APEC is being held in Sydney in September (2nd to the 9th). The cost of running it: rumoured to be around 700 million dollars!
APEC stands for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit in case you didn't know. Bush, Putin and Hu will be here at some stage. They are big hitters, I mean BIG as in elephants! By contrast John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, as far as world power is concerned, is also a hitter: a flea-sized one!
The 21 nations represented at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit represent over 40 per cent of the world's population, 56 per cent of global GDP, and around 48 per cent of world trade. The major countries represented at the summit are: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the USA.
This exclusive club, surprise, surprise, has improving trade and markets as its major raison de etre (in other words, making more MONEY, BUCKS, MOOLA!). Of course, there are leaders in the world who are not members of this club. I think particularly of Chavez who is inspiring people on the South American continent to adopt a more socialist, sharing orientation as opposed to greedy, dog-eat-dog capitalist extremism. He is not flavour of the month!
Massive preparations are underway to keep all the APEC leaders and their entourages of spooks, armed guards and officials safe. The dislocation for the city will be huge. There are fences, closed roads, no-go zones, police searches, and citizens must carry identification. In a city of 4+ million people, there are going to be lot's of frazzled nerves and bad tempers.
But that's not all! The New South Wales government has bought a fancy water cannon which can knock people over like ninepins. The Government will also allow minor criminals to go home during the summit to free the jails up for...wait for it...protesters.
Yes, folks, democracy and freedom of expression is alive and well Down Under! Step out of line and you'll either end up drowned by a water cannon or in the clink quick as a flash! And, as a bonus, there's a possibility you could be rendered and tortured as well at no extra charge.
So please feel free to come to Sydney and protest against capitalism and exclusive trading clubs all you want!
Photo Image Link.
(click photo to enlarge - it's spectacular)