'Cage Bush, Not Sydney'
A giant banner saying "Cage Bush. Not Sydney" could be slung from the top of Town Hall, under a proposal to be voted on by the City of Sydney tonight.
The Deputy Lord Mayor, Chris Harris, from the Greens, has called on councillors to support his motion calling for such a banner, to take a stand against crackdowns on protest at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum next month.
"As a city councillor, I am appalled that we are allowing our government to gate off our city from the people who live, work and pay rates here," he said.
"That we would spend $600,000 on a water cannon to be used against our citizens should they exercise their democratic right to demonstrate.
"That we have converted 31 State Transit buses into mobile holding cells, and that during the APEC summit it will cost the city of Sydney hundreds of millions of dollars in lost economic activity that we will never recover.
"While I agree that we should do all we can to protect visiting leaders, it should never be at the expense of the community's democratic rights or the economic wellbeing of our businesses and workers."
Erecting a cage around the US President, George Bush, would ensure his safety without disrupting Sydney, he said.
Cr Harris is asking council to "take a stand for its citizens by demonstrating its disapproval of the lockdown of Sydney and the loss of the democratic rights of its citizens by erecting a banner on the Town Hall of Sydney that says 'Cage Bush. Not Sydney"'.
The Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, would not say if she would support the motion.
"Sydney, as a global city, should be able to take meetings such as these in its stride," a spokesman for Cr Moore said yesterday. "The City of Sydney is investigating ways to alleviate the impact on residents, and that's what we'll be concentrating on."
Residents who find their parking spots have been turned into clearways during the summit may be able to park free in the Domain car park, the spokesman said. "We are certainly investigating it."
© 2007 The Brisbane Times