The Guardian September 13, 2000


World Economic Forum Day 2: Police violence

On Tuesday morning, police on foot and on horseback surrounded a 
blockade of one gate at the Crown Casino and baton charged and assaulted 
the protesters. This brutality opened the way for five buses of delegates 
to the World Economic Forum to get into the Casino.

Seven protesters were taken to hospital by ambulance, dozens more had minor 
injuries and many were sitting around after the police attack shocked and 
in tears.

"We hold the Victorian State Premier, Steve Bracks, directly responsible 
for this violence", Communist Party of Australia President Dr Hannah 
Middleton said this morning.

Bracks' public statement yesterday that the police were not acting 
forcefully enough to ensure that the WEF could go ahead was the green light 
for today's police brutality.

Mr Bracks is reported to have been one of the people in the buses taken so 
savagely into the Casino this morning.

The appalling scene this morning was in stark contrast to another gate 
where negotiations between the trade unions and the blockaders resulted in 
workers being allowed into or out of the Casino with no problems 
whatsoever.

"The people outside the Crown Casino have a right and duty to protest 
against the robber barons meeting inside who ravage our communities and our 
environment for profit", Dr Middleton said.

"We are appalled at the position taken by a Labor Premier who rejects our 
right to protest and condemns alleged protester violence but does not 
condemn the violence inflicted on the world by corporate greed.

"It makes it clear that the Labor Party needs to be replaced along with the 
Liberals. The two-party system has to be thrown out so we can get a new 
government which comes from and speaks for working men and women, 
Aborigines, migrants, women, and all the other ordinary people in our 
society."

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