Communications Workers Union secretary Len Cooper released this statement on October 25.
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Melbourne Lord Mayor Doyle has been responsible for one of the most disgraceful episodes in this city's history.
The Occupy Melbourne protesters were holding a peaceful, disciplined, well organised protest, largely confined to the city square, thus preventing inconvenience to most others.
Doyle turned it into the brawling mess, which spilled on to the streets, deployed police, dogs, horses, capsicum spray and other weapons to inflict violence and physical abuse on demonstrators and onlookers alike, turning Melbourne into a laughing stock and at the same time inconveniencing many more Melbournians and visitors than the demonstration did and could.
Who does Doyle think he is? A democratic Mayor would have found a way. This space, within which everyone could participate directly in raising questions of concern, should have been a space in which the city’s Mayor saw that his role was to open and include the range of communities involved.
Instead, as recent press statements by the Mayor show, we witnessed an ideologically motivated, physical attack on vulnerable people who were demonized through the Mayor’s use of the fearful question “Who are they?”
What a height of arrogance and dictatorship it is for one man (Or was it two? Premier Ballieu as usual went to ground) to decide the demonstration had gone on too long! How many degrees away from Mubarak’s behavior (the overthrown Egyptian dictator) is this behavior of Doyle’s?
After going way over the top with police, the riot squad, dogs, horses, capsicum spray and beating up of demonstrators and onlookers, we can thank our lucky stars that this Lord Mayor of Melbourne doesn't control the army.
One of the reasons given for this vicious assault upon democratic rights was the arrival of the English Queen. What a feudal travesty, where, in the 21st century the visit of a monarch sees our streets cleared of young people who are seeking answers to questions which remain undebated by our parliaments.
For that remains the great strength of this new phenomenon, the very space itself. Created by ordinary, primarily young Australians who are sick of seeing their concerns go unaddressed.
Len Cooper, Secretary Communication Workers Union