Despite court allegations, a second Black Lives Matter protest is set to go ahead in Wollongong today. The protest is scheduled for 1pm in McCabe Park, upon stolen Yuin and Dharawal land.
The first protest was held at the Crown Street Mall amphitheatre with over 3000 attendees. Although people took precautions during the protest to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the police were determined to prevent the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
The NSW police took the matter to the Supreme Court where they were successful in having the protest banned. Despite this, Jasmine Duff, a member of the group of local organisers, is adamant that the protest will go ahead,
“This ban is outrageous, and we are determined to go ahead. It is clearly a politically motivated attack upon freedom of speech.”
There has only been one case of coronavirus community transmission in Wollongong for over six weeks with the last protest causing no spike in cases. Ms Duff is convinced the court allegations are an injustice.
“For the courts to deem the protest illegal while other gatherings such as sports events are normal, is an expression of how political arguments critical of the government and the police are being silenced.”
The group is aware of the health risks and hope to keep the event incident free by taking the same precautions as they did two weeks ago.
The rally is taking place in a widespread area so that social distancing measures will be taken. All who attend are also required to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Ms Duff is determined that the protest go ahead as it is not only an event to oppose racism but also stand up for civil liberties.
“The pandemic had not stopped the police from killing black people either in Australia or the USA,”
“That means we need to keep fighting.”