Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm Getting Out My Lap Lap, Putting On My War Paint . . .

First a boring explanation: APEC is an inter-governmental forum facilitating economic growth and prosperity, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, and operates on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants regardless of the size of their economy. Well that’s what the publicity promotes . . .

It is also an opportunity for world leaders in the region to pop over for a nice little holiday in the first week of spring and stay in a five star hotel overlooking the harbour, gorge on our wonderful seafood and tropical fruits, slosh down a few of our best Hunter Valley and Margaret River wines and wear silly clothes given to them by the Australian Government such as Akubra hats and Drizabone’s . . .we all wear them didn’t you know? . . .That is when we’re not donning ochre dots on our chests and dancing around with a spear in hand weaing a red lap-lap and emulating the movement of a kangaroo!

The APEC Australia 2007 year culminates in the Sydney CBD on 8-9 September with the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM), bringing together the leaders of all major regional economies as well as thousands of delegates, support personnel and the international media, and is one of the most important annual meetings of world leaders. And guess who's decided to pop in a few days early . . .your favourite clown – and mine: George Dubya . . . So you say . . just another bunch of stuffed shirts. Maybe, but I’ve spoken before about Australia’s want, need, obsession with becoming a terrorist target or the location of some awesome national disaster . . .Boy are our lot prepared for trouble:

  • No Demonstration permits have been granted, which will allow police to arrest anyone looking remotely like a ‘crowd’ and detain them for as long as they want under anti-terror legislation

  • Traffic routes have been diverted away from the Opera House, Circular Quay and the Botanical Gardens. If you live in luxurious CBD apartments, you will have to carry photo ID to get into your own flat!

  • Barricades up to 10 feet on concrete bollards have been erected along Circular Quay, the Opera House Corso and half the Botanical Gardens

  • BlackHawk Helicopters, fully armed are on deployment all around the harbour

  • 4 Police Helicopters, normally unarmed have been armed and are at the ready

  • More than 4,000 troops, police, federal agents and private security guards will be deployed in the city centre to guard leaders including US President George W. Bush, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China's President Hu Jintao. (I think we pulled some back from Iraq cos we don’t have 4,000 troops in the whole defence force.)

  • All Police leave has been cancelled and a full complement of mounted police from Sydney and Victoria will be available for crowd control

  • Most 5 star hotels are within the ‘sealed’ area . . .so don’t go looking for a dirty weekend on the 8-9th

  • Demonstrators are very upset at the deployment of mobile detention centres

  • Town Hall, Wynyard and Central Station (three major stations) will be closed down from the 7th to the 10th! If you work in hospitality, you’ll have to thumb a ride!

  • We are being inconvenienced for a week from 3rd September to 10th September because George Dubya wants to arrive early and have a few days sightseeing

Interestingly, only a fortnight ago, all the Heads of Army in the universe gathered in Sydney and not a soul knew they were here. No pomp, no ceremony, no police dogs or barricades. They were able to plot and play unencumbered by demonstrators. They could have caught a city train or had a ride on a bus or taken the Manly Ferry to the seaside for all we know. So why are we attracting all this world attention to ourselves?

Ah well. One good thing comes of all this silliness - Friday September 7 is a public holiday for people living within 25kms of the CBD - suck eggs Canberra!

Yeay for me – we’ll have a barbie!

1 comment:

Grannymar said...

Just take the ten days off. Say I gave you permission and I'll be there for the barbie!