Protesters seek to ‘disrupt’ Land Forces expo

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Queensland police were seen pinning a man to the ground by the neck in scuffles connected to an anti-war protest in Brisbane.

The protesters showed up on Tuesday morning in opposition to the Land Forces expo, which was billed as the region’s “premier international land defence exposition, showcasing equipment, technology and services for the armies of Australia and the Indo-Asia-Pacific”.

There was a heavy police presence, with some 80 officers attending.

A number of the officers lined up at the steps of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre as a few dozen protesters made noise and held banners.

A video from the scene that was posted to Twitter shows several police officers wrestling a protester on the ground, ripping his shirt off and pinning him by the neck.

Emerald Moon, who shot the video, said she started filming after she saw the man being “tackled” to the ground.

“I don’t know what prompted the incident that I filmed, all I saw before that was protesters just basically heckling people attending the weapons expo,” she said.

“I saw two or three officers tackling this person from behind and that’s why I grabbed my phone and started filming.”

Ms Moon, a former Greens candidate for the federal seat of Bowman, said the video showed an officer slapping her phone out of her hand.

Queensland police declined to comment on the video.

By mid-morning, seven people had been arrested, including two people suspected of wilful damage after allegedly throwing red pain on an Exhibition Centre staircase.

There were also five arrests for alleged public nuisance offences, police said.

The three-day industry and defence conference has been designed around themes of capability, innovation and technology.

At least 600 companies are set to participate in the event.

In a video, “Disrupt Land Forces” invited everyone to join them to “end war profiteering” and global warming, and take part in demonstrations from Tuesday through to Thursday.

The group says it does not want war on Australia’s doorstep and has reportedly been trying to disrupt people entering the building.

According to a Sunrise report, the group has been “yelling abuse” at people.

Greens state MP Amy MacMahon, who was present at the rally, said in a statement: “Land Forces is a publicly-funded weapons expo, with public money going towards promoting local and international companies that are profiting off warfare and companies that are lobbying to weaken our gun laws”.

“I’ve asked the Treasurer to disclose how much public money is going towards this event, but there is a serious lack of transparency.”

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