Archive for October 23, 2011

23rd October, 2011

Last night I headed into Occupy Sydney as I had been the previous Sunday and had enjoyed the atmosphere and conversation, I decided to return.

I arrived at Martin Place around 9pm and began mingling with other occupiers. Everyone is quite happy to chat to everyone. Under 10 police were in attendance that I could see. After some conversations, dinner, dancing and social love, a few occupiers decided sleep was needed. A few others including myself moved away from sleepers and further down Martin place as to not disturb.

A group of us were dancing, singing and conversing with the general public. We had people from all walks of life and nationality come join us, to play a tune on the bongo drums or chat. A woman who was watching the action came over and did a belly dance for us.

It was great. Upon one of my bathroom visits, i walked by 2 officers, greeted them with smile, “hello” and wished them a nice night. They responded the same, however I was genuine in what I said.

At around 3.30am I decided to retire for the night on my patch of carpet. No sooner than I have dozed off it seemed that the cavalry had arrived.

I awoke to shouts, everyone get up, get your stuff, get your cameras out. Dazed I jumped to my feet, put my shoes on, bagged my snuggie & pillow and switched on my iPhone camera. I have a iPhone 3 so it has no light or flash. I started recording what I could see. I couldn’t hear what police were saying as I was near the back (i dont have good hearing in left ear) But was told by an occupier “supposedly we have ten mins to get out of here” I saw an officer rip up a cloth sign belonging to an occupier, he basically shredded it. I suppose a warning of what they wanted to do to us.

The people closest to the frontline start questioning police as to why we were being removed. Who ordered the removal. Other things were being said as well as screams from a homeless man who is bi-polar. I’m unsure if his name.

I then saw a shuffle starting and police grabbed an occupier by the head, another occupier tried to help his fellow occupier to release police hold of what I believe to be a head, that officer then let a hand free and swung a punch at the defender. I screamed at witnessing this and shouted “he threw a punch” my exact words I’m unsure but I do have some video footage I’m sorting through as it’s very blurred and dark. I will update this again tonight with video.

After this the force from NSW police erupted. They were throwing people’s belongings, breaking personal property , well I should say public property as all public are free to occupy and use.

2 male police officers took down a female occupier. Screams of pain by us and smirks from police.

I chanted “You are part of the 99%, we are here for you”.

I by this time was backing away as ordered and was almost sent flying down the stairs when police were trying to drag away occupiers unable to unlink arms. Extreme force on wrist holds was also noted.

I had moved further down through Martin Place now and was past where the cars and vans were and the arrested occupiers.

I had both hands full with items, also filming and walking away as told when I was shoved in the back by an officer. Instantly I was enraged, I was doing as ordered and he was now physically intimidating me. I responded to his shove  his response was “I’m helping”. In what way does a shove mean helping? More like a physical intimidation tactic. I do NOT (as a victim of sexual assault) take kindly to anyone touching me for no reason or without cause. The shove was totally uncalled for.

Copyrighted Footage Here – NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT MY WRITTEN CONSENT. I do not agree with anyone other than Occupy Sydney Media using this footage. Any use of footage, voice or stills will result in legal proceedings.

I saw a bloody face, heard women screaming and I was in shock. We had moved further down Martin place, dialogue with police started, we were regrouping. We were going to figure out what to do and move another 100mtrs away to deal with issue at hand. Police agreed, then moments later changed mind and forced us to move.

After that I continued to move on as directed, after reminding the police that the Queen wasn’t coming to Sydney, told them specifically, “She does not like Sydney because your here!”

A few of us began to sing Advance Australia Fair. Until yet again driven down street by line of riot police.

Just about to cross road to St James station, I stopped as the car turn lane was green and pedestrian light red. An officer then told me to walk, i said no, light is red and he shoved me off the curb and forced me to walk (as well as others). I continued to remind him the light to walk was red, to no avail. Luckily for us no cars were there.

I told that officer too, not to shove me and said “who do you think you are? Macho Man Randy Savage? f’wit.” I then turned, walked away, but my mouth got the better of me and i said “if i wanted to get pushed around I’d go home to a husband”. (in saying that I meant pushes around, as in told what to do, even my hubby/partner would not shove me.) all the time i remained doing what i was told and walking away. I never threatened any officer verbally so why was I shoved and physically intimidated?

We had arrived at St James station, sat in park and agreed with police in presence we would do a GA and decide what to do next. The officers stood around, a large proportion then headed back to Martin place whilst a small few remained to watch us.

People can make up their own views and opinions on this but I know what I saw with my own eyes. Police thuggery. Army style covert mission on sleeping civilians.

I make no apologies to the 2 officers I swore at, you instigated my heated word response with your uncalled for physical action when I was obeying your orders! At least i was non violent and didn’t physically intimidate anyone.

So at the end of today, ive cried, screamed, shook, felt ill, felt every emotion and I sat on my bed and wondered if I am strong enough to fight .

My answer is YES! I have occupy brothers and sisters worldwide who support. I see the faces of my students and remember the struggles they faced and the long hard fight they fought for freedom. I see the world struggle each day. It is for all humanity I say #OccupyTogether!

Link to official Occupy Sydney Website
Occupy Sydney

-Rebecca
@AussieActivist

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