Police close down overnight camp after thousands attend Occupy Sydney

About 3000 people attended Occupy Sydney today. A camp was set up in Martin Place outside the Reserve Bank with people staying overnight. The atmosphere was peaceful and nonviolent. There was a related protest occurring in Sydney - Rally for Refugees outside the Sydney Town Hall which many people also attended.

Just before 10pm police started massing and then moved in taking down all tents and other structures. Tweets from @kateausburn from 10pm report that Police are removing tents Photo for #occupysydney at Martin Place. One activist U-locked himself to one of the garbage trucks, which then involved the police rescue squad having to remove the lock. Photo - Police removing neck lock. With police having impounded camping equipment and sleeping bags, they then backed off. A General meeting around 10.40pm voted to stay and continue the occupation over night.

Related: Occupy Sydney Website | Day 1 at Occupy Sydney Photos | Occupy Sydney Panorama Photos | Kate Ausburn Occupy Sydney photoset on flickr | More photos including of police action | Occupy events around Australia

@adambrereton reported that people can stay, but no gear ie tents, tarps, chairs, sleeping bags. The Cops had 2 garbage trucks to get rid of it all.

@kateausburn reports that "Lots of folks keen to stay at #occupysydney 'our streets' @ Martin Place Station Photo - General meeting. 'We do this together, we remain peaceful' Photo. Several police told me ppl can stay, they wont force us out, but loads of cops still here so not sure if they're telling truth. Not moving us on, just keeping us company? #occupysydney @ Martin Place Station . Photo of police. Police liaison says cops say blankets ok, tents etc not. A Vote was taken to remain in Martin Place over night, without gear. Lots of applause for staying put.

11pm - @kateausburn reports that "Police on horseback and rescue both leaving, uniformed and riot here for now but say they won't necessarily stay all night"

11.15pm - David Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeMLC), Greens member of the NSW Legislative Council tweeted "Rights to peaceful demonstration needed right now in Sydney - police back down needed #occupysydney " and a few minutes later "Time for some calm - this is not a permanent sleep out - it is a peaceful protest - call off the heavy handed tactics"

12:30am - an estimated 150 people are settling in for the night after the first police bust. Photo

There is a General Assembly scheduled at 10am in Martin Place. Also an no-CSG protest is scheduled for Sunday.

It was reported that City of Sydney council garbage collection trucks were used to remove activists belongings. Many activists alledge no warning was given by the police prior to the removal of their belongings. It is believed the belongings have been impounded.

Some Youtube reports of the protests during the Day:
Sydney: Start of protest Martin Place | Why Occupy Sydney: John Morris | Wide angle - Martin Place | Riff Raff Radical Band | Occupy Sydney: First Night Update

Photos of the day and night
Katedollface album of day an police night action
Kate Ausburn Occupy Sydney photoset
Occupy Sydney Panorama Photos
Day 1 at Sydney Occupy



Well done! We are immensely proud of you guys; can't be that easy to stay out all night just with a blanket, but you are standing in solidarity with OWS and all the other courageous occupiers around the world. I salute you!

What a waist of time, the banks don't give a shit about you they will turn up to work on Monday and continue to rip of the Public,You will have to get a bit tougher than that if you want things to change!

Well done and respect & love to all in protesters.
Soon the police will wake up and realise that they too are the 99% doing the dirty work for the 1% - police are wage slaves too!

cop watch on police stealing belongings without warning http://youtu.be/89YgU1DGmDs

The media landscape in this country has significantly fallen down, with corporate media owning nearly every aspect and little room for independence to report of significant issues. A lot of people in Australia right now are hardly aware that there was even occupy events held in major cities. Why? Because certain media corporations (News Limited to mention one) have neglected their responsibility of providing a public service to the Australian community. A major reform of the media is needed, not to mention a major reform of the worlds economic stratification between rich and poor. The gap is too significant to ignore, protests need to continue. Also, why do the police need to act so brutally when the protests are calm and non violent and everyone has the right to voice their opinions, don't we?

I completely agree. I tried posting a comment in favour of the protesters on this article...

...where the comments seem to be almost 100% dominated by people making generalisations about the 'loser' protesters and requesting that they go out and get jobs (ironically, unemployment rates are one of the issues raised by the protests).

I hope potential new protesters don't take it to heart when the Herald Sun warns that OccupySydney is dissolving, which was surely their intent in titling the article.