Gas Week

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Demonstrations fail to become violent: nonplussed police look for work among demonstrators already on their way home

Posted by gasweek on 28 September, 2007

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione kept telling the media that the APEC demonstration in downtown Sydney on 8 September was bound to be violent, reported The Australian. “Bored” police look for work: “Our intelligence tells us there is an intent to act violently,” he said. “Be aware of the mob-rule mentality.” Conceivably bored because so little seemed to be happening, a few police officers allegedly took matters into their own hands. Dale Mills, the co-ordinator of Human Rights Monitors, a group of lawyers and law students who acted as legal observers at protests, said that on three separate occasions after the protests, police stopped demonstrators who were already on their way home. They were far from the declared zone but the police cited their new powers before demanding identifica¬≠tion and checking the people for weapons.

Policing the police: In central Sydney there was palpable tension among police who had been expecting action and found they had nothing to do. While water police on Jet Skis patrolled the adjoining sliver of inner harbour and knots of coppers fed the seagulls, two plain-clothes police stopped one of their colleagues, a uniformed officer walking into the Darling Harbour Convention Centre, and made him open the little satchel he was carrying.

The Australian, 8/9/2007.


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