Mounted Police trapping, harassing and threatening protesters with mass arrests at Baxter campsite

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Narrogin
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130
Web: http://www.safecom.org.au/

Mounted Police trapping, harassing and threatening protesters with mass arrests at Baxter campsite

Media Release
Friday 18 April 2003 - 15:30 WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

After inviting hundreds of protesters, who have just arrived at the site of the Baxter detention centre, inside into the police marked road block area on either side of the Baxter detention centre - and specifically also allowing tents and camping gear inside this area - SA Police seemed to have suddenly changed their mind about their decision, ordering the hundreds of protesters to pack their belongings and move back, telling them they will all be arrested 'en masse' if they do not remove themselves from the area within five minutes.

The hundreds of protesters have just finished walking about 2.5 kilometers inside the road block zone and had started to set up camp.

Pamela Curr of the Victorian Greens reports of the hot conditions, and sees absolutely no central command or structure in the police force. "They, I don't know at all what they think they're trying to achieve here, I think they're trying to wedge us in using, I can see nine, no more, many more horses at one end, and now other horses are moving in at the other end."

"It seems clear to me they have no plan, no consistency, they are terribly nervous about this event and their reactions are over the top and already violent", Ms Curr reports.

Tim Kirchler of The Association for the Prevention of War also reports these incidents, which are developing as we speak.

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For more information call
the people below:

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
Narrogin/Fremantle
[phone number posted]

----------------------------------------------------
NOTE: All of the following people
will also be available for comments
on the ground at Baxter during
the Easter Baxter convergence:
----------------------------------------------------

Tim Kirchler
Rural Australians for Refugees
Goondiwindi
[Phone number posted]

Pamela Curr
National Spokesperson for the Greens
Melbourne
[phone number posted]

Stavros (Steve) Georgopoulos
HOPE Caravan
Newcastle
[Phone number posted]

Fleur Taylor
Refugee Action Collective
Melbourne
[Phone number posted]

Grant van Riessen
Project SafeCom Inc.
[Phone number posted]

Shelley James
Fremantle Refugee Support Group
[Phone number posted]

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