Monday, September 10, 2007

APEC protests - a taste of life in a Howard 'soft' police state

I was saddened on Saturday by the spectacle of 3,000 odd APEC protesters behind a steel wall of riot police, barricades, prison buses and water canon, which moved threateningly from street to street, snipers and surveillance helicopters (presumably also with snipers on board).

No risk of an Elm St event here, except if you happened to get on the wrong side of coppers whipped up into a paranoid fury of expectation by our increasingly low-rent political leadership. It is a wonder none of those well-trained snipers got carried away.

I've seen footage of a bystander wanting to cross a city street manhandled to the road by police thugs looking to take out all that pent up testosterone on somebody, all witnessed by his young son. If this is how we are fighting to protect our way of life, we have already lost.

When politicians encourage police to use excessive powers, you can rest assured they will. It is the nature of the beast, as evidenced by police actions in jurisdiction after jurisdiction ruled by political elites representing narrow sectional interests. The Apartheid regime comes to mind, as does Alabama in the 60s.

As usual, commercial TV outlets were out in force, a veritable cheer squad of hacks, foaming at the mouth at the prospect of riot footage for the evening news and 'current affairs' shock jocks. There was discernible disappointment from those 'on the ground' when the only real nastiness seem to come from some disaffected sociopath and the police themselves.

Not a good look Australia. The political and police leadership responsible for this nightmare should be held accountable.

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