Australian supreme court granted a bid on Sunday to prevent Black Lives Matter protests from happening in Sydney, accepting police concerns about possible coronavirus outbreaks.
Several thousand people had been expected to gather in Sydney on Tuesday to protest the deaths of Aboriginal people in custody, building on the recent international Black Lives Matter protests due to the killing of George Floyd.
The protest was organized by the family members of David Dungay Jr, 26, an indigenous man who died after being restrained by police at a Sydney jail in 2015, where footage showed him repeatedly telling officers “I can’t breathe.”
Supreme court justice Mark Ierace granted the bid to halt protests as police cited concerns about the spread of coronavirus to protestors, the public and police officers.
The New South Wales police “strongly urged” people to not attend the “now unauthorised” protest, as “police will not hesitate to take appropriate action if required.”
Protestors will continue to march regardless of the ruling
Thousands of protestors are vowing to march Tuesday, regardless of the Supreme Court blocking the demonstrations.
NSW Police Minister David Elliot warned those planning to attend the rally that action by law enforcement will be swift and those who attend could face fines or six months in jail.
However, organizers have indicated they plan to lodge an appeal and they will march regardless of the threat of large fines or jail.
Dungay’s family accused the police of “trying to silence black voices” and went on to say, “we won’t stop until there is justice for David Dungray Jr.”