Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Street Corner Politics – the response

This began as a comment that responded to all the other comments. But it seemed to grow into a blog entry. 

My brother tells me that I’m a socialist. I keep answering that, no, I’m a Christian. To someone like Christopher Hitchens I suspect that the two belief systems are synonymous. But Christianity is my justification for still being an idealist in my thirties.

Re APEC: got to say that I agree with Pete that talking is better than fighting. That’s been the premise behind international law since its beginning. I think the war against Iraq actually undermines this – which is one of the reasons I’m still having the argument over Iraq with Pete. (Pete, you are, of course, one of the two friends and one relative whose arguments I can respect. Unlike street-corner-car-guy.)

But I thought the security at APEC was extreme. What I found interesting was that in all the commentary I saw the reason given for the need for the security (the exclusion zone, the APEC legislation, etc) was to prevent violent protests. No one seemed to be worried about terrorism aimed at killing or maiming people. Instead the police and politicians were worried that protesters might smash windows. Annoying, but not deadly. If that was the fear, I think the security was excessive. (And David Marr agrees with me!)

And why do police even bother having badges? In years of protesting I’ve never seen a police officer wearing a name badge at a protest. Protesters can have their faces plastered all over the media before being convicted or even charged with a crime – police can retain their anonymity even when they break the law to do so. (Although, there is a collection of mugshots of police officers sans badges in The Sydney Morning Herald today.)

But one of the reasons I love this country is that no one shot The Chaser pranksters, and that the majority of the country seemed to find their stunt amusing. Hooray for the Australian attribute of not taking ourselves too seriously! God bless The Chaser for pricking APEC’s pomposity!


September 11, 2007 - Posted by | Life, etc.

1 Comment »

  1. Yes the Chaser team proved the value of security aimed at protesters. And as their show last night showed they got a lot further than they ever thought they could. Also good to see that Alexander Downer found the stunt funny, and his reaction on the day was a lot more realistic than the red-faced police chief. (Laughing at it rather than fire-and-brimstone bluster) Chaser also proved that it is harder to get into an RSL than APEC. All in all they were very effective, and funny.

    Comment by Pete | September 13, 2007 | Reply

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