Politics

Gladys Tells Protesters Not To March For Black Lives Matter, But The Footy’s OK

"Large crowds are a huge concern. We cannot allow that march to continue unfortunately," she said.

Black Lives Matter Australia

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Protesters are being warned not to attend another Black Lives Matter rally planned for Sydney next week.

More than 1,000 people have indicated they’ll attend the rally next Tuesday, more than seven weeks after the first one was held.

That June 6 protest was not linked to any rise in community transmission, but it did take place as coronavirus restrictions began to lift across the state. NSW has since reintroduced some restrictions as COVID-19 clusters begin to pop up across the city, and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the state is at a “critical stage”.

“Large crowds are a huge concern. We cannot allow that march to continue unfortunately,” she said.

“If people feel strongly about that issue, they’re welcome to express their views in different ways, but it’s just not sensible, just not sensible at this time to expose yourself and others to the spread of the virus.

“We’re at a critical point in New South Wales and we don’t want to see the virus spread and actions like that are a huge health risk.”

At the time of the last protest 18 new cases had been detected in the previous week. As of yesterday NSW had detected 97 new cases in the past week.

Berejikilian did go on to say the footy is ok, so that’s one mass gathering that gets the green light.

“If it’s a seated-ticked event where there’s good social distancing, ironically, an event like that is more controlled than walking into a public space which may have a lot of people,” she said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also told 2GB there was “no special rule” for people to break the law (in contrast to his comments regarding anti-lockdown protests in May when he said “It’s a free country. People will make their protests and their voices heard”).

“I just think that’s appalling,” he said of the BLM rally.

“There’s no special rule for people to not obey the law. What gives people a ticket to not obey the law?”

“Where the State Government has said that there is a mass gathering that can’t go ahead, well people should obey the law.”

On Monday NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller said he will go to court to block the protest, something he also tried to do last time.

“I think it would be devastating to anyone’s cause to cause the next cluster breakout in NSW,” he told Sky News.

If you are planning to go to a protest make sure you wear a mask and keep 1.5 metres away from other people. Check out more tips for protesting safely here.