Professor Simon Rice was pushed to the ground by NSW Police during a peaceful protest against University staff cuts and fee hikes at the University of Sydney yesterday.
Professor Rice was acting as a legal observer, as part of research into protest. He was then thrown to the ground, arrested and fined by police. He told police he was not participating in the protest and was trying to move past when he was pushed to the ground.
Students and staff were protesting the government’s changes to higher education, university funding cuts and job losses.
Other students and staff are violently arrested
Multiple students and staff were arrested, with another violently thrown onto the ground. University of New South Wales student Shovan Bhattarai told the Guardian that she now had a deep graze on her arm, and bruises up the side of her body. The following video contains strong language:
Police officers violently force students from the road, throwing one young woman to the ground. https://twitter.com/honi_soit/status/1316224862889754624
— Honi Soit (@honi_soit) October 14, 2020
“They threw me into the gutter and violently arrested and detained some others …This is the violent response NSW police dish out to staff and students taking a stand against education cuts. Me and thousands of other students around the country will not be intimidated by these attacks,” Bhattarai told the Guardian.
Arrested and $1000 for breaching COVID-19 health restrictions
Professor Rice, who is the University of Sydney’s Kim Santow chair in law and social justice, was watching the protest with students who are working on reforming protest law in a volunteer capacity.
“The only way I could get out was to walk through to Parramatta Road, then when I walked past the police they made a move,” Professor Rice told the Guardian.
“It was violent without causing any particular harm. Disproportionate force, completely unjustified.”
Professor Rice was arrested and fined $1000 for breaching COVID-19 health restrictions.
If you were affected by the protest that took place yesterday, contact O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors for a free consultation to see if we can help you take action against the NSW Police