Media Releases 2011
Group camped at Edinburgh Gardens asked to leave
08 November 2011
Yarra Council is urging people camping at Edinburgh Gardens to end their stay at the popular residential park peacefully.
Mayor Alison Clarke said she was hopeful the campers would agree to leave and that Council would be on hand to help them move their belongings and arrange counselling where needed.
She said while she supported freedom of speech and the right to protest, she had been very clear with the group from the start that Edinburgh Gardens was a local suburban park not suitable for camping.
“We have also been honest with the group about the likelihood of residents being upset and have continually urged them to minimise their impact on the park and community,” Cr Clarke said.
“I think the community itself has been incredibly patient with the situation but they are now telling us it’s time for the group to leave.”
Cr Clarke said Council initially understood the campers at Edinburgh Gardens were part of the global Occupy movement which is demonstrating against social and economic inequality across more than 1500 cities worldwide.
“After meeting with the official logistics team from Occupy Melbourne today, we now know the people at Edinburgh Gardens are operating independently of Occupy Melbourne.
“We have a number of concerns about the camp at Edinburgh Gardens including that there is an increasing number of underage people staying overnight. We have been in contact with support agencies who have been on site to talk to and provide support to the young people involved.
“We are also concerned about the state of the sprawling camp with tents, tarpaulins, shopping trolleys, pot plants and more.”
Cr Clarke said Council’s aim has always been to resolve the situation peacefully and without the violence and anger that marred the eviction of protestors in Melbourne on 21 October.
“The situation at Edinburgh Gardens is very different than that of Melbourne and Treasury Gardens. Our park is a local suburban park surrounded by houses and used by thousands of local Yarra residents and visitors each week.”
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