The Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney has been banned over warnings it could spark a coronavirus outbreak.
The decision comes after the NSW government proposed an injunction to have the protest called off in fears it could lead to another outbreak of the killer virus.
The rally was due to kick off on Saturday afternoon in the heart of Sydney’s CBD at Town Hall with more than 10,000 attendees expected.
Across Australia, thousands are expected to to protest over the weekend – showing support for Indigenous Australians and demanding an end to police brutality.
But despite the devastating announcement, thousands of Australians have vowed to flout social distancing rules and flood into Sydney regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Protestors are seen waiting outside the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon while waiting to hear if the Black Lives Matter protest would be cancelled due to COVID-10 restrictions
The matter was put to the NSW Supreme Court on Friday with protesters anxiously waiting outside to hear the verdict.
People were seen carrying signs and the Aboriginal flag, demanding the protest go on.
Justice Desmond Fagan accepted the protest could be considered ‘illegal’.
‘I cannot accept that these proposals … should take the place of the public health order which applies to all citizens,’ he said.
The protest follows the death of unarmed black man George Floyd, who died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
Since his death, protests and riots have erupted across the world and sparked a social media movement to end racial inequality.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian previously gave Saturday’s protest the greenlight, but has since changed her mind amid fears it could lead to another coronavirus outbreak.
‘If people had made the decision to express their views strongly in a COVID-19 safe way, which is the comments we made yesterday and the comments the day before, that would have been acceptable within the health orders but that is not the case,’ she said.
The protest is due to kick off on Saturday afternoon in the heart of Sydney’s CBD in Town Hall and there is expected to be more than 10,000 people present
Marches are expected across Australia over the weekend to show support for Indigenous Australians and protest against police brutality
Ms Berejiklian said under current restrictions only 500 can join together in public gatherings.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said they had been monitoring the situation.
‘I spoke to the Premier this morning and said on the basis of that, the only option was for the protesters to cease their wish to protest, or for us to take the matter to the Supreme Court,’ he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison simply told people to ‘not go’.
‘Our message is very clear, that the health risks of gathering in such large numbers and the risks of people coming into close proximity are real,’ he said.
‘It is important for people to have the right to protest… but with those liberties comes great responsibility for individuals.
‘Let’s not misuse that liberty. Let’s respect it.’
Health Minister Greg Hunt also weighed in saying it wasn’t the right time.
Thousands of protesters are planning to break COVID-19 restrictions to march in support of the Black Lives Matter movement this weekend (pictured: protestors in rally in Sydney on Tuesday)
Dakota Gotty, 21, (pictured) says she will attend the protest as she has experienced racism firsthand
Protestors are seen wearing face masks outside the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon (pictured)
‘There will be a time, there’s always – always – a time for protest, but it is not at this moment,’ he said.
Those who are planning to attend the protests say they are aware of the risks but the the movement is too important to miss.
Dakota Gotty, 21, told Daily Mail Australia the protests are very personal for as she has experienced racism first hand.
Ms Gotty lives in Sydney but is from New Zealand, she is of Maori descent.
She said herself and her family members have been discriminated against because of the colour of their skin.
‘Just because we have different coloured skin doesn’t mean we should be treated differently,’ she said.
Ms Gotty said she was planning on going to the Sydney rally and hoped others would join her.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on Monday May 25 after an officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes while making an arrest.
Protesters participate in a Black Lives Matter rally, following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Sydney on Tuesday