Police Attempt To Make All Protests In Sydney Illegal
The five kilometre long 'steel wall' cuts right through the heart of the Botanical Gardens - a beautiful harbourside park.
Go Here For A Special Report From Inside The Sydney Lockdown Zone - Inside The Great Sydney Cage - Photos And Observations
UPDATE : It appears anti-Bush protests planned for Saturday will now be completely locked out of the city centre, as NSW Police ramp up the hysteria about Sydneysiders exercising their democratic rights to free speech.
It's stomach-churning listening to all this bullshit filling every news break, while President Bush is widely praised for his "vision" and "resolve" on Iraq. Incredibly, while police are trying to make protests illegal in Sydney, Bush said during a press conference how disgusted he was by the suppression of pro-democracy activists in Burma, who are getting hammered for daring to march in the streets of their cities.
It's enough to melt your brain.
In the Supreme Court today, NSW Police appeared to be pushing for all protests during APEC to be made illegal, which means anybody who turns up to march or voice their dissent will be breaking the law, and as police have previously warned, "will be charged with the full force of the law". This may also include provisions under the extremist anti-terror laws that would make Hitler shake his head in disbelief.
But get this, a pro-Bush support group were granted permission to gather outside President Bush's Sydney hotel, inside the most extreme security zone ever forced onto the people of Sydney. Not only were the pro-Bush supporters allowed to gather, they were also allowed to use long poles to hoist their banners. Sticks, poles and pieces of plastic tubing are banned in the security zone, as police claim "violent protesters" will use them as weapons.
A news break just quoted one senior police officer as saying he is convinced that Saturday's anti-Bush rally will turn into "a full scale riot". Yet, nobody involved with any of the protests have said they will be using violence, and are actively discouraging anyone who wants to use violence from turning up on Saturday.
The police seem very sure that there will be violence at the Saturday marches.
Why would that be? The Stop Bush Coalition organising the main march on Saturday will be policing their own march, watching out for people trying to start trouble or encouraging violence. They are very well aware of the 'agent provocateurs' used by Canadian police recently.
We'll be covering the marches on this blog later in the week, and will keep you updated with the latest stories about Sydney's week as a police state, crippled by ultra-security.
Go Here For The Latest Stories
Police overseeing the ultra-security state forced on the people of Sydney - so President Bush doesn't have to see potentially offensive hand-painted signs or hear protesters singing critical songs while holed up in his harbour-view hotel - have launched a legal challenge to effectively make anti-Bush protests illegal while the president is in town.
President Bush arrives in Sydney tonight, and the first anti-Bush protests will be held later today.
But on Saturday, September 8, thousands of protesters are expected to stage a march through the streets of Sydney. A march that the police minister and various police spokesmen claim will become "a flashpoint for violence".
But a key organiser of the 'Stop Bush Coaltion' rightly pointed out the only talk of violence occurring during such demonstrations is coming from prime minister John Howard, the police and ministers in the state and federal governments, along with their echo-friendly talkback radio allies and anti-democracy newspaper opionists.
Naturally, the Australian media, virtually across the spectrum, have repeatedly stated Howard's hallucinatory claim that the presence of President Bush is not the reason why Sydneysiders and tourists are being asked for their ID, searched, detained for questioning, forced to move through the city via security checkpoints and have a massive 'steel wall' dividing their city in half.
No, don't blame Bush, says Howard, on a daily basis, blame instead the threat posed by "violent protesters."Observe :
"The reason that we have the security clampdown in Sydney, the reason why people are being inconvenienced, is because people in the past have practised and in the current environment are threatening violence," Mr Howard said.Howard is ranting like a loon. And Australians no longer believe his guff. They know very well why thousands will try and march through the streets of Sydney this weekend : President Bush. And China's president Hu. And some of the other Communists and fascist regime leaders who populate APEC.
"It's not the fault of the guests in our country, it's not the fault of the American President or the Chinese President or the Russian President, it's not the fault of the NSW Government or the Federal Government; it's the fault of people who threaten violence.
"It's got nothing to do with the motives and the behaviour of people who are coming here as our guests."
What is even more curious, however, is that these "urban terrorists", as some media commentators have already begun to parrot, don't appear to actually exist. Or at least, they don't appear to exist in any noticeable number.
When the police released their 'hit list' of troublemakers they were warning to stay away from the city centre, there were less than 25 names. So much for the threat posed by hordes of "violent protesters."
But the media repeats Howard's absurd blame-claims without challenge or correction. Watch too much of the news during Sydney under APEC, and you begin feeling like the John Hurt character from V For Vendetta has shat inside your head.
Let's be very clear about this.
President Bush's 600-plus strong contingent of secret service, undercover intelligence agents and visible security guards are not overly concerned about the all but non-existent "violent protesters".
They're concerned about car and truck bombings, suicide attacks and those nine missing Army rocket launchers that ten months of intensive police searches have failed to locate.
The Australian and US military are co-operating in launching fully-armed jet fighter and helicopter gun ship patrols because they're worried about international or state-sponsored terrorists trying to kill President Bush, not because a dozen protesters might try and scale the 'steel wall' security fence, or wave giant puppets about.
Howard doesn't seem to understand that the vast majority of the public know he is speaking absolute twaddle, and are all too aware that he is actively participating in a massive anti-protest psychological operation. A psy-op aimed solely at scaring away the tens of thousands of people who wish to publicly march in Sydney's streets against the corpse-strewn foreign policies, and soon to be Australia-centric policies, of President George W. Bush.
The Stop Bush Coalition intends to stage its march on September 8 along three Sydney streets that will take the protesters through a section of the 'steel wall' security zone.
NSW Police have refused to grant the Stop Bush Coalition permission to march along this route, citing the potential of security-related threats to the 21 APEC world leaders who will be meeting at this time, more than a kilometre away from the controversial march route.
Despite the legal action by NSW Police, the Stop Bush Coalition said, "we are determined to go ahead."
If successful, the (NSW Police) application will effectively prevent protesters lawfully using city streets for the rally and march...
“We have put several route options to the police for the march and they have rejected all of them,” Mr Bainbridge said.
”We are determined to defend the right to protest.”
But there's some fabulous irony to the news that NSW Police are trying to make protests in Sydney illegal.
In Victoria, their fellow officers of the law, who are sick of crap pay and working conditions, are threatening to launch industrial action, strikes and...protests.
Yes, police protesting in the streets of a major Australia city.
The Stop Bush Coalition should do an amnesty/solidarity deal with the police union that if its members refrain from unnecessarily cracking heads in APEC Sydney this week, they'll throw their now high media profile behind helping police in their fight for a better pay deal.
Personally I think police, ambulance officers, firemen and emergency response workers should all be paid as much as your local state or federal politician, or at the minimum get a federal politicians' superannuation benefits, the very best of all super payments in the nation.
Police, firemen and ambulance drivers have appallingly high rates of PTSD, stress-related illness and fatigue driven burn-out, and most don't have many luxuries to look forward to when they reach retirement age. Unlike our PTSD-free politicians.
Anyone who has to endure the stress and horrors of dealing with alcohol-fueled domestic violence, car accident carnage, bush fires and all manner of Darwin Awards-worthy accidents should be looked after, in work and in retirement.
Masses of police recently marched in Brisbane for improved pay and working conditions. Thousands of interstate cops turned up in support of their Queensland friends and colleagues. Strangely there was little to no coverage of such a remarkable event on the national news.
So the police like to march and protest when the issues that draw them onto the streets are directly related to their working lives, and lifestyles.
But with the threat of the first police strike in eight decades looming in Victoria, and the likelihood of mass cop protests in the streets of Melbourne if they don't get what they want, will police now be seen and heard all over the news snapping off sharp warnings about the threat posed by "violent protesters"?
And if the police protests in Victoria get out of hand, who polices unruly, rioting cops?
A Special Report, With Photos, From Inside The Ultra-Security Zone
Welcome To Sydney President Bush, But Watch Out For The Rocket Launchers
No Law Broken, But Tourists Are Questioned, Hassled By Police For Taking Photographs In Sydney
Australia's NeoCon Friendly Prime Minister Faces Election Pure Massacre
Dead Sydney - The Free Online Novel Of A Post-Bird Flu Pandemic City
Australians Like Americans, But Hate Bush, Just Like Americans