TWO-anti Israel activists have been found guilty of assaulting police outside chocolate retailer Max Brenner last year.
Sergio Tobon and Stephen Evans were convicted and fined $500 each last week by the Melbourne Magistrates Court for assaulting police during a violent scuffle in July last year. The incident occurred outside the store in Melbourne’s QV Square, at which 19 Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) protestors were arrested.
While charges of trespass and besetting were dismissed after lengthy consideration by magistrate Simon Garnett, Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said he had spoken to the Attorney-General about the judgement.
“I’ve asked the Attorney-General to get an indication from Victoria Police, in due course, as to whether they seek to appeal the judgement,” said Baillieu. “I remain very concerned when there’s any protest that seeks to close down a business and I believe, from what I’ve read and what I’ve seen, that [with] this particular protest group [BDS] that is their intention. And I remain concerned about that and I believe others do as well,” he said, labelling the BDS movement as “bigoted, dangerous and shameful”.
“Last week, when trespass and other charges against the BDS protesters were dismissed, they claimed this as a victory for the right of peaceful protest,” said executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim.
“This week, after two of the same group were convicted and fined for assaulting police, they are strangely silent. Their claim that BDS demonstrations are always peaceful has been exposed as a lie.”