NSW police 0, Cheney protesters 4

July 14, 2007

In a judgment against the police that was describing as "scathing" by Sydney Morning Herald journalist David Marr, magistrate David Heilpern dismissed all charges against the two "tranny cops" who were violently arrested at a protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney on February 23. This brings to four the number of Cheney protesters who were charged and acquitted.

Sarah Harrison and Anika Vinson are part of an all-female political entertainment group called the Tranny Cops. They wear fake cop uniforms, moustaches, sideburns and goatees and perform song and dance routines.

Unbelievably, two of them were arrested for impersonating police officers. They often perform a valuable role at protests, providing humour and defusing tension when police are assuming aggressive tactics.

The arrests were performed so violently that people were pushed to the ground.

The arrests seem to be part of a pattern at recent protests in Sydney, where police use the tactic of pursuing arrests in an apparent effort to intimidate protesters.

A similar pattern has emerged with the courts dismissing charges against those arrested and refusing to play along with an apparent campaign of criminalising all dissent.

One of the Tranny Cops who was acquitted, Anika Vinson, told Green Left Weekly: "It was clear from the beginning that the police had no substance to the charges at all. Rather, it was showing the sort of pro-arrest procedure that they are planning to use during APEC [protests in Sydney in September]."

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