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(en) Australia, Sydney Anti-WTO Protests (2)

From aniMAL <animal@guild.murdoch.edu.au>
Date Mon, 18 Nov 2002 07:27:38 -0500 (EST)


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Hi all,

As I was there and have some more time on my hands now I will elaborate on
the below media tripe, as well as give a brief account of what went down
on the Wednesday - Thursday...

After Wednesdays illegal march (police escorted) for refugee rights and no
war to the immgigration department, activists and the police were quite
fired up for da WTO...

Thursday da 14th : Over a 1500 crew (greenies, socialists, autonomists,
anarchists and other assorted affinity groups) took over the streets of
the Sydney CBD let by the Reclaim the Streets affinity group within the
greens block...

A good colourful illegal carnival enshued in which the police endevoured
to herd the slow moving procession out of the CBD, stopping at various
places of interest about town including the US consulate, CityBank,
Australian corrections mananement (run private prsions and detention
camps), Socialist Alternative (to what?) trots endevoured to control the
march lead by the RTS crew (crys of "why is the vanguard at the rear"
really pissed them) about halfway there they took the lead and the vibe of
the procession turned into a march with a proceeding increase in cop and
protester agro...

Several arrests, excessive police agro and violence, two squads of police
horses used (a journalist was trampled) as well as around a hundred
visible tactical response group coppers, reserves in the background...

Streets relcaimed for three hours, then we headed to the Unity march in a
central city park with the AFTINET more conservative community group
types, over three thousand there, people had some lunch and chilled and
regrouped...

In the mid afternoon an attempt was made by the green, RTS blocks (minus
the socialists of course) to again reclaim the streets, numbers not large
enough (less than 500), massively increased police presence would not
allow the mobile sound system / scupture out of the park.  Park reclaimed
with several attempts to reclaim the streets, a highlight was the
reclaiming of th ecentral fountain, within which and around a party of
several hundred or more strong enshued for the rest of the afternoon,
despite large police numbers, three where arrested after trying to
de-arrest an indigenous man taken by the police for abusive language...

On Fri, 15 Nov 2002, Dan Clore wrote:

> AFP
>
> Friday November 15, 2:40 PM
>
> Australian police arrest 35 anti-globalisation protesters

Under the special powers of the protest area, the previous Olympic venue,
you can be arrested for basically fuck all, most arrests were for
resisting arrest, public nuciance and the odd police assault...

> Police arrested 35 protesters during an anti-globalisation protest
> outside a World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference here.
>
> Some of the arrests occurred after police warned protesters and
> reporters to leave a car park outside the hotel where the trade talks
> were taking place on Friday. A press photographer was among those
> initially detained.
>
> A police spokesman said those arrested would face charges of trespass
> and violent disorder. One was charged with carrying a knife.

One of hundreds focused on...

> Police later denied accusations of over-reacting and said the actions of
> many of the demonstrators were irresponsible.

I know of several broken wrists, may people arrested have bruises to prove
ust how nice the police were to protesters, still things could have been
worse...

> On several occasions riot police charged demonstrators as they attempted
> to pull down a 2.5 metre (eight foot) steel fence surrounding the
> Olympic Park hotel complex where the conference was held.

The fact is that they suceeded on four occassions to remove the to mesh
part of the concrete based 1 million dollar fence, despite the vast police
numbers...

> But an overwhelming police crackdown quickly controlled the
> demonstrations in which about 1,500 protesters, many wearing masks and
> crash helmets, were involved.
>
> Riot police lined up in front of the fence to deter further attempts to
> break through to the hotel complex where the 25 trade ministers were
> meeting.

The Prime minister was there as well, i think that the crackdown was
infact a show of strength the ministerial and others about just how good
this Olympic fortess was for holding such conferences...

Truth is that a number of us walked in to venue two days before catching
the security entirely off guard as we took a wee stroll through the
premises, of course when they caught up with us they "asked" as to leave
politely, and then less so...

> Some protesters were arrested by snatch squads of police after the
> surrounding a smaller police contingent, taunting them with chants of
> "Push, Push".

Yep heard them on the radio targeting specif people in the autonomoun and
black blocs who were the one pulling down the fences, the trots were
essentially useless on the day, Socialist Alternative had a contingent of
mostly kids with the red bloc the first to vacate the scene...

> Others chanted "peace, peace" and "we have a right to demonstrate - this
> is not a police state."

The last to leave the scene after police order it a no go zone was an
affinity group from the green block who sat in silent meditation in from
of police line in a circle despite police intimiation the got up and left
on their own terms / time, with a prompt bit of helping shoving from the
police...

> Some of the protesters, from an alliance of left wing activists,
> anarchists, environmentalists and other causes, blew soap bubbles in the
> face of police.

Magic bubbles from the witch affinity group : Colour the Grey
http://www.colourthegrey.net/

> Ministers from 25 member countries of the World Trade Organisation
> included officials from the United States, European Union, Japan and
> developing nations including Brazil, India and China attended the
> conference.
>
> Friday November 15, 3:19 PM
>
> Security fortress shuts down anti-WTO protest in Sydney
>
> By James Regan
>
> SYDNEY (Reuters) - Anti-globalisation protests fizzled on Friday after
> heavy security turned a World Trade Organisation (WTO) mini-summit site
> in Sydney into a fortress.

I would not say fizzled, neither would I call them anti-globalisation...

Whilst some argued that we should just reclaim the streets and leave the
cops in their x million dollar fortress, within the spokes council most
afinity groups felt the need to go to this fortress for what would be a
symbolic protest livened up by the autonous blocs

> A ring of steel fencing, concrete barricades and hundreds of armed
> police, some with guard dogs, locked down the WTO conference site at the
> 2000 Olympic Games venue in western Sydney as trade ministers from 25
> nations met.
>
> A group of about 500 protesters confronted police at barricades near the
> meeting venue on Friday and tore down a section of fencing. Police
> responded by crossing the barricades to push back the shouting
> protesters.

This does not describe the diversity of the croud...

> "This is the (New South Wales) state government using its police to
> defend the rich and powerful behind these fences," said protester Brian
> Webb as police pushed protesters back.
>
> Police commander Dick Adams said 35 protesters were arrested after the
> brief scuffles. Two police suffered minor injuries.
>
> "I am extremely happy and I make no apology for the fact that we were
> well prepared," Adams told reporters as protesters began drifting away
> from the site in drizzling rain.
>
> "We created a perimeter around this place to make sure that we could
> ensure the safety of the delegates that were coming here," Adams said.

Bullshit, simply overkill...

> Rowdy, chaotic protests in Sydney's business district on Thursday
> resulted in 18 arrests and police were determined protesters would not
> reach the conference site.

They never mention the carnival just the "violent", clearly most of it was
inititated by the police...

Now for the gov's spin (and my counter) : but the WTo is gonna provide
cheap generic medicines (heck they already agreed to that); but look the
US is offering Australia a free trade deal (minus the agriculture that the
ozzies want, that will fuck over third world farmers); look at all of the
money the government has spent to contain these unruly protesters (look at
the money it has but into showing it is policing might in the lead up to
the state elections!); all protester as evil...

:)

> CHEAP MEDICINES
>
> The two-day Sydney WTO meeting, which ends on Friday, is the first by
> trade ministers since the Doha round of trade talks last year and aims
> to smooth the way to the next full WTO conference in Mexico in 2003.
>
> The meeting was attended by WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi,
> U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Japan's Minister of
> Economy, Trade and Industry Takeo Hiranuma.
>
> With 17 developing countries present, the talks had a special emphasis
> on the developing world.
>
> The key focus in Sydney was the freeing up of cheap medicines to
> developing nations to fight HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis, while preserving
> intellectual property rights of drug companies.
>
> Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile said the meeting produced a
> convergence of views on delivering cheap medicines to the world's poor.
>
> "We're going to send a very strong instruction back to Geneva to conduct
> the fine tuning processes," Vaile told reporters.
>
> Supachai said making cheaper medicines available would help garner
> support from smaller nations for free trade goals.
>
> "We need to build trust among the member countries, particularly those
> coming from the developing world, so that we can gather momentum to move
> on with the rest of the round," he said.
>
> AFP
>
> Friday November 15, 10:55 AM
>
> Protestors march on trade ministers' meeting in Australia
>
> About 2,000 anti-globalisation protestors marched on a heavily-guarded
> meeting of trade ministers here, flanked by police.
>
> Carrying a large banner saying "Capitalism breeds war -- smash
> imperialists", the protestors set off Friday from a train station about
> three kilometres (two miles) from the meeting venue at Sydney's Olympic
> Park.
>
> Police maintained a low profile around the march, despite an official
> ban on demonstrations for the duration of the meeting, which aims to
> kickstart World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks on global trade reform.
>
> Student Liz Walsh, 20, who travelled from Melbourne to attend the
> protest, said most of the demonstrators were members of Trotskyist
> groups such as Red Bloc and Socialist Alternative.

What a load of tripe, red bloc at most was around 1/4 of the protesters,
its just they has so many bloody red Che flags...

> Wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan "Regime change begins at home",
> Walsh said the informal WTO meeting was undemocratic and represented an
> organisation that put corporate profits ahead of ordinary people.
>
> "We are for trade but we want it based on human need and social justice
> which means a total change to the system by any means possible,
> including mass protest and whatever else it takes," she said.
>
> Other groups represented at the rally included environmentalists, human
> rights activists and trade unionists.

Others...

> Many wore T-shirts saying "Ban the bomb" and "Legalise marijuana" while
> others sported mohawk hairstyles in a bright variety of colours.
>
> Protestor numbers were well down on the several thousand predicted by
> organisers, but those that did turn up included activists wearing bicyle
> helmets in anticipation of clashes with police.
>
> Sporadic violence flared at protests in Sydney's financial district
> Thursday, resulting in about 15 arrests.
>
> Demonstrators marching on the isolated meeting venue will be confronted
> by more than three kilometres of concrete barricades and mesh fencing,
> as well as a large contingent of police.
>
> The venue, where Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympics, was built with crowd
> control considerations in mind and road traffic has been halted in the
> area.

This report fails to mention so so much, such is the nature of the media
beast, check out sydeny.indymedia.org for better reporting...

Cheers
MAL


> From: ben coyne <bongoben> Subject: WTO REPORTBACK!!

Yo yo yo, here?s a quick report back on the WTO capital clown show!! And
the Daily Telegraph tabloid trash fascistic farce and media orchestrated
bullshit bloodbath!!

Hey there crew, I will try and keep this short ish but of course a whole
heap of crazy stuff has happened. I arrived on the bus from Melbs last
Friday morning for the debate on "Civil Disobedience" @ Parliament House
that Mista costa (the Police commisioner) had tried to ban (??) and the
media had used to slander the Greens all up the east coast (obviously coz
they are looking like gaining a lot of political sway in upcoming
elections). Alan Jones was also at the forefront of writing it off and the
Greens were accused thropughout the week of "inciting violent protest"The
lecture was amazing!! There were many academics from various Sydney Unis
talking on issues from history of civil disobediaence in Oz to describing
all thos funny reserve laws that have been passed that you?ve never heard
of that actually undermine our constitution and various International and
UN treaties. But it rocked and I am going to get a copy of the audio of
it! But despite all the MASS MEDIA hype only about 100 people attended.
This was the same pattern to be played out through the week as miniscule
numbers atteneded the "public forums" and there were hardly any crew at
the actual protests. This is largely because people in Sydney are slave
chained to a crazy fast pace debt trap rat race so they can eat, pay the
high rent and get off their face (after a hard week at work). Even lots of
students couldn?t come coz they are working ontop of Austudy just to pay
rent and eat (LESSON1: DON?T MOVE TO SMOGNEY!!)

Most of the organising and forums were held in the Midnight Star centre
for social action in Homebush right near the train line. It is a beautiful
majestic old three story theatre with once glamourous broken chandeliers
hanging to the well adorned ceilings. This place has been squatted for
about 10months now and was instigated by the eviction of the famous
Broadway squats after the Olympics. So on Monday night I went to a forum
on the effects of Corporate Globalisation on the People of the Global
South. Two activists had been flown in, one from Indo and one from the
Phillipines and there was an embarrasing attendance of about 20!! It was
very interesteing but I am pretty tired of heariung these depressing
horror stories. The next night there was a forum on Indigenous people and
Globalisation and the People?s Global Action network (PGA) talking about
OZ Aborigine issues and Maori issues and it was really amazing to hear
about the social movements of Maori mob and here stories of the young
indig boys from Newcastle and Cairns, very enlightening. Only about 30
people attended this forum. But Ivan our beautiful amazing and inspiring
Yamigee friend (the guy who jumped on Richard Courts car at s11 in melbs
and claimed a citizens arrest for the war crimes committed against his
people) was there in top form


A Daily Telegraph reporter had actually snuck into this forum and later
wrote an article about it. NOW FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON"T KNOW, the Daily
telegraph epitomises tabloid trash infotainment owned by the corporate
criminal, Oz constitution breaker and arms dealer??(drum roll) Mista
Murder?sorry I mean Murdoch- probably the biggest business interest in Oz
with the highest vested interest in a USA-OZ free trade agreement and the
signing of the GATS in Mexico next year. The Daily telegraph is such aload
of stinky cowdung poobah hoo har that the Herald Scum actually looks like
The gurardian Weekly when placed next to it - yes?it is that bad!!

The Midnight Star was branded by the media as "Protester HQ" and Channel
10 even snuck in on the first day of the protest, while every one was in
ytown, and did an exclusive likening it to a ?terrorist cell? - thanks for
the compliment but we?re really not that organised!! Well the Star was
only 2km from Olympic Park where the Wto conference was move at the last
minute because of the extra powers police have there (no banners/placards
allowed, no PA systems, no warrant needed for a search etc etc).

There was a refugee rally "The Free movement of people" march organised
for Wed night. This tested out the fact that Mista costa had denied
permits for any rallys or peaceful protests to be held in Sydney up until
Sunday. He called it a "protest free zone", I call it a "democracy free
zone, aka, MARTIAL LAW, aka the World Governments in Town so Sydney
becomes a Police State?.WHAT A FUCKING JOKE!!! Anyway the police "allowed"
us (they obviously wanted to maintain some thin veil of the illusion tha
democracy still exists in this country) to march down to the dept of
immigration taking up one of the main arteries and it was very peaceful
and positive

There was a so called"Spokescouncil" on Wednesday night but these totally
contradicted the idea of a spokes as a non-decision making body and were
more like a meeting dominated by socialist agendas and Melbourne elitists
which went trotting around in cricles for hours trying to reach consensus.

Thursdays action had been organised as multiple actions in the city,
culminating a a massive rally organised by Church groups and unions at
midday in Hyde park. We all gathered in Martin Place, heart of the CBD and
belly of the corporate beast, in the morning anfdit turned into the most
amazing 4 hour slow moving Reclaim the Streets party all around the city.
There was so much colour, radical cheerleaders from melbs and lismore, the
peace police, the meditatrion bloc, the Red Block 9misrepping the movement
as always and trying to turn Sydney into red square) the Green Bloc, the
orange Bloc 9for refugee rights), the Don Bradman memorial cricket mob
(all padded up) there was meditating business men (beautiful Ral), medics
and legal observers, pseudo ASIO spys handing out copies of the "Herald
Scum", there was nude actions, food not bombs concoctions, booyah bass
ppumping soundsystems in Bins, George Bush was there with a missile and
sign (Democracy We Deliver!) and how many parasitic journos, wow they
could have been a bloc in themselves, conservatives, radicals, nomadicals,
free agents, there was ferals, funksters, freaks and we reclaimed the
streets!!!! For sooooo long. And the Police were complicit in assisting us
and effectively defied their Commisioners orders and assisted us in
holding an "illegal" march!! We ended up at town hall for a No War Rally
at 11am and then moved to hyde park for an amazing Rally where the full
force of the CARR-upt p0olice state was exposed and we were locked into
Hyde park for the afternoon with police patrols, and shitloads of bigg
beefy seemingly brainless blue brainwashed uniformed individuals at each
entrance.

The media we were greeted with was page three in the Daily T of a topless
tatooed protester with a face mask holding a BONG molitoff cocktail as a
full page photo!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE it! The follow up story was titled
"BONGS AND YOGA BEAR DOWN ON CAPITALISM" the followeing days they tried
to
blame us for the fact that the ridiculous waste of $5 million spent on the
police for the WTO meeting could have helped the drought stricken farmers,
the victims of the Bali bombing, could have employed more teachers, helped
the education system etc etc (Of which I totally agree) Yes it was all our
fault!!(even though we weren?t in charge of dishing out the maniacal
budget!!)

We tried to have another Reclaim the Streets in the Arvo but the cops
wouldn?t let the sound system out of the park, so we played chasey with
them for about an hour and them ended up partying in the fountain for a
while. The Labrats played and MC ozibattler and there was an open mike for
a bit and we all had a great dance in the wake of a beautiful blossoming
police state! All in all an amazing day was had by all!! Even though there
was only about 1000 people all up (the European backpacker contingent were
shocked by the lacking turnout!!) Only a few people were arrested and
violence was only instigated once by the police outside Australian
Correctional Management (ACM) when the march stopped and they came in
extremely heavy handed and created a crazy situation where a rooky journo
from the Australian was trampled by police horses and had her pelvis
severely crushed (consequently all the papers blamed this on "violent
protesters" although the Sydney Morning herald accounted it to police
excessive force thank god!!) We, the meditation bloc, quickly counteracted
the situation by OHM BOMBING the police!! I got fired up and went in to be
a cheeky bastard and taunt the police mode, which almost got me arrested a
few times.

We had another doggy ass spokes council that night and I spoke from the "I
don? think there?s any point in going out to Homebush on Friday" Bloc. It
was totally premeditated as to what would happen, we rock up the cops beat
the crap out of everyone (they wanted blood after being made to look
incompetent on Thurs) and then we get branded as "violent"- typical WTO
protest media formula, straight from Murdoch?s own craphole cookbook (I
think it?s the Goebbles Speciual!!) Anyway I was totally shut down and the
trots wanted to go coz it had been advertised. I stayed at the Star that
night. We were woken at 5am by the special delegation of "dignitory
police" who gave us a run down on how oppressed we were going to be on the
day. Then a crew of us walked in, were search when we got there, they had
cops on foot, with dogs, on bikes, on trail bikes, in choppers, in
overalls, in fluoro, in this uniform that uniform every style of cop you
could have imagined!! OH yes and the undercover one who I walked to the
site with who I had great fun interrogating about "alternative paradgims
to the neo liberal agenda"?? (his answer was "anti capitalism!!)

So we got there all the media was there and only about 50 of us mob, all
the other were meeting at the train station as a group and marching there.
The media were all scratching their bums and about to leave 9I told them
no one else was rocking up because they were sick of their
misrepresentation and had all gone to the beach - this would have been a
good action, or at least going back into the city and engaging the general
public in colourful decentralised actions rather than being in the
isolated confines of a police state come Eastern Euro Bloc oppressive
environment of Olympic park -straight out of orwell is that place, a
Huxyllian mindscape indeed!!)

But the crew did rock up, everyone got abit excited took down one fence
but there was nowhere to be going once you got in, it was 300m to the
hotel and $5 m worth of cops in you way. We were all herded into the
police sanctioned "passive protest area" (they even put signs up to remind
us!!0 but the media was getting bored so the cops came in full psycho,
targeting and arresting individuals, charging the crowd, I saw cops with
the most monstrous looks on their faces punching people in the face and
grabbing throats TOTALLY UNPROVOKED, it made me feel ashamed with disgust
and literally sick!! So once again I was back taunting the cops telling
them they were the cutest little sheep I had ever seen, that right behind
their backs their puppet masters were toastiung champagne while pulling
their strings and that they shouold get a strong union because the free
trade deal being signed and stbebed behind their backs would screw them
out of a decent wage in a few years time!! It was an amazing image
actually all the trade ministers on the top balconies of their ivory tower
looking down on their porn stormtrooper canon fodder cops beat and oppress
concerned citizens enacting democratic dissent far below?.very symbolic!!!

So the next day in the paper the poor cops were shown on the front
accusing "violent protesters" of kicking them ppunching them and spitting
on them all the while wearing masks "the cowards". I saw about 20 people
all up wearing masks, and the cops targetted and arrested a friend of mine
who was a medic?..so Blah blah blah very disillusioned after that but
can?t say I didn?t half expect it!!! I should know better and not read
that crap but I had a good rant on radio 2ser this morning and am gonna
write a letter to the paper now, I have got copies of the paper so for
your amusement I might try and send some home. So there is a very long
short story, most of you probably won?t get this far but it was good to
get off my chest!! There?s lots more detail always but I reckon that?s
already way too much benny blah blah!!

Also the Tent Embassy was set up in Victoria Park again (where it was set
up for 6 months leading up to the olympics) with the Sacred peace Fire for
Peace and Justice and some really amazing young guys from the Bloc in
Redfern are looking after it. It was just supposed to be set up for the
duration of the WTO but it might stay longer. I went to a beautiful
ceremony there last night.

Now I gotta get back to study for an exam on Wednesday and then I am doing
some Greenpeace kayak training on thurs for a laugh and then on the road
again, down south then back to the desert.

Lots of love to you all beautiful friends See you roundabouts the way
sometime
Love hugs and bananas
Peace be with y'all
;-)
bennyo


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