Monday, November 20, 2006

G20 protests in Melbourne

The victorian premier has just called anti G20 protesters who masked up cowards
"I thought the attacks were cowardly ... covering faces, covering identities,''
this while a specialist team taskforce Salver is set up to track down those involved in protests outside the G20 over the weekend. The team will be looking through footage taken by undercover officers over the weekend to attempt to identify and arrest those that were involved in active rather than passive opposition to the conference. This use of good quality video equipment, snatch squads plus new anti terrorism measures must shape our tactics in future.

The mainstream media is hailing the police as heroes who were simply defending themselves in the face of violence. 10 officers were injured in the protests the most serious of which is cuts, bruises and one broken wrist. Innacuracys regarding the level of violence, number of violent protesters and other details were also present. Mounted charges against the protesters recieved little mainstream media coverage as well as a violent attack on women and children singing and dancing in mueseum foyer. Their is a general sense that the violence on the part of the police on saturday evening and on sunday was pay back for the trashed police van and skirmish at a police barricade.

On a more positive note

"Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon said protesters used guerilla tactics to test new crowd-control barriers and police resolve" she went on to say that the barriers were not wholly effective but will be used in future.

The protesters were also described as

"A small group of people intent on making their name heard, without identification, in a way that was obviously bold, obviously provocative and obviously against all those great principles we have of proper and peaceful protest,"

This statement sums up the protest fairly well and shows what those in authority want us to do - protest in a symbolic manner that does not cause any damage and that does not take any power off those in charge. The most serious activists appear to have been wearing white overall thingys and i would be curious as to whether this makes it easier to single out where they are moving to and who they are.

It appears the numbers of "violent" activists is less than 1-200 and that apart from a car that was locked down the only shutting down of the conference and surrounding area was done by the police. The use of smoke grenades and cornflour "slime bombs" by the activists is rather novel and their did appear to be a level of sophistication to those involved in the more serious activity.

"There is a hardcore militant and violent element among these protesters," Australian Treasurer Peter Costello, the G20 meeting's chairman


Anonymous said...

As one of the Aotearoa crew who was there, I can resoundingly say that most of the mainstream media coverage was total lies (what a surprise).

Couple of examples:

(1) There were no urine bombs - they were actually filled with cornflour based slime.

(2) One radio station during the day was reporting on their news that we had burnt cars (not true) and trashed a police station on a certain street, when no such police station even existed!

Will talk to you more about this next time I see you if I remember.

John said...

sweet sorry for the inaccuracys will edit the article accordingly, i was relying on several mainstream news articles and one or two indymedia posts.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I was slightly wrong - while most of the balloons/condoms were filled with slime, I have since been informed of a couple that were apparently filled with urine. Not many, but some.