Pip Hinman

In a major victory for protesters who defied police attempts to prevent a peaceful protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney from taking to the streets in February, all seven activists who have so far faced court have had wins. These activists faced charges including resisting arrest, obstruction of police and assault.

Radio shock jock Alan Jones has done it again: he’s inciting the police to violently repress peaceful protesters who want to rally when US President George Bush comes to Sydney for APEC.

Anti-war activist Anna Samson was given the third degree by customs when she arrived back in Australia on August 22 following a work-related visit to Malaysia. This stands in contrast to APEC officials who are being escorted through customs without having to even pass through quarantine.

Amid an unprecedented security hype in the lead-up to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, organisers of the “Stop Bush/Make Howard History” protest on September 8 are expecting thousands of anti-war, environment and workers’ rights activists to take to Sydney’s streets to give US President George Bush the kind of welcome he deserves. Green Left Weekly’s Pip Hinman spoke to Stop Bush Coalition spokesperson and Stop the War Coalition activist Alex Bainbridge.

Renowned left-wing author Tariq Ali told a packed public lecture at the Seymour Centre on June 26 that claims that we had reached the “end of history” had been well and truly disproven by the revolutions now sweeping Latin America.

Michael Bozic, a barrister with the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, said on June 20 that the new powers being given to police during the APEC summit would make the conservative former premiers Robert Askin and Joh Bjelke-Petersen proud. Askin, NSW’s Liberal premier from 1965 to 1975, was famously quoted in 1966 demanding that the convoy accompanying visiting US President Lyndon Johnson “ride over the bastards” — anti-Vietnam War protesters.

Silencing Dissent

Edited by Clive Hamilton & Sarah Maddison

Allen & Unwin, 2007

279 pages, $24.95

It has become clear in recent weeks the extent to which the NSW and federal governments want to block protests at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney in September.

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.

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