30A Follow Up Correspondence
with the NSW Police
September 2005


5 September 2005

Superintendent Terry Collins
Acting Deputy Commissioner
NSW Police Service

Fax 02 8263 6546

Dear Superintendent,

Debriefing the 30A protests

I notice that it fell to you to front the media and explain the huge police deployment for the Forbes Global CEO Conference at the Opera House last week.

As an organiser of the 30A protests let me assure you that we did not want it that way. We wanted to organise a people friendly event, peaceful, with broad appeal and minimal police presence. But we got the opposite.

We set out to bear witness for peace, justice and a sustaining Earth and what our witness revealed was how far gone is New South Wales as a police state in these times.

I am sure that there are men and women of integrity in the NSW Police Service who do not want their service to carry that image. I am sure that there are police commanders who truly respect the democratic right of citizens to assemble and protest.

30A was not the first "anti-globalism" protest to happen in Australia and we may expect that it will not be the last. Surely we can learn something from what happened.

Together with our police liaison officer, Det Snr Sgt Andrew Lahey, might you agree to meet with some of the organisers of 30A to debrief the management of the Forbes protests?

Please feel free to contact me direct on 0407 951 688.

Yours respectfully,

Graeme Dunstan
Police Liaison Delegate
30A Network

23 September 2005

Superintendent Terry Collins
Deputy Commissioner
NSW Police Service

Fax 02 8263 6546

Dear Superintendent,

Reviewing the 30A protests

I guess I may assume that my invitation of 5 September to debrief together on the 30A protests is to be ignored, and not even thought worthy of an acknowledgement.

How low have police-community relations sunk in this era of enforcement policing. In the reign of Ryan, when community policing ("Police is community; community is police.") was upheld, you and I could meet in mutual respect and talk through things.

Now policing is a paramilitary of paranoia, a parade of power, fearful, inflated and wasteful.

We went to the Forbes Global CEO Conference to bear witness for peace, justice and a sustaining Earth. What our witness most starkly revealed was how far gone is NSW as a police state. The rhetoric of respect for protest, freedom of speech and assembly may still be heard but the practice, in these War on Terror days, is the contrary.

Enforcement policing seems to have defined protest as a threat to public safety and so the prevailing police response is obstructive, marginalizing deceitful, and menacing.

On behalf of the 30A Network I approached The Rocks Police Local Area Command to negotiate a peaceful protest that would get us noticed with the minimum of police presence. It was as if part of I what I was saying ("Protest coming!") was heard, but the rest of the news was received with institutional deafness. Instead Sydney HQ police planners responded with over policing and over policing became the story and the lingering taste of the event.

The police liaison effort was manipulated, betrayed and undermined. Det Snr Sgt Andrew Layhe and Det Sgt Leanne Wells did their professional best but the OSG Commander undid the negotiated agreements on the night, someone who had not been party to the negotiations and cared nothing for them.

Furthermore the "march" to the temporary fence at the Opera House happened at the invitation of police conveyed through our liaison. The invitation was made knowing the CEOs would not be there: a decoy, which is another word for deceit. The whole media business about protesters knocking down a flimsy temporary fence was a self-serving police set up.

I guess somewhere there is someone in Police HQ or Premiers Department who is congratulating him or her self for the clever ruse. He or she would be wise to sober up and take into account the long-term consequences of deceit and betrayal.

A whole generation of Sydney activists, young people who are understandably concerned about Global Warming, disappearing forests, disappearing human rights and civil liberties, the engagement in foreign wars, the decline in government services, and the rise in incarceration and torture, and brave enough today to be acting out of conscience - tomorrow leaders in other words - witnessed the 30A policing. A whole new generation have learned not to trust the NSW Police.

Do not expect to be warned or consulted on future anti globalism actions. No one is going to want to talk to police except in games of mutual deceit. Who would risk their credibility with their peers by suggesting police liaison might be fruitful and achieve a win-win, non confrontational outcome? Wishful thinking!

Now for information about protest planning you must rely on police spies, Intel as you say, which you know from long career experience is fallible if not always fanciful or inflated. Fear and ignorance drove the planners of the 30A policing to their clumsy response and calculated deceit. Ongoing fear and ignorance is the fruit of those actions.

Thank you Assistant Commissioner Superintendent Bob Waites for your services to the corporate state. A corporate boardroom chair and a corporate annuity awaits your retirement; and also standing room in that special place of purgatory kept for those who put greed before justice.

I yearn for those old days of community policing. Less military posturing, more community service and more stimulating dialogue about the times and the culture of policing.

May the wheel still it spin.

Speed the day when NSW police officers stand beside us in trust, working together as fellow country men and women, for the enduring safety and welfare of all, future generations included.

Speed the day when we are collaborators together occupying public place to make art that builds cultural movement ...

For peace. For justice. For the Earth!

Yours respectfully,

Graeme Dunstan
Police Liaison Delegate
30A Network

PS Please feel free to contact me anytime on 0407 951 688

 

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