Occupy Melbourne released the statement below on October 21 following a brutal police attack on protesters earlier that day.
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Occupy Melbourne have called for a full inquiry into unlawful police behaviour amid scenes of police violence on the streets of Melbourne today. The call comes after riot police disrupted a peaceful demonstration in Melbourne’s CBD.
“We call on Premier Ted Ballieu and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle to back a full and independent investigation into the use of unlawful and excessive force by Victoria Police and the Melbourne City Council,” said Occupy Melbourne spokesperson Erin Buckley.
“More than 20 statements have been taken from individuals who have experienced police violence including eye gouging, kicks to the groin, punches to the face, knees to the face and arbitrary pepper spraying, including of minors. One incident involved an elderly woman with a walking stick who was pushed to the ground by riot police,” she said.
Occupy Melbourne’s legal support team also say they have evidence of dozens of Police on duty without name tags or badges, in breach of police regulations and previous assurances from Victoria Police that all officers would be identifiable as required by law.
“It is unacceptable that the kind of violence we have witnessed today can occur in our city without any accountability. That means a full independent investigation is required,” she said.
17 truck loads of personal property were also forcefully removed from Melbourne’s City Square.
13 of these truckloads were instantly crushed. Property included; generators, cooking equipment, backpacks, tents, bicycles, computers, cameras, marquees and other personal items.
“Melbourne City Council should compensate people for the illegal destruction of their property.”
Occupy Melbourne is part of a worldwide movement against the growing disparity between rich and poor, austerity measures and corporate greed. It is a movement for economic and social justice and real democracy.
“The richest 20% of households in Australia have 60 times the wealth of the poorest 20% of Australians. CEOs are getting huge pay increases and banks are posting record profits. We want a fair share for all Australians.”
“The camp where Occupy Melbourne has been for the past week has been dispersed, but the movement against inequality will continue tomorrow.”
Occupy Melbourne will convene tomorrow at 12 noon at Federation Square. Organisers are calling on supporters of equality and peace to join the occupation.