Thursday 17 November 2011

Obama's visit - where were all the demonstrators?

The last time a sitting US President visited Australia, there was a great deal of fuss about the security precautions (and how heavy handed they'd be) and there were quite a few demonstrations. I even went to one just to see what it was all about.

I haven't digested a lot of media lately, but the small amount that I have read didn't mention a single demonstration against President Obama.  Hmm - why would that be?

We also didn't have any local politicians bagging the President, like we had last time.

Troops out, Hicks home: protesters
March 17, 2007

Around 400 protesters have marched through central Sydney to mark the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war.

The rally, organised by Stop the War Coalition, was one of many around Australia and the world this weekend.

Police escorted the banner-waving marchers down George Street, which was briefly closed to traffic as protesters made their way down to Belmore Park.

The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and for the federal government to bring Australian terror suspect David Hicks home from US detention at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Before the march, federal Greens senator Kerry Nettle reminded the crowd assembled at Town Hall that she and party leader Bob Brown had been ejected from parliament in 2003.

The Greens duo made loud interjections about Iraq and wore shirts referring to Hicks during US President George Bush's address to a joint sitting of the two houses.

"Four years on, how things have changed," Senator Nettle said.

"The issue of Iraq is the disaster we all said it would be.

"The predictions have not only come true - it's worse."

President of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties David Burnie told protesters that Hicks' detention for so long without charge was an issue that had implications for all Australians.

Mr Burnie claimed the Guantanamo Bay facility was not a detention centre but a "torture centre".

"It's setting up a precedent which devalues human rights across the world," Mr Burnie said.

Odd - Guantanamo is still open for business (although Hicks has been released). Iraq doesn't seem to be going to badly these days, and we still  have troops in Afghanistan. So - where the hell are the Greens and the protesters? Normally, Bob Brown is a human headline at times like these - but all he did was fawn over the President.

1 comment:

1735099 said...

Dunno that Iraq "isn't going too badly" - November casualties so far: 108 civilians killed.
The level of violence (measured by deaths through bombings and assassinations) is about the same as 2004, and 700,100 Iraqis have fled to Syria since 2003 - mostly Assyrians and Armenian Christians.
It's just not reported.