On Saturday, June 13, approximately 800 activists have gathered in Darwin (Northern Territory) to show their support and solidarity for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement following the police-related death of George Floyd in Minneapolis (Minnesota state) in the US, and to denounce Indigenous deaths in police custody. Participants gathered in the Civic Park on Saturday morning (local time), before marching through the central business district and then back to the park. Reports indicate that the protest has remained peaceful thus far, with demonstrators adhering to police instructions throughout the march.
A BLM protest is expected to be held in Perth (Western Australia) on Saturday at Hyde Park. Media sources indicate that thousands of activists are expected to join the rally, despite current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions and social distancing measures in place. Similarly in Brisbane (Queensland), demonstrators plan to rally at King George Square from 17:00.
Moreover, rallies against the detention of refugees are also planned for June 13. Organizers have reportedly planned demonstrations across Melbourne (Victoria), Sydney (New South Wales), and Brisbane (Queensland).
Associated disruptions and a heightened security presence should be anticipated and additional demonstrations should be expected in major cities across Australia.
George Floyd died while being arrested by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. The four arresting police officers were subsequently fired, and one has since been charged with murder. Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters gathered on May 26 to denounce the death and actions of the police officers. Clashes ensued between protesters and riot police; with demonstrators throwing bricks and projectiles at police and police property, and police responding with tear gas and rubber bullets as they attempted to disperse the crowds. Protests have since spread to a number of cities across the US, with solidarity protests taking place throughout the world.
Individuals in Australia are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence and transportation disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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