Anti-APEC Protesters To Target President Bush

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".

Police are already on edge about security, yesterday clamping down on activity in the Sydney CBD - including forcing three German tourists to delete photographs they had of the security fence.
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And APEC-related arrests have already begun with the charging of 12 Greenpeace activists who boarded inflatable boats early yesterday to paint "Australia Pushing Export Coal" on the side of a ship in Newcastle Harbour.

Protest tips

The FLARE (For Liberation Autonomy Resistance Exodus) manual openly declares an prepardeness 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.
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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.

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.
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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.
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Police were yesterday viewing anyone who photographed or filmed the fence with suspicion. As well as detaining the tourists, they also forced a Melbourne documentary maker out of the declared zone and arrested a homeless man with a mobile phone camera.

The Stop Bush Coalition, the umbrella protest group, has claimed its demonstrations will be peaceful.

However it is only taking responsibility for protests on Tuesday evening for Mr Bush's arrival and the main march on Saturday.

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