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Greens deplore police violence in Melbourne

Australian police have over-reacted against demonstrators at the World Economic Forum in Melbourne, New Zealand Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said today.

Green MP Nandor Tanczos said Sue Bradford were on the receiving end of police violence in Melbourne this morning, as riot police trampled over a group of 40 protesters who were sitting on the ground peacefully outside the Melbourne casino.

Although the two were not badly hurt, other protesters have lost teeth or received other serious injuries.

"I am appalled that the World Economic Forum is being supported by Australian authorities in such a violent way," Mr Donald said.

"This self-appointed organisation promoting the interests of multinational corporates has been responsible for some of the worst examples of oppression against the poor in the past few decades. The environmental health of the planet has also suffered immensely from the WEF globalisation model."

Mr Donald also dissociated the Greens from the Melbourne protesters who attacked a car carrying Western Australian Premier Richard Court. "We support peaceful blockades but are passionately against violence. At every large-scale demonstration such as this, there will be people who try to overstep the mark, but I believe it is remarkable how restrained demonstrators have been in general, with so many thousand people involved and with such a vital and justified cause.

"Nandor and Sue have stuck to their pledge to be non-violent, no matter what the provocation, and the Green caucus backs them in their actions 100 per cent.

"These protests will soon be regarded as necessary, commendable and mainstream, just as the Springbok Tour protests and anti-nuclear blockades are now widely accepted," Mr Donald said.

Rod Donald MP x6660, 025 507183

Paul Bensemann, press secretary, x6679, 021 2142665


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