APEC : Media savages heads of state for war crimes, environmental destruction, and massive human rights abuses

Just kidding.

No, in terms of APEC reportage, while there have been scattered references to say, ‘climate change’ — and the possibility that some people in China may on occasion be prevented from fully exercising the entire spectrum of their civil and political rights under international law — the fact that a probable (US) war criminal is visiting these shores has been markedly overlooked. So too, the fact that another (Russian) war criminal has presided over a regime in which investigative journalists have been decimated. In a remarkable (or perhaps not) display of loyalty to their employers, however, no Australian journalist has raised these or any other difficult subjects in their writings on the upcoming Summit. Instead, the public is expected to take (frankly ludicrous) tales of anarchist malfeasance seriously. For example, the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports — without attribution — that an:

Anarchist training manual ‘justifies’ APEC security

New South Wales Police Minister David Campbell says a training manual distributed by a protest group proves the need for the strong security presence in place for APEC.

An anarchist group calling itself the ‘Mutiny Collective’ is reportedly distributing the manual to would-be protesters.

Mr Campbell has labelled the manual as “disturbing”.

“The fact that this group called Mutiny have distributed a violent protests step-by-step guide I think demonstrates what police have known all along – that there were people intent on violent behaviour at APEC,” he said.

“It justifies this planning around a strong security presence that has been put in place.

“Any reasonable person in our community would be disturbed that there is a step-by-step guide on how to create mayhem, how to take part in a violent protest, how to hide your identity and even how to evade paying fares on the public transport system as you go about your violent protests.”

Oddly enough, by his own admission, New South Wales Police Minister David Campbell hasn’t even read the bloody thing! Thus: “Detectives are yet to see a copy of the document, but New South Wales Police Minister David Campbell says reports of its existence justify the heavy security presence in and around Sydney. “Police have known of the tactics of these groups through their preparation and through their training,” he said. “The fact that this manual is being distributed as widely as it is by this organisation is of concern” (an extract from another ABC report titled Rudd backs APEC crackdown; yet another one of the seemingly innumerable cases of Rudd’s me-tooism).

Taken literally, Campbell is claiming that the estimated $170 million cost of security at the conference may be justified by reference to reports of a manual which may or may not exist, but which is purportedly ‘violent’.

One might note at this point that it’s quite odd that a manual may be both ‘widely distributed’ and at the same time NSW Police be unable to obtain a copy in order to examine its contents for themselves. Either the Police are massively incompetent (possible, but unlikely), or simply lying (both possible and likely).

But where did all this nonsense about a violent manual come from anyway?

APEC ‘rioters’ plot to target Bush
EXCLUSIVE by Joe Hildebrand and Malcolm Farr
The Daily Telegraph
September 3, 2007

ONE group of militant APEC protesters is secretly plotting an outbreak of violence for US President George W. Bush’s arrival in Sydney tomorrow, distributing a rioter’s training manual on how to wear gas masks, confront police and even evade fares.

The clandestine anarchist action, six weeks in the making, has been dubbed “FLARE in the void” and is described as an “Anti-APEC counter convergence”…

Protest tips

The FLARE (For Liberation Autonomy Resistance Exodus) manual openly declares an prepardeness [sic] to commit violence.

It tells protesters engaging in “direct action” to form small groups of five to 15 people and to wear masks so they cannot be identified.

“It is important to defy police attempts to frighten us,” the so-called Mutiny Collective has written in one section.

The manual also tells protesters to wear gas masks, goggles, running shoes and full-body clothing to protect from tear gas and capsicum spray. It also advises carrying water and a bandanna soaked in vinegar to combat the effects of pepper spray.

    Joe: “Wow! How’d you track ’em down, Malcolm?”

    Malcolm: “Good question. On one of my frequent trips to the ground, I noticed Mutiny wore sneakers… for sneaking!”

Busloads of interstate activists expected to descend on Sydney are also told how to evade public transport fares, including forcing their way through railway station ticket barriers.


Mr Howard has acknowledged the threats of violence and the response of intrusive security precautions in Sydney’s CBD.

This morning the Prime Minister has made another YouTube appearance to spruik his APEC agenda.

But he has also said that if violence occurred people should not blame him or Mr Bush.

“Don’t blame the police, don’t blame the NSW Government, don’t blame any of our (heads of government) guests, don’t blame the Federal Government,” he said.

“Blame the people who threaten violence.”

Mr Howard said the APEC summit was an opportunity, despite the expected clashes, to present a positive image of Australia.

He said the nation’s largest city, “undeniably the most beautiful big city in the world”, would be seen as as a modern, sophisticated, tolerant, multi-racial society.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd said violence would be unacceptable and backed a zero-tolerance policy by police towards protests who were not peaceful.

“I would appeal to anyone who is thinking of protesting out there to protest in peaceful terms only,” he said…

For a corrupt old millionaire queen’s perspective on events, see also The Parrot, who joins John HoWARd on YouTube to provide all and sundry with deep insights into the meaning of ‘democracy’ in contemporary Australia. Choice quote, in reference to the 20 visiting heads of state: “I’d be down on bended knee, saying please spend a few more billion dollars [on] us. Instead, we’ve got the spectacle of what happened last year at the G20 summit in Melbourne. Frightening! Barricades burnt, police pelted with bottles and garbage; we’ve only got 14,000 police. Do we need the Army? There’s no reason these people should be allowed to march…” The Parrot then goes on to phantasise about the use of water cannons and tanks. “If there’s a 12,000 litre tank with shatterproof glass and a push bar in the front that can clear barricades and other obstacles, use it… Remember one thing: the rabble and the ferals are watching“.

Next: Punching bags!

    In a building of gold, with riches untold,
    lived the families on which the country was founded.
    And the merchants of style, with their vain velvet smiles,
    were there, for they also were hounded.
    And the soft middle class crowded in to the last,
    for the building was fully surrounded.
    And the noise outside was the ringing of revolution.

    Sadly they stared and sank in their chairs,
    and searched for a comforting notion.
    And the rich silver walls looked ready to fall,
    as they shook in doubtful devotion.
    The ice cubes would clink as they freshened their drinks,
    wet their minds in bitter emotion.
    And they talked about the ringing of revolution.

    We were hardly aware of the hardships they beared,
    for our time was taken with treasure.
    Oh, life was a game, and work was a shame,
    and pain was prevented by pleasure.
    The world, cold and grey, was so far away,
    in distance only money could measure.
    But their thoughts were broken by the ringing of revolution.

    And the clouds filled the room in darkening doom,
    as the crooked smoke rings were rising.
    How long will it take, how can we escape,
    someone asks, but no one’s advising.
    And the quivering floor responds to the roar,
    in a shake no longer surprising.
    As closer and closer comes the ringing of revolution.

    So softly they moan, please leave us alone,
    as back and forth they are pacing.
    And they cover their ears and try not to hear,
    with pillows of silk they’re embracing.
    The crackling crowd is laughing out loud,
    peeking in at the target they’re chasing.
    Now trembling inside the ringing of revolution.

    With compromise sway we gave it half away,
    when we saw that rebellion was growing.
    Now everything’s lost as they kneel by the cross,
    where the blood of Christ is still flowing.
    Too late for their sorrow they’ve reached their tomorrow,
    and reaped the seed they were sowing.
    Now harvested by the ringing of revolution.

    In tattered tuxedos they faced the new heroes,
    and crawled about in confusion.
    And they sheepishly grinned for their memories were dim,
    of the decades of dark execution.
    Hollow hands raised, they stood there amazed,
    in the shattering of their illusions.
    As the windows were smashed by the ringing of revolution.

    Down on our knees, we’re begging you please,
    we’re sorry for the way you were driven.
    There’s no need to taunt just take what you want,
    and we’ll make amends, if we’re living.
    But away from the grounds the flames told the town,
    that only the dead are forgiven.
    As they vanished inside the ringing of revolution.

    ~ Phil Ochs

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in !nataS, Media, State / Politics, War on Terror. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to APEC : Media savages heads of state for war crimes, environmental destruction, and massive human rights abuses

  1. anon says:

    it s worth noting that the joe hildebrand who co-wrote this ridiculous article was once quite the somebody on the melbourne left student politics scene. he used to edit farrago back in 1997. how times have changed.

  2. vents says:

    By calling themself ‘anarchist’ group ‘mutiny’ (ffs come on) of course the media has fucking jumped on it and turned it into something it is not. It pisses me off because it makes the rest of us look like nutters (again). There doesn’t seem to be anything here that is related to class struggle or your average working person at all can relate to, I guess this is my issue with these type of things. Standing up to the cops is cool and all but fuck man I am sick of having to explain to people why anarchism is not about kids breaking things and burning shit down. And after this is over, jesus. Anyway..

  3. lumpnboy says:

    Nothing related to class struggle where, vents? At Flare? Really? At APEC? In the violent enforcement of property, or the suppression of dissent?

    It is rare that anything interesting comes after someone invokes “your average working person”…

  4. vents says:

    lumpnboy, I am not sure what you mean by it is rare when something interesting comes after you invoke your average working person? Are you being sarcastic? Anarchism is exactly that – average working class people sticking together and organising themselves to achieve a higher standard of living, that is the revolution. It is a labour movement with a rich and long history and has done some awesome shit. And that is what is important. There is an article about Chicago 1886 just above this one. This is how it should be remembered and shit like this does not help. To anybody who is not an ultra lefty it just looks like a bunch of angry maniacs who want to riot. We need to move past this type of thing as I said it makes us look like nutters. In my opinion.

  5. vents says:

    Nothing wrong with standing up to the cops and I would be @ APEC buying some Che t-shirts and beating a drum also if I was in Sydney, sounds like a fun time, but fuck man – ‘Anarchist insurrectionary group Mutiny’ – jesus christ, that is not something I am proud of or the vast majority of people who earn a wage that I know would want to be a part of either. Sorry.

  6. lumpnboy says:

    (a) Do you actually know anything about Mutiny, what they do, care about, how they present themselves, or are you basing this on the mass media? Just curious.

    (b) I wasn’t being sarcastic, I mean it, in general people who invoke the “average working class person” have particular ideas of what is ‘average’, and usually what is ‘working class’, which I think are either factually wrong, irrelevant or revolting – it usually converts ‘working class’ into a kind of identity politics using the figure of this ‘average worker’, whom people manage to both represent and patronise, to reaffirm a politics which is narrowly economistic, imagines this class in de facto national terms, thinks racial blindness is racial neutrality, thinks saying “women are often workers too” is enough of a way to deal with the gendered constitution of their idea of ‘work’ and ‘class’, casually forget the hardly difficult to spot instances when even (your apparent idea of) “average working people” have been involved in activities which the media would place under the category of “insurrection” or “anarchism” or “riot” . I’m not sure how you would view certain events on Palm Island, or in Redfern? Or even in Macquarie Fields? The breakout at Woomera was condemned for its ‘violence’ with police, as was s11 – both were called riots – what do your “average working people’ think about those events? The number of events one could mention during the Hot Autumn in Italy which would seem to fall into your condemned category would be in triple figures – were they “average working class people”?

  7. Dr. Cam says:

    Mick? Is that you?

  8. liz says:

    To those who gain their understanding of the world and the people in it from representations in the media: wouldn’t it be nice if those of you calling yourselves anarchists found out a little more about your comrades in Mutiny before condemning them on the basis of something you’ve read in the mainstream press? And what’s this about “people who earn a wage”? Do you happen to know the employment status of your Mutiny comrades? Why does it matter? In fact, do you know ANYTHING about Mutiny apart from what you’ve so artfully gleaned from the capitalist media? Who is “we” and what is the “sort of thing” we need to “move past”. Public statements? Acting into the world? Attempting to work with others to have an effective action against APEC? Doing anything at all because the police might attach labels that we don’t actually use like “anarchist insurrectionary group”?

  9. vents says:

    My apparent idea of average working people? What the fuck dude? The majority of people who have to earn a wage to put food on the table? Is that clear enough? What is there for them there? Not much, I can t see anything they can use. What can they use there?

    Furthermore, anarchist group Mutiny on the TV looking cool and dangerous fighting with the police means the same fucking stereotype repeats itself – we are nutters that like to destroy things and fight. I understand the politics behind it and all that shit, but it s not a good look for anarchism in this country which is still relevant as fuck and should appear (and be) accessible to anybody.


  10. vents says:

    liz on planet earth a lot of people do get their understanding of the world through the media. It’s called news and it’s been talking very loud about this anarchist group that is going to violently disrupt a peaceful protest. If you call yourself an anarchist I don’t see how you could be happy about this, regardless of your feelings about violent insurrection and the capitalist media and what not. I have never heard the word anarchist thrown around this much on the news in my lifetime. I see where this is going and it pisses me off. I don’t know anything about Mutiny but if they would like to catch up for a beer one day I would love to.

  11. Dr. Cam says:


    Are you Vents the Adelaide lyricist with the ill skills, or are you some other vents?

  12. vents says:

    Yep that is me Dr Cam

  13. Sophia says:

    “Furthermore, anarchist group Mutiny on the TV looking cool and dangerous fighting with the police means the same fucking stereotype repeats itself – we are nutters that like to destroy things and fight. I understand the politics behind it and all that shit, but it s not a good look for anarchism in this country which is still relevant as fuck and should appear (and be) accessible to anybody.”

    I couldn’t agree more- the effort going into such things could possibly be served elsewhere. However, as “team-building” exercises or as symbolic actions, “rioting” and whatnot certainly has a use, not to mention potential economic damage to particular corporations. In addition, most of the “activists” I’ve met are more concerned about Peace and Loooove, man (like 9/10ths of those attending that “Students of Sustainability” crap), or even worse, building the party (insert analogy about pricks in DSP here). That people are actually going to put their safety on the line, anonymously, speaks volumes more than some smarmy politician trying to look good for the cameras.

    That said, the media is a pretty strong tool. It is a fact of life that the vast majority of people interpret their lives as reflected to them by the screen, and from my experiences most seem to want to watch Australian Idol more than actually do anything, so the media has to be taken into account. Sure, you can talk with those you know and through your informal networks, but those who are just going to believe everything they see on the news vastly outnumber those who don’t.

    “To those who gain their understanding of the world and the people in it from representations in the media: wouldn’t it be nice if those of you calling yourselves anarchists found out a little more about your comrades in Mutiny before condemning them on the basis of something you’ve read in the mainstream press?”

    Myself and a few mates will be in Sydney from Friday morning, I would very much like to meet and discuss a few things with anyone who is fairly involved with Mutiny, myself. We’re all from rural areas and lack networking opportunities, and I guess whilst we’re up there it might be a good opportunity to meet people or something. Personally, the only activists I’m tight with are in line with Ventsy here, so it would be nice to make connections with those who have different viewpoints. In addition, we plan to just hang around the main protest (if you can call it a protest?), so if you can find a use for any of us (running messages) we’re more than willing. ([email protected])

  14. liz says:

    Hi all,

    I m not an anarchist and I m not in Mutiny – but am more than happy to introduce them to people whilst I m up here in Sydney. The point about the mainstream media is precisely why a bunch of us (socialists, anarchos, Latin American solidarity crew, union bods) got together a 12-page free newspaper that we are distributing in Sydney with stuff about IR, Pacific solidarity, Iraqi oil workers struggles, APEC street march bans of 30 years ago, etc, etc.
    I think the most recent front page on this blog indicates exactly how useful it is to attempt to glean an understanding of the activities of anarchists and other comrades from the mainstream media. Can anyone actually think of a way in which anarchist ideas can be portrayed in the mainstream media without hysteria? No – the reality is that journos, and particularly those covering these events, are obsessed with extracting and twisting to their ends the kind of nuanced, critical, thoughtful and interesting discussions and actions that different groups have been having up here about a whole variety of things, to focus on violence and a particularly narrow interpretation of the term at that.
    As of today, the APEC blacklist has been expanded – now a larger number of Sydney anarchists are on it, it seems because they have been doing media around and promoting a week-long series of workshops on direct action, workplace organising, community response to sexual assault, etc etc. Can t manage to get my hands on the link right now (aaargh!) but this is what flare in the void [ http://flareinthevoid.wordpress.com ] is. I m doing the workshop on workplace organising and international solidarity alongside one of the anarchos and some IWW people. It s hard to know if that makes me one of your average wage earners or not, or enough of a wage slave for you to consider my opinion worthy on the subject. Not sure that I care ultimately…

  15. Lumpen says:

    If I’ve learned anything about the media, it’s that you can’t control what they say after they decide they want to stay “on message.” I’ve got a few mates involved in the Mutiny thing, and I have to say the idea that they can even defend themselves effectively against police violence is hilarious, let alone the prospect that they can instigate it effectively. We are seeing what happens when a group dares to question the State when it condemns protesters for being unruly, or authoritarian lefties who insist on pretending that protesters control violence in the face of 5,000 cops armed with the knowledge that they can crack skulls with impunity granted by the state and media.

    Vents: It’s a stereotype because it gets pushed by those with the ability and an interest to do so, not because it has any basis in fact. It’s true that there is such a thing as shitty and irresponsible behaviour by anarchists, but Mutiny have gone to great lengths to be open and accountable to the things they say and do (more, in fact, than any other anarchist group that I know of, including the ones I belong to). Anyone who has read anything by the Mutiny collective and has read anything written in the paper about them can’t possibly believe both to be true.

    You can contact Mutiny at [email protected] to arrange beers. You can read their stuff at http://www.mpi-web.net/mutiny

  16. princess mob says:

    I know it’s a bit late to respond to this, but while this discussion was going on I was busy away from the computer. But seeing as there’s so much shit talked about Mutiny, I feel like clearing some stuff up, even so late. So:

    The willingness of people who I assume would generally be reasonably critical of the media / cop statements to believe that the media representation of Mutiny had some relation to the reality of our activities/politics astounds me. Even weirder is when people who seem to get all their info off the internets decide that they’ll be really smart and declare that *Mutiny doesn’t exist* and was just invented by the police. (And/or we’re police agents. As if anyone talking about the reality of conflict in this society is bringing it on. And as if the only people who would want public contestation are the cops. But I digress.)

    Actually, the second point is almost true: the ‘Mutiny’ that was talked about by the media doesn’t really exist.

    Some history: Mutiny has existed since, I think, 2003. It originally described itself as ‘a direct action anti-war group’, or ‘a group opposing war at home & abroad’, and focussed on direct action against corporations involved in the Iraq war, and on talking about the fact that it would take more than a walk around the block to stop the war. More recently we’ve been focusing on discussion around Australian/New Zealand police/military/corporate intervention in the Pacific & the region, and policing in this country, including the NT invasion. 18 months ago a related collective started publishing a free zine, & we’ve made one every month since. This zine has some articles written by the collective (mostly on the issues mentioned) but is mostly made up of contributions from all over the place. Most back issues can be found as pdfs [here].

    We describe ourselves as an anarchist collective or an affinity group. We’ve never called ourself ‘Anarchist insurrectionary group Mutiny’.

    (Actually, this is a good example of the fact that, if you call yourself an anarchist, the media will almost invariably describe you as ‘a so-called “anarchist,”‘ but if they pin the label on then you’re simply an ‘anarchist.’)

    We first got media coverage after G20, thanks to a lying ‘media spokesperson’ from the DSP, who said that the groups responsible for ‘the violence’ were Arterial Bloc & Mutiny. @ndy has covered this bullshit at length. This became very useful to the media & police, who got to talk about ‘Mutiny, a group linked to the violence at G20 last year’ in their APEC fear campaign.

    Mutiny wrote a couple of open letters about APEC. The first can be found [here]. The second, called ‘Peaceful Protest in a Police State’, was in the Flare in The Void Reader (which isn’t online yet but will be sometime). (And which is, like, a conference reader, with a whole lot of political articles & one page of protest safety tips.)

    Both of these were attempts to encourage open political discussion, and to prevent the spaces for political discussion from being shut down by fear & by what we saw as an untruthful & self-policing insistence on the language of ‘peaceful protest.’ They also expressed a desire to broaden militancy, rather than retreating into either small, secret ‘hardcore’ actions or ‘mass’ pacification.

    Some members of Mutiny were involved in organising the FLARE convergence, which Liz described above. Members of Mutiny were also involved, alongside many other groups, in discussions about possible mass direct action to protest APEC, and in attempts to push the politics of defiance within the Stop Bush rally organising.

    Because of this, & our media scapegoat status, about a dozen people in or associated with Mutiny were added to the APEC ‘excluded persons list’ a few days before the APEC protests.

    Obviously, no direct action came off in Sydney (some enviro kids successfully avoided the mass cop presence by going elsewhere to shut things down, & were rewarded by being added to the Excluded Persons list too). In my opinion this was because we simply weren’t organised enough to deal with the intense policing & repression. However, I still think it was worth talking the politics that we did, and will continue to. We can’t simply not talk to each other, or in public, because of the fact that the media is going to talk shit about us no matter what we say.

    Liz & Lumpen – thanks for explaining things so well.

    Sophia – I’m not sure if you managed to catch up with anyone from Mutiny while you were in town. (And hopefully if you did, they weren’t completely caught up in the APEC craziness.) If you’re in Sydney again, email us.

    princess mob (from, not on behalf of, Mutiny)

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