Police have begun an operation to clear a protest camp near Old Parliament House in Canberra.
The operation on Friday followed a request from the National Capital Authority to “remove structures and vehicles that are on Commonwealth land without a permit”.
ACT police used a loudspeaker to announce all tents, caravans, vehicles and other camping equipment must be removed from the area by 4pm AEDT or police would remove it.
They said camping within the parliamentary triangle without a permit constituted a breach of Commonwealth law.
One protester yelled: “Shame on you.”
It followed a court hearing for two men charged over a December 30 protest, in which the doors of the now-museum were set on fire.
Protesters from the “Muckudda Camp” on Thursday sought to enter Parliament House but were prevented by police, with several arrests in the forecourt.
The ‘sovereign citizen’ group has been arguing against COVID-19 vaccinations and calling for the federal government to be “evicted”, among other issues.
Its Facebook page includes promotion of unproven COVID treatments.
The page also promotes an event scheduled for Saturday to “take old parliament [and] reinstate lore”.
Representatives of the nearby Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, have distanced themselves from the protesters.
In an Instagram post, an embassy representative said the protesters were “breeding this cult-like mentality”, fearing there was “potential for people to get seriously hurt”.
Local Ngunnawal elders have also asked the protesters to leave.