Queensland Police Break Up Refugee Picnic Protest
Around 30 police have been mobilised outside the Kangaroo Point Hotel in Brisbane to try and prevent a peaceful protest of picnickers and exercisers outside the hotel-prison holding around 110 refugees from Manus and Nauru.
Police were at the protest early giving a move-on direction to anyone holding a placard as they walked in the vicinity of the hotel. Later protesters exercising their lawful right to picnic were issued with on-the-spot fines for supposedly breaking health regulations.
Meanwhile the refugees in the hotel staged their balcony protest with a large banner saying, “No Crime. 7 Years in Detention.”
The hotel protest follows the forced transfer of two refugees this afternoon from Kangaroo Point hotel to the Brisbane detention centre, as Serco and Border Force guards try to stifle the growing agitation inside the hotel.
The Queensland police action also comes after Victorian police threatened to use health regulations to prevent a similar protest planned for tomorrow (Saturday) outside the Mantra hotel-prison in Melbourne.
"Safe picknickers and exercisers have been singled out by the police while the government turns a blind eye to the dangerous conditions inside the hotel," said Mark Gillespie, from Brisbane's Refugee Action Collective.