Policing protest, security and freedom: the 2014 G20 experience
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This article examines the policing of a major international political event (the G20 Meetings in Brisbane, Australia in 2014) from the perspective of the police and representatives of demonstrator groups who participated in the event. The article locates the policing of the 2014 G20 meetings within the history of the policing of major international political meetings in other countries. It analyses the legal framework within which the policing of the Brisbane G20 meeting was undertaken, comparing and contrasting these with legal frameworks developed for similar meetings and associated demonstrations in other jurisdictions. In the case of the Australian G20 Act, the legislation prioritized security over human rights, including the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. The strategies and planning processes applied by police in the lead up to the G20 are discussed, including the efforts made to ensure policing responses were respectful of the democratic rights of protesters. Drawing on interview and other data, the article reveals a diversity of perspectives on the ‘human rights’ policing and dialogue models, and provides an assessment of ‘Operation Southern Cross’ based on the post-event review of the G20 legislation undertaken by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission. The authors conclude that the policing of G20, based on extensive dialogue and minimization of coercive public order strategies, fostered a peaceful G20 event. The article concludes with observations about the perceived success of G20 policing in Australia, and indicates some lessons learned for best practice policing for future global events.
Police Practice and Research
Criminology not elsewhere classified