The NSW Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the police, in prohibiting an upcoming Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney, and has warned people to stay away from the planned gathering.
As Fairfax reports, the prohibition order hasn’t banned the rally, but in ruling it as a prohibited public assembly, leaves attendees open to potential criminal charges for breaching public health orders.
Justice Mark Ierace granted the order on Sunday, and it will come into effect on Monday morning at 10am. A plan submitted to police by Paddy Gibson revealed that an estimated 500 attendees plan to walk from Town Hall to Parliament House.
The rally was organised by the family of David Dungay jnr, a Dunghutti man who died in police custody in 2015, and protesters were set to present a petition calling for the arrest of prison guards who restrained him.
Barrister Felicity Graham is representing the organisers, and said that an appeal will be lodged against the decision as soon as possible.
Justice Ierace said referred to the increased risk of coronavirus transmission in NSW following the second wave of the virus in Victoria as a key reason for his decision.
“That current assessment of the level of risk, in spite of relatively low numbers of community transmission, is consistent with New South Wales presently being on the knife edge of a further escalation in community transmission of the virus,” he said.
In a statement, police said that while it “recognises and supports the rights of individuals to exercise their right to free speech, large-scale events, such as these, are currently subject to restrictions under the Public Health Act.
“As such, police will not hesitate to take the appropriate action, if required.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was unable to block the Sydney Black Lives Matter rally back in June from going ahead.