Monday, September 03, 2007

APEC in Sydney

Love and money bring these two together

This week my old hometown, Sydney New South Wales Australia, is hosting the massive APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit. Twenty one world leaders, including such lovers of democracy as Vladamir Putin, George Bush, Hu Jintao, and the leaders of Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia will be in town. A new water canon has been purchased for the occaison, 5,000 police and soldiers are patrolling the city by land, sea and air, a three-metre high, and a five-kilometre long barrier erected around the Sydney opera house. Security is extreme with no photographs allowed of the fence, nobody allowed near the fence, google earth has even blanked out the details of the opera house area on their online maps, and already twelve Greenpeace protesters were arrested and charged after they rode inflatable dinghies out to a ship carrying coal in a port north of Sydney and painted an anti-APEC slogan on its hull.

Those opposing the agenda of the APEC summit have been labelled as "hypocrites" by the Prime Minister of Australia, "Stop and think for a moment. Are you really going to alleviate poverty by killing economic growth?" he said.

I think that depends on what type of economic growth you are talking about John. So far what has been said about APEC is that climate change will be framed by economic growth, that social justice will be framed by economic growth, that environmental management will be framed by economic growth, that all forms of pan national cooperation will be framed by economic growth. Apart from the economic disasters that are looming in the Pacific region in the micro island states (none of which are represented at APEC), lets just take the environmental agenda of APEC and see what it entails:

We must be realistic about what can be achieved on climate change. We won't reach agreement, nor do we imagine for a moment that we could reach agreement on binding targets amongst the member countries of APEC. The developing countries have made that clear and for very understandable reasons. But we can reach a framework agreement if we work hard enough on the shape of a post-Kyoto approach to the international response to climate change. Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard

Clean coal technology has recieved millions of dollars from the federal Australian government in the last year. With record exports of coal being sent to China one does not have to ponder long to explain the agenda put forward by Howard at APEC. Anyone who opposes the development of the fossil fuel agenda is branded a hypocrite. A recent video of Barbara Dudley Portland State University professor Former Executive Director of Greenpeace USA Former President of the National Lawyers Guild, gives us a glimps of the war on dissent being preached at the APEC summit:

APEC is Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

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