Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Get a room?

When Bush flew into Sydney today his best buddy John Howard was at a football presentation. It was left to my local member and Deputy Prime Minister to greet George on the tarmac on an unusually cool and wet spring evening.

The switch did lead to a modicum of speculation about George’s effects on Johnny’s re-election chances. But that all changed when the passionate pair met behind high security fences in the full light of day.

As one squeamish witness put it, this was terminal – get a room – territory. Regardless of what the rest of the world might believe the baseball team owning piss-pot and the Methodist minister are an item.

It is sick making, by any standards….

One early morning comment went along the lines – President Bush has visited two cities in the past two days. One was in total security lockdown, surrounded by wire barricades and armed security personnel, the other was Baghdad.

Security here is my real concern. We keep hearing about ‘reports’ possible’ 'potential violent protest actions'. Among those reports of what might happen authorities say they know who these people are, 26 people in most reports.

We are told these 26 might actually ignore bans on their presence in Sydney!

It is a bit like 911, ‘well we knew they were there but…” BUT as real terrorists won’t accommodate us by creating a reason for authoritarian takeover we had better just get on and do it ourselves…”

"Sydney should brace itself for an unprecedented level of violence during Saturday's APEC protest march, the police riot squad chief warned in court today. The "grave concerns'' of police were aired as they faced off with the Stop Bush Coalition in the Supreme Court this morning over its planned marching route.

A police barrier is to be erected on the proposed march route and the court heard that this route would, in any case, be blocked to the marchers. Police said if their expectations of 20,000 marchers were met, any push against the barrier could result in "crowd crush'' and "horrendous consequences''.

I have never been a protest marcher, but I have known many from the 60s Vietnam marchers on. Most, historically, have been seriously concerned about avoiding violence rather than creating it. Inevitably it is the authorities who drive the violence and more then ever they have a need to do that now.

If real democracy ever existed it is now in real peril from those who see their positions as power rather than responsibility. The two love birds in Sydney, and I’m not talking about Condie Rice and Canada’s Peter McKay here, represent the last vestiges of the ‘coalition of the willing’. My fear is they want to fuck us all over.

UPDATE: The bad news

The Stop Bush Coalition will not rule out "non-violent civil disobedience'' during Saturday's APEC protests after police won a court battle over the rally's route.

The protesters now risk arrest if they follow their plan to march towards the intersection of George Street and King Street, where police say they will erect a staunch barrier to block their way.

The NSW Supreme Court today granted a Police Commissioner application for an order to prevent the march moving from through Sydney streets.
Stop the War Coalition spokesman Alex Bainbridge said; “We were always under the understanding that these areas were open to the public.”

Bainbridge is right and common law supports that right, but the court took the view that the proposed police action would ensure a violent outcome. So much for rule of law, now we just have rule of the police in Australia.

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