September 14th, 2006

krazy koati

I try to sympathize with their problems

I forgot to mention, in all the fuss, the first protesters have been kicked out of Singapore this season. This doesn't seem to have been connected to the World Bank meeting, though they've been bracing for social activism to break out. This wasn't connected, though; this was just a group of activists for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Three of them were planning, allegedly, to protest a Kentucky Fried Chicken stand on Rochor Road by being naked except for a banner, which surely would swiftly bring an end to chicken abuse worldwide. One of the protesters, the news article claimed, had similarly protested in Bangkok by cooping herself in a chicken cage while wearing only a yellow bikini, and somewhere in Canada just went topless inside the Kentucky Fried Chicken.

There has been some grumbling about just how to provide a reasonable accommodation for people who want to protest the International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings, as Singaporean law is not very enthusiastic about spontaneous outside demonstrations. Organizers say that the indoor space provided for registered protesters inside the convention center should be fine, and some people not satisfied with the visibility within the center intend to gather on the Indonesian island of Batam, which is about twenty kilometers away, or from the Suntec City roughly a five minute walk to an MRT station, ten minutes to Harbourfront MRT, and then a 45 minute boat ride away. I suspect some people are just going to say they were at the Batam protests and really go off doing something more fun all day.

It turns out the number of registrants for this has hit 24,000, although I'm not clear whether that counts family and/or loved ones taken along with the delegates. There were fewer delegates arriving early than they expected, producing extremely long waits for taxi drivers who'd been standing by at the airport waiting for business. The demonstration this evening of how the Civil Defence folks are ready in case of an emergency opened with a demonstration of a half-dozen people warming up chainsaws. They also showed off more traditional emergency-preparedness footage, that is, fire trucks sounding their horns. If that's not enough they've got ``radiation portals'' as scanners for anyone who happens to be contaminated by whatever does happen.

Trivia: Singapore began constructing its containerized cargo port in 1967 with a US$15 million World Bank loan which covered about half the cost. Source: The Box, Marc Levinson.

Currently Reading: Flesh and Silver, Stephen L Burns.