The build up to the G20 in Brisbane has been terrifying. The newspapers, the politicians and the police are all frothing at the mouth over special zones, extra police powers and the sinister anarchists hell-bent on destroying the reputation of their ‘new world city’. While this kind of hype is fairly standard practice for this kind of conference, its hard not to get court up in it and start hyperventilating over the prospect of living in a police state. The preparations are being cited as possibly the biggest security operation in Australia ever. ‘…You probably won’t start to notice barricading of any type around the hotels or the BCEC until about 10 days or a week out…’ says Queensland Police Service police assistant commissioner Katarina Carroll. The RNA Showgrounds will become a restricted area on November 7, followed by Suncorp Stadium and the Pulman Hotel on November 9, the Treasury and Royal on the Park hotels on November 10, the Marriet and Stamford hotels on November 11, the Novetel and Ridges hotels on November 12 and the Hilton and Sofitel on November 13. The rest of the inner city will become a declared on November 154, during which police will have increased powers to search and detain people for the duration of the G20. There will be 5000 police on the street of Brisbane, including 3500 Queensland officers, all on a 24-hour roster.
Its almost like they know we hate police.
It would be real nice to go and ruin their party, but these people are off their faces! We are staying away from their insane power orgy. Some community activists came out and said ‘We are very appreciative of the fact that the assistant commissioner [Katarina Carroll] Has come out and said that she’s respect lawful protest in Brisbane at that time.’ That’s right folks, you’ll be happy to learn that the pig are, very kindly, assigning designating zones for peaceful protests. ‘But what’s wrong with protesting in the designated area?’ we hear you say.
The state attempts to control and limit protest with all the means at their disposal but the need to maintain control is balanced by the need to maintain legitimacy in the eyes of the subjected public. One of the tactics used in this dual pursuit is the establishment of ‘free speech zones’; areas in which protest is allowed by the state, and which are isolated form the rest of the world. Contrary to the aim is civil disobedience (disrupting everyday life until maintaining the status quo is impossible), free speech zones make protest irrelevant, removing any inconvenience it might pose to those in power. Besides the purely tactical concerns of facilitating police control of protest, utilising a ‘free speech zone’ legitimates state control rebellion. At the same time, the legitimating of one group of protestors serves to delegitimise others.
The delegates will be choking on their caviar, laughing at the people in the designation protest areas, that is if they don’t completely ignore them, the idea is a farce and an insult to any earnest notion of democracy that might still exist in this country. Nothing would make me more depressed than standing around in a designated peaceful protest zone without even a banner or an egg (banned objects) but what will we do instead? If they’ve intimidated us (a year in advanced) from going there to protest, does that mean they’ve already won?
There’s so much stuff we can do, everywhere else! They are throwing so much money, time and energy into putting on the G20 circus, showing the world they are as bourgeois, brutal and repressive as the other richest cities in the world; they are grooming an image of control and authority, of infallible power. We must remember its all strutting and showmanship, but that power enforced will be very real and very brutal for those weeks around the conference. We must accept that they have control there and for that time. But only for that time, and only there. We have a huge country to play in. those ‘delegates’ will come visit other cities. The hotels that those delegates stay in exist all over the place. Those politicians and political parties who welcome the G20 have accomplices everywhere. The Queensland police are the VIC police, are the NT police, are the SA police… see what I’m getting at? The only geographical or strategic boundaries to our actions are self-imposed.
Just imagine, while the pigs are helplessly patrolling the streets of Brisbane’s CBD in their ridiculous armour with their intimidating vehicles, decentralised waves of creation and destruction will ebb and flow right across the country, completely out of their rotten sight.
There is nothing more beautiful we can think of.