Chaos at Melbourne Cup as Manus Island protesters arrested

Yahoo and Agencies


Protesters (have) blocked a passenger train line and scaled a crane near Flemington Racecourse, calling for Manus Island refugees to be brought to Australia.

Manus Island protesters scale crane at Melbourne Cup; Protesters use a car to block rail lines heading to Flemington, and scale a crane to unfurl a banner at the races. At least two people have been arrested.

A car has been driven across tracks at Ascot Vale with a protester locked inside and Metro Trains has told passengers to expect delays of more than an hour.

Seven News aerial footage shows two people being detained at the train tracks in Ascot Vale, near the racecourse that hosts the Melbourne Cup, where the car was parked.

At least two Manus Island protesters have been arrested after a car was used to block rail lines heading to Flemington. The protestors caused public transport delays on Cup Day. Source: 7 News

Police confirmed a woman was arrested at the scene in relation to a car being driven on to the train tracks at Ascot Vale. “The vehicle will be removed from the line and trains will resume shortly,” Victoria Police told 7 News in a statement.

Metro Trains earlier advised Major Delays on the Flemington line due to a motor vehicle stopped across rail lines. “Police are on-site, please listen for announcements. We are working to get trains moving,” the rail network tweeted.

“We are really appalled at the situation on Manus Island and we think it’s really inappropriate for people to be celebrating when there are individuals with no water and no security,” Flemington protester Sonia Arquette said on Tuesday. The group is not aligned with any organisation.

Manus Island protesters scaled a crane at Flemington and unfurled a banner saying ‘SOS: Evacuate Manus Now!’7 News

“We don’t want to be doing this but we feel we have no choice when there are 600 people starving,” Ms Arquette said. “We are calling on the Australian Government to bring the refugees to safety.”

            Two woman climbed a crane near the Flemington race track to unfurl a banner in protest. Pictures: Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance

Passive protests have proven ineffective and protesters wanted to make sure people paid attention, she added. “This should be a priority and it’s not right to be celebrating when this is happening,” Ms Arquette said.

Earlier today, Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court rejected an application to restore water, electricity and food supply to the Australian-run Manus Island detention centre in which nearly 600 men have been barricaded for a week, refusing to move.

The men in the facility have defied attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close the camp, refusing to move to three transit centres despite having little food or drinking water, and several men needing medical help.

The men have repeatedly said they will not move to the transit camps because they feared local residents may attack them.

The court’s ruling could further prolong the stand-off described last week by the United Nations as a “looming humanitarian crisis”.

In a separate event on Melbourne Cup day, two woman climbed a crane near the Flemington race track to unfurl a banner which read “SOS: Evacuate Manus Now”.

“We are joining with others across Australia to demand that the government evacuate the men on Manus immediately and bring them to safety for processing,” Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance spokeswoman Charlotte Lynch said.

The groups are not believed to be affiliated.

Manus detention centre court case rejected

Refugee collapsed with heart pain on Manus

Manus Island refugees fear for lives

PNG minister urges Manus detainees to move


Australia, Manus Island