While finance officials from the APEC countries were meeting at a secret location in Melbourne, opponents of the APEC agenda staged a symbolic protest on the steps of Parliament House ...
George "W" himself helped to hold up the banner, but was most indignant when told he was not welcome in Australia: "Whaddja mean ... this is MY country", adding later "I am your President: salute me!" Addressing some passers by, he declared:"In America we put protesters like this away for ever", and "Excuse me, have you seen David Hicks?" His main message, however, was an appeal for help "to finish off the job of privatising everything here."
The police were well prepared, even with two very inconspicuous plain clothes officers, one sporting a camcorder, with which he carefully recorded the lineup for posterity. Unfortunately, he didn't stay long enough to capture the performance by 'Artists for a New World Order', so the only record probably is the low resolution clip posted here.
The Protest actually began on a serious note, with an address by an Indigenous representative from Aotearoa, part of which can be heard as part of this report.
A spokesperon from the organising group, the Anti-Apec Network, pointed out the irony that meetings of this kind, in what is supposedly a democracy, and which are going to affect the lives of millions of people in the countries of the region, should be held in secret, and listed some of the areas, such as IR laws, Uranium mining, and education, where neo-con policies are deeply disadvantageous to and opposed by the mass of the people. George "W" hotly disputed this, demanding to know, for instance, what business poor people had wanting to get an education, "and why shouldn't my friends make money [out of it]?" This was in fact the main importance of APEC "because I've got a lot of friends who make money out of it." It was the same with nuclear power. And: "Get behind my agenda or you'll end up in Guantanamo Bay ...