POLICE forcibly removed up to 50 residents from WestCONnex’s Sydney Park construction compound after the locals peacefully attempted to stop the destruction of trees in the park.
Residents linked arms around fencing that WestCONnex contractors had erected on the road to block trucks from entering the compound. Residents chanted “Stop WestConnex” and “Baird out now” before up to 20 officers, including riot police, forcibly carried them off the road.
Several residents were manhandled by police, including one instance where an officer from the riot police pushed one resident into another, causing them to fall into lanes open to traffic.
Police then formed a human barricade to allow WestCONnex trucks into the site.
“It was incredibly disappointing to see police once again ignoring the legitimate concerns of the community they serve, and acting as private security for the corporations building Mike Baird’s deeply unpopular WestCONnex tollway,” said WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) spokesperson Dr Vince Polito, who was one of the local residents dragged away by police.
“Residents repeatedly asked the police whether they’d checked if WestCONnex had approval for the works. At one point, an officer told a resident she didn’t care if the works were right or wrong. But isn’t distinguishing between right and wrong what our police are supposed to do?”
Dr Polito said residents would continue taking peaceful direct action to stop WestCONnex.
“Residents will continue to occupy Sydney Park to protect it from WestCONnex’s destruction for as long as Bulldozer Baird tries to push his sham project through,” said Dr Polito.
“Our protest camp has now blockaded the site for 24/7 for three weeks. We want Sydney Park saved, no more houses demolished, no St Peters Interchange, and no WestCONnex.
“Despite Baird’s promises, the only people who’ll win out of WestCONnex are toll road companies. Not hardworking families across Sydney, who’ll be left facing more tolls and traffic than ever before,” said Dr Polito.
Contacts: Vince Polito 0420 758 577, Alana West 0421 336 365