|The ugly face of street protests|
Phil Ruddock may have been out of the country, but that didn't stop
pro-asylum seeker protesters converging on his Sydney home this afternoon.
They didn't actually get to their destination though.
Their right to conduct the protest was upheld in court, but their squishy
pro-bono lawyers didn't see
the legal trap that was coming, and obtained permission to protest in the
street, but not actually outside the house of Phil
(no-one-home-anyway) Ruddock. Police stopped them before they got to the house
itself, and smugly said the conditions of the protest were met. Inevitable
scuffles and arrests followed.
Politicians on both
sides of politics were
clearly disturbed at the precedent of protests outside their private homes. Bob
(I-just-spend-the-money) Carr clearly thought that this was taking
accountability of office a bit too far.
The protesters on the other hand presumably thought that no-one had the
right to tell someone else where they could or couldn't go. Which was kind of
what the protest was about really.
Of course if the streets were privatized this wouldn't
be a problem - it would be a straight issue of permission or trespass, but few
politicians are going to voluntarily give up their power to control who uses the
One could almost hear Johnny Howard, gently explaining
We will decide who enters the public streets and the manner in which
they do so.