NSW Police must do their utmost to ensure that a protest scheduled for Sydney’s Black Lives Matter does not happen as organisers prepare to challenge a NSW Supreme Court decision banning the protest.
The court sided with the police claim on Sunday that the possibility of COVID-19 communal transmission resulting from the CBD rally made the scheduled event on Tuesday too dangerous.
Justice Mark Ierace found the state was on the “knife-edge” of further escalation in cases in the aftermath of a second wave outbreak in Victoria, despite low numbers of population transmission in NSW.
NSW Police said anyone who was thinking about joining the “unauthorised” protest would rethink that alert officers would not hesitate to appropriate action.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott revealed this should not be seen as punitive action by officers.
“We missed out on Anzac Day and the Royal Easter Show and we have to make sure that we ensure that these health regulations, these health orders, are complied with or otherwise we will find themselves in a situation like they have in Victoria,” he told Nine’s Today show on Monday.
“It’s actually arrogance and it’s probably the most dangerous act that anybody could do during a pandemic is organise a mass gathering.”
Organizers are currently preparing to risk prosecution and go through with the rally before sending a petition to state parliament signed by 90,000 people calling for justice for Aboriginal man David Dungay Jr.
Mr Dungay, a diabetic, died in 2015, after prison officers stormed his prison cell in Sydney to stop him from eating biscuits.
Since the judge issued his orders on Sunday, a rally organiser lawyer, Paddy Gibson, demanded that they be indefinitely postponed in order to allow the Court of Appeal to lodge an appeal.
Mr Gibson created a safety plan for COVID in which he explained that participants should wear masks, exercise hand hygiene, and leave contact information with organisers so that they can be contacted in the event of a positive coronavirus test.
He argued that protesting was, and must be accommodated, a basic tenet of democracy.
The matter is scheduled to be heard by the Court of Appeal at 10 am on Monday.