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ACT police move to evict protesters camping outside of Old Parliament House | The Canberra Times


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Police have notified a group of sovereign citizen protesters occupying a space outside of Old Parliament House that they need to move on by Friday afternoon, ahead of protesters’ plans to storm the building on Saturday. An ACT Policing spokesperson said they were “following a request from the National Capital Authority to remove structures and vehicles that are on Commonwealth land without a permit”. “While the operation is ongoing, ACT Policing is asking the ACT community to avoid the area if possible,” the spokesperson said. “Further information will be provided once the operation is complete.” The protest group is not associated with the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which has condemned the group’s actions. In social media footage posted by protesters on Friday afternoon, police can be heard advising people in the camp it is an offense to camp on Commonwealth land without a permit under a 1932 ordinance. The ordinance, which predates self-government in the ACT, allows the Commonwealth to remove people found to be trespassing on national land, which includes the parliamentary triangle. The Trespass on Commonwealth Lands Ordinance 1932 gives the federal government the power to appoint inspectors who can remove people suspected of trespass. The ordinance allows for those inspectors, or police officers, to arrest without a warrant anyone reasonably suspected of trespass who refuses to give their name and address. The protest group, which has camped in an area behind the National Rose Gardens since mid-December, has been linked to a fire at Old Parliament House and confronted police on a number of occasions. Social media posts from members of the group and supporters have circulated in the lead-up to January 15, calling on people to gather outside of Old Parliament House in Canberra to evict the Australian government, and establish a people’s council. “I’m all about being honest … and on Saturday we plan to go through them doors,” one of the protesters said in a video on social media posted in recent days. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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