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Sep 07

APEC summit

My workplace is more or less near the centre of the CBD’s “declared area“. Buses terminate at Martin Place where crowds of suits are herded into the pedestrian channels, lined by 3 metre high metal fences anchored by massive concrete blocks. Police linger on each street corner. Newly-installed loudspeakers attached to traffic lights as part of Sydney’s new emergency warning system add that extra bit of East Berlin-charm to the CBD. Helicopters hover in the skies above… even once inside my building, you can hear them, periodically buzzing by the window. My window overlooks the Intercontinental (Dubya’s hotel during the summit) and I can see snipers on its roof. Sirens occasionally wail through the streets from vehicles engaged in what are (hopefully) training exercises. The streets around Circular Quay are virtually devoid of people and vehicles. It’s all quite surreal and a little disconcerting. And the newspapers say that the police are currently in “minimum security mode”. Dubya is going to arrive in the next couple hours and they are going to lock things down even more tomorrow. Employees have been advised to carry proof of ID and employment at all times.

APEC would be a more exciting prospect if they didn’t keep Sydneysiders away from everything with a 500 metre stick. It’s an honour to be hosting it, but to the person on the street, it sure doesn’t feel like it.

  8:35pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Life  •   •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment