Do Fringe Suburbs need to worry about safety during G20?

JOSHUA WELLS

As the G20 Summit draws closer, the government and police are in full swing; preparing to take to the streets of Brisbane over the next two weeks.

But concern has been growing recently, especially surrounding terrorist attacks on the precinct or even in surrounding suburbs.

Focus is firmly fixed on South Bank but in nearby Woolloongabba, the Chalk Hotel said they have not been briefed on any potential threat.

“We have just been going off what the media says and looking at websites [to prepare for security measures],” Chalk Hotel’s Function and Events Manager Rebecca Muchow said.

“Security wise, we have our own when it comes to guards but nothing further from that.

“We haven’t been told a lot of information [from police regarding safety].”

Earlier this week, terrorism expert Greg Barton told the Canberra Times that he feared an attack may not come on the summit itself but the Brisbane region.

exclusion zone

Brisbane’s G20 exclusion, in effect from November 8. Photo: Google Maps

“You don’t have to go into downtown Brisbane to the G20 precinct. An attack can happen a long way from the meeting itself and it will still get reported around the world as being an attack on the G20.” he said.

Macquarie University Adjunct Professor Clive Williams from the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism believes an attack from a terrorist group is unlikely but did not rule out other organisations disrupting events.

“I think it is unlikely that anyone would attack the G20 but it is possible someone might do something somewhere in Brisbane,” he said.

“That is not to say of course that a terrorist group wouldn’t target an American delegation but security will be hard to overcome.

“What is more likely is anarchist activity and that is usually more protest related, the kind of thing you saw in Toronto…they are not interested in killing people, they want to trash multi-national corporations.”

A potential disruptor could be in the form of anarchist group ‘Plan B’, a group who have established a website to urge their followers to hit the streets.

Although the group demonstrates peacefully for the majority of the time, Plan B boast on their website that in the past they have “thrown bricks and set skips on fire” when nobody wanted to listen to their protests.

The group hopes to protest the G20 but also claims that they do not want to “fall into the traps” set by authorities.

“We are calling for people to form affinity groups in their home towns and autonomously organise decentralised direct action against the G20 and the capitalist occupation of our lives,” said the organisation on their website.

Some of their tips for action include various disruption of social events, types of strikes, humorous skits & pranks, prayer & worship and finally property and ATM destruction.

 

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