Monday, September 03, 2007

Monday rage - Australia’s police state

I expect many around the world will be thinking, ‘what’s the big drama’. Being touted as ‘Australia's most significant geopolitical event ever’, the APEC forum this week in Sydney is also signalling the most significant loss of the quintessential Aussie spirit.

The unthinkable has happened and our largest city, one of the most strikingly beautiful and laid back cities in the world, has become a police state. Never mind protesters or imagined terrorists, the ordinary Aussie must now overcome their ‘up yours’ attitude to imposed authority.

Sydney is hosting the party, but its citizens are not invited. The message from organisers to Sydneysiders has been clear for months: stay away or, even better, get out of town. All for our own good…

While dignitaries will also an extensive cultural program and a private harbourside fireworks display the city’s residents will be held in check under unprecedented police powers. I know I’d end up in detention, simply because I would become a little testy at the restrictions on movement around the city I love.

Then there are the massive transport disruptions commuters have been told to expect - "50 times worse" than the chaos brought by the visit of the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney. Just suck it up? Blink an eye or question an order and a law abiding citizen is now a criminal.

Why the expected protests? APEC, for all its low key past, has been highly effective in promoting free-market philosophies. That represents the forum specific protests, the rest will be ‘police state rage’ as far as I can see.

Background to the Event

APEC has been best known for the silly clothes attending leaders are kitted out with. Before this current outrage the Forum was pretty much a non-event.

The first APEC meeting was held in Canberra's Hyatt Hotel in 1989, in the week the Berlin Wall fell. It was a modest affair - ministers from 12 countries attended along with a couple of hundred delegates. The press centre was a tent and security, by today's standards, was next to non-existent.

The original, and abiding, mission was to promote trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific. Unique among international bodies, it comprises member economies, not nation states. This quirk means, among other things, that China and Taiwan sit side by side at the APEC table.

This is bullshit!

Photographing the wall – cage – protecting APEC visitors is prohibited. NSW Transport Minister John Watkins said that, while requiring tourists to delete photos of the fence might be "over the top", it is necessary.

"There is some concern among police that some of those protesters who are coming ... will look for weak points in the fence," Mr Watkins explained.

We are governed by morons! You can expect my forum rage to increase as the week proceeds.

Oooops, looks like we found a weak point in the fence.

And some more of these illegal pictures of the Great Wall of Sydney


enigma4ever said...

you have my sincerest apologies that this is going on...and that stupid mr.Bush is coming to so sorry....great post BTW hang in there vent away...

Cartledge said...

enigma I do try to moderate the anger, but this is just too much. Not your fault though, we have globalised now and can share the responsibility for the direction our world is heading. Bush is fully supported by our Howard; just witness the nonsense happening here now.
The sad part is recalling the world we came out of, with all its faults, and comparing it to where we are going. I will continue to vent on this issue thanks.

D.K. Raed said...

Cartledge, your city will be taken over for the duration of Mr Deciderer's "visit". I only hope you can wrestle it back after he departs. Like Enigma, I want to apologize that this sorry excuse for a human being was foisted on you all down there. We'd keep him locked up on The Crawford Ranch if we could. If it's any consolation, the same thing happens whenever he ventures out in the world. Here in the US, he just sticks to hand-picked rah-rah'ing oddiences. Must be a shock to his nervous system if he catches a glimpse of non-compliance. ~~ D.K.

abi said...

Those photos of the fence are even worse than I thought the damn thing would look like. What a disgrace.

BTW, the top photo in your post looks like it was taken for the Sgt. Pepper's album.

Cartledge said...

I only hope you can wrestle it back after he departs
DK that is the scary part. It hurts to see my country going into lockdown, moreso when so few even recognise the danger. My fear is that the exercise is really meant to increase control.

abi, I'm waiting to see the fancy dress. All we know for sure is that it won't be budgie smugglers and flip flops.