Protesters close off Main St despite court application

 

HUNDREDS of protesters closed off Main St at Kangaroo Point during a rally on Sunday supporting asylum seekers being held in a nearby hotel, despite police successfully making an application to court to stick to side streets.

The protesters gathered in Raymond Park, behind the Pineapple Hotel, Sunday afternoon about 200m from where 120 men are being detained at Kangaroo Point Central Hotel.

After being addressed by organisers as they sat peacefully in the park, they marched en masse to the hotel chanting, "free, free the refugees" and "no hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here." It follows more than a week of protests at the site, which at times have turned ugly, with activists accused of fighting, screaming and jumping on parked cars.

Councillor Jonathan Sri, centre, at the protest on Main Rd. Picture: Richard Walker
Councillor Jonathan Sri, centre, at the protest on Main Rd. Picture: Richard Walker

Sunday's demonstration was described as peaceful and was limited to two hours after police successfully applied to a Brisbane court to place a time constraint on the rally to limit disruption to traffic and local residents.

The application was also for protesters to stick to two side streets and not on Main St but Sunday's crowd were seen gathered on Main St and even sitting on the road, temporarily shutting it down.

Police line Main St to keep it clear of protesters. Picture: Richard Walker
Police line Main St to keep it clear of protesters. Picture: Richard Walker

Supporters have been camping outside the hotel and sometimes in the rain for more than a week to stop the men being relocated elsewhere.

Earlier this week, Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said there were about 100 men detained at the complex and those determined to be refugees could resettle outside of Australia.

Protesters march down Main St. Picture: Richard Walker
Protesters march down Main St. Picture: Richard Walker

"They decide for themselves if they want to fully settle in PNG, in Nauru," Mr Tudge said.

"If they haven't got a refugee determination status they can return to their home country or indeed to return to the United States if that option is available to them."

A police spokesman said there had been no arrests at Sunday's protest.

Protesters near the hotel where asylum seekers are being held in Kangaroo Point. Picture: Richard Walker
Protesters near the hotel where asylum seekers are being held in Kangaroo Point. Picture: Richard Walker

Brisbane Greens Councillor Jonathan Sri attended Sunday's rally - a week after he was arrested at the site. He said he was charged with one count of contravening a direction of an officer but last week said police withdrew the charge. He has since demanded an apology from Queensland Police.

Originally published as Protesters close off Main St despite court application



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