World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

S11 Day One - Overview, From Melbourne IndyMedia

http://melbourne.indymedia.org/
S11 Day One - Overview
by JK 5:42pm Mon Sep 11 '00
mim@antimedia.net

It's 2pm Monday September 11 and it appears the s11 blockade of the World Economic Forum at Crown Casino in Melbourne has been a success. About half of the 800 delegates to the conference have been prevented from entering the building and inside the feeling is a little tense. Apparently some delegates have refused to leave their hotel rooms to attempt running the blockade. Protesters are claiming victory in their efforts to "close down the WEF". A number of police have been hurt, one Crown security officer had his jaw broken and at least one protester taken to hospital after a police charge on protester lines.

Inside the Forum Australian Treasurer, Peter Costello, was visibly shaken as he opened the conference to only a third of intended delegates. More arrived later, brought in by helicopter to the roof of the casino or ferried in by barge down the river. Two busloads of dignitaries drove around the entire complex, repeatedly attempting to broach protester lines. At last count they'd been in the buses for in excess of six hours.

According to one rumour, the head of Microsoft and the world's richest nerd, Bill Gates, has cancelled his address to the forum and will now not be attending. Though the Age website says he is not deterred and will give his address tomorrow.

Earlier in the day protesters surrounded two cars, one carrying Victorian Liberal (conservative) opposition leader, Dr Dennis Napthine, and the other with Western Australian Premier, Richard Court. Dr Napthine's car has daubed with paint and the words "WEF Kills". Eventually he was allowed to leave, but not so Richard Court, Premier of WA, an Australian state with some of the most draconian laws relating to Aboriginals, refugees and the environment. Mandatory sentencing, a law that unfairly targets young Aboriginal males, has been called a racist law by the UN, Amnesty International and human rights groups.

Up to 500 protesters surrounded the premier's car chanting "This is what democracy looks like" and old favourites like "the people united will never be defeated". A shaken and concerned Mr Court sat stony-faced as one Aboriginal man, who came from WA, repeatedly demanded the premier repeal mandatory sentencing. The man climbed on the bonnet then the roof of the car to raucous cheers from the crowd. The crowd held the car up for over an hour. Eventually police baton-charged protesters in an attempt to clear a path for the car to leave. Horses were brought in as backup. At least one protester was injured and sent to hospital when police charged.

Indymedia footage appears to show the man falling to the ground before being hit a number of times by police. When he manages to get to his feet his face is covered in blood. A number of other people were treated by medical staff at the site for a variety of injuries.
Police continued to baton-charge protesters after the car had left, eventually forcing their way out of the crowd. At other entrances horses were used to try and force passage but were again unsuccessful, despite a number of injuries, including crushed feet.

Later in the day delegates attempted to access the casino via the Yarra River, located adjacent to the building. A boat was first used to try and ferry delegates to the forum but protesters successfully prevented them from boarding. Later attempts were hampered when the Yarra, which is a tidal river, rose, making access impossible due to low bridges. Eventually a bargeload of delegates was transported downriver to the site. However, according to reports from inside the forum, the first load got so wet in the open barge that rest refused to go.

Despite ugly scenes in the morning, the afternoon was more sedate. Bands and speakers entertained protesters and police alike at the main stage located at the city end of the casino. An impromptu dance party broke out when a truck with a portable sound system turned up. A fitting end to an amazing day.
So on day one protesters have had the major success and police and forum organisers are left to ponder the coming two days and why thousands of people don't agree with their "business as usual" philosophy.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC