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