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 on YouTube (View here.)
The Protest actually began on a serious note, with an address by an Indigenous representative from Aotearoa, part of which is available as an mp3 on Melbourne Indymedia
A spokesperson 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 …”
Statement from the Anti-Apec Network:
On Thursday 10 May 2007, financial ministers of the member nations of the APEC forum to attend the ‘Finance Ministers Process’ meeting, that will be held in Melbourne City at a top-secret location.
Please meet at the Parliament steps, as we demand from our government true representation, the damaging facts of APEC and for them not to hide from the public that they claim to represent their interests.
WHATS WRONG WITH APEC?
On 8th of September 2007, Sydney will play host to Australia’s biggest international meeting, costing AUD$308m. Special guests will include: George W Bush, John Howard, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jinato, and many more.
APEC was set up in 1993 for Australasian and Eastern European countries (including USA) to discuss and implement policies of free-trade, privatisation, security, and trading of natural resources. APEC is mainly dominated by the USA and the interests of large corporations, seeking to increase obscene profits at the expense of people and the environment.
WE SAY NO TO:
War (specifically, in the middle east)
Nuclear weapons, uranium and waste dumps
Attacks on worker’s rights
Dismantling of civil liberties