200 police evict Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy on 1st day of new LNP parliament

Support rally in Sydney 25 May

Related: Protest at Parliament House - - Swan Valley Nyoongar community returns to Lockridge camp

At about 6am this morning 200 police evicted about 100 people at the Sovereign Embassy at Musgrave Park in Brisbane. The police action was under orders of the Brisbane City Council who say they must move on so that the Greek Panyiri Festival can use the park this weekend.

Last night union members arrived to erect portable fencing as a security barrier in respect of the Panyiri Festival organisers, whom they say had agreed that the camp was not an impediment to the Festival. On Saturday Mayor Quirk met with the embassy members, but they declined to move off their own land at his request.

As the police action started more people arrive to support the protesters, accompanied by a large media contingent. The police pushed the media back so that their view of the police action was inhibited, but social media photographs and comments on the action continued to trickle out from the participants. A number of people were arrested, around 30.

Once the camp inhabitants were evicted, they began a march on parliament house, where the Premier and his LNP members were preparing for a massive garden party to launch their recent election victory. The Premier refused to talk to the crowd, who took up a position at the Speakers Corner (ironically outside parliament, safely beyond earshot of any politician).

The crowd then marched through the city to the Watch House awaiting the release of arrestees. Organisers vowed to rebuild the embassy.

The police action and eviction has drawn criticism from commentators, many of who are old enough to remember the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era, likening the action to Joh's tactics. During the 1970s and 1980s Joh notoriously used the police as his private army to suppress dissent. It became difficult for known activists to fraternise in public without police harrassment and on Joh's retirement hundreds of Special Branch files on protestors were allegedly shredded.

Mayor Quirk's comments today that the camp members were "professional protestors" is reminiscent of the kind of bizarre comments Joh used to make about the democratic right of protest to unjust government.

Council workers extinguised the sacred fire with a hose at about 1pm.

***A petition has been establish to call for the reinstatement of the embassy***
http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-graham-quirk-allow-the-return-of-t...

Other coverage:
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/blogs/blunt-instrument/here-we-j...
http://justinetime.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/dispatch-from-sovereign-embas...
http://daveburton.com.au/blog/

Pic: @saulburrows

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More news media on the government instructed police muscle

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/blogs/blunt-instrument/here-we-j...
Thirty arrests and half of the city's traffic grid thrown into chaos might seem a little, well, chaotic, but it's nothing compared to how things used to spin out of control when the old National Party decided to bust a few heads open and see if any law and order votes spilled out

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/police-evict-protesters-from-...
More than 200 police descended on Musgrave Park in Brisbane's West End this morning to move indigenous tent embassy protesters, resulting in more than 30 arrests. The protesters have marched on Parliament House and now moved to the Roma Street watchhouse. Follow our live unfolding coverage below

http://www.theage.com.au/queensland/police-evict-protesters-from-brisban...

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/embassy-protesters-refuse-...
"I won't read their lies," Mr Wharton said. "They have treated our people with contempt, utter contempt."

http://www.news.com.au/national/tensions-build-in-brisbanes-musgrave-par...
Protesters say they are exercising 'sovereign rights'.

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/05/15/3503059.htm?site=brisbane
Police surrounded the embassy early on Wednesday after protestors refused a council order to relocate

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/story/2012/05/16/police-swarm-tent-embassy...
PROTESTERS from the Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy at Brisbane's Musgrave Park have snaked their way around the city

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/police-evict-protesters-from-...
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman won’t be meeting with protesters who demanded to see him after more than 200 police moved indigenous tent embassy occupants from Musgrave Park this morning

http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/24/deep-into-the-eyes-of-racism-nyoongar...
"We looked around and the Embassy was swarming with police but none of our people were there. It was an eerie feeling."

More media coverage

 

 

Brisbane tent embassy given permanent site
The West Australian


Aboriginal leaders strike tent embassy deal
ABC Online

Mayor says no to 'massive' tent embassy
SBS

(Courier Mail)
Communities heal after embassy eviction (Ninemsn), Greek festival fills the faithful with food and hope (Newcastle Herald),  Festival begins at Brisbane protest site (Brisbane Times), Eyewitness: Brisbane tent embassy eviction was an outrage (Green Left Weekly), Tent Embassy members should meet at Jagera Arts Hall (Courier Mail),What is the Brisbane Sovereign Embassy? (Yahoo!7 News),Protesters from Brisbane's aboriginal tent embassy call for official probe ...(BreakingNews.com),  Musgrave Park Aboriginal tent embassy protesters complain to CMC about police ...(Courier Mail),  Evicted protesters call for probe (BigPond News),  What is the Brisbane Sovereign Embassy? (ABC Local),  Aboriginal protest sweeps Brisbane as police clear 'Sovereign Embassy' (Herald Sun),Indigenous Find New Place to Camp But Still Boycott Paniyiri Festival (Greek Reporter),Newman prepares for maiden speech (Business Spectator), Brisbane protest evictions (Sky News Australia), Portland tent embassy stands firm after 100 days(ABC Online), Tent embassy protesters march on parliament (Herald Sun), Embassy protesters to march on parliament (The West Australian), Newman won't meet with protesters (SBS), Police move in on Aboriginal protestors (Sky News Australia), Police break up Brisbane tent embassy protest (ABC Local), 31 arrested in Aboriginal protest eviction (The West Australian), Tensions escalate in Aboriginal protest (SBS), Tensions rise in Aboriginal protest (Sky News Australia), Pomp and circumstance opens Qld parliament (Ninemsn), Australian police break up Aboriginal protest group (The China Post, Taiwan), Here we Joh again: Protest divides city along familiar lines (Sydney Morning Herald), Musgrave Park tent embassy given its marching orders (ABC Online), Brisbane protest evictions (Sky News Australia),

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