G20: clowns, drag kings and dickheads

And no I don’t mean the delegates in the hyatt. Much against my better judgment, I found myself at the stop G20 protest on the front lines watching two dozen or so frustrated young people in the appropriately fashionable radical activist uniform of face covering scarfs and white overalls expressing their political beliefs by pelting the police with rubbish scavenged from a bin and plastic milk crates. With me were about fifty media representatives, a motley collection of some two hundred or more peaceful protestors and curious thrillseekers. The police held the line although the pack of jostling press occasionally threatened to break through.

Eventually the heat got the better of the kids and they went off to find a softer target in the form of an ANZ bank down the road. As far as I could tell the building got some graffiti and a bit of fertilizer.

Around that time, the stop G20 clowns emerged, juggled, capered and scampered their distaste of neo-liberalism. The police showed their true fascist colors by not smiling. But then few on the other side found the clowns funny either. It wasn’t until the drag kings marched to the frontline that things started to liven up.

I like drag kings. I like how they almost always end up looking like short tubby truck drivers. These had pulled together passable SWAT uniforms with ‘cop it sweet’ embroided along the left chest. So they looked like short tubby truckdrivers dressing up as the cop from the village people. The real cops showed their true fascist colors by not finding this amusing. The rest of us did however and everyone took photos.

Eventually the heat got the better of the clowns and the drag kings and they went off to sit in the shade somewhere. The cops, the media and assorted curious thrillseekers hung around to see what other ground breaking act of social defiance was in store.

We didn’t have to wait long.

The alternative G20 mob arrived. These guys were well organised and had a whole truck with decks and a sound system from which pounded some killer beats. They even had a short burlesque act involving a cop arresting president bush. The cop wore an improbably skimpy uniform and fishnets and hence was probably not a real cop although president bush looked authentically happy enough when she led him along the police line in cuffs.

The police showed their true fascist colors by not smiling although some of the younger guys checked her out quite thoroughly.

By then people had started to dance to those killer beats and seeing it was a nice day and all and i’d seen many of the faces there at trance parties, it started to feel like just another party.


Let me add something here about the behaviour of the poice. If you ever wanted to throw something nasty at a cop at will and without fear of reprisal, this was the day to do it. The few dickheads (aka the Arterial Block) in the generally peaceful crowd did so. The police had obviously been instructed to hold the line and not venture into the crowd to arrest protestors. At all times, they defended themselves if they were attacked but did not break the line to go after anybody. I’m not surprised to read that 30 of them were injured. In fact, for quite a while, the police came on without any protective gear – no helmets, shields or armour. It was only after a few of them got hurt by projectiles that a new line of protected police came to the front (see photo above). And even then, they made no sallies into the sparse crowd to arrest the dickheads. From my experience of the police’s behaviour and discipline on Saturday (up to 3pm after which i left) contrasting that to the behaviour of some of the protestors, any protestor who got hurt by them probably deserved it.

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