23 February 2007

trafficking in permits

Sydney is an undisclosed location since Cheney flew in last night. The usual suspects in the Howard government are naturally milking the Cheney trip for all its worth. I suspect they're going to find Cheney a fairly dry teat.

Earlier in the week, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2 were both in Sydney at the same time. The result was gridlock around the harbour and an abject apology from Premier Maurice Iemma and various other state officials for not foreseeing the gridlock. I suspect that's got a lot to do with the weird decision-making on the issue of granting a permit for the demonstration against Cheney last night.

The police refused the permit. The demonstrators threatened to march down George St anyway. The police eventually allowed the demo to walk down the side of the street as long as they did not block traffic. 10 people were arrested in between refusing the permit and effectively granting the permit.

Demonstrating is part of the right to free speech.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

That right should really not be suspended because the government blew the planning for the arrival of two ships and the premier went into panic mode. Sadly, I think we'll see the panic mode get recycled a few more times before the state election on 28 March.

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