Police attack demonstrators after SOS
July 14, 2007: WA Police have assaulted dozens of people in an unprovoked attack. Prime Minister John Howard has branded the attack at the office of Science Minister Julie Bishop's office in Perth as total thuggery.
"That kind of thuggery is totally unacceptable and the people who engage in that type of conduct should be dealt with in accordance with the law," Mr Howard said.
Anti-nuclear protesters sustained numerous injuries as police bashed members of the public outside the minister's inner city Subiaco office on Friday...
Asked who he thought was behind the brutal police violence, Mr Howard said: "That is a matter for police to deal with, but I have seen enough and you have seen enough to know what kind of incident it was."
The fracas developed after about 30 peaceful protesters arrived at Ms Bishop's office to deliver a letter on Friday afternoon. Ms Bishop said police were called after the group followed her peacefully into the office singing. Protesters say they have evidence that police used pepper spray and beat them even though it was a peaceful demonstration.
Four of those attacked and arrested appeared in the East Perth Magistrates Court on Saturday. Three of pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstructing a public officer, with one also pleading not guilty to assaulting a police officer. The fourth did not enter a plea and has been remanded in custody until July 17. They will appear in court again in September.
The action followed a week of actions during the annual SOS conference: www.studentsofsustainability.org.
Stay safe folks...
by WAcopwatch 2007-07-17 1:42 AM +0800
On Friday 13th June 2007, around 40 people from across Australia converged in Subiaco, to deliver a letter to Federal Science minister Julie Bishop over her proposed NT nuclear waste dump. During the peaceful action, witnesses say WA Police used "brutal" and "excessive force" to break up the action. Two anonymous witnesses, both veterans of dozens of local NVDA demonstrations, told Perth Indymedia that it was the "worst behaviour by members of the WA Police they had ever seen at any protest in Perth..."
After an initial discussion with the Minister outside her office, the group walked into the foyer to deliver their letter. As the group were asked to vacate, without warning police used batons and pepper spray to attack the campaigners inside the minister's office. Witnesses say one officer grabbed a woman by the hair before producing his baton and using it on random people.
Described by witnesses as "brutal" and "disgusting", officers targetted people with cameras including an elderly woman who was pushed to the ground. A young woman was pinned to the ground by an officer, her video camera seized and confiscated by police for evidence. It is understood five people were charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing police and assault - despite the excessive force sisplayed by police. Three people were hospitalised as many others were treated on the scene by paramedics.
The group, representing dozens of environmental and student organisations from around Australia, were delivering a letter to Ms Bishop requesting she visit the communities affected by her Nuclear waste dump. A participant in the national action, Toby Lee, told corporate media that police launched an "unprovoked attack" on the congregation. "As I was leaving," he said, "I was directly sprayed with capsicum spray into my eyes 10 centimeters from my face without warning". Another activist, Natalie Wasley, told corporate media she was negotiating a peaceful exit with police officers as inside they began using their batons.
"We didn't get a chance to leave peacefully. The police just started pepper spraying people, hitting them with batons and throwing them to the floor. It was absolutely shameful." Ms Walsey denied the group provoked the violence. Protesters left the office with eyes streaming and burnt faces, after being struck with batons and pepper sprayed..
Corporate spin/Gubbament PR):