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It's funny.  Laugh. Government Politics

Australian Comedy Group Prods APEC Security 244

Posted by kdawson
from the blame-canada dept.
ajdlinux writes "Members of the Australian comedy group The Chaser were arrested today after attempting to breach security at the APEC Leaders Conference in Sydney. Chas Licciardello and Julian Morrow were arrested, along with nine crew members (all are now free on bail), just a short distance away from the InterContinental Hotel where President Bush is staying. They had already cleared at least two police checkpoints, according to CNN, disguised as a Canadian motorcade. 'No particular reason we chose Canada,' said Taylor. 'We just thought they'd be a country who the cops wouldn't scrutinize too closely, and who feasibly would only have three cars in their motorcade — as opposed to the 20 or so gas guzzlers that Bush has brought with him.'" CNN has a photo of Licciardello, dressed as Osama bin Laden, being arrested.
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Australian Comedy Group Prods APEC Security

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  • Previous pranks (Score:4, Informative)

    by Organic User (1103717) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @08:51AM (#20493161)
    The third series of the Chasers War on Everything started yesterday. Back in the first series they did a prank with Virgin Blue booking e-tickets under the names 'Terry Wrist' and 'Al Kyder' (you can watch the clip here [google.com]). This prank should be aired this Wednesday.

    Tomorrow people living in Sydney will be getting a public holiday and the city will be complete lock down mode.
  • by hools1234 (789912) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @09:06AM (#20493295) Homepage
    These guys are seriously the funniest thing on Australian TV. They are extremely witty and some of their comedy is so well thought out, you really wonder where they get it from. There is some great footage of this weeks episode on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxXAr0R43dQ [youtube.com] where they try to see how big a weapon they can smuggle in to a jail, including a rocket, a small canon (disguised poorly as a babies pram) and a tank! Some very clever gags about APEC also. Have they gone too far this time though? With times so security conscious, dressing up as Osama and getting that close to the US Presidents quarters, they are lucky they weren't fired upon! Funny though.
  • Re:Previous pranks (Score:3, Informative)

    by Organic User (1103717) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @09:19AM (#20493399)

    Their finest moment has to be wheeling a trojan horse full of greek soldiers into the turkish embassy.. (can we park this here?)
    Sure. Here [google.com] it is. The Australian Army actually let them into the courtyard of their base. At least then someone yelled check out the horse. But amazingly the Opera House is part of the APEC lock down yet during the Torjan Horse prank they went right past security with the horse.
  • Re:Previous pranks (Score:2, Informative)

    by phobos13013 (813040) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @09:21AM (#20493421)
    Or you can just watch all the episodes here. [abc.net.au] Now the question is, will the US pressure AU to treat them as terrorists, etc., and put them away indefinitely and levy heavy sanctions against the ABC? They should just let this one fade away, the only result of something like this will be to get the Chasers more publicity. Which actually, can be a killer in the guerilla media style they emulate.
  • by SlayerofGods (682938) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @09:51AM (#20493757)
    Actually... if they hadn't been stopped he wouldn't have gotten out. Therefore they were pulled over first, which seems to indicate that the security was on to them at least some what.

    And truthfully from a security stand point this makes sense.
    You don't want to stop a motorcade at the first checkpoint otherwise an enemy (I know it's Australia, just saying) could just set up watching the check point and wait for his target to be stopped there. What they should be doing is wave an 'obvious' motorcade through the first level of security and then check them out deeper in where it's safe.

    Further the article doesn't make it clear what these check points were. Perhaps the first one was just a couple of guys on foot charged with turning away anyone that doesn't have clear business in the area, and not what everyone pictures when they think of a check point as barbed wire, sandbags, gates, guys with machine guns, ect. /Just saying
  • by Organic User (1103717) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @10:02AM (#20493863)

    Personally I think it's a huge shame that I can't walk up to the Prime Minister and argue with him about his policies.
    You can catch up with John Howard every morning during daily walks. The Chaser did a prank about this during the first series after a school kid came up to Howard with a screw driver and hugged him. You can watch it here [google.com] (low quality).
  • by JonathanR (852748) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @10:17AM (#20494053)
    It doesn't frighten me at all. The whole episode is a complete farce.

    Tell me: Why can the CBD of the biggest Australian metropolis suffer a complete lock-down in the name of a pyjama-party for a few world leaders, while Melbourne can't even host a car-free day [theage.com.au] in part of its CBD? It strikes me that something is wrong with our priorities.
  • Re:Previous pranks (Score:4, Informative)

    by Just because I'm an (847583) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @10:29AM (#20494235)
    Yesterday there was a picture of a bomb squad officer in full outfit defusing a sleeping bag published in the daily tabloid. There's been several stories of media officers being told to pick up credentials to access the restricted zone inside the restricted zone, which they can't get into because they don't have their passes, which they're trying to pick up, which they can't... etc. Example [smh.com.au]

    On the one hand I can see that the police and the millions of rent-a-cop types have to take everything ultra seriously just incase one of the leaders (though according to most of the news George "Nucular" Bush and some Chinese guy nobody knows the name of are the only ones in town) does end up karking it in Sydney... it would look bad. On the other hand it's all a big farce.

    The police bought a truck mounted water cannon [smh.com.au] (but NSW rents a water crane [smh.com.au] to battle bushfires every summer, priorities eh) for this event and cleared jails [news.com.au] to make room for the protesters the police plan to arrest. I guess if they can boast they managed to jail a guy that looks like Osama Bin Laden they'll get the merit badge they were after.

  • by smegged (1067080) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @11:14AM (#20494813)
    Just an FYI for everyone out there, the Chaser is a show which is broadcast by the ABC, a PUBLICALLY FUNDED channel here in Australia. They constantly poke fun of security, politicians and current affairs shows (among other things). They are a great example of democracy done right.

    For some interesting clips see:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs3SfNANtig [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnP0snh_1cU [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3grHjibNdA [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BOMOVV2pf0 [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc5xTZGUrRQ [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GViD0Zwc3Bg [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-6F8GN8eXI [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwJ9s1RdGhc& [youtube.com]

    Many more are freely available on youtube and other sites. The ABC doesn't mind you distributing them either.
  • by unfunk (804468) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @11:40AM (#20495203) Journal

    But really though, the news article simply doesn't give you enough information to properly critique Sydney security. For example, why was the motorcade pulled over? Did they simply get lucky or was it proper procedure to check out motorcades once they've cleared the other checkpoints? How close were they to hotel? A 'block adjacent to the InterContinental Hotel' was rather vague. Were they close enough that if it had been a car bomb that people in the hotel would have been at risk? Was there still more security between where they were pulled over and where the diplomats were staying? IE if they had punched the gas would anyone important been at risk?

    The news media is just doing what the news media does, trying to be sensational. I take everything they say with a grain of salt.
    In the end though was security not as strong as it could be? Probably. But is it as bad as the news is making it sound? Probably not.
    Well, the fact that you're reading a CNN report on it kinda skews the whole thing - check out http://www.abc.net.au/news [abc.net.au] for a more Aussie view on it. The Lateline (our country's best/most reliable news program) report claimed that the motorcade pulled up - of their own accord - outside Bush's hotel, and that security wasn't alarmed until Chaz stepped out, dressed as Osama bin Laden. The chief of police then went on record as saying that his boys did a good job, and that the arrest of the eleven people involved proved that the $160 million was well spent.

    I'm sorry? Would it have been "well spent" if those cars were laden full of explosives and detonated outside the hotel? I doubt it.

    That said, I love the chaser boys; they know a good prank when they see one, and also know when they're crossing the line... not that it ever stops them.
  • by ben there... (946946) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @12:45PM (#20496085) Journal

    Actually... if they hadn't been stopped he wouldn't have gotten out. Therefore they were pulled over first, which seems to indicate that the security was on to them at least some what.

    And truthfully from a security stand point this makes sense.
    Only one problem. That's not what happened [news.com.au].

    A source inside The Chaser's War on Everything revealed the team never expected to get so far. The skit had been approved by ABC lawyers but was written in the assumption they would be stopped at the first checkpoint.

    Instead they were waved through the first on Macquarie St, then a second, which had sniffer dogs, and eventually stopped themselves at Bridge St.

    "As they did Chas got out of a car dressed as Osama bin Laden and said something like 'I'm an important world leader why don't I have a seat at the APEC table?'. Apparently that was the first time the police realised it was not authentic and they swooped in and arrested everybody," the source said.
  • Wrong Synopsis. (Score:4, Informative)

    by donscarletti (569232) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @01:55PM (#20497031)
    The Australian Army did not let it in and were the only ones to check inside of it. Also, this was filmed months before APEC when the only security concern with the opera house was preventing drunk students from farting in the tubas.
  • Re:Previous pranks (Score:4, Informative)

    by sholden (12227) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @03:56PM (#20498655) Homepage
    In my *long* stay at Sydney University the only time Honi Soit could be called vaguely readable was when they were running it. That's fame enough in my book. Though I doubt most people in Australia have heard of them. Then again most Australians don't know who Arch Bevis is either.
  • Re:Previous pranks (Score:3, Informative)

    by vic-traill (1038742) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @05:04PM (#20499463)

    The Canadian Equivalent is 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes'. Check out the overlap between:

    The Chasers - Selling Tourism:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=vpHGLXZ-j-Q [youtube.com]

    22 Minutes - Talking to Americans:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=seYUbVa7L7w [youtube.com]

    Must have been colonies for too long.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:39PM (#20500517)
    You can get entire episodes and many other videos at http://abc.net.au/tv/chaser/war/ [abc.net.au]
  • by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 06, 2007 @06:44PM (#20500593)
    Stop Posting youtube links!

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/chaser/war/vodcast/ [abc.net.au]

    There you go. Download all the episodes from the shows website. It works in Australia but I'm not sure how good you foregners will go though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2007 @08:23PM (#20501659)
    As a Sydneysider, I have to say the APEC security was already seen as a farce even before the Chaser's stunt (which 86% of people responding to a Sydney Morning Herald poll thought was "funny"). But more to the point, the over-the-top security is all seen as being because of President Bush (not Putin or Hu Jin Tao), our Prime Minister's "great mate". Hu Jin Tao (the Chinese President) flew into Perth with some offsiders, had some meetings with Woodside Petroleum, and then bascially travelled the length of Australia including a visit to a sheep grazing property in rural NSW which the local school children attended, before arriving in Sydney for APEC. In Sydney, one resident remarked that they saw Hu's motorcade from an overhead pedestrian bridge, from which any nasty person could've chucked a rock (or a bomb) at it.

    The reality is that there have been only two political assassinations in Australian history, both in Sydney (in 1894 the Burwood (Sydney) Mayor was shot by the deranged town clerk; and the 1994 murder of John Newman MP for Fairfield (Sydney), for which a corrupt local councillor Phunong Ngo was later convicted). I don't think Bush or any other politician is in danger here (except from being satirised). Sadly the people most inconvenienced by all this security are the residents and businesses in the Sydney CBD and tourists (including Americans).

    We're desperately in need of some humour in Sydney right now, as the security (and rhetoric about security) has reached absurd levels. Chas getting out of the motorcade in front of Bush's hotel, dressed as Osama Bin Laden, was the funniest thing I've seen for ages. Every time we saw a po-faced politician or policeman denouncing the Chaser team, we just laughed harder.

User hostile.