ALMOST 100 protesters have been arrested after clashing with police in ugly scenes in Melbourne after they were evicted from their CBD camp.
The scuffles spilled into city streets after officers forcibly removed Occupy Melbourne demonstrators from the City Square, dragging many writhing and kicking, and carrying others.
Police denied using excessive force to break up the protests, which blocked major city intersections and public transport for most of the day.
About 95 people were arrested, police said, but most have been released without charge.
More than 20 protesters had minor injuries and one was taken to hospital. Two officers were also injured with one taken to hospital to have his eye flushed after police used pepper spray. Eight police cars were damaged, police said.
Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana said police tried to use minimum force. He said protesters were given plenty of time to make their point and leave. ”We don’t really want to engage in this sort of activity but we’re not going to back down either,” he said.