Three weeks ago I had every faith in the police. I respected them and the jobs they do. They had helped me out on occasions where I was vulnerable. I would defend them to anyone who said “cops are bullies”.
The last three weeks have slowly changed my perspective. I have never been arrested, and not come close to that in Occupy. In the last three weeks, the most apparent ‘crimes’ I have committed were: eating in Martin place past 9pm and sitting on the grass in Hyde Park.
Last night I was shocked and saddened by the sexism, mocking tones, mind games, taunting and the overt and unnecessary aggression which I both witnessed and experienced from riot police in NSW during the time we were there. When at the last moment, as they agressively lined up and pushed us out of the park to enforce the ‘move on order’ I attempted to humanise myself to the riot cops.
I told them they *helped me* once when I was violently attacked. My face was solemn. The response? They openly mocked me. One did the “cry baby” tear trail down his cheek. I started to cry, silently, in frustration and sadness. My whole body shut down. The way they treated me was so bad I will be making an official complaint about this police conduct.
Its hard to condense the hours of harassment and aggression in just one post. It wasn’t an isolated experience. It was continual, deliberate and cruel.
It saddens me that I have gone from a position of respect, to being ashamed of the police, because of the way they have treated their fellow human beings during this movement, and ashamed of the orders given from the top – Commissioner, Premier.. that has sanctioned this type of reaction and dehumanisation of the amazing people who are Occupy Sydney.
Maybe there is truth now to all those who said cops are bullies. you expect them to catch rapists and murderers and bankers who commit fraud. Not a genuine peaceful protest.
As one senior Duty Police Officer told me on Friday night when myself and another girl expressed our thoughts that ‘Riot cops seems to be a different kind, like you have to have certain characteristics” he looked at us and said “thats where they end up”.
A first hand account of what happened last night, November 5th, 2011 in Hyde Park, Sydney.