Thursday 25th of April 2024

Nervous About Saturday

Last night I attended a training session for Human Rights Monitors volunteers. Dale was brilliant, coaching us on how to observe an event as a team, telling us what kind of questions we could hope to get from police, reinforcing our neutral standpoint. Through his efforts much harm might be averted.

The volunteers came from all walks of life; a fair few lawyers, students, nurses, ages ranging from eighteen to forty;

We'll be the ones wearing bright orange vests, videoing and writing down what we see happening around us.

Here's what the NSW Police expect us to see.:

[AGE extract]

Police are warning a violent, full-scale riot is "probable" when up to 20,000 anti-APEC protesters march on central Sydney on Saturday.

NSW's top riot squad officer, Chief Superintendent Stephen Cullen, told a Sydney court he was braced for the worst violence of his career, adding he had never held more serious concerns for public safety.

However a feared clash between riot police and protesters may be averted after the Stop Bush Coalition agreed on a route through central Sydney they hope will be acceptable to authorities.

Protesters still intend to march on Saturday in a rally expected to attract tens of thousands of supporters.

But they appeared to back away from threats to walk to the edge of police lines, after the police commissioner won a court order banning them from doing so.

The new march route from Town Hall to Hyde Park will, if followed, keep protesters away from the restricted zone in central Sydney set up to protect the APEC summit.

However NSW police made it clear they expect trouble on Saturday.

"Police lines will come under attack and a full-scale riot is probable," Supt Cullen, commander of the Public Order and Riot Squad, told the hearing in the NSW Supreme Court.

"Based upon my research, experience, current intelligence and evidence from internationally similar events - more recently G20 in Melbourne - I have absolutely no doubt that minority groups will engage in a level of violence not previously experienced in Sydney."

In my opinion such a situation will only happen if the police create it.

The idea of a silent protest was raised to me by several people who attended. I hope it takes hold. I also hope that a violent situation doesn't occur just to visibily vindicate all the money being spent on counterterrorism.

Alexander D was on Channel Nine this morning, saying that his proposed game of golf with Condi was cancelled because of fears that "protesters might jump out from behind the bushes and assault her." Why didn't he say that the US SS were concerned she'd be an easy target for terrorist snipers? This is the sort of incitement I'm talking about.