East West Link protesters block car carrying Premier Denis Napthine

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Herald Sun: East West Link protesters block car carrying Premier Denis Napthine. Matt Johnston, Michelle Ainworth. 19 March 2014

Police will investigate an ugly incident in Melbourne that saw a mob of protesters surrounding a car carrying Premier Denis Napthine and resulted in a man injuring his ankle.

At least one of the protesters, who are angry at the government’s decision to build the East West Link, lay on the bonnet of the government car driven by the premier’s security team.

Protester Toby Dite was later taken to hospital after the car allegedly rolled over his ankle when he stood in its way.

Other protesters shouted slogans against the tunnel and waved placards.

Protesters later claimed that the car tried to “ram through” protesters.

Link protesters block Premier’s car
East West Links protesters surround a car with Premier Denis Napthine inside.
Video footage appears to show the car at a crawl as it tried to leave the building.

Spokesman for the premier, Mark Lee, said Dr Napthine “has full confidence in Victoria Police and the dedicated officers who are responsible for his personal security”.

He said sometimes the officers “have to act in very difficult and challenging circumstances”.

Protest organiser Anthony Main said Mr Dite had been taken to hospital after the incident.

“It looks as if he has a fracture in his foot,” he said.

He also accused police of trying to “intimidate Toby in his hospital bed”.

Mr Main also warned that if Dr Napthine came “into our neighbourhood” between now and the November election, “we will be there to protest”.

A police spokeswoman said the incident will be probed.

“Police are aware of an incident involving the premier and a car the premier was travelling in,” she said.

“Victoria Police will investigate to establish what has occurred.”

matthew.johnston@news.com.au

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