Stars, Crew Members Of Comedy Show Detained By Police
Fake Beard Confiscated
UPDATE : The Chaser team has issued a statement claiming they were given permission by police to drive into the restricted security zone near President Bush's Sydney hotel, where they were then arrested. Interesting.
The stars of the satirical sketch comedy show The Chaser promised they would deliver something "extreme" during the week long Sydney lockdown for the APEC summit of world leaders.
And they've pulled off a stunning breach of security, driving a three car, fake Canadian motorcade close within 30 feet of President Bush's hotel before being pulled over police.
When the motorcade stopped, a cast member jumped out, dressed as Osama Bin Laden. His beard was confiscated by police. Detectives and police were seen chatting and laughing with members of The Chaser after the arrests.
11 crew members and two stars of The Chaser are now being held by police.
If police are prepared to use the full force of the law against the comedy team for purposely breaching the ultra-security zone, inside the now notorious Sydney Cage, they could find themselves in some very deep, very serious shit.
UPDATE : The 11 cast and crew members of The Chaser were questioned and interrogated by police for eight hours before being charged and bailed.
Police were granted a set of new laws for APEC that allow them to control the movement of people across the city. The Chaser team have been charged under one of those new laws :
... entering a restricted area without justification.
But they had justification. They needed to pull off a very funny stunt for their television show, to cheer up a few million Australians.
The maximum jail time for "entering a restricted area without justification" is SIX MONTHS.
This is one of the numerous new laws police are using to control the anti-Bush protests expected to draw tens of thousands of people to Sydney on Saturday.
Most of the rest of Sydney will bust a gut and give a cheer for The Chaser for bringing some comedy relief and a good laugh to the miserable, repressive atmosphere forced on us by the blocked roads, blocked footpaths, snipers leaning out of hovering helicopters and the endless violations of privacy thousands of workers in the city are being subjected to on a daily basis, with demands to see ID, physical searches in city streets and briefcases and handbags opened and emptied.
While the police are hassling people trying to get to work, or to lunch, or get back to the office, a motorcade cruises by carrying 'Osama Bin Laden'.
What else can you say but "Brilliant!":
Chaser crew members were initially detained in their cars while "police on the ground'' waited for special units to arrive, Taylor said.
Riot squad police formed a cordon around a Corrective Services truck where Morrow, Licciardello and about ten crew and extras were detained.
The Chaser convoy had been dressed up to look like an official Canadian motorcade, with Canadian flags attached to the cars and "Canada'' signs visible in the front windscreen.
"No particular reason we chose Canada," said Taylor. "We just thought they'd be a country who the cops wouldn't scrutinise too closely, and who feasibly would only have three cars in their motorcade - as opposed to the 20 or so gas guzzlers that Bush has brought with him."
The vehicles in the motorcade were hired - two were black "SUVs" imported from the US, and the other was a regular car.
Police superintendent Ken McKay confirmed the pair had been arrested for breaching the restricted zone.
The arrests had been made using new powers available under the APEC Act, he said.
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So much for all a couple of hundred million dollars worth of ultra-security to keep world leaders safe from terrorists.
A television comedy team easily got through the 'steel wall', they didn't even have to get out of their cars.
Meanwhile, confused Japanese tourists are told they can't take photos of Sydney landmarks because of "national security".
So if The Chaser can do it, why haven't all these terrorists, posing such dire terrorist threats that Sydney needs to become a mini-police state, tried giving something similar a shot?
Because the dire threat is all but non-existent in Australia?
Because the ultra-security clampdown is really more about teaching an entire city, filled with dissenters, what it's like to be stripped of their rights, privacy and dignity?
Or is it because when you give security and police forces hundreds of millions of dollars to make up their own laws and to fence off a huge section of one of the world's most famous cities, chaos and madness will always result?
The Chaser comedy team from ABC TV are about to become world famous thanks to this brilliant stunt. And police now find themselves in something of a fascinating quandary.
How they can bust these guys, using the full force of the law, when they simply showed how easy it is to get by all those layers of ultra-security and drive right up to President Bush's hotel?
Incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly funny. Can't wait to see the footage.
If we ever see the footage.
The Chaser's Brilliant 'Osama' Jape At APEC Hits Headlines All Over The World
Chaser Team Charged Under New APEC Laws To Restrict Free Movement Of People Across Sydney - Maximum Sentence : Six Months Jail
11 Crew Members Of Chaser Comedy Team Detained By Police Over APEC Stunt