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Brisbane Greens Councillor Jonathan Sri charged for ignoring police orders during refugee protest

Brisbane Greens Councillor Jonathan Sri was arrested for ignoring police orders during protest demanding refugees be released.

Mr Sri was arrested at the rally in Kangaroo Point, in Brisbane, on Saturday and charged with contravening a police direction. 

‘I’ve just been released from the Roma St watch house after being wrongfully arrested while peacefully protesting against the unlawful indefinite detention of refugees,’ the 32-year-old wrote on Facebook on Saturday night.

‘I’m safe and unhurt, but the reports I’ve heard of police using violence against other protesters are deeply concerning.

Mr Sri said he will provide a full statement to the media on Tuesday after seeking legal advice. 

Brisbane Greens Councillor Jonathan Sri (centre) was arrested at the rally in Kangaroo Point, in Brisbane, on Saturday and charged with contravening a police direction

Mr Sri was arrested at the rally (pictured) in Kangaroo Point, in Brisbane, on Saturday and charged with contravening a police direction

Mr Sri was arrested at the rally (pictured) in Kangaroo Point, in Brisbane, on Saturday and charged with contravening a police direction

Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said she was thankful to see protesters make an effort to social distance

Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said she was thankful to see protesters make an effort to social distance

It’s the second gathering of protesters in as many weeks in Brisbane after some 30,000 gathered in support of the Black Lives Matter movement last weekend.

This time though there were only a few hundred demonstrators. 

Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said she was thankful to see protesters make an effort to social distance.

‘I wasn’t there at the protest but I understand the numbers were much smaller than the weekend before and if they did attempt to spread out a bit more it is very good to see, ‘ Dr Young said.

‘I mean it would be very unfortunate that all of the fantastic work done by over five million Queenslanders to date would be undone by a small group.’

About 200 protesters gathered outside Kangaroo Point Central Hotel where the government has housed some refugees for medical reasons. 

Supporters vowed to continue preventing authorities from accessing the hotel.

They demanded the government cease transferring the asylum seekers and return people who’ve already been moved.

‘The reason they are transferring them is because they have caused so much noise,’ protest spokeswoman Ruby Thorburn told reporters on Saturday.

Mr Sri said he will provide a full statement to the media on Tuesday after seeking legal advice

Mr Sri said he will provide a full statement to the media on Tuesday after seeking legal advice 

'I've just been released from the Roma St watch house after being wrongfully arrested while peacefully protesting against the unlawful indefinite detention of refugees,' Mr Sri wrote on Facebook on Saturday night

‘I’ve just been released from the Roma St watch house after being wrongfully arrested while peacefully protesting against the unlawful indefinite detention of refugees,’ Mr Sri wrote on Facebook on Saturday night

About 40 men held signs reading ‘Where Is Justice’ and ‘Refugees Are Without Crime’ while standing on the hotel’s balconies.  

Some of those at the hotel have been in detention for years after coming to Australia for medical treatment.

The organisers also demanded the men be granted freedom of movement.

Mr Sri, who works for Brisbane City Council representing The Gabba Ward, has lived aboard a five by three metre houseboat since 2017.

The 32-year-old bought the cramped boat for $30,000 despite earning a $157,000 salary.

Mr Sri revealed at the time he donated half his wages to charity, and lives well below his means.

‘I get about $150,000 a year. If I was keeping that I could afford to live in a much nicer place,’ he said.

‘Until ordinary workers are paid better and Centrelink is much more reasonable I don’t think it’s fair for politicians to be afforded much higher pay.’

Mr Sri had previously been living in an illegally crowded share-house containing seven other flatmates. 

In November 2018, Mr Sri made headlines for calling on residents to graffiti advertising at bus shelters to hit back at ‘corporate brainwashing.’ 

‘I’m not surprised when I hear that disgruntled residents are vandalising advertising on bus shelters across the city, in fact I wish it happened more often,’ Mr Sri said at the time.

He said council spent $3.5million on graffiti removal every year and that many vandals smashed the glass panels that displayed ads.

‘Not only does this come at a cost, but it also creates a potential public safety hazard,’ Mr Schrinner said. 

Mr Sri, who works for Brisbane City Council representing The Gabba Ward, has lived aboard a five by three metre houseboat since 2017

Mr Sri, who works for Brisbane City Council representing The Gabba Ward, has lived aboard a five by three metre houseboat since 2017 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk