9/12/2007 11:19:00 pm

9/11

Posted by Unknown |

I started writing this yesterday, hence all the references to yesterday, but I'll finish it now

It's September 11 and I didn't even realise. Oops.

If only that piece destruction didn't happen. This world may have felt a tad friendlier and airport security wouldn't take so long.

I'm going to go have a beer with my friend Howie soon. I'm just waiting for him to let me know he's local. I haven't seen him since we got back from Africa. Some friend I am.

I feel there are a few things I should blog about, so I'll start an see where I get to. Jenny, don't read until after I come over tonight, then we can still have conversation like people did before the internet.

APEC

I made it to a protest march. I love a good protest. It was probably one of the more tense ones I've been too. I went with Kemp and met Ryan there.

Protests are all the same in many ways. All the same people turn up. When you arrive there's a bunch of people trying to give you copies of Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly. There's always a bunch of people with signs protesting the top 5 issues of the day (Iraq, Global Warming, Work Choices, Captialism and John Howard's appearance). And there is always a group of people holding the triangular green signs for the Greens.

When people have gathered someone will stand on a stage and welcome us and tell us how many people have come and how bad John Howard is. Everyone will cheer or shout "Shame! Shame!" Then there'll be a long parade of speakers some of whom are interesting, some who are intensely boring, some who are smart lefties, some who are stupid lefties, and one of them will always be Kerry Nettle (who I don't think is stupid).

Then we'll go for a march. The police will look at us a little menacingly after which we'll all go home.

Saturday was no different in many respects. Except there was the threat of violence in the air the whole time. People were a little bit more agro. Everyone had been reading the papers and knew this day there was most likely to be violence. There were people in the crowd fully decked out in the riot gear (helmets, goggles, face mask, overalls, army boots and a tatty backpack.) Somewhere in the crowd there was meant to be a group of neo-Nazis who, we were told, may have been police in disguise.

The speeches were alright. Kerry Nettle spoke. And an ex-Marine from Iraq spoke. He was good. He didn't like the Iraqi occupation very much. It was good because I think Marines are cool. And I think Marines who think what the Marines do is bad are even cooler, so I was pretty happy.

Once we'd got the speaking over with we were off on our march. There were police everywhere. Every street heading north from Town Hall towards the APEC Exclusion Zone was blocked of by Police riot buses and masses of police.

We walked rather slowly from Town Hall to Hyde Park. It was a rather festive atmosphere, the only people who didn't seem to be having a good time were the police who were concentrating on looking like they were about to bash you. Once we got to Hyde Park we wandered around looking for a pink flag which was meant to be the signal for those people who wanted to try and force their way into the Exclusion Zone. Not that I was up for rioting, I was just interested in seeing a riot, maybe being among a riot, though not actually rioting myself. But we never found a pink flag.

Eventually we got bored, Ryan went to find his mum and Kemp and I went to find food. But when we tried to leave we found the Police were hemming us in can stopping is from leaving the park except by some convoluted route which they seemed to be doing their best not to show us. At one point everyone was waiting at traffic lights but the police wouldn't let anyone cross the road. There was nothing much on the other side, it just wasn't the protest anymore. People were getting rather upset and shouting at the police. The riot police turned up with their pepper spray in case someone made a mad dash for the other side of the road to escape the protest that the police didn't really want happening in the first place. Lots of the cops had their batons out ready to whack any peace advocate who got a little to excited by the idea of leaving their peace march. It was all very odd. I wasn't all that impressed. We saw a few people get arrested, but we weren't close enough to actually see what was happening.

The Herald had a story about people complaining about the heavy handed nature of the police. Usually I like Police. But I have to say, I didn't really like them very much on Saturday. They weren't making me feel safe on the streets of Sydney and it was only because I thought they were ready to have a go. The protesters, for the most part, were a rather friendly bunch.

Still in the end we found our escape route (just past the Federal Police's Riot Squad on Park St) and we didn't get sprayed by any water cannons.

Kemp and I managed to go find food at the Star Bar (old Planet Hollywood). The place is massive, and there were two other patrons in there when we arrived and five when we left. It was a little strange. But it was fun.

I did enjoy seeing Kemp. And the protest was fun too. So I vote for Saturday being a good day.

A Game! See if you can spot Ryan, Tom, Kemp and Janet in this photo. Try looking on the right hand side just above the middle. It's like wears Wally but it's really. I'm wearing sunnies and am the hardest to spot.


I don't think I'll say any more in this post. I'm too lazy. Dinner with the Gowies was good fun though. I do like Gowies.

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