Large anti-racism protests continued across Australian cities despite advice from the government to avoid mass gatherings. The prime minister earlier said that protesters should be charged for violating public health orders.
Demonstrators held signs saying “Black Lives Matters” and “No Justice, No Peace,” denouncing racism and drawing attention to police violence against blacks and indigenous people. Some marched carrying Australian Aboriginal flags.
Around 7,000 showed up for a rally in Perth, with many following social distancing rules while staying meters away from each other. Hand sanitizers and more than 10,000 masks were available at the venue.
Smaller rallies and marches also took place in Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane and other cities across the country.
Demonstrations were held despite strong advice from the government and health officials to avoid large gatherings in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously called mass protests in the middle of the outbreak “absolutely unacceptable,” and said that protesters should be charged if they attend rallies in violation of public health orders.
On Saturday, the country’s most populous state New South Wales reported its first locally-transmitted case of the corona-virus since late May, raising concerns of a second wave of infections. Australia has had a relatively small number of confirmed Covid-19 cases – 7,302 – and 102 deaths.
Anti-racism protests around the world were triggered by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the hands of a white police officer in the US.
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