Police continue to misdefine camping to harass Occupy Sydney

January 13, 2012 § 2 Comments

At about 5am this morning (Sat 14th January) NSW Police again launched a surprise raid on the Occupy Sydney occupation in Martin Place.

On the 10th of January the Local Court determined in an identical case Police v Priestley that sleeping in a public place did not constitute camping.

Seemingly oblivious to the 43 unsolved drive by shootings in Sydney reported in the media yesterday, NSW Police seem inordinately fixated on the vexing issue of their continued attack on Occupy Sydney.12 Police officers from the Rocks command again attended at Occupy Sydney again attempting to redefine camping . Amused awakened protesters were treated to another display of Police subversion of simple City “No Camping” and “No Staying overnight” ordinances in a further vain attempt to intimidate protesters.

A young woman under the age of 18 who was present was summarily ordered to leave the protest site after Police used their usual vaguely defined veiled threats to obtain her details. Police neither cared where she went nor showed a scintilla of concern for her safety, her ability to relocate safely to another safe place, or to return home- their sole concern was that she leave the protest site. Luckily responsible Occupy Sydney participants were able to ensure her continued safety and security.

A mattress donated by a supporter was deemed “camping equipment” and ordered removed from the site. Mattresses are used for sleeping in many circumstances (sometimes including camping) and we look forward to discussing this distortion of regulation in court.

Further infringement notices were issued for “illegal camping” .The inspector concerned used the definition that Occupy Sydney Protest Signage is in fact “windbreaks” ( which by police definition are “structures”.

Since October 15th NSW Police have spent well in excess of $3million harassing Occupy Sydney, a declared peaceful protest movement. In the absence of laws which Occupy Sydney may clearly be breaking it seems that NSW Police consider us such a threat that they resort to linguistic nuances & creative use of truth in their efforts to stifle effective peaceful protest.

The misuse by police of their authority and the law is an area of grave concern for many Australians and Occupy Sydney participants. We strongly oppose all abuse of power

For your own amusement here is the Macquarie Dictionary definition of Camping:

noun 1. the activity of living temporarily in a tent or similar accommodation, especially as a form of recreation or holiday-making.
adjective 2. of, relating to, or designed for camping.

Please use our comments to tell us whether you think we are camping.



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