Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Violent Protests Down Under
It's generally unclear what the protest was about, other than the fact that it took place outside the Forbes 500 CEOs conference in the Sydney Opera House. This report seems to sum it up... Break down a fence, get arrested, keep on dancing. And post it on Indymedia.
Not to worry, you don't need a good excuse for some good old fashioned barricade busting and violence.
Leigh from the House of Wheels was observing and has a hilarious rundown of events including the fact that there were only about 1000 protesters (not a lot and hardly mentioned on Sydney Indymedia where it was referred to only as "a critical mass"). He also discusses the diverse (read: irrelevant) themes of the 'protest' and asks "why was it that the majority of the signs had nothing to do with the event actually taking place". Read it all!
Via Wheels and a Sydney reader:
If you feel like downloading 18Mb, you can view video of one protester being arrested here.
The heading:Police Brutally Arrest ProtestorThe video however seems to completely contradict this.
"The video starts after the arrest. It is unclear (perhaps deliberately) what the person did to prompt his arrest in the first place.
Context aside, the whole thing is very slow, there's no obvious signs of a struggle and as far as I can see, the Police were not "brutal" at all in dealing with this shirtless individual.
So why according to the article headline , is it "quite clear that excessive force was used"?
What do you define as "excessive"? Any force? Perhaps they should have asked him (very politely) to handcuff himself and trot down to the station?
I did hear the cameraman muttering something about "freedom of the press" and "we are recording you" to the officers (who looked like they were trying not to laugh at you I might add).
What sort of quality "journalism" leaves out:
a) The beginning of the story
b) All the facts other than an (apparently baseless) accusation of police brutality.
The answer? Indymedia...
Protest reports are the one thing Indymedia is really good at. Whilst it will invariably make anti-Police statements, the photographs and video allow a rare insight into these activities for those who don't like the smell of pepper spray.