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Democracy the forum of choice for the hard–working
letter published in The Australian, 24 October 2011
[Square bracketed sections deleted by Editor]

I was puzzled to read the questioning in your editorial (22-23/10) of the police action in forcibly removing the Occupy Melbourne group from its week-long camp at City Square.

Of course, protest groups have a right to be heard, but there are many places in Melbourne where this can be achieved without interfering with business and other activities and without establishing camps that occupy public spaces. Those seeking change also have open to them the potential to influence policies in our democratic institutions.

More generally, the preparedness of Victorian police to take forcible action in such circumstances is a welcome development. [Under a recent head they had earned the reputation of allowing protesters to physically disrupt legitimate functions, including when international conferences were held in Melbourne.] A return to policing that exercises stronger control over disorder is long overdue.

Des Moore
South Yarra

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