Australian Black Lives Matter Protest Blocked by Supreme Court
Sydney BLM rally prohibited from going ahead over social distancing concerns
A Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney, Australia has been blocked from going ahead by the Supreme Court over concerns about social distancing, according to reports.
BLM protesters who turn up for a planned rally in Sydney next week face fines and arrest following the NSW Supreme Court's ruling.
On Sunday, the court sided with police and dubbed the event a prohibited public assembly.
The radical-left protest was planned to go ahead on Tuesday.
But seconds after Justice Mark Ierace announced his ruling, a lawyer for BLM leader Paddy Gibson demanded the court's orders be temporarily suspended to allow for an appeal to be lodged with the Court of Appeal.
Gibson has threatened to take the case all the way to the High Court.
NSW Health's Jeremy McAnulty rated the risk of transmission at the rally as "medium" and told the court he was concerned about whether social distancing could be maintained.
Organizers have nevertheless promised to risk arrest and gather outside Town Hall at noon on Tuesday as planned.
Protesters will then walk to Parliament House where a petition will be delivered calling for justice for Indigenous man David Dungay Jr, who died in a Sydney jail in 2015.
Mr. Gibson's lawyer had argued yelling "Black Lives Matter" in a protest was more important to a democratic society than going to a football match.
Therefore, promoting the Marxist BLM organization should also be accommodated in times of pandemic, the attorney claims.
"Going to the aquarium, going to sex-on-premises venues, going to football matches - these aren't essential to our democracy," lawyer Felicity Graham said.
"Protest is," Graham added.
Mr. Gibson produced a COVID safety plan like those businesses require to operate.
The plan states that people should wear masks, practice hand hygiene, and leave contact details with organizers.
Gibson says that Black Lives Matter organizers could then notify all attendees in the event a demonstrator tests positive to coronavirus.