05 June 2020

New South Wales Supreme Court blocks Sydney's Black Lives Matter protest deeming it unlawful

The New South Wales Supreme Court has ruled that a planned Black Lives Matter protest in the state capital Sydney cannot go ahead.

Following a hearing that lasted over four hours, Supreme Court Justice Desmond Fagan revealed that the inability to adhere to social distancing measures at such an event were ’the key element’ in ruling against it.

He said that allowing it to take place during the current pandemic would be ’an unreasonable proposition’ but added that he was not denying protesters of their right to gather and was merely ’deferring’ it until it was safe.

The protest was initially planned to take place in Sydney on Saturday June 6 in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

It was anticipated to attract an attendance of 4000 although NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant claimed it could be up to 10,000 people - a figure which heavily influenced the final decision.

Protesters held signs outside the Law courts while the hearing took place (AAP/PA Images)

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, protesters have deemed the NSW decision as ’appalling’ and organisers are still planning to go ahead with their Saturday rally.

Activist and member of the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance group Tarneen Onus-Williams said the group believed the NSW decision was a move to ’silence Aboriginal people’s voice.’

"Considering the NRL is going ahead next week, this has shown that police and government are targeting Aboriginal people," she said, adding: "We’re an essential service, saving black lives and protecting black lives is an essential service”.

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