Sunday, January 04, 2009

Are we in a Police State?

Went to the test match cricket today at the SCG.  A lovely day, weather was great, the crowd plentiful and the state of play evenly balanced.  All was looking good for a good day out.

That is of course if you're not worried about being arrested for sweet FA.  The security at the ground is just way over the top.  They sell mid-strength beer to control the crowd behaviour (which I hate, but agree with) but the amount of people being thrown out for ridiculous stuff is bordering on facism.  Case in point, a large group of women in one bay and a large group of men in the neighbouring bay were giving each other banter all day... good hearted stuff with the women getting the edge and everyone behind them laughing.  One guy and one girl from the two groups meet in the aisle and share a joke and she plants a kiss on his cheek much to everyone's amusement.  She turns away and he takes her sun hat off and puts it on his own head.  Everyone laughs including the girl and as he goes to give it back, he's grabbed by security and escorted away.

Also, the dreaded "beer snake" in which people stack their empty beer cups into lengths is seen as "criminal behaviour" and all involved in any snake creation was punted from the ground.

Now, we're not talking yellow shirted fat blokes acting as security... we're talking police officers in uniform and also "special" police officers in blue overalls in swat style uniforms and carrying guns.

All of this to stop people getting "carried away and having fun".

On top of that, there was a streaker today... he jumped the fence, but was crash tackled before he got onto the field proper.  End of story?  No way... At least 8 of these swat guys invaded the field and stopped the game.  Why?  Because a guy with no pants was crash tackled on the boundary off the field?  Ridiculous overkill.

A guy with way too much light beer and sun in him takes off with no pants and we call a virtual swat team!

By the end of the day, there were so many people being escorted out early, that it was more annoying for those trying to watch the cricket for what the cops were doing than whatever trivial offence caused the evictions in the first place.

I think its time a collective chill pill was taken!


Anonymous said...

I remember watching the cricket with you, many moons ago :)


Clay said...

Yep, go every year... have done since I can remember. There used to be a big crowd, but the last 2-3 years has just been me and Noyz...

I blame the lack of full strength beer :)

dc said...

I agree with you Clay. i went on Monday and there were people getting kicked all over the place for pretty minor stuff, like singing loudly. It was pretty silly.

The Dwarven One said...

I recall the last NRL match I went and saw in Sydney, a mate and I had access to a private box down one end of the arena, which was "borrowed" by about twenty members of the special response police for their pre-halftime chat.
The last cricket match (Oz vs Sri lanka), well, anyone that remotely looked like causing trouble where I was sitting (up on the old hill) was evicted. Would have been two or three rows of empty seats by the end of the night.