Today I was at the Peacebus and ‘Bums not bombs’ protest (where a 21 bum salute was performed for the APEC leaders) today at Hyde Park. Driving around the city was surreal… barely any cars. Soooooooo many police though. I was reporting live crosses with a colleague for 2SERFM’s APEC Protest broadcast. Great opportunity for lame bum puns. Not a huge turnout though due to the rain.
There were also a small group of pro-Bush protestors, who were being loudly heckled by passers by, and had just survived an attack on their banners with tomato sauce. Lucky the police were there to arrest the tomato sauce spraying threat to society/national security/global democracy.
There were also all the former State Transit buses parked around the place that have been turned in to mobile holding cells. I really think they have overestimated what will go down tomorrow. I doubt it will be any bigger than some of the other protests that have been held in Sydney in the past couple of years over the war in Iraq/Workchoices etc. What a waste of money and resources.
I ended up getting stopped by several motorcades as they zoomed around me when I was driving in the city, policemen on motorcycles halting me. I also saw the ‘green light’ traffic corridors in action. Tip: if you are trying to get through the city in a hurry this weekend (not that there is much traffic to slow you down), follow a motorcade. The fastest you will ever get from one end of the CBD to the other, guaranteed. The motorcades sped by so quickly I didn’t get any pics of them.
Police far outnumbered protestors today in Hyde Park. Far outnumbered. In fact, I don’t think there were many protestors there at all. Mostly media and coppers. It was raining fairly heavily though, and tomorrow is the big protest in the city, so people were probably at home painting banners and making molotov cocktails and stuff in preparation.
Possibly the thing that freaked me out the most was that most Sydneysiders had actually listened to the requests to stay out of the city. To me that was an open invitation to come and stickybeak at something completely out of the ordinary. I guess that’s why I went in to journalism.
Apparently George Bush congratulated Johnny Howard on the ‘beautiful’ city of Sydney. Devoid of Sydneysiders, fences up around the gorgeous harbour, and weather which is staging its own protest. All those caged diplomats must be wondering what all the hype about the apparently gorgeous and glitzy harbour city is all about.
For more great APEC photos capturing life in the Ghost City taken by people far more profesh than me, visit the APEC Australia group on Flickr.
My colleague Belinda… being cheeky (in a different way to the bum protestors).