6 Jun. 2007

Is It A Police State Yet?

While you were sleeping:
In what was a taste of things to come during APEC, 30 anti-Howard activists were surrounded by twice as many riot police and mounted officers.

At least another sixty officers stood by near the hotel while others patrolled adjacent intersections, as a police helicopter hovered above shining its powerful spotlight on the protesters below.
That's ninety police for thirty seemingly peaceful (if noisy) protesters. AAP says "police shoved activists from the road onto the footpath" but only one man was arrested.

It is being made pretty clear to everyone that normal standards of police decency, restraint and fairness will be thrown out the window when APEC leaders meet in Sydney on September 8-9. All the more reason for a massive protest, I would think. Mind you, I could probably be arrested just for saying that.

I wonder if Howard will call the election before or after the APEC meeting? He probably hopes that rubbing shoulders with world leaders while hosting such an event will be a big boost to his fading popularity. He probably thinks a few ratbag protesters being dragged away on the TV news won't do his scare-mongering tough guy profile any harm either. But an over-the-top police operation could very well backfire on him.

I think a massive, 100% peaceful protest would be the best possible response from the Australian people. Violence will not achieve anything, for either side.