The APEC summit is drawing nearer and it seems that the state and the bosses’ media are stepping up their campaign against people planning to protest against the summit. Thousands of protesters are planning to rally in Sydney during the meeting, including about 200 travelling from Melbourne.
The police have been given extra powers to arrest ‘troublemakers’ at the event and hold them in jail until the APEC summit is over. Police are planning a major security operation for the summit with more than 3000 police on duty and military patrols of Sydney Harbour. It is estimated that over $200 million has been spent on the security operation despite absolutely no evidence of a terror threat.
Police have also brought in a high-powered water cannon if protests get too ‘rowdy’, while a 5 km barrier fence that sits 3 metres high will ring central Sydney and the APEC venues. The state has created a ‘Green zone” in the Sydney CBD that can only be compared to Bagdad.
In some good news for prisoners authorities will give about 200 prisoners a weekend off! They need to clear out jail cells during the summit in case they are needed to detain protesters. The 200 prisoners will be people convicted of ‘non-serious’ crimes and who only spend weekends in jail.
It is clear that the entire APEC security exercise is aimed at keeping the protesters away from the event and intimidating people. They want to discourage people from protesting and opposing APEC’s anti worker policies.
The massive security measures only show up the weaknesses of the bosses system. If they were so confident that capitalism was working well and that the discussions at APEC were designed to help ordinary people they wouldn’t need to resort to such extreme measures. In reality their system rests on extremely fragile foundations.
The last thing Howard, Bush and their big business mates need at this point in time is visible street protests criticising their neo liberal agenda and articulating and alternative way of running society. This is what the Socialist Party will be doing during the APEC protests.
In Melbourne the Socialist Party has also been involved in a new group set up especially for the event. It is called ACDC (Alliance for Civil Disobedience Co-ordination). ACDC is planning to not only attend the main protest rally but to disrupt aspects of the APEC proceedings.