Friends a well-known television comedy team in Australia set up a fake motorcade and, using a Canadian flag, penetrated the APEC no-go zone and got right up to the doors of Bush's Hotel. One of the members of the team was dressed unconvincingly as Bin Laden! I laughed until I cried. Not so funny is that the team of nine has been charged and face up to six months jail.
John Howard's iron-grip on APEC has been exposed for the joke that it is by a harmless stunt which embodies the best of laconic Australian humour. But John is not laughing. He wants a terrorist attack if possible or, at the very least, serious violence from demonstrators. He's primed to adopt his 'Big, Strong Daddy is here and he'll protect little ol' you' role!
John Howard is a cunning, humourless little man, one without a discernible personality. He is playing politics for all it's worth while APEC is here in the hope that he won't be dismissed from office in a couple of months.
Faint hope indeed!
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Update: 7/9/07 - Rumours abound that Howard might resign this weekend, take the coward's way out. I'll keep you posted!
8/9/07 - Well the protest march took place but the route was kept well away from the APEC leaders who were up to their ears making trade deals which will make the rich even richer.
5,000 people turned up not the 20,000 expected. There were almost more stormtroopers than protesters. They lined the route, their identity numbers hidden. There was little violence. Obviously the fear sown by the Government about rough police tactics, the water cannon, the snipers on rooftops, the helicopters with machine guns, the hundreds of empty cells waiting for those arrested, worked.
What price freedom?