Police keep eye on potential Octagon unrest

Police are keeping a "watching brief'' on potential conflict between "anti-group'' elements opposed to the Occupy Dunedin movement, after a planned protest against the movement fell through today.

Inspector Alastair Dickie said police received information today an "anti-group'' demonstration was timed to take place at 1pm at the Octagon.

''There were calls which went out via the internet for an anti-group to protest against [the occupiers]. We though this had the potential to become a conflict, so have monitored the situation,'' he said.

About five people had showed up at the arranged time. Five police officers had also attended the "non-event'', Insp Dickie said.

Police were prepared to be "peace-keepers'' in any such situation, where conflict might arise, he said.

"There are people with different schools of thought about what is happening [in the Octagon]. We're keeping a watching brief on the situation,'' Insp Dickie said.

Occupy Dunedin spokesman Kieran Trass said the site was visited by another "angry drunk'' last night, who had tried to take tents down.

The man had jumped on to tents and had "crushed'' one occupant inside, he said.

Occupiers had stopped the intoxicated man and notified police of the situation, Mr Trass said.

The man had "landed on someone'' when he had jumped on the tents. He then become aggressive and had knocked a hat off one supporter, who had gone to the assistance of the hurt camper.

A group had tried to reason with the man, Mr Trass said.

"He took a swing at me, but he was so drunk I swayed back to avoid it and he then fell over on the ground.''

The man had run off up Stuart St before police arrived, Mr Trass said.

Supporters involved with Occupy Dunedin were becoming "more and more'' used to dealing with visits from aggressive drunks - especially on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, he said.

Police arrested a 49-year-old male IT professional on Tuesday night and charged him with coomon assault, after the allegedly intoxicated man head-butted a protestor.

A "grossly-intoxicated'' 48-year-old man was taken into custody on Thursday night, after his drunken demeanour became a concern to the Occupy Dunedin demonstrators, who notified police of the situation.

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