Socialist Alliance condemns violent police attacks on Occupy Melbourne and Occupy Sydney
By Socialist Alliance (Australia)
October 23, 2011 -- Socialist Alliance -- Socialist Alliance condemns the violent police dispersal of peaceful protesters at Occupy Melbourne (October 21) and Occupy Sydney (dawn, October 23) and pledges its full support for the re-establishment of these occupations against the tyranny of the world's richest 1%.
The experience around the world has been whenever one of these Occupy movement camps has been attacked, even more people have rallied to support them in response. We are confident the same will happen here.
We call on all people who share the Occupy movement's rejection of the gross injustices and global ecological vandalism being carried out around the world to make the richest 1% even richer to join the occupations and lend all possible solidarity and assistance to their re-establishment.
Occupy Melbourne and Occupy Sydney will be back stronger because the 1% and their enforcers cannot arrest the truth. They cannot handcuff ideas. They cannot beat the people's spirit of resistance or throw it into a paddy wagon.
We call on all progressive trade unionists, community leaders, church leaders, state and federal MPs, local councillors and mayors to publicly condemn the violent attacks on Occupy Sydney and Occupy Melbourne.
We urge anyone who supports the re-establishment of the Melbourne and Sydney occupations to attend the emergency general assemblies of Occupy Sydney at University of Technology Sydney on Sunday, October 23, 5pm, and Occupy Melbourne at the State Library, Tuesday, October 25, 6pm.
Socialist Alliance also supports the October 29 global day of action widely endorsed by the Occupy movement in support of a "Robin Hood" tax on global financial transactions.
NSW police violently evict Occupy Sydney in dawn raid
Reports from Green Left Weekly:
October 23: NSW police moved in at about 5 am this morning to violently evict Occupy Sydney campers in Martin Place. The 80-100 occupiers were woken from their sleep and forcibly evicted with reports of more than 50 arrests. Police took people's possessions away.
Peaceful mass rally at Occupy Sydney, October 22, 2011. Photos by Peter Boyle. Made with Slideshow Embed Tool.
The police attack came after a peaceful rally at midday yesterday (see slideshow above) involving up to 1000 people -- amid heavy police presence including riot police and police horses and dogs. The rally heard from speakers discussing the impact of corporate profiteering and inequality, including economist Steven Keen, MUA assistant national assistance Warren Smith, Wollongong campaigner against coal seam gas mining Jess Moore and general manager of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association Peter Somerville (who spoke on the dispute by Qantas workers seeking a fair wage deal).
Occupy Sydney has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the next steps at 5 pm today at UTS in Ultimo.
ABC.net.au quoted occupiers condemning the police violence. One said: "Seeing people who have been peaceful for eight days, crying and screaming in pain after they were woken up out of their sleep -- it doesn't make any sense,"
Another said: "I screamed, I was saying 'release the handcuffs, loosen the handcuffs my arm is going to break' - I said it over and over."
Occupy Sydney had already voted to call another rally at Martin Place for Saturday, October 29, as part of global rallies by the Occupy movement in support of a Robin Hood tax on the global financial sectors.
The attack on Occupy Sydney came after supporters of Occupy Melbourne took to the streets for a peaceful march through Melbourne's CBD on day after police violently smashed their camp at City Square. Protesters marched peacefully, despite a huge police presence, from Federation Square to Victorian Trades Hall, where between 1000-2000 people took part in a general assembly. The assembly voted to try and occupy the Treasury Gardens in a week's time.
Update -- 10.30am: Viv Miley, a participant in Occupy Sydney at the camp at the time police attacked at at 5 am, told Green Left Weekly the police moved in and told people they had to move immediately or would be arrested. He said groups of occupiers linked arms and began chanting, before police began violently dragging people off.
“One woman was screaming 'ow my wrist' in intense pain for a long time, demanding medical attention.”
Miley said some of the occupiers were taken off to a police station, but others were issued with notices and told to leave the area. Occupiers then gathered at Hyde Park for an emergency meeting to discuss further steps.
A press conference has been called by Occupy Sydney for 1 pm, Miley said.
An emergency meeting has been called today for 5 pm at UTS.