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(en) Australia, Media, WTO meeting causes trouble in Double Bay

From "anarcho sando" <anarcho_sando@hotmail.com>
Date Mon, 14 Oct 2002 03:57:17 -0400 (EDT)


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This is a transcript of PM broadcast at 1800 AEST on local radio.
PM - Thursday, October  10, 2002 18:45

MARK COLVIN: It seems that a coalition of groups campaigning against a
World Trade Organisation meeting in Sydney can already celebrate a famous
victory, and all before the first arrest is made.

The mere prospect of the anti-globalisation forces has persuaded the NSW
Police Minister and his Sydney Area Commander to tell the Federal
Government that the planned venue for the talks next month is unsuitable.

That venue was supposed to be the five-star Sir Stamford Hotel in Double
Bay in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.

But the Federal Government has ridiculed the pleas of local shopkeepers,
who are worried about their boutiques and restaurants sustaining damage in
the protests.

Simon Santow reports.

SIMON SANTOW: Double Bay is known by many in Sydney as "Double Pay",
because there seems to be a surcharge just to shop or linger over a cup of
coffee among high society.

Rather than complaining about the rents, often the rationale shopkeepers
use to justify their inflated prices, there's a great deal of disquiet
among the traders about feral protestors invading their streets.

Local Chamber of Commerce President and real estate agent, Danny Doff.

DANNY DOFF: I think it's absolute madness that you hold an event like this
in Double Bay. I mean, I can't see a better spot to provoke anti-global
capitalism, anti-capitalism than in Double Bay with the rows of Armani and
Gucci stores and Harry Who and you just have a look around. They're all,
they are all these boutique stores that just convey capitalism.

SIMON SANTOW: DB's coffee shop has glass windows and is not far from where
the talks are scheduled to take place. Co-owner Paul Kerr hasn't lost his
sense of humour about the prospect of having to deal with protestors.

PAUL KERR: The only thing that they could probably protest to us is
probably the price of our coffee (laughs), and we just provide a service
and if people are prepared to come in and utilise it, then we're prepared
to serve them. We'd actually, actually encourage them to sit down and
enjoy the ambience of Double Bay.

A long way from the civilised ambience of Double Bay are the images and
sounds of Melbourne two years ago, when the WTO came to town and the
protestors took them on on day dubbed S-11.

(protestors and police)

STEVE SANTOW: The fear is that there will be even more anger because
Double Bay is not exactly the paragon of socialism. One of the brains
behind S-11 in Melbourne was David Glanz. He's definitely planning on
coming to Sydney in November to make more anti-globalisation noise.

DAVID GLANZ: I think they certainly should be aware of the fact that some
thousands of people are going to descend on their suburb and make
opposition to the agenda of the World Trade Organisation very clear.

That's certainly going to involve attempts at filling the streets,
blockading the perimeter. It will depend concretely on the circumstances,
but certainly we'll see some thousands of people in Double Bay over a
period of two of three days.

If the shops lose business which I think is obviously their biggest
problem, that will be collateral damage and they will have to pin that
back on the World Trade Organisation, presumably the State Government and
the Federal Government and the police for choosing that venue.

But we're not going there to disrupt shops. We're going there to disrupt
the agenda of the World Trade Organisation.

STEVE SANTOW: NSW Police Minister, Michael Costa, made this plea to the
Federal Government to abandon Double Bay as a venue.

MICHAEL COSTA: Today I've written to the Federal minister, Vaile, asking
him to consider moving the location for this particular activity. Well,
the police have advised that they have obviously, following the Olympics,
experience at handling large crowds and also these types of meeting.

I have full confidence in our police officers to be able to handle the
situation. But it helps if the people that are organising consult with our
police and more importantly take their advice.

STEVE SANTOW: His police commander, Dick Adams concedes that police will
have to cope with protestors wherever the talks take place.

DICK ADAMS: There are areas that we would be able to better prepare, areas
that we are able to isolate from the general community and will have
access and egress routes.

One of the big problems here as was experienced in other cities in the
world, especially in Seattle, Washington in the United States where a
similar conference of a similar nature was held is that they will try and
barricade off a number of the streets. We have to get the delegates in and
out of this place.

If we are unable to do so that's going to not only affect the reputation
of NSW, but of course Australia's international reputation. And we've got
to make sure that we can do it with safety and this is not a place of our
choosing.

STEVE SANTOW: So what does the Federal Government make of the pressure to
move the talks from Double Bay?

Trade Minister, Mark Vaile.

MARK VAILE: Of course we've got to be guided by the NSW Police Force, but
I mean it's beginning to seem as though we need to ask the question. I
mean is the city that was able to host the Olympic Games now not able to
host a meeting of 25 trade ministers for one day?

You know, I'm a bit concerned about that aspect of it. But it's certainly,
you know, I'd be pleased to hear from the NSW Minister now where he thinks
that the NSW Police Force can confidently provide security.

MARK COLVIN: Conference host, trade minister, Mark Vaile and the reporter
was Simon Santow.

**************************************************************************

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/s698386.htm

[ Listen to this story [Requires Microsoft Media Player] -
This is a transcript of The World Today broadcast at 1200 AEST on local
radio.
]

Double Bay scheduled to host WTO meeting

The World Today - Thursday, October  10, 2002 12:53

ELEANOR HALL: Well as Australia prepares to host next month's World Trade
Organisation meeting, organisers are being confronted with a serious case
of not in my backyard from those in the suburb selected to host the
meeting.

There is confusion, anger and even tears from traders in Sydney's
exclusive Double Bay today after they were told that the WTO meeting is
scheduled to be held at a five star hotel in the heart of the well-to-do
suburb.

Indeed the reaction has been so extreme that now the government intends to
ask Federal Trade Minister Mark Vaile to choose an alternative venue.

Here's Jo Mazzocchi.

JO MAZZOCCHI: I'm standing in the heart of Double Bay, one of the most
exclusive areas of Sydney. It's a shopping precinct where the rich and
famous congregate and I'm outside the Stamford Plaza Hotel where the WTO
meeting is going to be held, even though the hotel says that's still not
confirmed.

With me is Double Bay real estate agent and president of the Chamber of
Commerce Danny Doff.

DANNY DOFF: The whole of Double Bay has always got that feel of village
atmosphere and a nice place to come and have a coffee and relax. I've
grown up in Double Bay, I went to school in Double Bay here and I've lived
my whole life around this area and I love it.

JO MAZZOCCHI: In a sense Double Bay represents the very heart of
capitalism, with some of the most beautiful stalls in Sydney, if not the
country. And there is a concern, by some traders, that it will simply egg
on the protestors?

DANNY DOFF: I definitely think so. I mean I think it's absolute madness
that you hold an event like this in Double Bay. I can't see a better spot
to provoke any global capitalism than in Double Bay, with the rows of
Armani and Gucci stores and Harry Who. You just have a look around at all
these boutique stores that just convey capitalism.

JO MAZZOCCHI: Do you have a view of where it should be held, if not in
Double Bay then where?

DANNY DOFF: Eastern Creek.

JO MAZZOCCHI: I don't think somehow you're going to get that wish. Do you?

DANNY DOFF: Well I think it should be in an area where you're not going to
have. You've seen in Melbourne the troubles they've had in Melbourne and
all over the world, I suppose, it's very hard to know where exactly a
trade conference like should be held.

JO MAZZOCCHI: I am now in one of Double Bay's most popular streets, Knox
Street, and I'm speaking to Paul Kerr, one of the owners of a restaurant
called Dee Bees. Paul Kerr what's your view on this WTO meeting?

PAUL KERR: I think if it highlights the suburb as being a good place to be
and a good place to come and it brings extra business then so be it.

JO MAZZOCCHI: I mean you have beautiful, very large glass windows at the
front of your restaurant, are you not concerned that perhaps some of these
protestors may want to damage?

PAUL KERR: Well I don't think, the only thing they could probably protest
to us is the price of our coffee [laughs].

JO MAZZOCCHI: How much is your coffee?

PAUL KERR: It's only $3.50, the same as everywhere else. I don't think I
would be under threat. We don't pose a threat to anyone, we just provide a
service. And if people are prepared to come in and utilise it then we're
prepared to serve them.

JO MAZZOCCHI: So you don't intend to wear riot gear as you serve coffee?

PAUL KERR: No certainly not. We'd actually encourage them to sit out and
enjoy the ambience of Double Bay.

JO MAZZOCCHI: I'm now in another street of Double Bay called Bay Street,
and I'm speaking to John Serafino, who's a leading fashion house here in
Double Bay. Mr Serafino what's your view on this?

JOHN SERAFINO: It will be very damaging for our trade and image of Double
Bay should not this happen.

JO MAZZOCCHI: If it's not held in Double Bay, do you have a view where the
meeting should be held?

JOHN SERAFINO: I think they should be in Bondi Beach so they can scream
and strap themselves into the sand and jump to the water and cool off all
this anger they have. I think this would be the best place to be.

JO MAZZOCCHI: Would it lead you to close down your shop here, what would
you do?

JOHN SERAFINO: If something like this happen, would be a setback for me. I
have grown up here, been a long time and I don't think I should.

[Getting upset]

JOHN SERAFINO: The community here in Double Bay, they're entitled to know
those things. They can't just walk in and do whatever they want. We live
here they don't.

ELEANOR HALL: The emotion from Double Bay trader John Serefino, speaking
there to Jo Mazzocchi.


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