Kirribilli refugee protest, police overkill
Kirribilli refugee protest building, police reacts with overkill
The number of protesters who plan to surround Kirribilli House this afternoon steadily builds, as more than 100 Tactical Response Group officers, two Water Police vessels, reportedly supported by a temporary central police post complete with five marquees and also five portaloos, regarded as overkill by observers at Bradford Bridge, the starting point of Saturday afternoon's protest.
About 500 protesters from Sydney are expected at this afternoon's protest, while a Victorian delegation of about 40 people has just arrived from Melbourne.
One Sydney resident reported on Friday evening: "I was just down at Bradfield Park under the bridge where the police have already set up a cyclone fenced and guarded compound. Within the compound are two large marquees and three generators with large spotlights."
Police have also letterboxed residents in the vicinity of Kirribilli House with a letter. Part of the letter reads "The police operation is a protest [sic] by members of the Refugee Action Coalition and other groups..."
Flotillas of Hope Vessels
A delegation of two vessels of the Flotillas of Hope Sailing Project, the EUREKA and the DUYFKEN - which hope to depart for a journey to the island of Nauru with three, possibly four or five boats, is sailing at the rear of Kirribilli House in view of the the Prime Minister John Howard's residence. The boats carry large banners with the text "Refugees Are Us" and "End Mandatory Detention".
The two ships are being kept at a distance from the PM's Residence by Water Police which have created an exclusion zone of 100 metres, and one of the Flottilla's organisers, Stavros Georgopoulos, reported they had been visited by six TRG police by boat, who had boarded the Eureka without permission "just to have a look around and trying to intimidate us".