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Activist claims he was roughed up

Tim Buchanan said he was “roughed up” by police. Courtesy: 9News

An activist who took part in protests outside an international mining conference in Melbourne this week claims police “roughed him up” behind closed doors.

Tim Buchanan, who resides in the New South Wales town of Newcastle, accused Victoria Police of escalating things from “the get go,” with another protester claiming she was king-hit in the face.

“That was my experience on Tuesday morning, getting snatched by the police when I was standing well back [from the protest line],” Mr Buchanan said.

He claims he was then “dragged” inside, with his head purposely banged against walls and doors out of public view.

He also claims police had their body cameras turned off.

Victoria Police have been contacted for comment regarding officer conduct.

In a statement released today, police lashed out at activists for targeting officers.

Their intention to cause us harm and the members of our community harm is evidenced by their desire to hide their identity and avoid accountability for their unlawful activity,” police said in a statement issued today.

Hundreds of delegates from around the world attended the International Mining and Resource Conference, with protests on the outside of the Exhibition centre quickly turning violent.

Protestors formed a blockade and attempted to prevent attendees from entering the conference.

In a speech to the Queensland Resources Council today, the prime minister urged companies to ignore rowdy protesters waging “economic sabotage”.

Environmental activists have responded to Scott Morrison signalling a crackdown on what he calls their “selfish, indulgent and apocalyptic” actions with more protests.

Instead, he wants businesses to listen to their “quiet shareholders”.

After a week of anti-coal demonstrations in Melbourne that were marred by violence, the prime minister warned activists were testing the limits of their right to protest.

“Let me assure you this is not something my government intends to allow to go unchecked,” Mr Morrison said.

“Together with the attorney-general, we are working to identify mechanisms that can successfully outlaw these indulgent and selfish practices that threaten the livelihoods of fellow Australians.”

The Australian Conservation Foundation said the wider business world was moving away from coal because it could see the economic damage climate change would cause.

Chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy cited concerns raised by the head of the Defence Force, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

“Big institutional investors are turning their backs on coal because they can see the damage climate change is doing to their portfolios and because the financial returns are better from clean technology,” she said.

“To paint this broad community concern as being about ‘fringe-dwelling extremists’ is an insult to all Australians who want a better future for themselves and their children.”

But the Business Council of Australia backed efforts to prevent activists “unfairly targeting responsible businesses”.

“Australians outside the major capital cities should have their voice heard in this debate, they shouldn’t lose out on projects that strike the balance between investment, jobs and environmental outcomes for no good reason,” chief executive Jennifer Westacott told AAP.

The prime minister labelled the protesters “anarchists” hell-bent on harming small businesses.
“It is a potentially more insidious threat to the Queensland economy and jobs and living standards than a street protest,” he said.

Protesters in Queensland have targeted engineering company GHD over its work for Adani and on Friday gathered at the Townsville office of BMD, a contractor on the massive coal mine project.

A spokesman for the activists said if the prime minister would take care of Australia’s people and ecosystems they wouldn’t need to target these businesses.

“Scott Morrison dining with his mates in the mining industry and promising them he will stamp out protest says everything you need to know about our government’s priorities in the face of a climate emergency,” Andy Paine said.

Mr Morrison has not set a time frame for introducing legislation.

Labor deputy leader Richard Marles said there were extensive laws around interfering with contractual relations already in place at a federal level that should be enforced.

But he promised the opposition would look at whatever the government puts forward.

Greens senators were unimpressed with the prime minister’s plans.

“Morrison is a fascist who will try to arrest his way through the civil disobedience that will blossom while he ignores the destruction of climate and nature. He will soon find out that he hasn’t got the jail space,” Tasmanian senator Nick McKim tweeted.

Source: https://www.9news.com.au/national/activist-claims-he-was-roughed-up-by-police-behind-closed-doors/62016b0e-ed08-42fc-9d21-91975ad45cfa