Inside the Venue Security Coordination center as Police continuing preparations for the G20 Finance Minister’s meeting.
SIXTY-year-old grandmother Myra Gold was asleep when four police officers raided her home.
They were deployed to confiscate her phone, dig through her rubbish and search her car.
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The woman wasn’t cooking crack, she has no connection to any terrorist organisations and she wasn’t manufacturing homemade bombs in her back yard. Stickers.
“I felt like I’d woken up 30 years in the past, in the era of Joh (Bjelke-Petersen),” she said.
Her story compelled me to see 1984 at the Rondo Theatre this week.
George Orwell’s dystopian political thriller is set in a world where a totalitarian government uses secret surveillance technology to constantly monitor, track and record its citizens.
Independent thought is not allowed. Dissenters are prosecuted. It reads like the G20 instruction manual.
A regional police operations centre has already been established in Cairns.
Big Brother’s sending an extra 700 reinforcements next week.
Troops have even gone so far as to instruct Office Works not to publish anti-G20 material for protesters.
Inconceivably, Office Works obeyed.
If the Government’s not deliberately trying to intimidate protesters into acquiescence, they’re accidentally doing a bloody good job.
Bond University professor and former detective Terry Goldsworthy has warned street protests will pose the greatest threat to the smooth running of the summit.
“At both the state and federal level, a sociopolitical environment for a perfect storm of protest has been created,” he said.
“This may well be one contingency that the police have not planned for despite their best efforts.”
These people are coming from some nations where unruly behaviour is common.
Brazil, where violent riots threatened the World Cup.
India, neighbour to troubled Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was found.
And the United States where, well, anything goes.
Australia’s sticker response is a gross overreaction at best, at worst it infringes on our democratic right to free speech.
And that should bother us all.
Myra’s sticker said, “G20 benefits the 1%”.
It was far less menacing than “I shoot and I vote”, less cheeky than “Coal seam gas? Frack off!” and less crude than “Yes the budget hurts! We’re being smashed by a Hockey stick.”
Conspiracy theories aside, the truth is that the G20 is going to look a lot more like a frat party than a military zone.
Consider 300 drunk journos, 700 bored cops and a whole lot of scandal-prone political staffers holed-up in a 2km radius downtown.
The pubs will overflow next week and the local maternity ward will be overflowing nine months later.
If the cops want to do something useful to get G20 ready, I’d say forget about grandma’s stickers and stick a condom in the hand of revellers next week.
Taxpayer dollars would be better spent that way than paying police Sunday penalty rates to confiscate some stickers and clog the courts with unnecessary appearances.
You can write-off Myra Gold as a left-leaning-commo-hippie – whatever if you want, that’s your view.
You’re entitled to that view.
More than that, you’re entitled to express that view.
Myra Gold should have been free to express hers too.
via Big Brother, watch out!Forget about the G20 sticker blitz, another kind of revelry may be a thorny issue | Cairns Post.