Topic: election Oz 2007
Pictures in this story: Anti Forbes protest in Sydney August 2005 unless otherwise indicated.
"Deputy Commissioner Scipione also says he will take an inclusive leadership approach and will build on current successes.
He will face his first challenge just days after he takes the reigns, with 21 world leaders gathering in Sydney for the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC). " New NSW police head 'will build on successes'
Scipione is being reported as seen as a “yes man” on the 7 tv news network tonight 26th June, a suggestion also made about Commissioner “Uncle” Ken Maroney he replaces criticised by some, says ABC radio, for being “too close to the NSW government”. Scipione reportedly also has alot of expertise in surveillance.
We submit both the NSW and federal government are bearing down on the NSW and Australian civil society non government sector at September’s APEC in the lead up to the federal election. Both levels of government, NSW and federal, are respectively desperate to alternatively prevent/exploit a Law and Order electioneering strategy to provide a premium to this Howard Coalition Govt prior to the federal election.
Picture: Spot the third helicopter, hovering over crowd listening to speeches in Customs House square, Circular Quay Sydney.
We wrote recently of 6 political synergies feeding into the converging law and order federal election recently: The new 'Tampa' emerges: Howard ploughs broad law and order theme for 2007 federal election here 23rd June 2007.
- Our troops ‘police action’ in Iraq (and probably Afghanistan)
- alleged union thuggery
- murder of good Samaritan solicitor in Melbourne
- child abuse of Aboriginal children
- Palm Island violence, death in custody, acquittal of police, ongoing serious social violence
- APEC anticipated protester violence, property damage
The seventh political synergy is a sub text of point 4 to boost in the short term Howard's own ‘leadership’ credentials in the polling vis a vis his ambitious deputy Costello, pre federal election.
There is no doubting the potency of the Laura Norder agenda with the NSW election a dress rehearsal earlier this year which fortunately fizzled rather exploding into significance for the Coalition opposition at NSW level in March 2007.
But what about the upcoming federal election in November 2007?
Civil society leaders and centre left political parties have some very very serious political calculations to make right now about how to not sleep walk into an APEC public relations disaster that feeds into the Howard re-election agenda in a tightly contested election.
What responsibility will the organised civil society groups play in controlling, sidelining and indeed excluding images of violence and property damage from the voting public but so beloved of the commercial tv and newspapers, and the Right wing of politics?
How indeed will the organised non govt sector organise to affirm and promote freedom of speech and the right to protest that avoids feeding the re election of a warmonging Howard Govt who will exploit any media imagery he or his supporters can generate?
We at SAM news site (the editor has been arrested 6 times for peaceful protests, court 3 times no convictions) believe the right to protest also includes the choice not to protest. To seek other methods of communicating to the public. We take seriously the stern nostrum of Nelson Mandela against vandalism and crime of no real political utility.
Sun Zzu famous for strategy in a book The Art of War - and given politics at best is war without violence - as we understand advises avoiding fighting on your enemies territory.
In the lead up to APEC what are the Big Corporations and Big Government territory?
The territory of the Right of politics includes:
- the Big Corporate media who will embarrass and exaggerate any adverse imagery.
- The proximity to the conference in Sydney’s CBD which will have all legal and govt security force in place to totally control movement and protest
- The critical mass of foreign govt and corporate leaders who will naturally attract the interest of the voting public.
- The disorganised untrained protester cohort who have not had the opportunity for, or reject the Gandhi non-violence philosophy of public protest. The proverbial angry young men and women who have not learned constructive way to channel their energy.
It must be noted APEC is not another S11 in Melbourne in the year 2000 of which we at SAM have a 6 inch thick lever arch file of cuttings.
It is not a Forbes in Sydney CBD in late 2005. It is not another G8 again in Melbourne in late 2006 with valid concerns but also absurd vandalism which appalled most thinking Australians and tarnished the vast majority of peaceful protesters. These were big international meetings too but not proximate to a very close federal election or on such a big world stage or with such loaded Laura Norder agenda of this Australian Prime Minister.
Picture: This writer's wall poster above our desk.
APEC Sept 07 is more like a Madrid just before the Spanish national elections of March 2004 when a terrorist train bombing changed the result of the election to the Centre Left Party from the Right wing Govt. In that case the Basques were falsely accused, the truth came out and voters were so angry at the dishonesty of the govt as to the real cause (most directly Islamofascists, and the related hornets nest in Iraq), they turfed the conservative government out.
But it all turned on who was seen to be blamed for the violence.
In a close federal election in Australia the same may well apply in Sydney if there are wanton property damage, staged futile tedious unproductive conflicts with NSW police at barriers etc or horse charges to clear streets of no particular value to civil society groups except our own pride.
At all costs the leadership of the civil society groups must avoid such a PR trap. The best way to achieve that is to organise alternative activities that free us from the reactive psychology that actually feeds and empowers and promotes the status of the APEC clowns and pompous fools of Big Capital. To define and locate our own territory and political strategy. To decline the cliched victimhood of massive superior force held by the State.
We submit there is a false psychological dynamic of the civil society sector being drawn into a massive waste of money on security, the extreme quarantining of the CBD, and great public disruption to the functioning of the city. We simply ask why bother?
We submit civil society should assert it’s own dynamic. It’s own geographical focus at say Addison Rd Centre Marrickville or similar open space. It’s own conference agenda parallel and better than the rubbish APEC event. It’s own celebrations of democracy. It’s own constructive action agenda. Information exchange. Workshopping. Training. Empowerment. Alternative media.
In short we submit that the civil society movement in Australia should choose to not confront APEC in the Sydney CBD. Rather to do our own thing. Our way. In our own space and to start promoting that separate agenda. It will be better fun. It will have much better energy. It will achieve a lot more. And it will deny John Howard what he wants more than anything: A big likely mindless conflict on the doorstep to the federal election.
It will avoid the Right's agent provocateurs.
We submit call the whole APEC protest in Sydney CBD off and do something better.
That is not to say not engage with APEC. Our proposal would be to send delegations as ambassadors of the civil society sector, our representatives as observers and messengers. But no more than that.
We just don’t see why our lives in the community sector should be driven by or defined by a meeting of over fed corrupt crooks who are literally decaying from inside themselves with no answers to the huge ecological and economic equity questions of our age. So why do that? How about doing something else in our own space? And by doing so help unelect John Howard's Coalition government.
The author's peaceful protest arrest 'credentials'
- tree sits against woodchipping Nalbaugh SF SENSW - no arrest, too high
- climbed Opera House with no nukes weapons banner - arrest, released
- forest protest Coolangubra arrest, conviction overturned on appeal NSW CCA
- forest protest Badja SF - no arrest - tree sit
- paddlers for peace, rescued by police launch from ship screw no arrest
1994 - forest protest Croobyar, no arrest due to pre election sensitivity
1995 - M2 tollway destruction - arrest, no conviction recorded Hornsby
1997 - Eastern Distributor tollway - arrest, no conviction Downing centre
1999 - red paint on Newcastle woodchip pile, arrest, no conviction recorded
2006 - Forbes - dragged out from under police horses hooves approach to Opera House, no arrest
Picture: conservationists at approach road to Eden chip mill July 1992, including Fiona McCrossin (centre right figure under cross bars, black top) ex wife of News Ltd's Tony Wilkins referred to here 26th June 2007 News Limited to spread climate message | The Nation | The Australian "
Tony Wilkins, head of the company's environment and climate change department, said cost-savings would help the company invest in renewable energy. News Limited's carbon footprint last financial year was 146,466 tonnes - about 22 per cent of parent company News Corporation's total footprint - but Dr Wilkins said readers and viewers emitted 10,000 times as much.
"I think the single biggest influence that we can have as a company is the influence that we have on the public," Dr Wilkins said. "If we succeed in inspiring our audiences to reduce their own impact on climate change by 5 per cent, it would be like turning off the state of California for a year."
Postscript #1 Big media (and NSW Police?) follow our story here