September 8th, 2007

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

APEC Protest - The Bags

Our Hellfire APEC protest on Friday 07th September, 2007 went very well - lots of our regular patrons came along and collected their free ‘Does My Bomb Look Big In This?’ shopping bags. Many could be seen walking around the city, both on the day, and today at the STOP BUSH march!

We were snapped by many members of the international media - and even got some local coverage in the Sydney Star Observer leading up to the event. Thanks to all who came along to help us protest.

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

APEC - Sydney Becomes a Police State

"This is not a Police State - we have a right to demonstrate!" echoed down the 10,000+ strong rally this morning. Let me show you why we needed to be reminded that we don't live in a police state.

Let's start with the peaceful Friday 07th September, 2007 rally which had to be surrounded by the 'Tactical Police BMX Unit'.

The police felt it necessary to record images of the protesters. I think it goes on our ASIO files. Luckily, we were able to get on camera many times between our two days of protesting, so we will have nice thick files:

Here are the dangerous (and clearly violent) protesters (Bums for Bush) they were recording. Wonder if hairy cracks will make it into the funny column in the next police newsletter?

Luckily there were some great people HELPING ensure the human rights of protesters were not violated. They were wearing vests labeled HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR and you can see them here recording the police. Their group was made up of 30+ lawyers who were there to defend protesters from unlawful arrests. They rocked.

We hear they have photos of more than 50 police who were not showing identification... naughty naughty - and with that many clearly this was not a mistake - rather it was a directive. Has somebody called the ombudsman yet I ask?

Here is a montage of over-policing from Friday. Note the police officer standing underneath the 'Reinvent Democracy' sign. I'd suggest 'intelligent policing' would dictate reading any banners before you stand under them with an eye for satirical irony... and there certainly seemed to be a reinvention of democracy this weekend (and not in a good way).

And finally we see 'the skirmish' where peaceful protesters lined the streets and laughed at the police using their bikes as a barricade, whilst searching one of their own APEC vehicles. Me thinks it was stupid to bring a motorcade through as the mooning protest was winding up. Check out the Police Dirt Bike Bandits who came in from behind us across Hyde Park, the choppers buzzing us from above, and of course the lines of feds (jn overalls), and state police.

A special 'thanks for the laughs' goes to this dude - Officer Robocop, Head of the Tactical BMX Unit. Note the police officers in the 'urinal position' behind him. It's certainly sent out a 'we piss on protesters' message:

Check out my next post for how on Saturday they upped this already ridiculous amount of police. By the way, this protest attracted 300-400 people AT THE MOST.
Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Stop Bush! Make Howard History!

After seeing on Friday exactly what constitutes Australian policing these days, we felt that we needed to go to the Saturday 08th September, 2007 Stop Bush! Make Howard History! protest too - so off we trotted into the breach once more.

On the way I marveled at the police ingenuity taping closed bins with plastic, gaff and police tape:

Police buses filled with the Federal Storm Trooper Units were fitted with riot shields right before our eyes:

It was a good day for slogans, but there has to be a winner... and here she is - a VIOLET PROTESTER!

A close second in the humour stakes was this one - "Kevin Rudd DRUNK attends a strip club. John Howard SOBER sends out troops to Iraq."

Here are some of the rest of the slogans we saw:

Now after the good stuff, there unfortunately was a lot of bad... bad policing that is. Let's begin with the police taking the poles from peaceful protester's signs:

Then there were the creepy spying police up on the (very well guarded) Town Hall:

Some protesters covered their faces to avoid this surveillance:

The police line, forcing the protesters into the surrounded park (this part was frightening):

Here come a marching battalion of reinforcements for the line (already 5 rows deep with bikes, feds, motorbikes and ordinary state police):

Even more frightening was watching the line be told to put on their mace goggles as the protest was funneled past:

So many helicopters buzzing the protest that it felt like we were in a war zone:

And here is a poignant contrast - the police used their bikes as barricades; the protesters used them for music transportation:

The police had a water cannon (parked on Elizabeth Street); the protesters had a bubble cannon (strapped on the push bike):

I'll leave you with one part of Howard's Wall of Shame. I am disappointed that we went from being a democracy to a police state, just so lil' Johnny could show what a big wig he was on a world scale, and agree that they should (in a non-binding way) 'talk' about climate change.

This is not the Australia I want to live in.