Sydney Indymedia- the real reporters at APEC
Sunday September 09th 2007, 4:54 pm

cheeky violet protester - image: Sydney IndymediaCitizen journalists on Sydney Indymedia did a much more thorough job covering the APEC protests than corporate media scaremongers. “Was it 3K or really 10K at the SBC rally and march? It does matter!” is a great read. Well done, folks.

Indeed, corporate media, NSW Police and the NSW & Federal governments succeeded to no small degree in hijacking the public discussion- off of China’s human rights abuses, Aboriginal issues, poverty and global warming- and on to flogging fake fears of protest violence.

Last Saturday evening, I saw a candlelight vigil held by Falun Gong supporters at the corner of Broadway and King St near Newtown. A single row of protesters sat along the footpath, covering about three to four hundred metres- had to have been 300-400 people. Any mention in the corporate news? Nope. My luddo-mobile doesn’t have a camera, but surely some Indymedia photojournalists must have got some pics, like this brilliant collage from the anti-APEC march.

Indymedia reports that NSW Police busied themselves protecting Welf Herfurth’s neo-nazis, who were masquerading as anarchists and trying to start fights. Some officers reportedly prepared themselves for a few civil rights violations by removing their name badges, which they are required to wear at all times while in uniform. Police indeed have past form in removing badges when policing protests, to avoid assault complaints. One copper proffered the excuse that the badges have a dangerous pin that could be used as a weapon against them. Sounds like velcro badges* could be a fine way to assure officers are identifiable and yet are protected against disabling pin-stick injuries…

A jaywalker who apparently thought the police were only concerned with the unwashed rabble and not responsible family men, found himself strip searched, jailed for 22 hours and bailed for $1000 as well as banned from the APEC areas- and the man’s son has an impression of police that will last a lifetime.

Quaint- and quite familiar.

I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it since policing of Vietnam War protests in the US in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Howard’s recent string of power grabs, from the anti-Federalist Murray-Darling water scheme to the draconian ‘intervention’ in Aboriginal communities and the absolutely over-the-top policing of Sydney during APEC has all of the appearance of a landed fish flipping its last flop before going into the frying pan.

If you want me, I’ll be in the kitchen mixing up sauce tartare.


*edit: Looks like the name badges already are velcro backed… so what’s the bloody excuse for this nonsense, other than a deliberate and premeditated attempt to be unidentifiable?

9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

HoWARd is betting a quid each way:

PM backs APEC policing

Howard says sorry for APEC security crackdown

Now there’s a vote grabber. 😆

Comment by weez 09.10.07 @ 1:47 pm

[…] And as always, Sydney Indymedia offers extensive coverage from the protester’s themselves. Weez at MGK offers a good roundup of Indymedia’s coverage here. […]

Pingback by The Dead Roo » APEC Coverage Roundup 09.10.07 @ 2:34 pm

Lefty wraps the APEC police violence… there can be absolutely NO excuse for THIS.

Longer video showing responsible cop’s face available here from the ABC.

Comment by weez 09.10.07 @ 4:56 pm

Margo Kingston’s back- with a brief history of Australian fascism since 2002.

Comment by weez 09.10.07 @ 8:32 pm

Call for inquiry into clash that felled photographer

Paul Bibby
September 11, 2007

A PHOTOGRAPHER sent crashing to the ground by police during APEC protests in Sydney at the weekend has called for an inquiry into the police actions.

Paula Bronstein’s camera lens was smashed and she suffered minor bruising to her neck and jaw when police pushed her onto a footpath in a scuffle after the main protest march in the city on Saturday.

The clash, captured by hovering camera crews, was splashed across nightly news bulletins around the country and has become one of the defining images of the police response to the protests.

“It was after we’d been taking shots of this woman being arrested and we were back on the sidewalk and the police started yelling ‘get back’ and started to push people back into the park,” Bronstein, who works for Getty Images, said yesterday.

“Then there was a push – two hands pushing me down really, really, hard and I just went back onto the sidewalk. It came out of nowhere, totally unprovoked.”

Bronstein, who has won awards for her work in Pakistan and Afghanistan, said an inquiry into the clash was needed, a call echoed by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

“I’ve done a lot of conflict photography and you really don’t see a lot of that kind of unprovoked aggression,” she said.

“I’d like to see an inquiry so something constructive comes out of it, so that the police do a better job with a bit more trust and respect next time.”

A spokesman for the office of NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, refused to comment directly on the clash yesterday.

However, in a statement to the Herald, the assistant commissioner Dennis Clifford said there had been a “violent element” in the northern section of Hyde Park at the time.

“Until around 2 pm on Saturday the majority of people had followed police advice and directions,” the statement said.

“But we knew there was still a violent element who, had they been given the slightest chance, would have broken police lines at the northern end. We were determined to keep them contained.”

But the assistant federal secretary of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Mark Ryan, said Bronstein clearly did not pose a security threat and that the use of force was unreasonable. “There is a clear difference between a photographer and a violent protester,” Mr Ryan said.

“She was accredited and in a place where she was allowed to be. We believe there should be [an] inquiry.”

That Bronstein hasn’t experienced the same in Pakistan or Afghanistan as she did in Sydney says it all.

Comment by weez 09.11.07 @ 2:03 pm

Thanks for the rap MGK re the photo collage and the reportage by moi. I tell you I was exhausted after all that. It was a big serious moment in Oz activist history and probably a trap set by Howard for the federal election after the 250K plus anti war march in 2003 that he never forgave civil society for. And he failed. God bless the Chasers too.

Comment by Tom McLoughlin 03.12.08 @ 12:55 pm

Oh and one more thing, with APEC police powers in the news again today, and re Chasers in trouble for their brilliant stunt. That image there of the violet protester (so cute), she always reminds me of the actess in West Wing, you know flamingo, CJ, the white press sec who became Leo’s successor as chief of staff. It couldn’t be surely?

Comment by Tom McLoughlin 03.12.08 @ 1:10 pm

Tom, thanks for your hard work on APEC. Brilliant stuff.

Yep, I did notice the story on APEC security measures being retained- I linked that in today’s wrap.

Regrets, but I’ve not seen West Wing, can’t comment.

Comment by weez 03.12.08 @ 3:25 pm

For the archive, it looks like the original Sydney Indymedia web links are inaccessible now.

So I thought to come back here and post the links of the original collages on my humble website including the lovely violet protester, as follows:

Comment by Tom McLoughlin 01.09.11 @ 10:00 pm

Leave a comment



Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function show_subscription_checkbox() in /home/www/ Stack trace: #0 /home/www/ require() #1 /home/www/ comments_template() #2 /home/www/ include('/home/www/machi...') #3 /home/www/ require_once('/home/www/machi...') #4 /home/www/ require('/home/www/machi...') #5 {main} thrown in /home/www/ on line 155