Today the Herald press/web reports that the authoritarian tendencies of the NSW Govt are continuing with a determination to keep the police powers from APEC:
March 12 2008 Tough police powers outlive APEC - National - smh.com.au
In the shadow of this legal develppment is more news about the unpopular prosecution of the Chaser team just this morning:
Chaser's APEC stunt goes to court 10:56am | Hearing date set over charges for fake motorcade during APEC.
What the NSW Govt is not willing to talk about though is the wide divergence between protester reality compared with sworn evidence by the police hierarchy that we listened to in the NSW Supreme Court.
More on this Supreme Court free speech aspect as reported by this writer back in Sept 2007:
Wednesday, 5 September 2007'Common sense decision' to ban protest march route or beat up of anti Bush critics?
Decision on APEC protest march at 2pm in NSW Supreme Court
Mood: not sure
Gandhi's confronting non violence
Then there is still unresolved failure of the national security authorities
Tuesday, 4 September 2007John Lyons and the rocket launchers page 1 The Australian today
Mood: not sure
And we were inspired by The Chaser's art and courage, a high point in Australian culture of free speech:Thursday, 6 September 2007Why is Thales Corporation, arms maker/dealer sponsoring APEC, including flags in the CBD?
Friday, 7 September 2007Chaser stunt adds to inspiring PR effort of non government sector at APEC Sydney
Topic: human rights
8 Sept 2007
September 9th, 2007 Was it 3K or really 10K at the SBC rally and march? It does matter! with this addendum "Police evidence to the Supreme Court predicted 20K, then '3K'On September 10th, 2007 ecology action ... says:
... the police/govt claimed in PR postures on Saturday late arvo that there were only 3K.
That's a huge differential actually from police evidence in court [compared] to media PR after the event.
And diverges hugely from the protest organisers estimates of at first 5K, then upgraded to 10K on the day.
There is a clear pattern here I submit of the police presenting dishonest spin to the public, [and also] quite seriously in evidence to the Supreme Court.
The senior police better watch how they go, getting way too clever and adopting sleazy ALP media management style tactics, this is proper fodder for
1. the Police Integrity Commission
3. arguably potential allegations of perjury (a criminal offence) before a Supreme Court judge Michael Adams in the case over the anti Bush rally/march last week.
Having said all this, we do agree with UWS academic Kennedy in the SMH today young police are indeed being used as political pawns in a hard fought dangerous law and order bait and switch federal election dynamic, power arm wrestle between Howard/Federal Coalition versus ALP/Iemma State govt proxy for Rudd federal Opposition.
The fact remains the police like everyone must act according to law in performing their genuine public safety and security function.
There must also be honesty on the party of the civil society ngo groups both inside and outside the Stop Bush Coalition that .01% of people at the rally were a real threat to public safety. As a lawyer and long time ngo activist and community media practitioner I am quite comfortable in conceding that point to Police Commissioner Scipione, Minister Campbell and the nervous coppers on the line. I felt a few of those nerves myself on Saturday.
Overall democracy came through with some pretty bad bruises and scrapes - quite alot more communication and analysis to review what we've been through is probably in order Mills, Scipione, Campbell, students Paddy and Jones on that list (and SBS and 60 Minutes too as young stars), Bainbridge etc.
Some positive dialogue might be order, and quite a bit more trust. We can all agree surely this was no g20 farce, and one up on Melbourne folks for strategic savvy all round. Ha ha. (Speaking as a refugee from Victoria, God love 'em.)
[and this further addendum]
Thankyou, police numbers take the protest to a minimum 6K/13K? On September 10th, 2007 ecology action ... says:
We never contemplated counting the police in the march and rally numbers, but that's our cliched stereotype of the dear brothers and sisters in blue.
I declare they have two eyes, two arms and legs. They are human like us and they were there.
Heaven be blessed we must count them as at the rally making a healthy 13,000 at the rally march.
Great stuff. The official rally count just keeps growing to reach the police evidence to the Supreme Court judge Michael Adams last Wednesday of in fact 20K likely attendance, but down a little because of the rain up until 10am.
See - telling the truth was never so easy, eh Chief Superintendent Stephen John Cullen, in the witness box as Commander of the Riot and Public Order Squad. It's all on the transcript for some kind of review, can't wait.
And let's recall the living democracy of the Stop Bush APEC rally: