Protesters blast ‘rogue’ riot squad members
A SMALL element of "rogue operators" from the Sydney-based Public Order and Riot Squad have been criticised by protesters at the Glenugie blockade for deploying heavy-handed tactics.
CSG Free Northern Rivers spokesman Adam Guise, who acted as a police liaison on the day, said a series of unwarranted arrests and acts of excessive force were being documented by witnesses.
"We'll be making official complaints through the appropriate channels," Mr Guise said.
Mr Guise said the anti-CSG movement had a "very good working relationship" with local police who understood opposition to CSG was a widespread mainstream movement and didn't want to jeopardise that relationship.
"We don't want this to be turned into an 'us against the police' issue ... the local police were fully respectful and professional in their duties, and it was only a few rogue riot officers who were heavy-handed in their duties."
Grafton area commander Superintendent Mark Holahan defended police action.
"The majority of pro-testers co-operated with police and complied with their directions, unfortunately we're alleging 18 people took things too far," he said.
"I understand this can be a very emotive issue, but people still need to act within the confines of the law."