Monday, August 25, 2008

A Look Back At APEC : The "Violent Riots" That Didn't Happen

Something was going to happen during the APEC conference in Sydney, one year ago next week. The police were convinced that protests were going to turn into bloodbaths of frenzied rioting and looting, they said as much in press conferences during a month of increasingly crazed claims, leading up to APEC, of what they insisted was absolutely going to happen.

But nothing much happened at all. There was violence. But it came from the police.

There was a lot of police, and not much for them to do, besides stand in long lines and tell old people they couldn't cross a city street and would have to walk all the way across Hyde Park to get to where they wanted to be, which was right there, on the other side of the street.

There was a ski-masked collection of supposed 'National Anarchists', who didn't seem to grasp the inherent contradiction in their very name. The media grew impatient waiting for them to senselessly kick in the windows of the closest fast food or coffee franchise, but a motley crew of anti-Bush protesters boxed them in, while grisled old communists mocked them mercilessly. I'll come back to all that later in the week, and do some retro on the stories of that month.

But for now, to celebrate the one year anniversary of the $300 million APEC : This Is What Your City Would Look Like If You Were Living In A Police State, some ultra-security porn :

The nozzles they are holding are for chemical weapons

All images by Darryl Mason

Flashback : Police On Use Of Brutal Tactics During APEC : "That's The Way We Do Business Now."

Police Declared Anti-Bush Marches Would Be "Full Scale Riots", Four Days Before They Were Held