Chain up Cheney! Bring Hicks home!Sydney anti-war marchers defy police ban and reclaim the streetsA Possum News Network ExclusiveWords and pictures by Gavin Gatenby
Thursday 22 February 2007
This evening 1500 anti-war demonstrators overcame a strong police presence and, after a half-hour confrontation with the NSW riot squad and mounted police marched to the US Consulate to protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney's visit to Australia and the five-year imprisonment of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay.
An unexpected last-minute ban by NSW Police (no doubt at the instigation of the NSW Labor Government) turned what would have been a routine demonstration into a major test of the right to march.
The demonstrators prevailed after hundreds filtered through the police cordon around Town Hall Square. The remaining demonstrators bottled up in the square then voted to disperse and move in small groups to the US Consulate in Martin Place. Faced with the impossibility pursuing hundreds of small groups of demonstrators through Thursday night shopping crowds, the police relented and allowed the demonstration to proceed to the US Consulate.