Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement in Sydney, Australia, plan to go ahead with a rally set for Saturday despite a Supreme Court injunction ruling that it is illegal.
Police in the state of New South Wales (NSW) took the matter to the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney on Friday night in a last-ditch attempt to have the protest banned due to coronavirus safety concerns.
Supreme Court Justice Desmond Fagan ruled that an NSW Public Health Order banning large gatherings “applies to everyone” and that in this case the right to protest is being “deferred.”
Fagan added that social distancing has been crucial to Australia’s suppression of the disease. As of Friday, NSW had not had a local contraction of coronavirus for nine days. Four new positive cases announced on Friday involved people returning from overseas.
Earlier on Friday, NSW Police Commissioner David Elliot referred to anyone who planned to protest on Friday as “nuts.”
Protest organizers, however, said they would continue with the march. “We are not going to stop. We are going to march. We don’t care what any acts of law tells us what to do because those acts and laws are killing us,” said Letona Dungay, the mother of David Dungay, an Aboriginal man who died in a Sydney prison in 2015.
In a statement on Friday night, NSW Green Party MP David Shoebridge wrote: “First Nations people are organizing this protest and asking for solidarity. Let’s be clear with this late decision people will still attend. We will now work to make any gathering as safe as possible.”
Source: CNN News