NEWS
28/07/2020 10:33 AM AEST | Updated 28/07/2020 1:50 PM AEST

Sydney Black Lives Matter Protest To Go Ahead Despite Court Ban

Organisers, who expect about 500 people to attend the rally, said they would adhere to COVID-19 social distancing rules.

Organisers vowed to press ahead with a Black Lives Matter protest on Tuesday Sydney, despite a court ruling it would be an unauthorised gathering in breach of coronavirus protection measures.

The march, arranged to build on momentum from global rallies for racial justice and against police brutality, was called to highlight the deaths of Aboriginal people in custody.

It comes as Australia experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases. On Monday it reported its highest ever single-day increase in cases after a flare-up of infections in Victoria.

Lisa Maree Williams via Getty Images
Activists gather in The Domain to rally against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody on July 05, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. 

New South Wales is also battling several virus clusters and authorities have warned people taking part in the rally that they risk arrest.

Organisers on Monday lost a bid in the Court of Appeal to overturn a lower court ruling that NSW Police had the right to prohibit the rally.

Organisers, who expect about 500 people to attend the rally at midday, said they would adhere to social distancing rules. People will be spread out as far as possible in groups of 20 and given hand sanitisers and masks.

“I don’t see why there’s no reason at all why we can’t have a peaceful protest,” Paul Silva, one of the organisers, told the ABC on Tuesday.

Health Minister Greg Hunt made a last ditch plea for people not to attend, asking them to instead use social media platforms or arrange a silent vigil outside their homes.

“Don’t. You could take somebody’s life. It’s as simple as that,” Hunt told Sky News.

Australia has recorded just under 15,000 cases of COVID-19 and 161 deaths as of Monday and authorities have warned more lives would be lost due to the spike in cases.

Reporting by Renju Jose

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