Attack on Occupy Melbourne: Police Tactics from above
Account of the days events
The police moved in shortly after 9am, and with the help of council workers and private security guards corralled everyone in with fences, even refusing to let in the legal support coordinator.
By 11am, after several arrests including some with injuries, the police dragged a solidarity protest off Swanston St when they occupied the street. Meanwhile the council workers and cleaners cleared the square of tents, cooking equipment, and everything else except some one to two hundred protesters (hemmed in by a cordon of riot police) who locked arms and chanted throughout their hours long ordeal.
At noon the square was clear except for police and protesters. There was a huge police presence along the streets, with hundreds of shocked onlookers separated from the City Square by a double-fence barricade, and horses aggressively keeping people off the street.
Then the last of the protestors were dragged and hauled from the square, often thrown into the waiting crowd.
Within minutes hundreds of people had occupied the intersection of Collins and Swanston St and after approximately an hour police horses charged through the crowd and police forced everyone away from the intersection, arresting some and shoving many bystanders and supporters out the way - effectively occupying the intersection themselves. Barking police dogs help to keep protestors at bay.
More advances by police had moved the crowd further up Swanston St by 2pm. The day wasn't without moments of levity however with sing alongs to "Always look on the bright side of life" and "We all live in a fascist regime" to the melody of Yellow Submarine.
At 6PM Occupy Melbourne reassembled for a General Assembly at Trades Hall in Carlton. The meeting agreed to meet on Saturday 12PM on Federation Square. A number of protestors are spending the night at Trades Hall.
Legal Support and Police Violence
The Legal Support Team has received many disturbing accounts of police brutality throughout the day including capsicum spray being used on juveniles, peopled kicked in the groin, charging police horses into crowds, people punched in the face, racial and homophobic taunting and an elderly woman being knocked over by a line of police. Channel 7 news reported that six people were treated by paramedics for capsicum spray. At least 62 people were arrested but possibly up to 100 were arrested during the police attack. Most were released without charge although some have been charged with Breach of the peace. As of 10 PM on Friday night, it was believed that 5 people may still be in custody on unknown charges.
Taken from IMC Melbourne - for more reports, check out:
twinkle little * (Repost)