"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.

Bastards.

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.


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