Road protesters confront police over East West Link drilling

ABC: Road protesters confront police over East West Link drilling. Updated Thu 9 Jan 2014, 11:25am AEDT

East West Link protesters have clashed with police for a second day in a row when they tried to march down a major road in Melbourne’s inner north.

The protesters are trying to stop test drilling along the route of the first phase the East West Link, the new 18-kilometre road link that will connect the Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Road.

As part of the preparatory works, there will be test drilling at up to 16 sites between Collingwood and Carlton this month.

The protesters play a daily game of cat and mouse with police gathering at a different drill site every day.

They form a human chain around it and when they refuse to leave, police move in to break up the protest.

Then they move on to a different site.

This morning around 50 protesters attempted to march down Alexandra Parade in Fitzroy near a drill site.

They were stopped by riot police.

The group was eventually moved to the footpath and moved to another drill site in Reeves Street, Clifton Hill.

Protester Ben Convey says the use of police force was excessive.

“The riot cops just charged in at us and they pushed a woman to the ground,” he said.

“They’ve tried to block off a fence entrance that we were trying to get through to get back to the pavement and they just like surrounded us.

“(They) chased some of us down into the street. It was just ridiculously over the top.”

The protesters are trying to delay the project.

They say the issue should be taken to the next state election in November.

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