Dog day afternoon. A Sydneysider sole subscriber tells Crikey that they tried to take their dog for a walk to Embarkation Park, the off-leash park on top of the Defence Department car park on Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo, this afternoon but all three gates to the park were closed, chained and padlocked. A sign was attached to two of the three gates which stated that the park was closed for pesticide spraying for weeds, but the date on the sign was 31 July, 2007. They phoned the number at the bottom of the sign and spoke to the Sydney City Council. The staff member said they’d check the reason for the closure and call back. The subscriber heard from the SCC 10 minutes later. They were told the park was closed at the request of APEC because the presidential motorcade would pass along Cowper Wharf Road, below the rooftop car park, at some stage that day. As it did, yesterday evening.
That Bush banner 1. The Go Home Bush banner from yesterday is moving to the rooftop of a building on Wylde Street, Potts Point. The banner will face due west and stare Dubya in the dial when he looks from the windows of the Intercontinental.
That Bush banner 2. My banner on the roof of my building in Potts Point. We face the Hotel Intercontinental where Bush is staying so, who knows?
Talk about paranoia. I went to the Glebe branch of the Commonwealth bank yesterday and noticed there were no chairs and none of those poles with rope to guide the queue. The teller said all furniture had been removed because the Commonwealth was an APEC sponsor and they feared that violent protesters could use the furniture to smash the place up. Talk about paranoia. I wonder if it’s all branches? Glebe is quite a hike from the CBD for protesters.
APEC has currency. Just got my first APEC $1 coin. Is there no end to the madness?
Does my bomb look big in this? Hellfire Club are running their own protest of APEC — bags asking “Does My Bomb Look Big In This?” Check it out at their blog.
The Bush leagues. Not only is Bush here, but some of the police seem to be bushies too. On the corner of Phillip Street and Martin Place, yesterday, I was asked by a pair of them the name of the next street south. (It was King Street, as I helpfully explained.) When in doubt, ask the boys in blue. Ignorance of the layout of the city might hinder their capacity for rapid response. Perhaps it’s to obviate that problem that they’ve deployed a cop every three metres around the city (and that’s just at ground level!)
Keys to the city. I asked a policeman at the fence blocking access to Phillip St from Bent St if I could get through to go to my office, and he replied “Sure, but we only have one key, so you’ll have to wait a few minutes.” I have no idea what that meant, but I’m guessing he didn’t have it on him. Which leads one to ask what would happen if someone (such as emergency services) actually NEEDED to get through in a hurry.
APEC customer service. A colleague was running into work this morning, the same way he has run in to the city for the past 15 years though circular quay, he realized that a little walkway through the security barriers previous days had been blocked off today, when one of our finest in blue screams out “where do ya think your going”. No offer of an alternate route, not even a polite gesture to go back the way he came in.
APEC madness. Thought you might enjoy this little gem which greeted workers at Railway Square this morning. Apparently, in addition to the barriers that make getting the morning coffee an obstacle course, there are two security guards dedicated to protecting it from the hoi polloi. So, is this an indictment of a society that has to protect even the signage from our citizens, or proof that there’s nobody at APEC headquarters who recognises the complete insanity that is rampaging through our streets…?
An AMP perspective. The media’s breathless credulity at APEC is what’s wearing thin for office workers at Circular Quay. Getting to work today was a dream, so bring it on more I say — the hardest part was getting through the banks of cameras and journalists wanting a comment! But it’s news to us that office workers at AMP have been told to draw blinds, stay away from windows and not look at helicopters (as yesterday’s media reported) – if anyone has been told, I suspect it was a productivity-driven manager’s initiative rather than anything more sinister – certainly no overall directives have come from AMP Capital, the building managers. On my floor yesterday (lovely view of the Intercon, where most windows have their blinds up, snipers, Philip St) we spent a fair amount of time viewing the comings and goings until we realised it was a bit like watching paint dry (though it was amusing to see Dubya’s motorcade to the PM’s office which hadn’t finished leaving before it actually arrived…) We’ve also been waving to the hulky US “watchers” on the roof of the Intercon and so far we’ve survived to tell the tale. The authorities will also be pleased to know they’ve remained professionally stony faced at all times.
Bums for Bush. The only APEC protest you need to know about… (Click to enlarge in a new window).
Apex says we’re not APEC!: (Click to enlarge in a new window).