Occupy Melbourne released the statement below on October 24.
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Occupy Melbourne will today write to the Victorian Ombudsman calling for an investigation into at least 43 documented instances of police violence against peaceful demonstrators, including children, during the morning raid of October 21.
Occupy Melbourne have welcomed Robert Doyle’s concern for public safety and have again called on the Lord Mayor to support a full inquiry into the events of Friday 21 October where riot police were deployed against peaceful demonstrators.
Occupy Melbourne’s lawyers have 43 statements detailing shocking injuries inflicted by police on peaceful protestors. These include eye-gouging, punches to the face and back of the head and the deployment of pepper spray, including on children. The Occupy Melbourne legal team is still receiving statements.
“Robert Doyle needs to have a bex and a good lie down,” said Occupy Melbourne’s Emma Kerin.
“This situation requires cool heads and mature decision making, which is why we have called for an independent inquiry into the decisions taken by Melbourne City Council, the Lord Mayor and Victoria Police.
“We will today call on the Ombudsman to investigate instances of police violence against those assembled. We will also call for answers as to whether the Lord Mayor knew in advance that riot police would be deployed against his own constituents.
“Not everyone agrees with the concerns Occupy Melbourne has around increasing inequality in Australia and around the world, but most Melbournians would agree that using riot police, pepper spray and police dogs and horses against peaceful protesters, including children, is plain wrong.
“The images seen on television of police violence were shocking. We need an investigation into how this came to happen and who permitted police to use such excessive force on those peacefully assembled.
“Councillor Doyle has questions to answer and Occupy Melbourne supports a full and independent inquiry into police violence.”
• Occupy Melbourne is currently in discussions with its lawyers and are considering legal action to redress the violence inflicted by police.
• Occupy Melbourne is still waiting for an explanation from Victoria Police as to why officers were permitted to remove name tags and identification numbers, despite being required to wear these under law.
• Melbourne City Councillor Cathy Oake has backed calls for an inquiry into the police violence & Liberty Victoria and the Australian Lawyers Association have also expressed concerns about the level of police violence.
• Occupy Melbourne will hold it’s next General Assembly on Tuesday, October 25, 6pm at the State Library to democratically discuss the next steps in the growing movement against corporate greed and inequality in Australia and around the world. All are welcome to participate.