Police Warn of Virus Risk at Planned Rally

By AAP
July 20, 2020 Updated: July 20, 2020

NSW Police boss Mick Fuller has urged the public not to join a Black Lives Matter rally planned for July 28 in Sydney in case it sparks another virus cluster.

Fuller says NSW Police will attempt to block the protest planned for July 28 in the Supreme Court, as case numbers continue to rise across the state. 

He urged the public not to be “selfish” during this time, encouraging people to protest online in order to protect the community. 

“The question is, do you want your protest to be the one that puts NSW back five or 10 years economically because that’s exactly what could happen,” Fuller said on Sky News on Monday. 

“I think it would be devastating to anyone’s cause to cause the next cluster breakout in NSW.”

Fuller said police will issue infringements at the event if their attempt to block the protest is unsuccessful. 

“Win, lose or draw, we can still take action against people for breaching health orders,” he said.

More than 4000 people have registered their interest in attending the rally, which aims to highlight the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody. 

Event organisers provided “a COVID-19 safety checklist” on Facebook on Monday, encouraging protesters to obey social distancing, wear masks and obey hand hygiene, with “safety teams” present at the rally to monitor and provide these items if needed. 

“While large crowds continue to gather in Sydney for commercial purposes … we will continue to assert our rights to protest,” the Facebook post read on Monday. 

By Ashlea Witoslawski