After a week of dreary rainy weather, the sun is out this morning. George W. Bush and the other 20 'world leaders' have flown home, the constant drone of helicopters overhead has dissipated, the streets are ours again and life is returning to normal after the insanity of APEC. It's over and thank gawd for that!
The main protest march on Saturday resulted in no more than one or two "scuffles" amongst a 5,000-strong crowd that was almost overwhelmed by nearly as many police and the riot squad (and looking at the TV footage, those involved in these scuffles seemed innocuous, as they were overwhelmed by police officers. Perhaps they'd thrown coke cans or something.) The water cannon and other new shiny black riot squad vehicles were not used. All the media hype and politicians' rants about "violent protesters" were unfounded as Sydney residents took to the streets to voice their protest against our involvement in the war in Iraq; the Government's industrial relations policies and their lack of any real commitment to dealing with climate change, beyond the nuclear option of course; and APEC itself and a refusal to be intimidated into 'staying away and doing what we're told' - exercising our democratic right to protest. Instead, the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum resulted in nothing other than a plan to sell 'yellowcake' to Russia and get better access to military technology from the US, as well as making some sort of nuke deal with them.
The excuse given for the ridiculously intensive security during the event was to keep terrorists and protesters out, but it was pretty clear that it was to keep the protesters out, especially after the prank executed by the 'Chaser' team, where they managed to get through two checkpoints in a limousine bearing Canadian flags and security passes that had "JOKE" printed on them clearly and the word "Insecurity" instead of "Security". As exec producer Julian Morrow said: "It's a good thing we weren't Al Qaeda".