The arrest of an iconic activist on Sydney’s streets has been branded as “disgusting” after footage of police restraining him emerged online.
Video of what appears to be 74-year-old Danny Lim surrounded by three officers in Barangaroo on Friday was shared to Facebook by Niki Anstiss.
“I saw three police officers brutally rip his sign from his back and arrest him while he was screaming for them to not take his sign,” Ms Anstiss claimed.
She said Lim, who is famed for standing on Sydney streets wearing a sandwich board emblazoned with anti-corruption political messages as well as peace-promoting slogans, was merely trying to “make people smile” before his arrest.
In the clip, three officers can be seen surrounding Lim as he screams for them to not take his sign.
Two male officers can be seen pulling Lim’s arms behind his back.
Ms Anstiss said as Lim was detained one officer “dragged” his small dog as members of the public tried to remonstrate with police.
“It was the most spiteful act of bullying I have ever seen,” Ms Anstiss said.
“This is absolutely disgusting”.
Arrested for ‘offensive behaviour’
Hundreds have since flocked to the video post of Lim’s arrest, agreeing with Ms Anstiss his treatment was unfair.
“I find the need for force absolutely descipable,” one user said.
“Don’t pick on poor old people bending their arms every which way,” another proclaimed.
While it is unclear what Lim’s most recent sign said, the bottom of his message can be seen in the footage, reading: “WHY C****?”
The sign may have been one he has previously paraded which reads: “SMILE C***! WHY C***?”
A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News a 74-year-old man was detained by officers for “offensive behaviour”.
“About 9.20am on Friday 11 January 2019, officers from Sydney City Police Area Command issued a 74-year-old man with an infringement notice for offensive behaviour on Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson failed to respond to Yahoo News’ request for further details of the arrest or offer a response to claims officers’ actions were heavy handed.
Lim sprung to national fame in 2015 when he was charged for one of his signs targeting former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“Peace Smile, People can Change, Tony You Can’t,” the sign read, with the letter A in Can’t turned upside down, appearing as a U.
Yet his conviction of offensive behaviour was later overturned in court with judge Andrew Scotting saying “the impugned word is now more prevalent in everyday language than it has previously been.”