Protestors at the Lizards Revenge Music and Arts Festival of Resistance closed the road to Olympic Dam Uranium Mine this morning for four hours.
At approximately 8:30 am a car decorated as a giant lizard was parked on Olympic Way, blocking the road opposite the protest camp.
Two protestors locked themselves to a truck heading toward the mine site, which was halted by the protestors. A group of approximately 40 supporters were present to support the couple.
Police brought approximately 50 officers to the site, including some members of STAR force, who forced the supporters from the highway. Two supporters were arrested for not moving off the road quickly enough.
After three hours protesters cheered in support as the police removed and arrested the two who had locked themselves to the truck.
Protesters remained on the roadside for another hour until police formed a line and pushed supporters through the scrub back into their camp, making another arrest in the process.
“The arrests of the supporters of those locked on to the truck were completely unnecessary, and once again the police have shown themselves to be petty and unwilling to negotiate. In response to a request to allow a nurse to check on those under the truck, the police erected a barrier screening them from view completely,” commented Nectaria Calan, co-organiser of the event. “It is unclear why the police chose to act in a way that would foster such distrust.”
“After this mornings action, as we continued to pack up camp, police informed us that we had 20 minutes to leave the area, otherwise we would only be able to travel south. Although negotiations are continuing for a later departure time, we are still being told that if we go to Roxby Downs to go to the supermarket or to get fuel, we will be force to continue traveling south, despite the fact known by police that many people are traveling North.”
“The situation is unreasonable and punitive. It is an unprecedented violation of our civil liberties to have the police dictate in what direction people travel when leaving the event. If those traveling North are not allowed through the road blocks, they will be forced to travel an additional eight hours to reach their destination.”
“The ongoing harassment by police throughout this event undermines their public statements that they will respect our right to protest. Their neutrality has been further called into question after a recent joint press conference with SAPOL and BHP Billiton. Throughout this event the police have behaved like the hired thugs of BHP Billiton,” Ms Calan concluded.
04## ### ###