|Issue No 99||15 June 2001|
Across the Barricade
Extracted from Police News
The Police Association's Don Freudenstein gives a different perspective of the M1 blockade.
May 1st is traditionally a day when unionists and others march and/or demonstrate against perceived ills that beset modern society. This May Day was to little different except when a small minority of radicals took on the NSW police and blemished what started off, and in fact finished off as a peaceful protest.
Don Freudenstein from your Field Services Division was on site from 4am to 5pm in an effort to ensure that members' industrial rights were maintained. There was close co-operation between the Police Service Commanders, Dick Adams and Donald Graham and your Organiser was privy to events as they happened on the day.
Stand down areas and the provision of food and water to the members on the ground was generally to a high standard. However, as in any event of this scale there were glitches that will be worked through by your Association and the Police Commanders.
Informal discussions took place frequently on the day between Don and Dick Adams, Donald Graham, Ron Mason, Peter O'Brien, Mark Wade and various Tactical Commanders and OSG Team Leaders.
From the time Bridge Street was closed to traffic between Pitt and George Streets the crowd varied between 350 to roughly 500 with a maximum strength of about 700. The vast majority of the protesters were there to exercise their democratic right to protest and things remained calm until about 9.50am when a Kombi Van entered the blocked off section of Bridge Street, near the ASX. When attempts were made to remove the Kombi by using a tow truck the situation escalated and arrests were made in the face of strong resistance from the small minority of radicals at the protest.
The OSG and Mounted Troop were deployed and formed lines in Pitt Street just south of the intersection with Bridge Street. Numerous scuffles were underway and the Mounted Troop and OSG dealt with the situation in a most professional manner. Remarkable restraint was shown in the face of extreme provocation by sections of the protesters.Commander Dick Adams, who was in charge of the operation said, "They tried to roll marbles under the hooves of police horses in an attempt to bring them down. I am particularly disappointed in the demonstrators who poured petrol on the roadway when horses were coming through, in an effort to set them on fire."
Superintendent Ron Mason was the first casualty of day when he was repeatedly stabbed in the right thigh by someone in the crowd. Ron received about five puncture wounds and a scratch about three inches long. It is surmised that the instrument used to stab Ron was the pin from a police nameplate that had been ripped from a member's uniform. Ron was treated by the Ambulance Officers in attendance and soon rejoined the fray.
Numerous other members received bruises, abrasions etc whilst engaged in their lawful duty.
Michael McGowan from Endeavour Region OSG was taken to the casualty section of Sydney Hospital suffering from suspected broken ribs. Commander Lola Scott attended the Hospital to check on the condition of Michael as did Dick Adams and John Hartley.
Don Freudenstein and together with another Association organiser, Kel Graham, also attended the hospital to check on Michael, but at the time of their visit he was in X-Ray. It is pleasing to be able to report that X-Rays revealed that Michael did not suffer a break to his ribs and he was released from hospital and able to return to his home.
After what must have seemed an eternity for the members involved in the confrontation in Pitt Street the roadway was cleared of protesters and they were redirected into Bridge Street and the OSG and Mounted Troop, assisted by General Duties and Traffic Police maintained lines to keep the protesters in that area.
The protesters then marched with a police escort throughout the lower end of the CBD and finally returned to Bridge Street where a live band kept the protesters relaxed until the completion of the protest. The last members deployed at the site left the area at 6pm.Commander Dick Adams praised the efforts of police involved in the operation to minimise protester violence. The broader community should also give a vote of thanks to you the members deployed at the protest for your professionalism in dealing with such a prolonged situation. All our members from the Traffic, General Duties, Detectives, Mounted Troop, OSG, STIB, Video Unit, Rescue Squad and elsewhere, from Command Level to Team Leader Level to Practitioner Level, did themselves and their union proud. We thank you.
Interview: In Defence of the Umpire
Australian Industry Group chief Bob Herbert on why the Industrial Relations Commission is worth fighting for.
Unions: Diary of a Dude
One.Tel worker Warren Manners thought he had a dream job and no need for a union. That was until the money ran out.
Legal: Dot.Com Casualties
The high profile collapse of One.Tel had significant implications for its employees. But what about its contractors?
Industrial: The Shopfloor, United
Chris Christodoulou argues that without an active union membership, workplace democracy is just a pipe dream.
International: A Saharawi Woman's Plea
Sydney unionist Stephanie Brennan travelled to Africa to witness first-hand the struggle for independence in West Sahara.
History: Once Were Tuckpointers
Trawling through the files, Paul Howes stumbles upon some unions that represented workers long departed.
Politics: Out Of The Comfort Zone
In his new book, Brett Evans argues that while Labor is honing its reform agenda, it is still struggling to reform itself.
Satire: World Domination
The US has threatened not to pay the UN the money it doesn’t pay anyway.
Review: Wiped Out
Bread and Roses is a new movie about the struggle of invisible office cleaners to gain dignity and respect at work. Pity you won’t see it here.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005