Sydney council moves to shut down Occupy

Photo: Brooke Bell.

Sydney City Council officers, with the support of police, moved to close down the Occupy Sydney camp in Martin Place on the night of July 4. This follows a resolution passed by the council to evict the camp recently.

Occupy Sydney participant Lance told Green Left Weekly that the council took away two truckloads of Occupy material that evening, most of which was to support the homeless community of the city, as well as political banners.

"One of our important functions in recent months has been to support the homeless, who otherwise have no services available between the hours of 11pm and the morning," Lance said.

"Now that we've started this, we want the homeless to continue to have a 24-hour service available," he added. He said camp the provided free food, blankets and other items, donated by the public, to an average of 650-750 people a day.

He said the council had cited vague references to "food health and safety" concerns, and well as alleged "public nuisance" as reasons for the attempted eviction. Occupy lawyers are considering a court challenge, denying any sound legal basis to the council action.

Supporters of Occupy Sydney partially re-established the camp the next day, and are organising protests against the clampdown. "We have maintained 629 days of continuous presence here, and plan to stay," Lance said.