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Protest Over Court Trial For NZ Activist

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 29 NZPA - A small but vocal protest was held outside the Australian High Commission in Wellington this afternoon to show solidarity with a New Zealander facing trial in Australia over her role at G20 protests in Melbourne in 2006.

Sina Brown-Davis's trial starts today. She is charged with affray, rioting, possessing a prohibited weapon and intentionally damaging a police van.

Thousands of people were involved in the largely peaceful protest in 2006, but small groups of demonstrators threw rocks and bottles at police and smashed a police riot truck's windows.

Today 14 members of Wellington Anarchist Black Cross gathered outside the high commission gates.

Veteran activist Valerie Morse read a statement from supporters in Melbourne, using a loudspeaker. The group used whistles and sirens.

Police spoke to the group when they tried to hang signs protesting against free trade, land alienation and the prison system from the gates but otherwise kept a low, but watchful, profile.

Ms Morse said Ms Brown-Davis was having serious charges levelled against for peacefully protesting and if found guilty she could be jailed for as long as 25 years.

"Frankly we would like to see the charges against Sina dropped."

She spoke to Ms Brown-Davis yesterday.

"When I spoke to her yesterday she said she was very worried and anxious about the court appearance today, was scared about going through the court proceeding but felt like she had some good support and solidarity."

The protesters wanted to meet High Commissioner Paul O'Sullivan but had not put in a request as previous attempts had been rejected.

The commission declined to comment.

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