“They then proceeded to block the streets with walls of police and push people out of the area."
Queensland DJ and one half of electro act, Bombs Away, Sketch Coleman, has skewered the NSW government and local police force following a raid at a Sydney nightclub over the weekend.
The popular dance duo were scheduled to play at Candys Apartment on Saturday night, however the gig was cancelled after police shut the venue down.
Speaking exclusively to The Music, Coleman claims he witnessed "government-sanctioned standover tactics first-hand" when police arrived at the venue.
Coleman also alleges "between 30-50 police in full gear poured out of unmarked buses and into the venue, shoving people out of the way, including one of the officers unnecessarily shoulder-checking [band mate and brother Tommy Coleman] against the wall in the entranceway on his way past, telling people to ‘fuck off home, we’re closing it down'".
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It was later reported that police only made one arrest after shutting the venue down; a 21-year-old male who was found in possession of 60 MDMA capsules.
It has been speculated the man did not enter the venue at any time in the evening.
"Upon leaving the venue we saw multiple men in the street dressed as party goers pull ID and vests out and reveal they were also police officers and push someone against the wall - not the person charged," Coleman further alleges.
"They then proceeded to block the streets with walls of police and push people out of the area.
"We saw a cameraman from another venue told not to film and heard multiple other people saying they were told the same thing, although we did surreptitiously take some photos on our way out of the area."
Coleman accused the authorities of carrying out the otherwise-unsuccessful raid on Candys to disrupt nightlife businesses.
"In our opinion, it was a heavy-handed transparent excuse as part of an ongoing policy of intimidation with the aim of shutting down one of the remaining successful venues in the area in order to replace them with development projects," Coleman says.
"Regardless of their internal justification for the operation, it was clear on the night their only interest was disrupting nightlife businesses, the lives of the people who work in them and the experience of everyone going out for the night.
"We went out to another venue later that night which also had an extremely intimidating police presence disrupting their trade, albeit to a lesser extent than Candys obviously, and I believe this was the case at multiple venues across the city on the night.
"We think the best response to Saturday and the current attempts to dissuade party-goers from attending events, is to be back at the venue lining up as soon as it reopens and show them that we can't be intimidated."
Candys Apartment licensee, Dainan Mancuso, echoed Coleman’s comments, describing the police’s actions as "disgusting" and claims police never made contact with management before arriving.
"We weren’t informed," Mancuso tells The Music.
"They carried on like someone had died in there. I replayed the footage, there’s over 60 police. What a waste of taxpayers money. And they got nothing."
Mansuco alleges that he was told by authorities that there was a safety concern inside the venue.
"They said, 'We think there’s a safety issue for the general public'.
"I said, well, arrest someone. If there’s really something wrong, arrest someone. Arrest me. What’s wrong?"
The Music has contacted NSW police for comment.