Life of the Professional Protestor

Mounted police have moved in to break up an anti-globalisation demonstration after protesters broke through a section of the barricades erected at Circular Quay. At least one person has been arrested after the protesters broke down a section of the barricade that was cordoning off the Opera House where an international business conference was due to be hosted.

The forecourt of Customs House was transformed into a colourful carnival with dance music and drums blasting throughout the tourist district. A spokesman for the protest organisers, the 30A Network, said demonstrators were angry that delegates were paying $5000 a head for tonight's dinner while millions of people went hungry.

"We are here today to express that anger not with violence," the spokesman told the crowd. "We are here in loud, peaceful protest."

About 1000 police have been mobilised to protect more than 350 of the world's leading corporate executive attending the Forbes Global CEO Conference.

The 30A Network - an anti-globalisation alliance of left-wing activists, green groups and anti-war protesters - has vowed to conduct peaceful demonstrations to highlight concerns about working conditions, the environment, the war in Iraq, human rights and Third World debt.

A spokesman for the group, Bruce Knobloch, said today he expected "many thousands" of protesters to descend on the Opera House to voice their disgust at the Australian Government's support for the free-market agenda.

"It's to make more people awake to what the Howard Government's policies are going to look like in the future," Mr Knobloch said. "Forbes stands for free-market extremism, no labour regulations, no environmental regulations." The delegates, he said, "are free-market freaks and they've been influential in setting government policy".


Well so much for the peaceful protests, I suppose the 'barricade' started it. From the reports I have heard during the day about the brave millions, oops hundreds, gathered under the brutal watch of the NSW Police Force, its not just about globalisation, its Australia's detention policy, Industrial Relations, war in Iraq, redistribution of wealth (not sure if they have modelled this on Robert Mugabe's policies in Zimbabwe), global warming etc.

The fatcat CEOs must be wondering what all this has to do with the bottomline. If the protestors are upset about the cost of the affair, they can feel free to protest to the state labour government on behalf of the NSW taxpayer.

From the footage I saw on the TV, there was dancing, placard waving, catchy songs and other such left wing activities. Contrary to earlier claims of thousands turning out, just a few hundred seem to have made it for the festivities, I thought the hated Howard government was still to eliminate voluntary unionism and hence stem the flow of funds for these festivities, maybe the left wing groups are starting to face reality and are already 'tightening the belts'.

One thing is clear, the CEOs will attend convene, talk, dine, party etc; the protestors will have a good time, make a lot of noise, provide some entertainment, create some work for the Police, achieve nothing; until the next event.

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