Edmund Tadros, August 31, 2007
IF THEY were undercover they stood out like a loud shirt after an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum.
The burly men in dark glasses milling about the edge of a meeting of activists in Sydney yesterday were not about to blow their cover to the media.
One in dark glasses and a cap, sitting on a bench with nothing edible in his hands or mouth, said he was just trying to have lunch when asked if he was a police officer. And another taking photographs simply scooted off when a Herald photographer snapped him.
Meanwhile, speakers from the Greens and the Stop Bush Coalition protest group complained about police hampering their right to protest.
Alex Bainbridge, from the Stop Bush Coalition, said the group would take the police to court if they were stopped from marching from Town Hall to Hyde Park on Saturday, September 8.
As reported by the Herald last week, police have repeated that protesters will not be allowed to enter part of the route and have suggested an alternative route.
Mr Bainbridge is also angry that police have ruled out a high school students’ protest on Wednesday, even though it would not go near the APEC-declared areas.
And Sylvia Hale, from the NSW Greens, is angry police have said no to a rally in Martin Place on Friday.
The Greens senator Kerry Nettle demanded that police provide details of a black list of people not allowed into the APEC-declared zone.
A group of non-government organisations is setting up an alternative media centre instead of throwing its weight behind the protests. The centre will be staffed by Greenpeace, the Climate Action Network Australia, GetUp!, Tearfund, Caritas and the Christian World Service to give an alternative view of the summit.
If security is high for APEC, it was not for yesterday’s protest meeting. The only uniformed police presence outside Governor Macquarie Tower was a single officer. She spent most of her time taking notes, and when three street performers dressed as police officers confronted her, she took no action.
Source: SMH; Photograph: Quentin Jones – Lying down for their beliefs … protesters from the Stop Bush Coalition.