The current protests in support of Black and First Nations people have come at a unique time given the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Indigenous Australian television host Shelley Ware, a proud Yankunytjatjara and Wirangu woman, has said she won’t be able to attend a Black Lives Matter protest this week as there are still active cases of COVID-19.
“If you choose to go to the rally in Melbourne or any rally please keep safe. COVID is still very real, our community is doing a brilliant job of sending that message,” the former Marngrook Footy Show presenter wrote on Facebook.
“I have chosen not to attend, as I do a lot of hands on care for my husband’s 80yr old parents and I can’t risk their health. I will stand with you at home and on other platforms. 🖤💛❤️”
Although there are less than 500 active COVID-19 cases in the country, Australia has yet to eliminate the novel coronavirus.
We know Indigenous Australians are in a high risk category when it comes to the virus and health experts said we could expect to see a spike in cases in the coming weeks.
Of course, there’s much more work to be done to address and dismantle systemic racism and protesting is part of that, pandemic or not.
People going to the protests have been encouraged to wear masks, use hand sanitiser, avoid touching your face and maintaining at least 1.5 metres between you and anyone not in your household.
People in Perth and Sydney have protested this week against police violence and mourned not just George Floyd but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives lost at the hands of police (David Dungay, Kumanjayi Walker and Tane Chatfield to name a few).
For more information about how to keep safe while protesting, click here.
Protests Across Australia:
Time and date: 1-5pm Saturday, June 6
Meeting place: King George Square
Time and date: 3-5pm Saturday, June 6
Meeting place: 20 Lee St, Chippendale (near Central)
Time and date: 3pm Sunday, June 7
Event: Black Lives Matter Protest
Meeting place: Fogarty Park
Time and place: 2-5pm Saturday, June 6
Meeting place: Parliament House, Spring St
Time and date: 12-1:30pm Saturday, June 6
Meeting place: Victoria Square (Tarndanyangga)
Time and date: 3pm Saturday, June 6
Meeting place: Embassy Of The USA
Time and date: 2-5pm Saturday, June 6
Meeting place: Civic Park
With additional reporting by Carly Williams.