The judge thus granted the police claim, which considered that the “risk to public health” outweighed the value of the right to protest.
The Supreme Court of the Australian State of New South Wales has again prohibited racial discrimination protests scheduled for 12 and 13 June in Sydney. This was reported Friday by Judge Michael Walton, whose speech was broadcast from the courtroom on the state government’s official website.
The judge granted the New South Wales State Police claim, which demanded that mass protests and rallies in Sydney be banned because “the risk to public health, that is, the likelihood of widespread coronavirus, outweighs the [value] of the right to protest”.
According to the organizers, about 1.5 thousand people intend to take part in mass actions in defense of racial equality and refugee rights. The state police said the organizing committee had no control over the size of the rally, and it would be “unjustified and unacceptable risk”. “The judge has made it clear that this protest will be an unauthorized assembly, and the residents of the state must respect this decision. If people decide to break the law and come to the protest, police will not hesitate to take action,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police Mick Willing.
The day before, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged his fellow citizens to withdraw from any mass protests and said violators of health bans limiting public events would face charges.
A week earlier, state police had already received an injunction against a protest against racial discrimination called Black Lives Matter. Despite this decision, the rally, which was attended by more than 10 thousand people, still took place. And the state appellate court revoked the injunction a few minutes before the official start of the rally. Large-scale solidarity marches were also held in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide, and more than 60,000 people participated, according to police reports.
Mass protests and riots broke out in many states of the United States after the death in Minneapolis, Minnesota, of African-American George Floyd. Police used a brutal strangulation during his May 25 detention. A day later, all four police officers involved in the arrest were dismissed. In the following days, they were charged.