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Australian police disperse Black Lives Matter rally

39 Comments

Australian police on Tuesday arrested six people and ordered about 50 others to disperse after they gathered in Sydney for a Black Lives Matter protest despite an official ban because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The march was planned to highlight the deaths of Aboriginal people in custody, building on momentum from global rallies for racial justice and against police brutality.

Police had said the gathering was unauthorized and in breach of coronavirus prevention measures, a position backed by a court ruling on Monday, as Australia tackles a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Police said they arrested six people before the scheduled start of the march in a public park and ordered others to leave the area, saying people had been given enough warning to stay away.

"Over the last 24 hours, we have said time and time again, do not turn up," New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Mick Willing told reporters in Sydney. "We are in the middle of a pandemic."

Of the six people arrested, five were each fined A$1,000 for defying the court order banning the gathering. The sixth was fined for using offensive language.

Reuters estimated there were about 50 people gathered on a rainy day in the city, well short of the 500 people that organizers had expected to attend.

Australia on Monday reported its highest ever single-day increase in cases after a flare-up of infections in Victoria state. On Tuesday, Victoria reported six deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 384 new cases compared with a record 532 cases a day earlier.

New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital, is also battling several virus clusters and authorities have warned people taking part in the rally that they risk arrest.

Health Minister Greg Hunt made a last ditch plea for people not to attend, asking them to instead use social media platforms or arrange a silent vigil outside their homes.

"Don't. You could take somebody's life. It's as simple as that," Hunt told Sky News.

Australia has recorded about 15,000 cases of COVID-19 and 167 deaths, though authorities have warned people could die after the spike in cases.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments
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I love the fact that "Black Lives Matter"... except when it rains. Then they don't seem to matter so much.

In any case, people really need to look into the actual "Black Lives Matter" organization and then decide if they want to support it or not. I have a feeling most simply see the name and agree with it. I mean, of course black lives matter. I don't know anyone who would say otherwise. But as an organization they have many radical and destructive goals that the public may not be aware of. Two of the founders are avowed and trained Marxists, they explicitly anti-family. They are not simply anti-racist, they advocate complete social upheaval and destruction.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

BLM has moved beyond the founding members and even the founding country, America.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

good job by the police, all the efforts for staying home for weeks and months were wasted because of these protests/riots.

"but there is no proof these caused covid". Whatever, if I cant go to a bar, cant go to church, cant go to work, kids cant go to school, you cant protest or riot in the streets either.

sorry. have an online Zoom riot and invite the media.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I was told that BLM exist specifically only for Black lives killed by police.

That was 9 Black people in the USA last year who were unarmed or not actively attacking an officer. and 11 white people. Are Black people in Australia routinely killed by police?

But as an organization they have many radical and destructive goals that the public may not be aware of.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

AttilathehungryToday  02:48 pm JST

I love the fact that "Black Lives Matter"... except when it rains. Then they don't seem to matter so much. 

In any case, people really need to look into the actual "Black Lives Matter" organization and then decide if they want to support it or not. I have a feeling most simply see the name and agree with it. I mean, of course black lives matter. I don't know anyone who would say otherwise. But as an organization they have many radical and destructive goals that the public may not be aware of. Two of the founders are avowed and trained Marxists, they explicitly anti-family. They are not simply anti-racist, they advocate complete social upheaval and destruction.

Agree. The principle of black lives matter is a no-brainer - why wouldn't they matter?

The organisation called BLM is another matter altogether. Bunch of rabid Marxists.

Have to give them credit for a clever name though, making it easy for sophists to smear anyone who disagrees with the organisation as racist no matter how carefully the critics choose their words.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Hey,all lives matters. Police well done...good job mates.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Staging a protest now is just provocative, I mean come on, this is a human transmitted crisis. There are no music festivals, no clubs, etc etc

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I’ll admit though, I’m no fan of BLM, as a worldwide blanket group of causes, of course not against police brutality in the US, and lack of education or opportunities in impoverished areas there. So I’m biased. That said, if it was a protest for Bring Back Live Music, being a lover of live music, I’d still feel pretty dumb supporting it at this time.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

More of my ignorance- do Aboriginal Australians even count as "black" in this context? If they do, then can Aboriginal Americans/Canadians also be part of the movement? Not sure how many people of African descent actually live down under...

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Two of the founders are avowed and trained Marxists

I saw that elsewhere, that one of the organizers in the USA had described herself as a "trained Marxist". What the heck is a "trained" Marxist anyway? I can't imagine that very many potential attendees at this rally in Sydney would have been attracted there by the prospect of contributing to the cause of worldwide Marxism.

There's no excuse for this rally at this time. The situation in Sydney is nowhere near as bad as it is in Melbourne but it's on a bit of a knife-edge, and people need to be vigilant.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Are Black people in Australia routinely killed by police?

Yes.

Now think about the size of the indigenous population when you read this.

re Wiki" : between 1991 and June 2020 there have been at least 437 Indigenous deaths in custody (both prison and police).

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Aussies not afraid at all to speak up to the neo marxist nonsense masquerading as legitimate cause and social justice. Some of the scenes coming out of the states proof enough that there is way too much doublespeak, hypocrisy and flat out reverse racism to be taken seriously. We will put it down to the frustrations of the COVID shutdown and hope it is only a temporary state of irrationality and craziness. Identity politics and division in the name of unity? Tell us how this works again? Actually, have heard enough.

In Australia, our grandmas lives and the pandemic take priority so, sorry revolutionaries, on yer bikes ay? All the best.

Thanks.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

so that is around 25 people per year, including prisoners who died while in custody (naturally? killed by other prisoners? or were they beaten by police?)

Are Indigenous peoples are considered as "Black" for these BLM purposes? I dont really feel they are concerned about aboriginal Australians, unless it helps a political narrative somewhere.

Google tells me this:

Aboriginal Australians are not the same race as Africans. But they share some ancestry components. Their dark skin colour has nothing to do with their race.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I was told that BLM exist specifically only for Black lives killed by police.

Wow. Okay. You are catching on. Yes indeed is pretty hard to make a name for a political group that is so very concise, it can be summed up and named accurately with just three little words which also make a catchy acronym. Yes indeed. It might be nice if we could get passed that name eventually.

Incidentally its not just about deaths but also beatings, harassment, home invasions, false arrest, and terrorizing. Look up Dravon Ames and Aisha Harper, and tell me how many white people had cops swarm their car with guns drawn screaming death threats because their 4 year old walked out of a store with a Barbie.

That was 9 Black people in the USA last year who were unarmed or not actively attacking an officer. and 11 white people.

Taking your numbers at face value, and I don't, that's almost half despite the fact that black people are only 13 percent of the population. In other words out of those 20, a fair proportion would have been only 2 black people. So explain the 7, or 40 percent excess. The prison population is similarly disproportional.

But honestly, those numbers are mostly the ones the police could not even find some sort of way to smear. Sadly, they smear white people too. But white people don't protest because they are masochistic in response to police brutality.

I mean, of course black lives matter. I don't know anyone who would say otherwise.

Its not about what is being said. Its about what people think and do. Clearly a whole bunch of people, especially white police, are lying.

As much as I support BLM though now is not the time to stage a mass protest. Those supporters in Australia made a mistake.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

gary,

I sympathise with the sentiment but if you're going to quote statistics you should define what it is you're quoting.

According to humanrights.gov.au, a death in custody includes:

"a death occurring whilst a person is watched or guarded by police. In other words, if that person is not at liberty to come and go as he or she wishes."

This definition isn't limited to deaths by cop such as the death of Cameron Doomadgee on Palm Island in 2004. Those deaths - deliberate violence or careless use of direct force by a police office resulting in the death of a prisoner - are relatively scarce. Most deaths are as a result of negligence, a lack of due care, police not paying attention to the physical and/or mental state of an arrested or imprisoned person. Very often the deaths are the result of suicide.

Still an unacceptable situation and the culpability is still with the police or the prison authorities responsible, but I think it's important to point this out in case people assume that all 437 deaths in custody you mention were the result of a Cameron Doomadgee (or George Floyd) type of situation.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Vanessa, with regards to the police, I think that they only see one colour- blue. There are myriad incidents of non-white police behaving violently and stupidly to non-white civilians. Heck, look at the George Floyd case even- one of the four arresting officers was Black, another was Hispanic. They (the police) see the world through a prism of poor training and often paranoia. There needs to be an easier way to weed out the bad ones and better train the good ones.

As for what people think and do, I haven't met anyone in my life who thinks that black lives are worth less (or more for that matter) than any others. Nor have I met anyone who has targeted black people for violence or harassment.

IF the BLM movement would stick to principles of non-violence and anti-racism, they would get more broad support. However, they are morphing into more of a general far left hate group. Plus threatening basic institutions like the family won't win them any support.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Are Protests Dangerous? What Experts Say May Depend on Who’s Protesting What

Public health experts decried the anti-lockdown protests as dangerous gatherings in a pandemic. Health experts seem less comfortable doing so now that the marches are against racism.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/us/Epidemiologists-coronavirus-protests-quarantine.html

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Blacklabel

9 unarmed Black people total killed by police in USA

11 unarmed White people were also killed by police in USA.

So more whites than Blacks. and thats it, 20 in total who were not actively attacking officers or were armed criminals.

Blacks killed 9 out of 13% of the population.

Whites killed 11 out of 87% of the population.

Since you are so into per capita with the Covid-19, how do these killings works out?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

thats the entire population who can be equally affected.

per capita with the Covid-19,

you cant do per capita with subsets of data (i.e. people who are shot by police, and who are also unarmed). Most people in both races dont encounter police in such a situation to begin with.

if you look at the data of all deaths by police, white deaths are more than double Black deaths.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

According to the Washington Post database, a total of 41 unarmed people were shot and killed by US police in 2019. The racial composition of victims is:

White: 19

Black: 9

Hispanic: 6

Other: 4

Unknown: 3

U.S. Police Shootings: Blacks Disproportionately Affected

https://www.statista.com/chart/21857/people-killed-in-police-shootings-in-the-us/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@garymalgrem

Deaths in custody.

You conveniently forgot mention that in that total since 1991 there were 39 deaths in hospital due to car accidents while individuals were awaiting formal driving charges, 31 deaths due to natural causes, 28 suicides, 10 deaths due to justifiable homicide and 146 deaths in the Australian jails due to prisoner on prisoner violence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

IF the BLM movement would stick to principles of non-violence and anti-racism, they would get more broad support.

Funny how the police get so much support despite their violent racist abusiveness. And what kind of support would they get? People like me warming their butts before the computer? I think they would get more traction out of a fresh Malcolm X myself. I think a resurgence of Black Panther type arming and training would also work wonders. I think a show of violence in defense such as the Bundy's were prepared for is what they need. Such as it is the cops know they can get away with abusing people and the courts are no help. The cops need to learn respect through fear cause we are all on our own thanks to qualified immunity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

zichi

Blacks killed 9 out of 13% of the population.

Whites killed 11 out of 87% of the population.

Sorry but that is meaningless data. It assumes that everybody in the population has contact with the police. If you want to make a judgement about police behaviour you should look at per police interaction.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Zaphod

zichi

Blacks killed 9 out of 13% of the population.

Whites killed 11 out of 87% of the population.

Sorry but that is meaningless data. It assumes that everybody in the population has contact with the police. If you want to make a judgement about police behaviour you should look at per police interaction.

Then you need to take it up with Blacklabel who posted the data, did you miss that? My comment as you can see was for him.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Blacklabel

That was 9 Black people in the USA last year who were unarmed or not actively attacking an officer. and 11 white people. Are Black people in Australia routinely killed by police?

In the world of the fake, err "mainstream" media, probably. The selectively pick stories to support a narrative.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

zichi

You can argue statistics back and forth, but everybody knows high incidence of criminal activity attracts more policing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a percentage of the US population blacks commit more crime than any other group...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

take it up with me?

unless only 13 of every 100 people who interact with the police, are Black, that ratio means nothing. We all know that ratio is much, much higher of Black interaction with police.

Its like trying to say 95% of people at a country music festival had something happen, then claim it means something about "white people". No there were just more "white people" involved.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

memoryfix

zichi

You can argue statistics back and forth, but everybody knows high incidence of criminal activity attracts more policing.

Not in all cases like mistaken no knock warrants and dead the occupants while in bed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

yeah that happened one time and one of the "occupants" fired a handgun at the officers, who returned fire after one of them was shot and wounded. Terrible misunderstanding all around. not a sign of racism whatsoever as it was not intentional.

Not in all cases like mistaken no knock warrants and dead the occupants while in bed.

But seeing as this is about Australia, I was more interested in Aboriginal Australians being considered as "Black" and why Australians feel it necessary to have BLM rallies in times of pandemic. They totally ruined all the hard work of the original lockdowns/stay at home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@gary

Quite a statement you just made there, now let’s see you back it up with facts. While you’re at it research what a death in custody means.

Yes, there have been deaths in custody, of all races, but don’t insinuate they are all homicides/manslaughter cases.

Your comment that black people are “routinely” killed by Police in Australia has no merit and is highly offensive.

All lives matter

0 ( +1 / -1 )

...planned to highlight the deaths of Aboriginal people in custody....

That's cool, I support it, but pick another slogan.

BLM is confusing at least and dangerous at most. They may have good intentions but their numbers are infiltrated with those that do not. Please read their manefesto on thier home page and then put that upgainst what is happening in the U.S. right now and you will understand, heck the manefesto alone is enough to scare the daylights out of anyone (https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe -wait till you get to the end, it's a doosy.)

And stop color labeling, ex 'black, white, yellow etc. It's archaic and insulting. There are between 193 and 215 different nations in the world, those preferences are quite sufficient for identifying someone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

also strangely BLM protests are 95%+ white people.

The few Black people who are there are smart enough to speak and then leave before the violence starts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Aboriginal Australians have been treated brutally has African Americans including having their children taken away from them. Maybe, they need ALM?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Re: people here wanting to know how it’s been among Aboriginal communities in Australia: Believe me, it will shock you. The abuse of Aboriginal children and women at the hands of Aboriginal men has been noted for decades. Look into it if you’re sure you’re sufficiently shockproof.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aborigines die in custody due to suicide or health reasons.

The Australian police go out of their way to treat them civilly for the most part.

The RCIADIC 1991 report explains it well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Should have arrest the whole 50 of them and fined them bunch of tosspots.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Personally I thought the protest should have been allowed, along with regular work and other daily life activities. The virus is not a serious danger to the vast majority of the population.

The worlwide average age of death is 79 years old. Therefore put in place solid protections for the aged and other vulnerable. Allow everyone else carry on with life and return to putting food on the table.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

...they gathered in Sydney for a Black Lives Matter protest despite an official ban because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The only some black lives matter supporters do not seem to care if their particular public gathering spreads Covid-19.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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