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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Water bills set to rise up to $130 per year for all property owners to fund desal white elephant
Mood:  rushed
Topic: nsw govt

Public meeting on this Wednesday at University of Technology Sydney, access via Harris St Ultimo (ABC side) of the building. 


Posted by editor at 11:08 AM NZT
Kevin Rudd has a problem in NSW and its name is Morris Iemma?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: election Oz 2007

With due respect to Ian Rintoul of the Stop Bush Coalition organising team we submit the 99.99% of civil society peaceful supporters on the Saturday rally and march are not VICTIMS of dictatorial police brutality or police state tactics. Including bookseller Bob Gould and other elderly folks blocked from exiting Hyde Park North in some of the vision. What we say is the rally marchers are in fact SURVIVORS of police state tactics, not victims, and thankyou Black Australians for the survival conceptual framework.

Indeed we suggest gratitude is in order to thank Morris 'Mussolini' Iemma, and John 'Adolf' Howard for their extraordinary endorsement in total of the police behaviour including 200 unbadged proto fascists, no disrespect to the 3,300 other decent coppers used as pawns in a cynical political game:

PM hails 'brilliant' police tactics

More fool these mainstream political 'leaders' for contradicting what every fair minded person at the rally itself, and those who read page 7 of the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, and community media here, will now know too:

Identity parade of the secret police


And isn't the community media flourishing, sprouting everywhere on YouTube, ARTV footage, news websites etc. This Premier's credibility is going south every hour and day since Saturday with all those dubious road blocks miles from restricted and declared APEC zones, and despite the fixers in some Big Meeja.

We should thank these two, Morris Iemma and Howard, for truly revealing their dictatorial tendencies over democracy. Ironically it feeds Howard's attack on Rudd ALP as dictators if they hold every state and federal govt. No wonder JH was encouraging MI and 'Benito' Scipione [NSW police commissioner] to pre emption, forward interventions 'before something got out of
control'. It's Howard's own justification for invasion over non existent WMD in Iraq - burning the village to save the village. 600K deaths later there are some misgivings. Great thinking that. Grand Catholic morality that. Actually gutter governance like Benito Mussolini himself of WW2 infamy. What we wonder does Iemma senior feel about that in his own 'quality' son the Premier?

A forward looking self defence - there's a word for that - its
called fascism against otherwise lawful activity, for real. Iemma reveals that in his disgusting urban
development decisions as well like the 3A repeal of the Environmental
Planning Act (eg another big coal mine and Enfield intermodal late last week). The 'premier' is thus unfit to serve and a proto fascist,
and so are the ALP in NSW. Beattie resigning today as a marcher against
Joh in the 70ies must be very embarrassed by Iemma authorising 200
black op police. Never have the ALP been so shameful as Iemma
yesterday, and it's an eloquent justification of a third group in
politics via an independent The Greens.

You can't fool all the people all the time: There were 10,000 decent
beautifiul people at that march including Chris Brown's mother. Who
will talk to another 10 and on and on. They will be mortified and
aggrieved by Iemma. And they probably voted for him one way or the
other. But will they again? A good day for The Greens I should think. A
bit of a NSW problem for Rudd though.

And after the scathing column by Miranda Devine about this


, the NSW Opposition Leader Barry OFarrel could well support a Parliamentary Inquiry into poor justice governance from a centre right position of ethical law and order, of rule of law for police and protesters.

No less than the Washington Post correspondent pointed out on ABC radio that this was a very atypical security performance for George W Bush, including post 9/11 WTC mass murder.

Lisa Miller as compere on morning ABC radio was also incredulous that Premier Morris Iemma had absolutely no criticism of 200 unbadged police, despite being evidence of an illegal intent, and contrary to Police Commissioner standing orders.

And another big question arising from the successful SBC march and rally.

Who were AWOL at that proud protest activity against 1. the Iraq War 2. dangerous climate change policy settings/nuke energy 3. attack on workers rights??

1. The CFMEU were missing. And my union the ASU. And their state Labor Council Secretary John Robertson usually no slouch on
community rallies.

2. The Iemma ALP in NSW were 'missing' although actually represented in a hostile way by Scipione's police

3. Kevin Rudd for the federal ALP or his representative was missing too.

And therein we can see who actually believes in and has faith in grassroots democracy, real civil society democracy, and who are hierarchical bullies whether Coalition or ALP.

More here: Call for inquiry into clash that felled photographer

Lastly for those who do feel traumatised or annoyed we recommend some therapy like this - a visit to the Chullora Wetlands project of the South West Environment Centre who were granted a 5 year lease last Sunday by Sydney Water Authority. That's good governance we could have alot more of do yer reckon?

Posted by editor at 9:10 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007 5:52 PM NZT
Sunday, 9 September 2007
Sunday tv political talkies, 10K citizens tell W Bush, Howard to f*ck off, Ministers electioneer
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: election Oz 2007



Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):



This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.



Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208



“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”



Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.



For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.




Meet the Press


Press round up – none focus on successful Sydney protest because there is no pro Establishment riot story – pathetic really.


Guest is Foreign minister Downer, with heavy talent on the panel Michelle Grattan and Mal Farr of Age and Daily Telegraph respectively. Heavy weights indicate leadership skids are real, subtext is Downer is Howard man.


Talks up Howard resilience.



Downer claims dubious climate police from leaders APEC meeting [as enforceable as one of those Russian contracts against corrupt business there?! ].


Downer slags Greens for wanting to save Oz forests too.


Animation shows Howard Downer wanting to escape Iraq.

First adbreak has the brunette Barbara Bennett pro Govt IR advert with blather.


2nd half of show is mostly self referential blather – no tough leadership probing.


As camera closes out and music rolls  protagonists pick up the threads and Mal Farr launches a big double handed flourish a bit like John Travolta on Saturday Night Fever. WTF?


Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress








7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary 





Footage of APEC meeting proper, none of the protest.


Fascinating footage of Riley with first question to W Bush at the first press conference, noting concrete and steel barriers. Bush knows Howard picked Riley for the honour of first question because he has the highest rating network (and highest gallery pay rate?).


The most intense aspect was the charming deference of Riley’s facial expressions but the hard as steel content of his words about the “inconvenience” to quote W Bush – who got it straight up and was “maybe feeling guilty” noting “protesters who might be violent” playing firmly into John Howard’s law and order, Daddy Party electioneering tactic against the memory of a Feb 2003 peace rally that condemned him in Sydney, and did again yesterday.


W Bush fixed an unblinking, rattlesnake look of executioners practised power of death at Riley totally unconcerned by this brazen serious attack on W Bush from Australia's domestic side of politics which was a mosquito bite on W Bush’s Modern Roman Empire side of global real politik.


But you did good Mark Riley, you did good for self and profession. Looking into the volcano of Mordor and living to work another day in your gallery. Not a hint of nerves except perhaps “didn’t mean to blame you personally sir”. Ouch. That’s exactly what you did mean to do. As per Sunday Talkies 7 days ago – “Sydney is not looking very free for the Leader of the Free World” is what you said Riles, God love yer. You are no Chris Reason, that’s for sure.










Insiders 2


Lead in re Rudd success at APEC and Howard leadership problems.


Jim Middleton wrap up of  conference, missed the start of it. How quickly Sydney return to normal? 3,500 police to stand down soon etc.


Cross to Mark Vaile – increase forests by 20M ha [NSW by comparison is 80M ha in size] so yes it’s a big area. ….transcript. Parts of country have to accept permanent drought. Earnest blather.


Missed a lot more BUT Vaile dodges if PM Howard should quit, question on no poll jump from APEC? Again claims boost and sledges Rudd as if he is already the PM, sounding like a carping Opposition and negative.


Sings the loyal song for Howard, which is really loyalty to National Party agrarian socialist boondoggles via Howard.  Tired boring 10 minutes interview with so called Deputy PM.


Paul Kelly, Rudd gatecrashed APEC said with a smile. Rudd “will make a fairly effective Prime Minister”.


Kelly says Howard will lead govt to the election [echoes Oakes on 9].


Footage of PM Howard claiming climate change Sydney Declaration contrary to lead story abc 7.45 am radio news. Lenore Taylor AFR says grievously misled on Sydney APEC – feeds into vain and dishonest. Taylor savages him, really gets on her high horse, big damaging spray.


Panel – Toohey says trivial. Bolt even trashes Liberal Party “air of unreality”. Crazy. Voters are bored by global warming. Taylor disagrees. But Bolt sound that won’t sell for Howard – not credible champion – derr the pulp mill, tas forests etc etc.


APEC observations – Big gas deal, security updates/trilaterals, chaser stunt, Rudd mandarin, Bush curious language, footage as per 10 MTP. Toohey speaks sense on China needing to trade more, stop saving so much distorting currency markets.


Security expense $170M value for money? NSW police disturbingly collecting names of people against Iraq War, says Toohey. Bolt notes G20 trouble means justified. Bolt goes quietly while making his point. By and large peaceful by Taylor. Bolt gets it wrong SBC predicted 10,000 not 20K as he claimed. It was Police who said 20K but overall intent is gracious to protest civil society groups – that’s some achievement in the political dynamic. Rain kept numbers down or adverse police publicity.


Polling 58-42 trend still going toward ALP, extraordinary result.


Bolt savages Liberals air of denial fat complacency. Footage of Costello not serious, not real. Gap so big won’t turn around much in the campaign says Taylor. Bolt nodding but also concerned


Bolt says Downer after MTP should do his duty and change the leader “today”.


Lots of chat, Bolt correctly notes Chinese dictator Hu deserved a lot of protest but didn’t get very much, but actually Falung Gong did go at China all week but not so much Saturday so yes and no.



Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/



Sunday 9


Neslon as Defence minister with Oakes at 9am already about Howard leadership skids, in particular. Bland as batshit and not very trustworthy either. A spiv if ever there was.


Ellen Fanning stand alone compere, starting from 8am now?


Long interview with Oakes. Softy spoken merciless focus on the hard questions. Both know its playing for power keeps now, no time or energy for theatrics. Just the facts Maam.


Nelson’s grey hair burgeoning. Big play on Al Qaeda killed Australians in Bali – actually it was JI. ASIO tipped off by CIA prior to Bali bombing as per report in The Australian early 2007?


Sounds like a carping negative Opposition to ostensible PM Rudd.


Big arts story re Paul Getty Museums with Oz manager, polo extreme sport story.


 Adverts x 2, nurses against federal govt IR laws.


Ciao Pavarotti.







Posted by editor at 10:54 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007 6:27 PM NZT
Saturday, 8 September 2007
Collage of Stop Bush Coalition march in Sydney CBD Sept 8th 2007
Mood:  special
Topic: peace




Posted by editor at 9:34 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 8 September 2007 11:48 PM NZT
Senior police Scipione and Cullen at risk of referral to Police Integrity Commission over APEC conflicting protest permits?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace



As a solicitor in NSW and a community media practitioner this writer has been very interested in various aspects of this APEC week.

Now we are at the most serious end with the world leaders meeting in session and the biggest protest march scheduled in 10 hours time meeting at Town Hall at 10 am.

It has been raining heavily so the weather may or may not be conducive. That's in the hands of God or whatever guiding spirit you follow.

But here on Earth the NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione as a former chief of police intelligence, and his lieutenant Chief Superintendent Stephen John Cullen Commander of the Public Order and Riot Squad, are responsible for peace welfare and good order in Hyde Park North Friday 7th of September.

I have just finished an interview with the night shift at the ABC news desk via their direct phone line. A long chat on tape with plenty of material to work with.

My take was quite similar and independent to this which I have just seen on the SMH website this early Saturday morning:

Anger over 'propaganda'

APEC protesters dismiss police warnings about violence at a march in Sydney today.

and video by SMH here


In my interview I said: How can a police force  - as evidenced by the web reports of the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday afternoon here

Photos: Tempers and humour flared in locked-down Sydney.


- encourage two counter protests at the same time and same place in Hyde Park North, one for George W Bush, and one against the USA President. We heard via abc radio that the numbers were 10 to 1 against the pro bush banner holders.

What the images on the SMH website showed yesterday, especially one image, is that a NSW police phalanx shepherded the pro Bush banner holders into the same place and time of a long time scheduled 'bums against Bush' event which might indeed have attracted world coverage, like those mass naked glacier events.

Sure enough one anti Bush protester sought to spray symbolic red sauce on the pro Bush banner referring no doubt to the blood spilled in Iraq. He was arrested with serious force by police. This was the image of conflict we say the NSW police wanted, and promoted.

It's not the role of the NSW police hierarchy to play politics positiioning rival protests against each other same time and place, to promote conflict to justify their huge expenditure on security or to grandstand their law and order credentials.

It defies common sense that the police would chaperone a small banner weilding pro Bush protest into the midst of an anti Bush rally yesterday at Hyde Park North and is a proper matter of concern for consideration of the Police Integrity Commission.

The context is suggestive also - Scipione has been very clever as a former intelligence chief in denying the first march route past the Opera House, then second route along Martin Place, then very late in the piece announcing a road block only on Sept 4th via the Supreme Court at King and George st intersection and then allowing a third march route of their choosing to end at ... Hyde Park North just like the arrest yesterday.

In The Australian newspaper earlier this week here Black-listed marchers in court fight Sept 6th at page 11 state:

"Outside court, rally organiser Alex Bainbridge refused to rule out marching to King Street.

"The court has made very clear that we have got a right to protest. The court order today prohibits nothing, our rally and demonstration will be going ahead. As we have always said we intend for this to be a peaceful protest," Mr Bainbridge said.

Public Order and Riot Squad Commander Stephen Cullen told the court police were bracing for large-scale violence, with intelligence reports tendered in court saying protest organisers might be unable to maintain control.

The police intelligence report said "a right-wing group" numbering about 60 intended to attend the rally, which could lead to confrontation with others among the protesters themselves.

The second day of official protest passed peacefully yesterday, with police praising the conduct of about 250 demonstrators in Sydney's Belmore Park.

Sarah McKenzie, 16, from Ravenswood School for Girls, said the protest allowed young people to express their beliefs. "It's very important because I'm only 16 and I don't have the power to vote yet," she said. "

[bold, italic added]

If the NSW police under Scipione and Cullen act like they did at Hyde Park North Friday afternoon last with preferential support and prominence to a right wing group obviously seeking to provoke a reaction in the same place and location, then the NSW Police will be culpable of provoking violence for their own political purposes, just like we saw with rock carrying Quebec police in Canada reported their in late August 2007 by such as CBC network. 

That's properly a matter for the PIC. 

Fair notice of an intention to refer top brass to the NSW Police Integrity Commission to consider any improper political interference in the anti Bush protest march, free speech and right to assembly by encouraging concurrent conflicting protests at the same time and place with their police permit system.

Interestingly Tom Allard, National Security Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald writes today 8th September 2007:

Not much civility from police chiefs, but scant civil disobedience

referring to Cullen in the story and with this prescient comment:

"The psychology of the mob in protest rallies is an unpredictable beast. But there is no bigger influence on crowd behaviour than the police themselves. Bored and tense, officers controlling APEC have annoyed plenty already with their overbearing manner.

Calm and restraint are required from police manning protest lines. Unfortunately, if they have been listening to their commanders and political leaders, it's a message front-line police are unlikely to have heard."

Earlier this week we asked here on IMC will the NSW Police now that they have finally agreed to a protest march route act honourably and with integrity. We think the initial evidence of shepherding a pro Bush protest into the midst of an anti Bush rally is worrying evidence that they suffer a real deficit of honour and integrity. 

Over to the Saturday protest march. Rain permitting. 

Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in NSW, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com

3.00 am 8th Sept 2007 

Posted by editor at 5:11 AM NZT
Friday, 7 September 2007
Great FoI win for greenie, writes Harriet Swift of Chipstop
Mood:  special
Topic: legal

Picture: Jerry Watt at top left of a protest over south coast forests earlier this year 2007, referred to in the Sydney Morning Herald today 7th Sept 07.


Hi greenies
The "W" word has finally appeared in the Sydney morning Herald. Twice in fact. Onya Gerry!
You can leave a comment in the SMH blog about this at:
Please take the time to do that if yoou can.

[Sydney Morning Herald article follows]

Shiver me timbers: FoI victory for the little man

EVER since a giant woodchip mill was built in Eden a few decades ago, conservationists have been fighting to find out the prices Forests NSW gets for the logs that go through the mill before export to Japan.

Opponents of the mill have long argued that the damage to forests from woodchipping outweighs the value of local jobs and export income the mill provides. It has been a hard argument to prove either way, and it has been further complicated because the prices Forests NSW gets for logs have always been kept secret. However, a remarkable decision by the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal last week could change that.

A South Coast local, Gerry Watt, lodged a freedom of information application with Forests NSW, seeking the separate royalty rates it gets from South East Fibre Exports Pty Ltd, the company that owns the Eden chip-mill, for the pulplogs cut in the southern and Eden regional forestry agreements for 2003-04.

In an entirely predictable response, Forests NSW refused to release the figures on three grounds: the information has a commercial value that could be expected to diminish if released; the information concerns the business, professional, commercial or financial affairs of a company; releasing the information would found an action for breach of confidence.

Given the sensitivity with which government departments typically treat any information that has a dollar sign attached to it, Watt's chances of succeeding in his FoI application looked slim at best.

However, in a 33-page decision last week a tribunal member, Stephen Montgomery, rejected all the exemptions claimed by Forests NSW and dismissed much of the evidence they produced, handing Watt a decisive victory.

Montgomery went a step further. He said that if he was wrong, and some of the exemptions did in fact apply, he needed to consider whether the information should be released, anyway.

This view was prompted by a recent decision in the Supreme Court, University of NSW versus McGuirk, which was a rare ray of light in the dark world of FoI.

That decision says that, even if information is exempt from release, the tribunal can still order it to be released if, on balance, it believes the release is in the public interest.

During the proceedings, Forests NSW told the tribunal that it was definitely not in the public interest for the prices to be disclosed, saying there could be negative socioeconomic consequences for the area, including a drop in pulplog sales, job losses and mill closures.

Watt did not dispute these points but he said there was a public interest in knowing the way different forestry regions are commercially valued and how much private interests paid for logs cut in public forests.

Montgomery also said "the public benefits from truth and transparency, in regard to the management of public assets, assist in public benefit being determined and achieved". Weighing up these two positions, Montgomery said the socioeconomic impact from releasing the royalty rate was "a highly relevant factor" and, if Forests NSW was correct in its assessment of the potential impact, "very strong grounds would need to be found to justify disclosure of the royalty rate".

Then, in a conclusion that stunned everyone who follows freedom of information issues, he added: "In my view, the factors favouring disclosure are sufficiently strong to justify disclosure."

Did you get that? Even though jobs might be lost, mills might close and Forests NSW could be financially disadvantaged, the need for transparency and public debate outweighed such adverse consequences.

"An uninformed public cannot usefully participate in that debate," Mr Montgomery said. "I agree with the applicant that there is a public interest in an informed debate about the most appropriate uses to be made of this publicly owned asset.

"The price at which a publicly owned asset is being sold to private interests is a significant factor in that debate. It is my view that the correct and preferable decision is that the royalty rates should be disclosed."

Forests NSW has 28 days to hand over the information.

Matthew Moore is the Herald's Freedom of Information Editor. Tell him your FoI successes and failures at foi@smh.com.au
Posted by SMH Online
September 6, 2007 12:01 AM

Posted by editor at 11:54 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007 12:17 PM NZT
Chaser stunt adds to inspiring PR effort of non government sector at APEC Sydney
Mood:  special
Topic: human rights

Well the non govt sector has really risen to the occassion so far in a many act Shakespearean struggle for the hearts and minds of the voting public here in Sydney. Depending on the weather the main act may well yet be the anti war rally/march on Saturday morning 8th Sept 2007 at Sydney Town Hall at 10 am.

The big media have been putting in some pretty amazing balancers at times too. On the Sydney Morning Herald website yesterday before say 7 am they led on the front page with a graphic cartoon of Howard and Bush both wearing "I'm with stupid" T shirts pointing to eachother. The graphic didn't make the paper cut or even the daytime web readership, but it would have gone across the world back to the USA Democrat aligned bloggers.

Similarly on abc talkback midday yesterday a caller manager to calmly ask "why are we allowing a mass murderer into our country" (take your pick I suppose, the caller meant GW Bush, but think China, Indonesia etc). This created quite an awkward moment for compere James Vallentine worried about "slander" and balance. Or was he?! Only he knows.

The big media are featuring a courageous stunt by the Chaser comedy team here:


SECURITY experts and world leaders must be asking today how a man dressed as the 9/11 mastermind could get 10m from George Bush's APEC hotel. Not even The Chaser crew thought they would they get that close.
Video: See the belated arrest | Map: How they waltzed in to APEC
Statement: Read their explanation | Gallery: The farce in photos Blog: Praise or pan the pranksters | Poll: Was this going too far?
Gallery: Daily Telegraph reader pictures of APEC | Send us yours More
But at least as worthy is this page 7 of the Sydney Morning Herald 6th Sept 2007 half pager by business man human rights campaigner Ian Melrose

Which also reminds us of this in another direction all in the mix of this APEC calling up questions of wretched abuse of human rights by greedy corporations, such as the right to a sustainable environment, the right to a just work place (notice sticker from the Living Green festival sponsored by the Sydney City Council recently), the right to honest politics instead of the pulp mill planned in Tasmania.



Posted by editor at 8:26 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007 8:52 AM NZT
Thursday, 6 September 2007
Why is Thales Corporation, arms maker/dealer sponsoring APEC, including flags in the CBD?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: peace


As the NSW Govt joins a beat up this last half hour against democratic protest over multinational corporations bad behaviour, with civilian protesters on one side (at least allegedly), and the NSW Chamber of Commerce and NSW Govt on the other side (like Deputy Premier Watkins on abc radio just now), these establishment folks don't want to talk about Thales Corporation.

Most thinking people have heard of the classic documentary about the psychological dysfunction of corporations made famous by The Corporation Film: Welcome

But the public and big media might not know that down at Darling Habour Tumbalong Park flying proudly are flags with the sponsorship name "Thales".

You can forget your Nike, or Starbucks, or similar greedy corporations known for exploitation or even collusion in sweat shops and murder of unionists in the case of Coca Cola in places like Columbia, at least for a moment.

Here is more of the involvement of this arms maker and dealer at APEC on their official website

APEC Australia 2007 

28 March 2007- Showcasing Thales Australia at APEC Australia 2007™ Transportation Ministers Meeting Thales Australia. 26 March 2007 - APEC Transportation ...

Thales describe themselves in their own words:

"THALES Australia's origins
can be traced to the Colonial Ammunition Company, registered
in Victoria in 1888. The fully privatised ADI Limited
was established in November 1999, when the Department
of Defence approved the sale of the company to the
Transfield Holdings and Thomson-CSF (now THALES) 50:50
joint venture. In October of 2006 THALES Global purchased
Transfield Holdings remaining share of ADI to form
THALES Australia."

It's all here in blatant military industrial vanity:

Joint Strike Fighter: Industry Capabilities | THALES Australia

THALES Australia is Australia's premier provider of systems, products and services in the defence, security and civil markets. THALES Australia's origins ...

blah blah blah.

This is the same corporation that sold off the huge ADI site full of native fauna for Lend Lease to clear and build urban development in Western Sydney.

And they have been having some embarrassing moments too at APEC here:

APEC pass farce: it's no go - National - smh.com.au 

Mr Johnson said an APEC staff member said the database, run by the defence company Thales Australia, was not uploading correctly to the APEC computers. ...

And yes they are prominent corporate sponsers on the APEC flags flying over our CBD, using our taxpayers money to take over our city and provide them with corporate welfare, security services at the cost of of some $330 million dollars.

That is, we are paying for their war machine off on a Sydney junket with their international clients, literally.

So it seems Deputy Premier John Watkins is now working as a PR merchant for international arms manufacturer Thales, and other similar corporations at APEC?

Gee John, and we thought you were from the left of the ALP? Power and money changes everything obviously.

Posted by editor at 12:37 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007 1:26 PM NZT
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
'Common sense decision' to ban protest march route or beat up of anti Bush critics?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: legal


Funny to be at the Supreme Court and hear Judge Michael Adams give much of his judgement - at least from 2.30 pm - and then hear the 5pm news bulletin on the ABC (and 5.30 bulletin with its own error too).

The last sentence at the 5 O'clock bulletin stated words to the effect of 'in evidence to the court police said if the protest went ahead it would result in unprecedented violence'.

Is this exageration, or bias even, to the police view of things?

More seriously is this wrong and dishonest reporting by the ABC police reporter? Is she participating in a softening up of the Stop Bush Coalition of 30 peaceful protest groups, and as such acting as participant in the news making?

Picture: Here are two observant onlookers at the Supreme Court today, actually both Australian Federal Police intelligence officers.


Earlier today we posted on how the same ABC police reporter to our ears mis reported the actual or real meaning of police evidence which the Supreme Court Judge summarised as amounting to "a possibility of violence at the protest march", which was a very far cry from the ABC radio report of the police evidence being that a "protest march would probably involve violence". Not could, would.

That was straight out false reporting and bad news work to our ears.

In other legal contexts this kind of mis characterisation is the difference between say evidence amounting to an acquittal on the presumption of innocence, and a life sentence for murder.

So in the next phase of the news cycle after the scheduled 2pm court decision the ABC police reporter has again it seems got it badly wrong  by saying evidence in the court from the police was categorical of 'a protest march would lead to unprecedented violence". Again not could but would.

Given we missed the first 30 minutes of the Judge's soliliquy this writer checked with a Sydney Morning Herald journalist close to their filing deadline on whether they heard this kind of "police evidence the protest march would cause unprecedented violence". He said certainly the judge never conceded there was evidence of that. I was at the hearing of all the police evidence for 4 hours this morning 7-11.30 am, and as I said the judge found police evidence of 'a possibility not a probability of violence'.

It's true we didn't get to read the police documents submitted but the judge's findings are highly suggestive no such evidence was submitted by the police that the protest march categorically "would cause unprecedented violence". Certainly they did refer to G20 violence and other world leaders meetings where there was lots of civil strife in the past. The judge wasn't categorical at all saying it was "a possibility".

The judge also said this morning that of all the Stop Bush Coalition literature, none of it attacks APEC as such, or denies the right of the attendees at APEC to be kept safe. Their protest is against Bush and the war in Iraq clearly.

Yet in the 5.30 bulletin on 702 radio, the SBC is described as one "anti APEC group". Misleading again. Yet this might be understandable given the police barrister revealed that some 81 applications for permits to protest had been made by diverse interests during the APEC period.

 Picture: Keith McHenry, global founder of Food not Bombs Movement attends the hearing.

We rang the ABC executive producer for news on 702 radio and asked him what the hell is going on? Why is the evidence in the court being misdescribed, and giving the last word to some kind of bizarre police perspective, maybe outside the court and untested, compared to the balanced summary of what the Judge actually found was really in the police evidence to him - namely that 'the vast majority of protesters wanted and defended peaceful protest', the Stop Bush Coalition had no form for violence tactics in the evidence, yet it would be "PolyAnnerish" to deny there was no risk of violence by some people not associated with the SBC.

The Judge also said it made a big difference that the police commissioner had proposed a protest march route 'only a few blocks away' to allow free speech, and freedom of assembly.

Picture: Lone busker at Circular Quay behind the so called lockdown today, with this writer on pushy.

It seems quite apparent that the ABC police reporter, or the police outside the court evidentiary process, or both are spinning in an incredibly exagerated and favourable way to the law and order merchants in the NSW Police to damage the SBC position. That might be a good way to get more stories on the career drip from her police sources.

But it's not good or fair or ethical reporting, neither by the journalist or the ABC.

Today Crikey.com.au ran this editorial which is rips into the fawning to Law and Order Authoritarianism:

" Dear Sole Subscriber,

Another sole subscriber, Crikey reader Ben Pearson, has been musing on APEC.

The ongoing campaign by police and pollies warning against ‘violent’ protests at APEC -- dutifully reported by the fourth estate -– masks the fact that all three of these actors actually benefit from a bit of public argy bargy and thus exaggerate both the threat and occasional occurrence of it.

Premier Iemma rails against ‘vandals’ and ‘violence’ to show that he is tough on law n order. Prime Minister John Howard, on the other hand, is hoping that a couple of university proto-anarchists will distract attention from the fact that APEC is nothing more than the mother of all inconveniences for Sydneyites. As for the media, they are hoping for the kind of dramatic stories and photos that sell papers. As the industry says – "if it bleeds, it leads”.

For the cops, APEC is a vision of the world as it should be. Expanded powers, new equipment, media support, and maybe a chance to try out new toys like the water cannon.

The warnings and hype about ‘violent’ protests mask another agenda in which politicians and certain elements in the media stigmatise the very notion of protest, and by creating and reinforcing an association between mass protests and violence, they seek to de-legitimise the former. Public protest is the right of all Australians. Pollies may not like it, and it may not sell many papers, but it’s part of what democracy is all about.

And we think Ben has a point."

Where indeed is the specific 'police evidence to the court that a protest march would cause unprecedented violence'? It wasn't in the submissions by the barrister for the Police Commissioner between 10.30am - 11.30 am this morning to this writer's certain knowledge while present in court. If there was such evidence the barrister would have been parading it and pressing it home.

If it were categorically an inevitable result of a march to a police barrier at King/George of unprecedented violence, then surely a march along Park St to Hyde Park (a route in fact supported by the Police Commissioner in the court today) would result in at least a comparable risk of violence, in which case the police would never support that either? It's totally illogical. The police actually admitted in the witness box they had no evidence of violent tactics of ANY of the 30 or more affiliated Stop Bush Coalition groups including The Greens party, teachers and other civil society groups. 


If the ABC or the reporter can't produce that evidence by the police to the court the protest march "would cause unprecedented violence" the journalist should resign and the ABC should make a retraction and correction of legal misreporting.

In fact we are advised that when GW Bush was here last in October 2004 an anti Bush rally achieved 5,000 attendance which was in the manageable range from what we heard in court today from Judge Michael Adams. But he obviously thought the huge publicity being given to the APEC event meant it would be bigger this time.

He was greatly influenced by the more confined space of George St compared to Park St.

On balance this writer favours the police option of travelling down Park St and making that decision as soon as possible to promote it far and wide in order to maximise the turn out to embarrass both George Bush and John Howard. Not because we think the Stop Bush Coalition has anything to be guilty or fearful of as regards their own supporters and the mainstream public supporters. More for practical political reasons to keep it smooth and effective, and to sideline the trouble makers who could be attracted to such a bold or sexy march now that the police have committed to a road barrier. It would be a total tragedy to conflict with the police when GW Bush and Howard are the real problem to focus on.

Lastly, though the police won their court action today, the court conspicuously did not award costs against Bainbridge and Stop Bush Coalition, nor did the police lawyers make the mistake of even asking for costs. Because they knew they were in a pre meditated mugging of democracy and the court and everyone else seemed to know it.

By the way the court was packed with onlookers too but you can't take pictures up there.

Posted by editor at 8:53 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007 12:48 PM NZT
Decision on APEC protest march at 2pm in NSW Supreme Court
Mood:  not sure
Topic: legal


The ABC seem to have mis reported the Supreme Court proceedings of NSW Police Commissioner v Alex Bainbridge matter no. 030096/07 before Judge Michael Adams at 7.00 am this morning in Court 10a of the Common Law Division of the Administrative Law List. Having said that their 1 pm report by their police reporter seems more accurate.

These misreports were at 12 noon and World Today bulletin in these two respects:

1. The evidence to the court from two senior police especially Chief Superintindent Steve John Cullen, Commander of the Riot and Public Order Squad, amounted to a POSSIBILITY of violence. It was NOT ever submitted there was a PROBABILITY of violence.

Rather the issues of public risk appear to be around a POSSIBILITY  of a splinter group might seek to hijack the event.

Whether this is being said outside the court to the media by the police/govt spin doctors is uncertain, but it wasn't the evidence in the court attended for 4 hours this morning by this writer, and as a trained solicitor observer.

2. The change in protest march route was caused by the police and not a back down on the intention of the Stop Bush Coalition to march into Martin Place.  The police barrier at the corner of King and George St was only advised by the NSW police in the last day (4th Sept) to the protest group Stop Bush Coalition. This police barrier across King and George IS THE CAUSE OF THE CHANGE IN ROUTE. The judge admitted this morning he has no power to rule on that barrier given the new police APEC legislation. There is thus no pre emptive buckle by the protest march organisers. Once they became aware that the Supreme Court had no power to decide on the legality of the police barrier at King and George St under "extraordinary, unprecedented" APEC police powers, Bainbridge and others decided to march to the barrier "hold speeches and disperse from there". This apparently is to highlight their intention to take the protest march past the highly "symbolic" US Consulate and War Memorial to protest agaisnt the Iraq War now thwarted by oppressive laws.

Apart from these important clarifications note also

A. The barrister for the NSW Police Commissioner thus applied for a second different order of the court to prohibit this new march route to the King/George St barrier. This will be decided on at 2pm today.

B. In police evidence it was admitted in court that there was no evidence of any of the 30 odd groups including Greens, teachers, others have any involvement in violent tactics. In this sense the organisers and the 30 affiliated groups came out of the hearing this morning smelling like a bunch of roses in terms of their own character and commitment to peaceful protest.

C. In submissions on the so called potential for crowd crush at the King/George St crush the judge noted the crowd estimates are anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 which affects his assessment. In submissions by barrister Bozic for Council for Civil Liberties acting for Bainbridge, it was pointed out there would be plenty of warning at the start of the march of a halt at King and George, also plenty of points of egress at Park St, Market St and west along King St toward Darling Harbour. The Barrister for Police argued inter alia that the Hilton Hotel is a declared APEC area in George St along the route.

D. It seems very likely to this writer that the police commissioner will get their order against the second march proposal to the King/George St barrier. But as the barrister for the Police said, the commissioner even today would take an application for a march from Town Hall along Park St to Hyde Park in some fashion.

We suspect this is what is likely to happen but time will tell sometime after 2pm.



Posted by editor at 2:36 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007 3:23 PM NZT

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