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Greater Sydney's Latest Lockdown Measure Has Been Labelled 'Racist'

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Greater Sydney's Latest Lockdown Measure Has Been Labelled 'Racist'

New South Wales recorded the highest daily increase in coronavirus numbers yesterday (July 8) with 38 tests coming back positive.

It is a concerning twist for authorities as they thought lockdown measures across Greater Sydney would prevent this from happening.

The Premier, Health Minister and Chief Health Officer asked everyone under lockdown to heed the stay-at-home orders but specifically called out western and southwestern Sydney residents, with numerous cases and exposure sites coming from those areas in recent days.

In order to ensure these residents are complying with the rules, an extra 100 officers and mounted police units will be deployed to the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government to do spot checks.

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It's hoped the increased police presence will ensure everyone is doing the right thing.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke said: "This is about us working together to comply with these orders and about police supporting [the community]. Where we don't get that compliance, however, we will enforce."

Questions have been raised about why this wasn't done to the likes of Bondi (which is ground zero for this latest outbreak and has seen hundreds of maskless people roam around) or the Northern Beaches when it went into lockdown late last year.

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While there was an increase in police patrols in those regions during their outbreaks, there wasn't a coordinated, targeted and publicly announced mission.

It's prompted a serious outcry from politicians and race campaigners.

Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi wrote on Twitter that the decision to send police into multicultural areas has obvious subtext.

"Over-policing of multicultural communities is a recipe for disaster. The mounted police were never called into Avalon or Westfield Bondi. The double standard is there in plain sight," she said.

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That sentiment was backed up by the racial justice organisation Democracy in Colour, with National Director Neha Madhok telling SBS it amounts to 'thinly-veiled racism'.

"This isn't a public health response, it's explicitly targeting people of colour and working class communities in the western suburb," she said. "Inner city suburbs and the Northern Beaches have had significant cases but they have not been harshly policed like this."

Lebanese Muslim Association president Samier Dandan added to the ABC: "This is highly problematic and reinforces the experience of this community being over-policed and continues to create heightened sensitivities around the over-scrutinisation of these communities.

"We would have appreciated a much more balanced response and something that is more in line with their response to communities elsewhere who had similar clusters."

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To support the fight against racial injustice visit ladbible.com/unheard

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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