny side, but now it seems they’ve been given a dose of something and had their humour restored.

Justice really.

You can see the full Chaser story here
When you see this you’ll soon realise why the cops are not so keen on a prosectution. They look like real gooses here. The police case will collapse – and hopefully some asses will get spanked.

APEC – nothing of substance happend

September 12, 2007

There isn’t a great deal to say in this quiet week after the NSW cops were promising that all Hell would break loose on the streets of Sydney as crazed anarchists and easily-duped schoolies ran amok in a pointless protest against the evils of globalisation and the festering sore that is the occupation of Iraq.

the main rally organisers posted this calm message announcing the success of their protest action:

10,000 protesters crowded in to the Anti APEC rally at Town Hall this morning far exceeding the estimated 5000 expectations of the rally organisers. Many of those participating said they were determined to attend, galvanised by the police harassment and threats.

George St is sealed off by police vans at the Queen Victoria building blocking the rally and shoppers alike. Police have planned that these vans will serve as mobile prisons if violence breaks out. Yet the police seem to be the ones promoting the violence with displays of water cannon and riot squad mobilising. Rumours abound that undercover police agitators are likely to try to provoke incidents. Certainly police have acted in a partisan manner in their treatment of those who support the rally confiscating banner poles while, in contrast, leaving those few protesters in support of APEC alone.

The rally has reaffirmed its opposition to violence and has expressed their right to politically mobilise in a peaceful manner against the war mongering, anti-worker and anti-environment policies at the centre of the APEC gathering.

The rally is extraordinarily diverse in attendance from young and old, with placards and flags highlighting a broad range of issues from a wide range of social movements, and with the stated determination to march along the police lined route, to sit and hear further speakers before ending up with a further rally in Hyde Park.

Of course the cops said only 5000, but the Australian news reports I saw in Aotearoa said at least six to eight, possibly more. It was quite dull for the hyped-up media types who descended on the Sydney CBD expecting lots of protesters’ blood to flow. At the end of the day all they could say was that the cops got it wrong and that the marchers had won the moral high ground.

In the end the Saturday protests were peaceful and only a handful of people were arrested. But what I find most interesting is this frank admission from the senior NSW cop, Commissioner Andrew Scipione, that the heavy police presence was a factor in detering people from showing up to the rally.

Despite the arrests, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says the majority of the thousands of protesters in central Sydney behaved peacefully.

Commissioner Scipione says the massive show of force by police and the poor weather led to today’s successful outcome.

“It certainly caused numbers to dwindle, in fact it surely caused numbers not to turn up,” he said.

“But more importantly, I think it was the combination of the show of force, the police were out there in big numbers, and we don’t apologise for that.

“We always indicated that we would be there, in sufficient numbers to be able to act swiftly against those that broke the law.

“So was that overkill? I don’t think so.”

This is an outrage. Here we have the state’s most senior cop, a well-paid public servant, admitting that the police presence was a political gesture designed to impact on the success of a peaceful protest march. The cops were acting as paid bullies and bouncers whose sole purpose in fencing off half the Sydney CBD and parading in riot gear with monster boys’ toys including a $700,000 water canon, was to prevent a peaceful protest against international capitalism, death and destruction.

Oh, and nothing happened at APEC either. There was a piss-poor statement of concern about the environment and global warming, but no action to stop it. Why not?

Well, the interests of the ruling class are in rampant profit taking and pillage. If the environment gets raped in the process, what do they care. The armoured limos and first class air travel are perks, who actually pays for them and the damage they do to the planet is none of our business.


"It’s not funny," Scipione laments Chaser stunt

September 7, 2007

The NSW police really do have to lighten up. They’re now putting round the message that the boys from Chaser could have been shot by snipers during their stunt a couple of days ago. IN case you missed it, here’s a TV report.

The team from the ABC’s satirical show, The Chaser’s War on Everything, managed to drive through two security checkpoints in Sydney, despite the heavy (overkill) police security presence and the rabble-proof fence.

A number of Chaser crew were able to get right to the InterContinental hotel where Dubya is holed up with an entourage that boasts 250 secret service guys, armed to the teeth.

After being held by the side of the road, they were taken in a police van and processed.

Now the NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, is saying they could have been shot. But they weren’t. What they did do is prove that the whole costly exercise (around 140 million dollars, about $24 million per day) is an expensive joke.

Scipione told the Australian media that the police snipers, located on many buildings around the city, could have opened fire. Now he’s mad as hell…

“I’m angry, I’m very angry that this stunt happened, it was a very dangerous stunt,” Mr Scipione said.

“The reality is … (they) put security services in a position where they might have had to take an action no-one would want.

“We have snipers deployed around the city. They weren’t there for show, they mean business, that’s what they were there for.”

Hey, Commish, wipe the two-day old egg of your face and crack a smile.

Showing just how thick the boys and girls in blue can be, here’s a copy of the Chaser team’s dummied-up security passes.

On a more serious note, the Chaser crew (11 were arrested) have been charged under the NSW special APEC security laws and could face up to six months in jail.


There’s more at the SMH website.

You can track an earlier post on this story.

As you might expect the Chaser online news service is quick to show what’s going on.

APEC satire – "not funny"

September 7, 2007

APEC’s surprise guest – Mr bin Laden of Canada – National –

Good on the Chaser crew. They managed to breach the APEC “rabble-proof fence” yesterday, but now 11 of them are facing charges to do with eluding the security operation.

The charges against them are just more ammunition for satire. This just makes the whole exercise in locking down Sydney appear that the disturbingly real and sad joke that it is.

If a couple of clowns in hire cars can breach the security wall because they don’t look like feral hippies, imagine what a clever hitman like the legendary “Jackal” could do.

The goon squads are obviously not looking for terrorists, their role is to monster a few anti-globalisation and anti-war protestors into cowering submission.

Those brave bastards.

The Chaser team have a proud record of embarrassing politicians and the police. They have a worldwide fan club as you can see from this photograph. the billboard is an ad for the Chaser TV show on ABC.

More APEC commentary on YouTube

September 6, 2007

There’s plenty of stuff going on with YouTubers about the APEC summit in Sydney.
Here’s a selection. I guess there’s no way (yet) to put a rabble-proof fence around the Internet.

NSW Police organise APEC riots

September 6, 2007

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.

Weapons of mass distraction – the funny side of APEC

September 6, 2007

Who says cops have a sense of humour? It seems that in Sydney they don’t. At least not when it comes to satirical attempts to cross the rabble-proof fence.
This story from the ABC Online. No doubt we’ll hear more in the next few days:

Two stars of The Chaser’s War on Everything have been detained after conducting a fake motorcade through Sydney.

Chaser co-star Chris Taylor has told ABC News Online that police have detained Chas Licciardello and the show’s executive producer Julian Morrow.

Taylor says the motorcade was made up of three cars.

“A lot of people were involved [in this stunt],” he said.

“Some have been detained and some haven’t.”

Taylor says the crew members have been detained in their cars, while police wait for special units to arrive.

Lawyers for the ABC are also on their way to the scene.

The Chaser convoy had been dressed up to look like an official Canadian motorcade.

“No particular reason why we chose Canada,” Taylor said.

He says they thought it was feasible Canada would only have three cars in its motorcade.

ABC spokesman Peter Ritchie has confirmed Licciardello and Morrow have been detained, but not arrested.

A shameless steal from Crikey

September 5, 2007

I couldn’t resist republishing this short editorial from today’s Crikey newsletter. If you have any interest at all in Australian politics, business and media you should subscribe. As a small way of atoning for my plucking this item, here’s the link to the Crikey website.

Dear Sole Subscriber,

Another sole subscriber, Crikey reader Ben Pearson, has been musing on APEC.

The ongoing campaign by police and pollies warning against ‘violent’ protests at APEC — dutifully reported by the fourth estate -– masks the fact that all three of these actors actually benefit from a bit of public argy bargy and thus exaggerate both the threat and occasional occurrence of it.

Premier Iemma rails against ‘vandals’ and ‘violence’ to show that he is tough on law n order. Prime Minister John Howard, on the other hand, is hoping that a couple of university proto-anarchists will distract attention from the fact that APEC is nothing more than the mother of all inconveniences for Sydneyites. As for the media, they are hoping for the kind of dramatic stories and photos that sell papers. As the industry says – “if it bleeds, it leads”.

For the cops, APEC is a vision of the world as it should be. Expanded powers, new equipment, media support, and maybe a chance to try out new toys like the water cannon.

The warnings and hype about ‘violent’ protests mask another agenda in which politicians and certain elements in the media stigmatise the very notion of protest, and by creating and reinforcing an association between mass protests and violence, they seek to de-legitimise the former. Public protest is the right of all Australians. Pollies may not like it, and it may not sell many papers, but it’s part of what democracy is all about.

And we think Ben has a point.

Follow APEC from the Stuff website

September 5, 2007

Tracy Watkins, political editor of the Dominion Post is in Sydney for the APEC summit and she’s blogging away at
It might be interesting to get a close-up view from “behind” the “ring of steel”. Her second entry is here.

Don’t fence me in – APEC security out of control

September 5, 2007

From today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

The Department of Education says it does not yet know how many students have skipped school to join APEC protests.

Police will be roaming trains, buses and the central business district as part of a crackdown on students who truant to join protests, the Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, has warned.

Mr Scipione again urged students to stay away from today’s protest for their own safety and warned that if they were playing truant there was a good chance the police would find them and report them to their school or parents.

The NSW police have also applied to have Saturday’s protest march declared “illegal”. This is a sure indication that they want to up the ante. As several leaders of the “Stop Bush Coalition” have been saying in radio interviews all week, this is about trying to intimidate people from joining the peaceful protests.

But it’s also worse than that, it’s part of a public relations “softening up” exercise. In my long experience it’s the cops who start the “violence” at protest marches. This forces those present to defend themselves or risk getting clubbed and doused with “pepper spray”. All this week the cops have been stopping people, including tourists, from taking photographs of the “rabble-proof fence”.

The NSW police seem to be spoiling for a fight on Saturday. By denouncing alleged “secret plots” to cause damage etc, they are preparing the general public to accept that “fact” that the cops will have a justification for thumping the bejeezus out of protestors.

The PR campaign is helped along by reports such as this one from Brisbane’s Courier-Mail outlining the expensive “security” blanket that’s been thrown around Dubya. Here’s a sample:

On board the planes were 50 White House political aides, 150 national security advisers, 200 specialists from other government departments and more than 250 Secret Service agents.

The president’s men were even believed to be bringing their own sniffer dogs.

Surely this is overkill. There’s been no public announcement of any threat to Bush, but his security detail will be heavily armed. There’s enough fire power here to topple a government…”hhhmmm”.

And, finally, a little bit more on who to blame for the disruption in Sydney. Do you need to ask? Well, the Prime Minister knows who’s responsible, and it ain’t him (again)

Mr Howard blamed the fencing through the central business district on protesters threatening violence.

“It’s not the fault of the guests in our country,” he said.

The fence stretches from King Street to Circular Quay and from George to Macquarie streets and will keep any protesters a long way from dignitaries.

He refused to say whether there was any intelligence warning of a major incident.

Backlinks to previous posts:

dignitary protection exercise
banning orders ozzie style
another brick in the wall