Thousands plan protest over iconic activist's 'brutal' arrest

Thousands of Sydneysiders are planning to protest the arrest of an iconic Sydney activist, after the incident – described as ‘brutal’ by onlookers – went viral.

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.

Thousands plan to protest the ‘brutal’ arrest (left) of iconic Sydney man Danny Lim (right). Source: Facebook/ Niki Anstiss and Danny’s Page

Mr 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.

Ms Anstiss labelled Mr Lim’s treatment by police as “absolutely disgusting”.

A NSW Police spokeswoman told Yahoo7 Mr Lim had been arrested for “offensive behaviour”.

Lim wearing a sign calling for a stop to violence against women and children at a Sydney train station. Source: Facebook/ Danny’s Page

More than 3,500 people are planning to protest the 74-year-old man’s arrest outside Sydney City Police Area Command on Sunday. Another 15,000 are said to be interested in attending.

“This is a truly upsetting and totally unnecessary event,” one woman wrote.

“Danny and smarty (the dog) always bring a smile to my face – I love that he wants to bring awareness to issues affecting all of us in light-hearted way.”

Mr 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.”