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FULL VIDEO: Police STORM 'Freedom Camp' in Canberra

Protesters vow to camp out a kilometre from Parliament until vaccine mandates and pandemic restrictions are lifted.

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What was a peaceful camp for freedom quickly turned violent when police came to issue infringement tickets for "illegally parked" vehicles.

Tension escalated when police entered the camp to record car registration details.

Officers had largely remained cooperative with the growing gathering of protesters, and with too many people to arrest and too many cars to tow away the police presence focused their attention on the "illegally parked cars" being the issue and informed campers that they would be recording the details of all vehicles on the grounds under the direction of the National Capital Authority (NCA).

Protesters were concerned and suspicious of police intentions after earlier cooperation with the police led to officers blocking cars from re-entering the grounds.
Police mentioned that they may in coming days issue a move-on notice to the protesters, however, numbers continue to grow at the site with waves of the convoy still rolling into Canberra from across the nation.

When I talked to the Police media unit, I was informed that the camp was in fact illegal as NCA permits had not been issued for them to be there.

The police on the ground on patrol said that about a dozen officers would walk through the camp every hour for their safety.

Campers were concerned that the active police presence may escalate the situation and when police started blocking entry to the area, they were fearful that police would evict them from the area entirely.

"They're saying it's not the police that's removing us, it's the National Capital Authority ... We have been trying to meet with them in person, the office is just across the road here, we went there, there's no one there," one camper said.

"They won't return calls, and we've asked them to sit in a roundtable conversation with the traditional owner, myself, and the federal police, if we can sit down and talk about even getting a permit just for the time until the end of next week."

Scenes turned violent when a scuffle broke out after a 65yo woman was tackled and arrested by police.

Police pepper-sprayed the crowd as the crowd sprang to her defence.

"There are women and children here," said one witness on the scene.

"I saw an old lady getting dragged away, fellas getting stomped on the ground."

"We were all prepared to take the infringement notices, without a problem, and we've been prepping everyone here to be really calm," said another.

"It's going to look really bad for you guys because what happened there was unacceptable".

A man in his 80s identified as a war veteran was injured in the incident.

As he was carried away many from the camp embraced him for standing up to the police.

"Never ever quit, even though I've got a crook leg, I'm still walking and I'm still fighting and I'm never quitting. Never live by fear ... Hold the line!," he said.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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