In the interest of countering some of the more creative editing on the part of Melbourne's high quality TV news services (this would be why I don't watch television), I'm posting this PDF of photos of the recent G20 protests from indymedia. This is not to justify the violence that did take place or claim that the protestors were poor little innocent victims (although I'm sure some were), but simply that these photos are an accurate reflection of what I saw on the day.
In the interests of balancing the balance, I should point out that police were walking around the State Library lawns handing out flyers on what constitutes breach of the peace or somesuch, so that protestors would know what would get them into trouble. At least, I think that's what they said - I'm guessing from what I heard of a conversation between an ossifer and a group of kids in front of me - because obviously my friends and I look far too respectable to be the kind of people who go around throwing rubbish bins, and as a result I don't have the flyer.
I have a complaint of my own. When I attended what I now think of as "the original S11", in September of 2000, there was a genuine carnival atmosphere, a huge crowd of genuinely diverse people, and a real sense of possibility. This time around, there was the prospect of such things - I attended on the strength of this flyer, promising a "Really Really Free Market". Great idea! I stocked up on books to take in, looking forward to sharing resources in an open source, creative commons, free science for the benefit of humanity spirit.
What I got was to a large extent the usual gang of idiots standing up and regaling us with their bullshit grandstanding, then a bit of padding around the streets, then the predictable protest stuff - bit of effigy (to be fair, I don't think they burnt the effigy or it would've been on the news), bit of doof, lot of boredom. Although I enjoyed the costumes and the signs, I didn't see much of practical actions for moving forwards on world issues.
Which invites the question, "well, what are you doing about it, smartarse?" A very good question, and a question to which the answer is most definitely "fuck-all".