Hundreds gather in Sydney as part of latest Australian Black Lives Matter protest

Hours after the NSW Police Force announced an internal investigation into the arrest of an Indigenous teenager in inner-city Sydney, hundreds of people have gathered to protest police brutality.

Hundreds gathered in Sydney for an Australian Black Lives Matter protest on Tuesday.

Hundreds gathered in Sydney for an Australian Black Lives Matter protest on Tuesday. Source: AAP

Hundreds of protesters have rallied in Sydney in solidarity with widespread protests against police brutality in the United States and against Indigenous deaths in custody in Australia.

Protests have been raging across the US for a week in response to the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

The Sydney group met at Hyde Park at 5pm on Tuesday, before marching to the NSW Parliament and later gathering in Martin Place.

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Organisers urged attendees, many of whom were wearing masks, to remain peaceful and practice social distancing.

Protesters holding signs at Martin Place
Protesters holding signs at Martin Place Source: SBS News


"How many deaths in custody have we had and how many cops have stood up for us?" Gadigal speaker Tristan Field told the rally in Hyde Park.

"We need a huge upheaval right now, we need to stop black people dying in this country and around the world because it is just unjust."

According to the Deaths Inside project, at least 432 Indigenous Australians have died in police custody since the royal commission into the issue in 1991.

First Nations peoples, despite making up only three per cent of the Australian population, represent approximately 28 per cent of the prison population.



Once stopped in Martin Place, protesters chanted "no peace, no justice" and "I can't breathe" - the last words of Mr Floyd and a common catchcry in the US protests.

The same three words were also the last uttered by Aboriginal man David Dungay Jr, who died while being pinned down by five prison guards in December 2015.

The rally took place hours after NSW police announced they had in Surry Hills on Monday, after a video showing the 17-year-old being slammed into the ground was circulated on social media.

In the footage, someone can be heard saying “I’ll crack you across the jaw, bro” before the officer approaches one of the boys and grabs his hands, forcing them behind his back.

 

He then uses his leg to take the boy’s legs out from under him and slam him into the brick pavement.

The Sydney rally follows a similar action , the first of several Black Lives Matters protests planned across Australia this week.

Crowds began filling the Forrest Chase shopping precinct from 5pm, holding placards and chanting "black lives matter" and "no justice, no peace". 


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3 min read
Published 2 June 2020 at 6:36pm
By SBS News
Source: SBS