Sydney Black Lives Matter Protest Organisers Vow To March Even If It's Illegal
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The organisers behind next week's Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney are vowing to march even if the event is deemed illegal.
NSW Police have taken the organisers to the Supreme Court to try and stop it from going ahead, but it seems like they will do it regardless of the court's outcome.
The protest is being partly set up by the family of Aboriginal teenager David Dungay Junior, who died in Long Bay jail in December 2015. The rally has been earmarked for next Tuesday, July 28.
Anywhere between 1,000 to 4,000 people have said they will attend the rally, despite concerns it could be damaging to people's health during a pandemic.
David's nephew Paul Silva said they will push on even if the event is declared illegal.
"We're going to continue demanding justice for David Dungay Junior," Mr Silva said. "The whole world has seen the footage of him being held down and begging for his life."
Another organiser, Paddy Gibson, said they have set up a coronavirus-safe plan to ensure everyone is safe. That includes socially distancing themselves from one another, mandatory mask wearing and hand sanitiser being available during the event.
Mr Gibson has hit back against the NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller's claims that the event won't be safe because of what has happened in Victoria.
"There is no truth whatsoever in what the Police Commissioner has said," Mr Gibson said.
Mr Fuller said there are fears a gathering of such a large group of people could cause a second wave in New South Wales.
"Relying on some pretty good intelligence from Victoria, we know how dangerous these protests can be, in terms of health," he said to 2GB Radio. "At the moment, you just can't take chances."
However, authorities are yet to find a single case where someone contracted the coronavirus as a result of going to the rallies in Melbourne last month.
There were several people who tested positive after attending the Melbourne BLM rally, however they have determined that these cases were picked up before the event was held.
Interestingly, a team of Indigenous doctors have called for next week's rally to be postponed until the threat of the coronavirus has subsided.
The Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association released a statement saying: "For the sake of our Elders and most vulnerable, AIDA urges people not to attend the Black Lives Matter protest marches in Sydney this weekend until the risks of further spread of COVID-19 can be mitigated.
"We acknowledge the work of Black Lives Matter protest organisers in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in protests held so far, and do not link existing cases of COVID-19 to previous protests.
"Despite this, as doctors we are bound to remind everyone that social distancing is still the best way to prevent the further spread of this potentially deadly new virus."