"Alone, even doing nothing, you do not waste your time. You do, almost always, in company. No encounter with yourself can be altogether sterile: Something necessarily emerges, even if only the hope of some day meeting yourself again." (E.M. Cioran)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fuck Off APEC!

There's a nasty virus about to descend upon Sydney. It's called the 'Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Forum' (APEC) and is already making us sick. To make it worse, we are all apparently supposed to just lie down, put up and shut up, as our daily lives are inconvenienced to the max - with essential services postponed, 'no go' zones and an inevitable ton of traffic chaos. And all the while, we are paying for it (a cool $300 million!) out of our money - public money.

Worst of all, we're being censored from bitching about it. Well, they're trying to get us off the streets, anyway. It's the old terrorism excuse again, of course. But we should be really pissed off. Entire precincts of city buildings are being caged off. In fact, a tall fence was erected today, at a cost to taxpayers of $1.5 million, extending along 5 kilometres of footpaths in the northern part of the CBD, as a pre-emptive measure to "protect against terrorists and protesters". Main streets must periodically shut down, just so George W. Bush and a selection of other creepy old 'world leaders' can drive in their motorcade to their destinations without interruption. Armed military helicopters will be on 24-hour patrol. Just the other night, a huge helicopter, apparently carrying out a practice operation, hovered pretty much straight above my apartment building in the city - otherwise barely moving - from 1.45am to nearly 3.30am, making sleep impossible. It's all such a big wank!

And, predictably of course, any mention of protests almost always has the word 'violent' attached these days. In a rather interesting linguistic twist, the word 'protester' has been dispensed with, in favour of 'violent protesters' (in the future, they'll probably be simply referred to as 'terrorists') who are, we are told, to blame for all inconveniences to be experienced in our city, despite the fact that there haven't actually been any protests (or terrorist attacks for that matter) as yet. It has actually been decided that the riot squad will be using a water cannon against these supposed 'violent protesters'. You can pretty much guess that such provocative assumptions are already setting emotions aflame, so that either side is likely to lose their cool early on and result in some seriously injured people and needless arrests. Democracy is being squashed and I, for one, am appalled.

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