Update (February 20) : G20 protesters plead guilty, Matthew Burgess, The rAge, February 19, 2008: “Three people have pleaded guilty to charges over violent protests at the G20 business summit in November 2006. Danya Bryx, 23, has pleaded guilty to two counts of riot, one count of criminal damage and one count of recklessly causing serious injury. Beth Nathan, 22, has pleaded guilty to one count of riot. David Nguyen, 23, admitted to one count of riot and one count of criminal damage. The three were among 21 people who faced a committal hearing earlier today over the protests against the international business forum. Magistrate Sarah Dawes accepted the trio’s application for summary jurisdiction, meaning they can be sentenced in the magistrates court. Ms Dawes adjourned their cases until April 7. Yesterday she granted applications by Eric Palsis, 38, and ***** ****, 26, for summary jurisdiction.” Also: Riot policewoman cops tennis elbow.
Police have officially confirmed the findings of their investigation into police violence at the G20 protests in Melbourne in November 2006, findings originally announced way back in January 2007, then re-confirmed by Jeff Bracks in July.
G20 probe clears cops
February 1, 2008
POLICE have been cleared after an investigation into violence at the G20 riots in Melbourne 14 months ago. The police ethical standards department wrote to the officers this week, telling them they would face no action over allegations laid by protesters at the forum of economic leaders that they used excessive violence. The accusations stem back to November 2006, when police clashed with some anti-G20 protesters outside the Melbourne Museum…
Silly hippies! Baton charges are cool!
G20 protesters plead guilty
February 18, 2008
Two men who have pleaded guilty to charges over the violent G20 protests will be sentenced in April.
Magistrate Sarah Dawes today accepted applications from Eric Palsis, 38, and ***** ****, 26, for summary jurisdiction, allowing her to sentence the pair in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Palsis and Jorm have pleaded guilty to riot and affray over the protests against the international business conference in Melbourne’s CBD in November 2006.
Jorm is also charged with recklessly causing injury and criminal damage.
Magistrates Dawes adjourned their sentencing until April 8.
A committal hearing begins tomorrow in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for another 21 people charged with offences including riot and affray.
Video footage from the protests was this morning viewed in the court in order for Magistrate Dawes to assess the seriousness of offences in each case.
Court hears how anti-G20 ‘true believer’ assaulted police
February 5, 2008
A 29-YEAR-OLD man who hurled rocks at police as they sheltered behind a brawler van during anti-G20 protests was motivated by genuine political beliefs, a court has heard.
Akin Sari, a former Monash University commerce student, pleaded guilty in the County Court yesterday to nine charges including criminal damage, assault and rioting in connection with the G20 world economic summit in Melbourne from November 17 to 19 last year.
Prosecutor Chris Beale told the court that Sari made the guilty plea while in custody and was facing the prospect of spending years in jail awaiting a trial after a magistrate refused him bail following his extradition from Sydney. Police claim Sari travelled to Sydney last September to attend the APEC summit, which he denies.
Mr Beale said Sari was among a group of protesters who emptied water-filled barricades and used them as battering rams against about a dozen police, at whom they hurled glass bottles, rocks, milk crates and bags of rubbish. Just minutes later they stormed a second barricade and attacked police who took shelter behind a brawler van.
In dramatic footage played to the court, Sari could be seen wearing a white jumpsuit and going around the side of the van to throw rocks at police from close range. He is also seen throwing a metal traffic sign to smash the van’s window, and stealing a police log book from inside the cabin.
In separate incidents, Sari was among 20 protesters who stormed an Australian Defence Force recruiting centre, throwing chairs, overturning tables, tearing down displays and scrawling graffiti such as “lies”.
He also grabbed a metal pole from two contractors erecting barriers and smashed the windscreen of their ute.
In a victim impact statement tendered to the court, a policewoman said she was no longer able to perform operational duties after a barricade was ripped from her grasp at the demonstration, tearing tendons in her elbow.
Defence counsel Dermott Dann said Sari genuinely believed the G20 summit was “an instrument of oppression”.
“This wasn’t a man who came along for the ride one day in November 2006 for no other reason than amusement.”
Mr Dann said Sari, who had a history of mental illness, came to Australia in 2001 and obtained political asylum after being arrested in Turkey for taking part in a student demonstration.
Judge Roy Punshon will sentence Sari at a later date.
G20 rioter changes tune
February 5, 2008
A PROTESTER involved in the violent G20 riots has denounced his actions.
Akin Sari was among a group of demonstrators who stormed a city office, attacked a police brawler van, rammed police lines with plastic barricades and hurled rocks, rubbish bins and milk crates.
The County Court heard he felt compelled to convey a message that the Group of 20 nations summit, held at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt in November 2006, was an “instrument of oppression”.
The court was told he had genuine political interests but now acknowledged his tactics were unacceptable.
Defence barrister Dermott Dann told the court Sari believed extreme measures were required but now understood they were unacceptable.
A statement from Sari explaining his opposition to the G20 summit was tendered to Judge Roy Punshon.
Footage of the riots at Collins St and the corner of Flinders Lane and Exhibition St were shown to the court.
Sari and others invaded the Defence Force Recruiting Centre in Swanston St on November 17 and damaged displays.
He smashed the window of a traffic event control car while two workers were inside, and then menaced them with a metal pole.
In the brawler van attack on November 18, Sari broke the windscreen with a traffic sign, stole a police log book and pelted police at close range with rocks.
Prosecutor Chris Beale said police feared for their lives, and some were picking shards of glass out of their skin for days after the attack.
Mr Beale said a policeman suffered a broken wrist and another had the tendons torn from her elbow.
Mr Dann said Sari, 29, was born in Turkey and became politically active at university.
He came to Australia in 2001, and was granted a protection visa on the grounds of political persecution relating to a 1998 student protest in Turkey over which he was charged.
Mr Dann said Sari had sought psychiatric care before, but was not mentally unwell at the time of the riots.
Sari pleaded guilty to nine charges including aggravated burglary, criminal damage, riot, theft, and assault.
He has been in custody for six months after he failed to return to court, and was arrested in Sydney.
Sari is the first of 28 people charged over the riots to be sentenced.
Another 23 defendants will face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for a contested hearing on February 18.
Four youths will appear at a Children’s Court in April.
Judge Punshon remanded Sari in custody for sentence at a date to be fixed.
See also: afterg20.org | Statement from Federation of Community Legal Centres on baton charge investigation (January 16, 200): “The OPI’s report appears to accept that: – the protesters were protesting peacefully; – no warning was given prior to a running baton charge by the police; – police used batons on protesters; – a pram was knocked sideways during the charge and a woman was injured and taken to hospital. Despite this, the OPI found that the use of force by police was justified because police “suspected a breach of the peace may occur”…”
Police compo crisis
Sunday Herald Sun
February 17, 2008
STRESSED and injured police officers have racked up $7.3 million in compensation claims in 12 months. Victorians are paying more than $20,000 a day to foot the bill for police compensation, documents reveal. Police accumulated 26,004 days of stress and injury leave last year. And stressed officers account for more than two thirds of 833 WorkCover claims lodged by police last financial year that led to more than $4.1 million in payments.
Documents obtained under Freedom of Information reveal 239 Victorian police took more than 16,550 days off between July 2006 and June last year on stress leave alone. Inner-city cops were by far the state’s most stressed with 78 police taking 5684 days’ compensation leave.
Throughout the state, the average police claim was 31 days off work and $8869.50 in compensation. The average stress claim was 69 days and $17,465.50 in compensation. In Region 1, which takes in inner-Melbourne suburbs such as St Kilda, Richmond, Prahran, Collingwood, Brunswick and the city, 278 police took 8229 days off in compensation. Six of 10 individual claims worth more than $70,000 were by Region 1 police. One claim, for more than $93,000, was from an officer who had been off work for 295 days with spinal problems.
Police Association assistant secretary Bruce McKenzie said the claims were the tip of the iceberg with many more police “stressed to the limit” but too proud to seek help. He said even “hardened, career cops” were breaking down because of post-traumatic stress and injuries after conflicts such as the G20 riots…
Note that, according to figures provided by UNICEF, since the G20 summit ended on November 19, 2006 to today, February 18, 2008, 13,710,000 children have died as a result of ‘poverty’ (meaning: the inequitable distribution of resources under global capitalism). That’s the Bad News. The Good News is that The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty takes place each year on October 17.
Why not consider making a donation to your favourite charity, or writing a letter to the paper?
“We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.”