The vibe is in the air. Earthdance is a music festival taking place around the world simultaneously. Apparently, Sydney is the biggest one of all. These days, fence seems to be a norm in Sydney. This one is to mark liquor licensed area. Is this supposed to be a modern hippie event or spring indulgence?
The Great Wall of Sydney has already been dismantled but to complete the picture of APEC 2007 on the ground, the police has to be a big part of the jigsaw piece. Like it or not, they were the one who have to enforce the law and took the action on the streets. And they knew they would not be so popular, especially, the peak of the ground event—confrontation with the protesters.
The key strategy of this biggest police operation in Australia was using themselves as a fence closing Hyde Park North.
The only exit and entrance to the centre of the protest was on Park Street. The protesters could not move anywhere, let alone go near the restricted area. Although it turned out to be a mild protest, some officers were willing to strip off their dignity by removing their name badges during the operation so that they could not be identified.
However, most of officers tried their best to do their jobs.
Special power and more resources were given to this APEC event to insure the perfect face of Sydney but it turned the city into an authoritarian fortress. I disappointed in myself for not questioning them enough when it came to my encounter. Well, they’ve got guns.
APEC Meeting in Sydney is over. They had their say but does anyone hear? The protest in Hyde Park became just another long-weekend party with the police as the big bouncers. Protesters were trying so hard to get attention and send their massages through, which we all had heard before. The old tactics included placards, dressing up, music and dancing but there was nothing new or newsworthy to get reported by mainstream media. For many, life goes on.
The inside outsiders.
APEC Leaders submit Tight security is largely in doubt but after the global embarrassment by the Chaser, the Great Wall of Sydney seems to be shaken. No more police hassling photographers of the Fence there is just a low tension between the police and the protesters in Hyde Park. Some of them even looks bored.
A circus is coming to town.
The leaders of Asia-Pacific nations are in Sydney for APEC Australia 2007 and city landscape has been changed. For the sake of security, this major event has transformed north end of the CBD into fortress. 2.8 metre-high and concrete wall and concrete wall are erected. Public transport is blocked. Sydneysiders are advised to get out of the city to avoid the chaos. Protests are discouraged by the authorities. Businesses depended on tourism plummet. The Police is given more power in the restricted area. The level of paranoia is rising. This is just the beginning.