Tens of thousands of people protested in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests in the US and to demand Indigenous justice in Sydney today.
Protestors had already packed out the Town Hall intersection in anticipation of the rally before the Court of Appeal announced the march would be authorised.
Prior to the Court of Appeal decision, the protest had been deemed prohibited meaning protestors could have faced criminal sanctions if they refused police move on orders or obstructed traffic.
This appears to lend support to organisers’ arguments in court that the protest would have occurred regardless of approval by the police or courts.
Aunty Leetona Dungay, mother of David Dungay Jr who was killed at Long Bay Prison, addressed the crowd saying “I’m marching for my son and nothing is stopping me. If we don’t march, they’ll keep killing people”.
The crowd heard repeated chats of “I can’t breathe”, referring to the final words of both George Floyd and David Dungay Jr.
The march ended in Belmore Park where protesters gathered to listen to more speeches, and kneeled for three minutes with their fists in the air.
Police were present in large numbers at the rally. Whilst there was no standoff between protestors and police for the duration of the march, Honi has heard that people have continued protesting, and are currently facing off with police in Central Station and Eddy Avenue.
At least one person has been arrested with reports of aggressive ‘kettling’ by police.
Simultaneous protests were held in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, drawing tens of thousands across the country.
Protests against police brutality against black peoples, sparked by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police, have occurred throughout the US over the last week.
More to come.
This is a developing story, and Honi hopes to be on the ground soon to report.