Protesters clown against ban


SYDNEY — On August 24, anti-corporate clowns will descend on Sydney's police headquarters, bearing a message for assistant police commissioner Bob Waites. On August 18, Waites decided to close the Opera House forecourt and the Botanical Gardens to the general public for the duration of the August 30-September 2 Forbes 300 conference, in effect banning the planned August 30 protest against the world's biggest CEO meeting.

"It's bad enough that an international cultural icon like our Opera House has become a corporate conferencing centre", explained protest organiser Bruce Knobloch. "The people of Sydney can blame former Premier Bob Carr for that. But how can the new premier justify the decision to lock down the whole of east Circular Quay for the exclusive use of a few hundred neo-conservative corporate chiefs?

"We've urged police to build a barrier in front of the Opera House proper and to allow us to use the public space in the forecourt."

The A30 protests are supported by several unions, including the NSW branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union; the Australian Services Union; the Maritime Union of Australia; and the Fire Brigade Employees Union.

Alison Dellit

From Green Left Weekly, August 24, 2005.
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