POLITICS

Charges Expected Over Hand-Gluing Parliament Protest

More security, police in Canberra after refugee protest.

07/02/2017 3:39 PM AEDT | Updated 07/02/2017 4:34 PM AEDT
Fairfax Media
The banner unfurled from the top of Parliament House last year

The loud, historic protests that shut down parliament in November may end in legal action.

On November 30, a large group of protesters inside the House of Representatives began chanting during the daily question time session, shouting pro-refugee slogans and criticising the government's detention policies.

"You are all complicit in the murder, rape, torture and child abuse of refugees," the chants said, mentioning Manus Island, Nauru and Christmas Island.

"You shame us on the international stage."

Some protesters allegedly glued their hands to the seats in the public gallery. Later they were escorted out of the chamber but allegedly refused to leave the building, with security and police forced to intervene. It led to wild scenes in the corridors.

The next day, more protesters demonstrated outside Parliament House.

A large banner was unfurled from the top of the building, and red dye was poured in the outdoor water feature.

As federal parliament returned for its first 2017 sitting day on Tuesday, Speaker of the House Tony Smith said an investigation into the events had commenced, and that it was now a police matter.

"Four briefs of evidence have been referred by ACT Police to the Commonwealth director of public prosecutions for evaluation along with the recommendation charges be laid," Smith said.

"The briefs relate to charges of criminal damage to leatherwork in the chamber gallery and the forecourt water feature, and trespass on the facade of the building."

Smith said there would be a "more visible presence" of parliamentary security and Australian Federal Police inside Parliament House to avoid any such protests happening in future.



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