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Mullumbimby Original Camp Removed

Mullumbimby Original Camp Removed

Titanyah and friend atop of one of the barricades at Stan Robinson Park

Mullum's 'original people' drop-in centre and encampment outside the council chambers has now been removed. Five reinforced concrete barricades, about waist height and more than a metre wide have been placed outside council's main entrance and the entrance to the Stan Robinson Park, preventing vehicular access and the return of the 'original people'.


Deborah Lilly went to the site yesterday (27.9.10) and instead of the sacred fire, colourful tent and friendly ambiance were two security guards and BSC officer John Rushforth. Mr Rushforth explained that the 'original people' had said they would be 'in occupation' for 72 hours and in fact stayed more than three weeks and council had deemed there to be health issues in allowing them to stay longer.

The security guards were apparently employed for one day and evening in case of vandalism. One of them, with multiple face piercings, explained to Deborah that Woolworths would provide jobs for fruiterers and butchers. When asked about local shops possibly closing down, he shrugged and said "that's progress".

The Stan Robinson Park is the site where a statue of Nick Shand, founding editor of the local independent newspaper The Byron Shire Echo was located. Nick died in 1996, ten years after founding the newspaper in reponse to heavy handed police activity oppressing the community over possible marijuana growing, and which went unreported by local media. Nick's stand on social justice has been maintained by The Echo and is one of the hallmarks of the popularity of the paper. Unfortunately his statue was vandalised and removed from the park, just as the 'original people' encampment, also standing for social justice, has been removed.

Apparenly Uncle Harry had agreed to leave on Saturday and most of the camping material had been removed by Monday. It is strange then  that council would be so heavy handed. The Cost to the ratepayers for hiring a secuity company, and installing the concrete barricades must be substantial, when the police would have been sufficient.
By Monday lunch  time, a small group was still at the park sitting on the Nick Shand bench.
 

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