POLICE conducting a raid on a building occupied by protesters shone lights into the cameras of members of the media, preventing some filming of the operation.
Five people were arrested for barricading themselves inside a building and unfurling an Occupy Sydney protest banner, a NSW police spokesman said last night.
He said about 40 other protesters were outside the building at the time.
A number of television cameramen, photographers, and protesters documenting the event had the police lights directed at them.
Hugo O'Connor, 25, who was filming with the protesters, said the police were trying to obstruct him from documenting what was happening.
“That was one of the disturbing things I saw tonight,” he said. “They were following me around and there was a guy with a torch”.
The police superintendent in charge of the operation was invited to comment on the allegations but could not be contacted last night.
The NSW police spokesman said that about 4:30pm yesterday police were informed a number of “Occupy Sydney” protesters had forced entry to the building on Clarence Street via the rear fire doors.
Police including Public Order and Riot Squad, Operational Support Group, Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal Squad and the Dog Unit attended the scene later that night, and after trying to negotiate forced entry at about 9:30pm.
Five people were arrested from inside the building and one other person was arrested from the protest out the front for failing to comply with a police direction.
The 40 protesters who were outside the building were then moved-on by police, he said.
Tim Davis Frank, who was at the protest, disputed that the protesters were moved on. He said police had pushed them ten metres down the street before moving away.
He said three of the five people arrested in the building, which was vacant and had been occupied for at least a week, were homeless.
“The right to housing … gives people the right to occupy buildings that are otherwise vacated,” he said.