The NSW government is planning to give police extraordinary powers of arrest and detention around the time of the APEC summit in Sydney in September. Activists planning the protest when US President George Bush is in town say the new powers are about intimidation, not public safety.
Activists from the Stop Bush Coalition have condemned moves to make NSW into a police state during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in September. The government introduced legislation into NSW parliament on June 7 that will give police extraordinary powers for two weeks around the time of the summit.
Tom — not his real name — became a “person of interest” after taking part in the G20 protests in Melbourne last November. This softly spoken 24-year-old, a postgraduate student at Sydney University, is one of the latest victims of the police-state laws that seem designed to intimidate activists from organising, or attending, protests.
While NSW police minister David Campbell has inspected the new APEC command in Sydney in which the state government is wasting millions of dollars anti-war, environmental and workers rights activists are preparing to send their message to US President George Bush, PM John Howard and other APEC leaders in Sydney in early September.
As part of an international weekend of protest on the fourth anniversary of the US-British-Australian invasion of Iraq, 800 people participated in an anti-war rally and march on March 17 that began at Sydney Town Hall.
Several NSW unions have decided to endorse the March 17 Sydney rally against the war in Iraq, organised by the Stop the War Coalition. They are the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA); the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union; the NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union; and the National Tertiary Education Union.
NSW Labor Premier Morris Iemma is digging in on the proposed desalination plant at Kurnell in NSW. Despite continuing public opposition, Iemma seems determined to go ahead with this expensive, electricity-guzzling project.