The Guardian September 13, 2000


World Economic Forum Day 2:
Police go on the offensive

Andrew was one of the many young people who took part in the non-violent 
blockade of the World Economic Forum at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. He 
was in the frontline on the second day when at about 7am, the police turned 
violent.

"We were confronted with one row of horses, two lines of police in riot 
gear clearing the picket for bus loads of delegates", Andrew told The 
Guardian.

"People were being roughly shoved aside in the most aggressive fashion. One 
man was hit on the side of the head with a baton and knocked unconscious.

"A young woman had obviously been shoved around by a horse and came walking 
out of the line of police very dazed and looking in pain."

The police violence was unprovoked. If the aim of the exercise was to get 
buses through, then the police could have approached other gates where 
there were a handful of protesters on the picket.

Instead they chose an entrance where there were several hundred protesters.

At one of these gates there was no picket, just one bloke talking to the 
police. "One officer jumped the barricade and lashed the man and dragged 
him into the casino", said Andrew.

At another gate a police officer suffered a chest problem, so the 
protesters moved aside to let the ambulance in.

Once they did this the police took advantage of the break in the picket to 
try to force their way through.

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