Two arrested during Occupy Sydney protest

Protesters dragged away

Two men have been arrested during the Occupy Sydney protest this evening, police say, while a stand-off between protesters and police continued past 9pm - the deadline reportedly given by officers for people to move on from the park.

Senior police officers met protest organisers about 5.10pm to discuss their behaviour while they were assembled in Hyde Park, police said in a statement.

Police say they told the protest organisers that they had to abide by all local by-laws.

About 6.05pm, police say they saw that a tent had been erected in the park. The use of the tent breached the Local Government Act and police approached the group to speak to the tent owner.

A woman, who was in the tent, allegedly resisted police and escaped with the help of the crowd, which allegedly became hostile towards the officers, police said.

A 29-year-old man allegedly intervened and hindered police. He was arrested, although police allege he continued to resist arrest and escaped when he was being taken to a police vehicle.

He was taken to the Sydney Police Centre where he is expected to be charged with resisting police, hindering police and escaping lawful custody.

A second man was arrested after he failed to comply with a police direction to move on. He was also taken to the Sydney Police Centre where he is expected to be charged.

The tent was removed from the park and confiscated by police.

Up to 100 Occupy Sydney protesters linked arms in a defensive ring as police took one man away about 8pm, allegedly for offensive language.

The protesters - who had been in Hyde Park since their march ended about 4.30pm this afternoon - chanted: "Occupy, this is what democracy looks like."

Police cleared milk crates and cupboard pieces used for sitting outside the ring. Just before the stand-off, police went around the gathering to film the protesters and were in turn filmed by media and protesters.

After 8pm, a busker strummed on his guitar and sang Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changing about 20 metres away.

Protesters were discussing whether to "stay collectively" and refuse to comply with police directions to move on, or to "leave collectively".

Police took away another protester about 9.25pm after she climbed a tree. The woman came down when asked to by police, but was then taken away by officers as she yelled repeatedly "let go of me" and said she had followed police instructions.

The mood had lightened by 10.20pm, with some protesters playing the drums and dancing to music as police looked on.

The protesters said they were still waiting to be given a formal move-on direction by police.

Glenda Kwek, Steve Jacobs

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