Tuesday, August 30, 2005

30A.org AT THE OPERA: An eyewitness account

Well I rode into town on my pushbike and went straight down to the Quay to the protest location, got to about Surry Hills and could smell horse shit thinking the cops aren't far off. Sure enough I went around the corner and there were four cops on horseback and they were in riot gear so I avoided them.

I cut across Hyde Park but couldn't avoid the cops on every street corner. Must be hundreds! On my own quite early so I thought I better scan the area to see what the fuss was all about and the chopper was overhead loud as hell hovering above the skyscrapers.

Trying to warn off the protests is not a bad trick from the police gang but there is strength in numbers I thought, touch-wood! So it was quite early about 4pm and I wandered down the mall to get a drink to throw off any suspicion and to see what prevents the protesters getting to the Opera House.

But as I went closer it just got worse. A big cruiser in the harbour and cops walking all around not your average cops either they got the big ones out!

Just then I went over to the water to look into the sea and this bunch of cops comes past in this rubber dingy like the avengers of the neo-cons. Shit I thought, I'd better wait till the tribe gets here before I go any further. And to add to that feeling the atmosphere was bent just like a war zone and now I know what that feels like, cold and uncertain about your presence and future.

I knew I should have been a reporter!

Guerrillas everywhere, so I go over to a table just for fun and ask these tourists, "is this what normally happens around here?" Thinking if I had company it wouldn't feel so bad. Well they looked at me startled and said, "We can't believe it either". Just then they got up and left. I shouted 'be alert and don't be alarmed' they took no notice and I didn't blame them as I was definitely thinking the same thing myself.

Oh well, I thought I've come this far I guess I should have a look at the end. And when I got there it was a dead-end, a trap and I seen about 10 people and a girl with a sign that said 'No to corporate Greed' and a 100 police so I thought no, now is definitely not the time.

Like cold steel I slowly pushed my bike out of there away from the 'rocky web' for fear of prosecution for minding my own business and as I got closer to the Quay I felt relieved.

Then the tribe arrived from the Town Hall and what a relief to be with some real people at last. Then a short time later lots of people several hundred and if I can just say that the atmosphere was back to normal and not like a war zone.

That point I would like to express to everyone of you for this is precious and something we must never take for granted or for that matter ever let john hoWARd forget, amongst other things!

Even with hundreds of people at the Quay the police gang surrounded the people bridging up on three sides and most likely although I did not notice in the building as well and that would have fenced everyone in. The chopper noise drowned out the speakers until it was almost time to march to the dead-end! Coppers on horses, in the harbour, on foot and in the air for what? Forbes!

The police gang like to fence the protesters in and surround them grunting and staring is the tactic and if taxpayers are prepared to be pushed to that level then it is time to stand up for your rights to protest as well. Don't let them stand over your youth and fellow citizens who should be allowed to protest and demonstrate without feeling sick in the stomach with fear and worried about being there.

Or even to walk onto the forecourt of their Opera House and not be stood over by a bunch of cops and goons hell bent on foxing, intimidating and victimising the community so they will either get out of the trap and not protest or get caught in it.

Do we employ our police to intimidate?

You can just go down to Circular Quay sometime in the next three days and stand by your fellow citizens just as observers.

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By Just Us 30 August 05


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