NSW’s highest court has banned a Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney’s CBD, which was expected to draw thousands of people, from going ahead today.
Supreme Court Justice Des Fagan refused to authorise the march over fears it would spread COVID-19.
Police say the initial plan for the Sydney event, which was provided by the organisers, indicated just 50 people were expected to attend.
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However attendee numbers quickly rose in excess of 5000 people, prompting police to hold major health and safety concerns.
As a result, an application to allow the protest to go ahead was heard in the NSW Supreme Court overnight, where it was refused, meaning the protest “cannot proceed lawfully”.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says police will be out in full force in Sydney’s CBD today to enforce the court’s decision, with protesters urged to instead show their support from home.
“Police hold serious concerns about thousands of people gathering together in close proximity in the current health environment, as our priority is always community safety,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“The NSW Supreme Court has upheld these concerns this evening, and I strongly urge those considering attending to respect that decision.
“Police will have a strong presence tomorrow to ensure the law is obeyed.
“If people choose to disobey the Supreme Court ruling and attend the planned protest regardless, they need to be aware they are doing so unlawfully and police will respond accordingly.”