Australian riot police have broken up a week-long anti-capitalism protests in Sydney, with demonstrators claiming they were forcibly evicted from their city centre campsite in violent dawn raids.

Police said 40 people were arrested after resisting orders to pack up their shelters outside the Reserve Bank of Australia.

They have been holding peaceful protests since last Saturday as part of the global "Occupy" movement.

The protesters had been repeatedly told to move on because they were in breach of the city's camping regulations.