Sydney BLM Activists Defy Supreme Court Ruling and Demand Answers From State Premier

July 27, 2020 Updated: July 27, 2020

Sydney’s Black Lives Matter organisers have said they will consider postponing their protest on July 28 if New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian can commit to two things.

Firstly, they would like the premier to ask SafeWork NSW to investigate the death of Indigenous prisoner David Dungay Jr.

Secondly, the organisers want the state government to request the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate whether charges should be laid against the guards involved in Dungay’s death.

The NSW Supreme Court ruled the protest as illegal on Sunday, but organisers have vowed to carry on despite it being unauthorised.

David Dungay Jr, who has become a symbol of the Australian Black Lives Matter movement, was serving time in jail for assault, aggravated attempted sexual assault, and being party to robbery.

He died in Sydney’s Long Bay jail in 2015, after being restrained and sedated for refusing to comply with police.

A video that captured the moments before the Dunghutti man’s death showed him struggling as they sought to move him to another cell.

Paul Silva, David Dungay Jr’s nephew, told The Guardian that the family wants justice.

“I tell you what, if the premier can commit to asking SafeWork NSW and the DPP to investigate whether charges can be laid in relation to my uncle’s death. I’m sure that we can put off the protest,” Silva said.

Sydney Lives Matter

Avi Yemini of TR News said that now is not the time for a protest and that “Sydney lives matter.”

“You’re organising thousands of people now, urgently, in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, for a violent criminal who died half a decade ago,” Yemini said last Wednesday.

Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman echoed Yemini’s sentiments on Sky News on Monday.

“You don’t have a rally about saving lives by putting lives at risk,” Zimmerman said.

Labor MP Peter Khalil said that there are ways that the organisers could raise public awareness even more broadly than you would with a rally.

“They could do what we did for Anzac Day, where we all lit a candle in the front of our driveways. Millions of people participated,” Khalil said.