Brisbane sovereigns meet with Crime and Misconduct Commission

Audio File  AUDIO:  Wayne (Coco) Wharton - Official Complaint to CMC Lodged CAAMA News 21/05/12

Lara Lauth Quest Newspapers 18th May 2012

Sovereign Tent Embassy members have vowed to regain their camp site in Brisbane's Musgrave Park, after a meeting with the Crime and Misconduct Commission today.

Embassy members attended CMC headquarters in Fortitude Valley this afternoon to file complaints against Premier Campbell Newman, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Police Minister Jack Dempsey and Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson.

Embassy protesters are livid about police ushering them away from their camp site on Wednesday morning. The group was herded then to another section of Musgrave Park, in the process having more than 30 supporters arrested.

"We want the CMC to look at the entire issue of who pushed the buttons," spokesman Sam Watson said.

"I say to both of them (Cr Quirk and Premier Campbell Newman), man up and admit who pressed the button," Mr Watson said.

"As Queenslanders we want to know, number one: just who ordered it (the police action), and two: how much it cost," Mr Watson said.

"We're going to ask them to investigate the activities of the Premier, the Lord Mayor and the Police Commissioner."

Mr Watson, who caught the "red eye" special from Sydney to lodge a complaint to the CMC about the Embassy's relocation this afternoon, said the Aboriginal community and the Greek community had co-existed for 30 years before Wednesday's upheaval.

The Greek's annual Paniyiri Festival was used, in part, as a reason to evict Embassy campers even though festival organisers told the City South News two weeks earlier they had no problem with the presence of the camp in Musgrave Park.

"The Premier has refused to accept responsibility...they've attempted to blame the paniyiri festival," Mr Watson said. "We've been going to the paniyiri festival for the last 30 years."

Mr Watson said the embassy was also considering approaching Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley, to request that the Newman's premiership be suspended until the issue of who ordered the extensive police action, and how much it cost, was resolved.

Mr Watson also urged local businesses and residents whose trade was impacted by police road closures and loss of productivity to take legal action to recoup their losses.

Police said on Wednesday that about 200 officers had been called in to remove embassy members from Musgrave Park.

Cr Quirk said the embassy must leave Musgrave Park before the start of this weekend's Paniyiri festival, which is held annually at the park.

Embassy spokesman Chris Moreton today vowed the group would return to Musgrave Park.

"We're here to stay and we haven't changed that position," he said.

"We have every intention to go back (to Musgrave Park)."