Another APEC arrestee cleared

July 26, 2008

A documentary film-maker arrested and held without bail overnight after the September 2007 anti-APEC protest in Sydney was cleared of all charges on July 21.

Marcela Olea was charged with two counts of assault and resisting arrest after filming the arrest of a fellow protester in Hyde Park at the end of the 10,000-strong rally on September 8.

Two of the charges were later dropped, but Olea received an unrecorded conviction for assault on police as well as a two-year good behaviour bond. Olea appealed the ruling, and a NSW District Court judge found that, due to the volatility of the situation, she acted reasonably and in self-defence against police. The judge also noted that the APEC summit was politically and financially controversial.

During the arrest, Olea's video camera was smashed and she has yet to decide whether to pursue a civil suit to claim costs. Olea hailed the decision as "a victory not just for me, but for civil liberties in this country". She added: "It has inspired me to keep struggling and fighting for what's right in this world. This sort of thing just makes you stronger and wiser."

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