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5 September, 2007

APEC, Sydney locked down just for one person.

apec_harbour_bridge.jpg

If you live in Australia, especially in Sydney, the news of the week is APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting. Sydney is hosting this year's APEC meeting. In short, APEC is about Asia-Pacific's political parties discussing economic matters. We all well aware that United States is not in Asia or Pacific, but United States must get involved (err, control the meeting rather).

Headache for Sydney? The arrival of US President George W. Bush.

John Howard, George W. Bush behind fences
John Howard and George W. Bush behind the tall fences in Sydney

Some of you may recall the visit of US vice president Dick Cheney. The road was closed both ways for Dick Cheney. As for US President, it's not just closed complete, also tall fences around.

Well, the power-greedy police sought special police power, and the NSW Parliament gave them. (see APEC Meeting (Police Powers) Bill 2007), on top of that, Australia spends $160 million budget on security, mainly for Bush.

George W. Bush somehow apologised for the steel fences and concrete barricades and armed guards in Sydney.

qt_bush_apologise.jpg
(click above screenshot for the short video clip.)

During APEC in Sydney, this entire-city-lock-down security detail is called S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure). Bush is accompanied by 250 Secret Service Agents. There are another 200 government representatives. Condoleezza Rice brought another 150 National Security Advisors, 50 White House political aides, 15 teams of US sniffer dogs, and 5 personal chefs.

There were 36 cars, vans and motorbikes taking President Bush off the AirPort to City last night. This afternoon, the entire city was locked down just for him to travel 50 metres.

Also, there's something interesting to note how the White House controls the media. The White House did not allow any cameras at all into a meeting between Mr Bush and then Labor leader Simon Crean in 2003 due to the political conflicts. This time, only still cameras would be allowed between Mr Bush and opposition (Labor) leader Kevin Rudd. Kevin Rudd had vowed to withdraw troops from Iraq. (news source)

Source: 7News, Today Tonight.

Posted by Antony on 5 September 2007 11:00 PM | newstalk, videos

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