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Occupy Auckland Deplores Violence and Sexual Assault

Occupy Auckland Deplores Violence and Sexual Assault

Occupy Auckland deplores the alleged Sexual Assault in Christchurch's Hagley Park.

The Occupy movement preaches and practices a strict code of nonviolence and supports survivors' rights. At Occupy Auckland and other Occupied sites, an assault or sexual assault earns instant expulsion from the group and police notification.

Occupy Auckland has been in Court this week defending the rights of the group to protest in Aotea Square. Auckland Council has suggested the group move to alternative locations of Albert Park or Victoria Park.

In making submissions today Counsel for Occupy Auckland stressed how important Occupy Auckland considers the safety and security of members of the public and protesters using Aotea Square. The group considers Aotea Square to be far safer than other alternatives canvassed.

Aotea Square occupant since 15 October 2011 Chris Glen adds, "In deciding the location for the Occupy Auckland protest, security was a central consideration. Albert Park, badly lit and secluded, has a history of assult and sexual violence."

Glen continues, "Aotea Square has 24-hour lighting, security cameras, and due to the nature of the site itself is less inviting to criminal elements. It's also located a block from Auckland Central Police Station."

Sam Nolty, Occupy AUckland Occupant agrees but also sees security as a responsibility of the Occupiers themselves. "We all have a duty to protect and look after each other while protesting and to make sure the public feel welcome and safe when sharing this space with Occupy Auckland."

"We have a peace-keeping team on duty at Occupy Auckland 24 hours a day, ensuring that our Safer Spaces policy of no violence, alcohol, drugs or abusive behaviour is upheld and enforced."

ENDS

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