Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Great Wall of APEC: Rise of Military Urbanism

We all hear and read the horrific news about how everything is getting clearer and more obvious every day now and how things should better be changed if we want any of the plans we have for our children to come true. As we have been up on urbanism issues quite a lot lately (thanks for everything, derami) I decided to make this September 3rd Indymedia news my (second) daily post: Climate Protests in Newcastle and regional Victoria decided its time to make a stand and 'kick off' the 2007 Australian Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meeting.

Workers erect the 2.8-meter-high fence in the city (smh.com.au)

Hosted by conservative Australian Prime Minister John Howard in Sydney 2-9 September 2007 and attended by USA President George Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Pacific rim leaders, this forum meeting required various areas of Sydney to be contained by a nine foot high concrete and wire security fence. Unofficially dubbed as The Great Wall of APEC, Big, strong, ugly, Virtual Fortress and other names, the APEC wall is according to some opinions a sign for the rise of a new era titled "military urbanism" in Australia.

A section of the fence set to be deployed around Sydney (sourc news.com.au)

Thanks to Stephen Smith, a Webdiary contributor, for coming up with the rise of military urbanism concept and for posting this fantastic quote from journal of the US Army War College, allowing us to get the idea:
The future of warfare lies in the streets, sewers, high-rise buildings, industrial parks, and the sprawl of houses, shacks, and shelters that form the broken cities of our world.


  1. Intense to be sure ... particularly interesting is the question, raised also in the link you provided: why host APEC in an urban area? Doesn't this reinforce the city as a place of conflict? The 'war on terror' phenomenon also takes things to urban streets and out of the realm of 'traditional' warfare.

  2. As Smith (and Naomi Klein) well explain the city is a stage set for projecting out media product and the surveillance part is there for the infotainment side of it. I think its pretty clear why they choose the city. No "hidden island" would do.

    Other than this, there is also the option of the APEC guys reading the journal of the US Army War College and thus knowing that "the future of warfare lies in the streets, sewers, high-rise buildings and shelters that form the broken cities of our world".

  3. This is some food for thought, something I imagine very few people here have even given a moments thought to. It is obvious why they choose the city, it does make a perfect stage..

    Bring to Mind a show I watched when much younger, a show called Dark Angel.


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