Saturday, September 08, 2007

Peace reigns among peace lovers

Two police were injured and nine protesters arrested, but organisers of a rally coinciding with today's APEC leaders' meeting largely delivered on their promise of a peaceful protest. Scuffles resulted in injuries to two officers, one of whom was being treated in hospital for head injuries.

Earlier reports where still hyping up the violence aspects of the protest:

Police started forming lines confronting the national Anarchist group. A police officer told his men, "This is the trouble here, these are the ones who are violent."

There were about 30 of the National Anarchists, who described themselves as the New Right, all dressed in black hooded jackets. Some of the group wore dark sunglasses and all had bandanas around their faces.

Earlier still, two men were charged after attempting to join the end of an APEC motorcade. The motorcade had been carrying Chilean officials when police spotted the pair at the end of the procession.

Anti Bush

Despite the competing agendas from the various protest groups, the focus of the protest was obviously POTUS. Not surprising as Sydney has been effectively crippled by Bush’s presence.

Earlier in the week, just prior to going off to meet with Bush, John Howard was out doing his daily exercise walk accompanied but just three security people. Howard might not be the best loved Australian at the moment, but he can still walk freely among mere mortals.

The Sydney lockdown served to demonstrate the insanity surrounding the US Presidency under Bush. So much of this Sydney circus is needless, but dictated by the whims of the US Secret Service or some other secret US organisation.

The NSW Police Commissioner made a helpful slip-up when he berated the Chaser team for risking being shot by snipers. We are not amenable to having snipers on our city rooftops; snipers it seems who are prepared to shoot first and talk later.

Howard has taken us down a track that will end his political demise, my American friends will find a lot of valuable allies in opposition to Bush.

More to come

TV news is revealing a degree of police overkill in response to the protesters. I expect there will be much discussion in the coming days, but some of the images and disclosures have been disturbing.

Not least was a news photographer being thrown to the ground by police. But violence apart the rally at the end of the march was totally surrounded by police, trapping many people not associated with the protest.

A most telling scene was of a young bride fighting back anger as APEC security disrupted her wedding by towing away the wedding cars. Her message was a simple and ironic – “Thanks Bush!” She was not happy.

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