This morning at 8:45am a peaceful Occupy Melbourne Protester was forcibly stripped of her protest costume and discarded on the ground in her underwear in public.
The individual in question was part of the Occupy Melbourne protest and was dressed in a protest costume made from a converted tent. The significance of the costume was to highlight restrictions placed on protesters staging a 24/7 protest in Flagstaff Gardens.
The protester was surrounded by at least 4 Melbourne City Council officers and 8 Victorian police officers. Her movement was restricted by the formation of officers surrounding her and she was subsequently restrained as officers proceeded to aggressively removing her costume.
At each stage she declared that she did not consent or feel comfortable with the actions of the council and police officers, stating that this was a sexual assault. “This is not consensual”, She said while the costume was being removed
Her requests and declarations were ignored as officers continued to rip and jostle her costume and person. A knife was requested and used by MCC Officers as the Protest Costume was cut from her body with blades. The remaining severed costume was violently torn from her body while the protester herself was choked, then discarded, semi-naked and crying on the ground as Vic police and MCC officers walked away with the costume.
No effort was made to assess her health or wellbeing after the incident nor conceal her disrobed body.
“How would you would feel if this was your daughter standing up for her civil and democratic rights?” asked media team member Sam Castro.