Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed anti-racism protestors as NSW police attempt to block a Sydney Black Lives Matter rally due to coronavirus concerns.
The Black Lives Matter protest is scheduled to take place in Sydney on 28 July amid a spike in COVID-19 numbers in NSW and recent health orders banning large groups of people.
Scott Morrison and the NSW Police are attempting to block a Black Lives Matter rally set for 28 July amid concerns of a COVID-19 spike.
Speaking to 2GB radio on Wednesday, Scott Morrison criticised the organisation of the event, saying, “That’s appalling.”
He urged people to abide by restrictions over concerns that the large protest could further accelerate a spike in coronavirus numbers. “There’s no special rule for people to not obey the law. What gives people a ticket to not obey the law?” he continued.
The protest currently has more than 4,000 people interested with the aim of highlighting the issue of indigenous deaths in custody.
Despite his concerns over the large gathering, Mr Morrison was recently pictured at a Cronulla Sharks game against Penrith Panthers on July 11, where an audience of 3,277 gathered at Kogarah Oval.
— Christopher Johnson (@Dream_Brother_) July 22, 2020
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller warned that the NSW Police would attempt to block the rally, with his comments in line with the Prime Minister’s own sentiment.
Mick Fuller told Sky News on Monday, “The question is, do you want your protest to be one that puts NSW back five or 10 years economically because that’s exactly what could happen.”
The NSW Police will attempt to get the rally blocked by taking the case to the NSW Supreme Court, with the hearing set to take place on Thursday afternoon.
“I think it could be devastating to anyone’s cause to cause the next cluster breakout in NSW. Win, lose or draw we can still take action against people for breaching health orders,” Fuller described.
Work, public transport, holidays, footy, pubs, shopping, gambling at your local casino, protesting against lockdowns/vaccines all “okay” according to Scott Morrison.
But attending #BlackLivesMatter protests wearing a mask and observing hygiene is “not okay”.
— 💧🌏🏳️🌈Jenny Frecklington-Jones; #HowDareYou🖕 (@JonesHowdareyou) July 22, 2020
The comments of the NSW Police and Scott Morrison were echoed by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who told ABC TV, “Irrespective of the issue, we need to follow the health advice – large crowds are a huge concern. We cannot allow that march to continue, unfortunately.”
“If people feel strongly about the issue, they’re welcome to express their views in different ways, but it’s just not a sensible at this time to expose yourself and others to the spread of the virus,” She continued.
The comments come after more than 20,000 people gathered across eight games in round nine of the NRL for an average attendance of 2,500 per game.
— Sincerelynotsorry (@sncrlynotsorry) July 21, 2020
Acknowledging the concerns, the organisers of the Black Lives Matter rally have provided a ‘COVID-19 safety checklist’ in a post on Facebook on Monday, in which the wearing of masks, social distancing, and obeying hand hygiene are all encouraged.
“While large crowds continue to gather in Sydney for commercial purposes… we will continue to assert our rights to protest,” the post reads.
We’ll keep you updated on more as it comes.