Footage from an anti-weapons protest at Brisbane’s Convention Centre on Tuesday morning appears to show Queensland Police using excessive force to arrest a protester.
In the video posted on Twitter, the man is being held face down on the concrete after allegedly being tackled from behind. He is also allegedly hit, and had his pants partially pulled down.
Police using excessive force at the protest against weapons expo in Bne this morning. Tackled this person from behind, pulled down their pants, hit them.
1 slapped my phone from my hands when they saw me filming their face, another appears to take off their badge. pic.twitter.com/KNqeAw5YUP
— Emerald Moon (@emeraldxmoon) May 31, 2021
Emerald Moon, the person who filmed the video, told PEDESTRIAN.TV that this particular arrest happened down the street from the main protest gathering, where several speeches were made and anti-weapons protestors of all ages were peacefully protesting the expo.
“I didn’t see what happened to start that level of violence,” they said.
“But it was down the street from where the speeches and gathering was, where people were heckling the arms dealers and other representatives of the companies involved with the weapons expo as they entered.
“I started filming as soon as I realised what was happening, and then I immediately went and told the legal observers what had happened.”
The ABC reports that seven people were arrested at the protest following clashes with police, with protestors reportedly throwing fake blood on the stairs and concrete of the Convention Centre. Around 80 police officers were in attendance, with the protest itself being made up of approximately 150 anti-weapons activists.
In a press conference at the Brisbane protest, QLD Police Acting Inspector Michael Coulson confirmed that the arrests were made for offences relating to public nuisance and wilful damage, and that police are looking to “continue working” with the protestors for the remainder of the demonstration over the coming days.
“We’re just hoping the protest groups can actually work with us, and we can help facilitate a more peaceful protest,” he said.
“We’ll be working as close as we can with the protest organisers to make sure that it’s a safe event and that everyone’s able to get their message out. They certainly have been talking to our police negotiators.”
Other images from the Brisbane protest show a heavy police presence at the Convention Centre where the international defence industry event – which showcases weapons systems, armoured vehicles, helicopters, and other defence equipment – was about to begin its three-day event.
Protests this morning in Brisbane as the Land Forces exposition kicks off. An international industry event to showcase equipment, technology & services for the armies of Aust & the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
"…where the business of war will be very much on display." Echo 2021 pic.twitter.com/wMBGFJx2tv
— Jo Staples (@leapingfences) May 31, 2021
Speakers at the Brisbane protest reportedly included representatives from the Refugee Action Collective, local Indigenous community members, campaigners against Islamophobia, and local Greens state MP, Amy MacMahon.