NSW BLM protesters arrested after defying court ruling


TODAY'S Sydney Black Lives Matter protest was over before it started with three people taken into custody before its scheduled start time.

All three people have since been released, with one protester tweeting about the experience. Vanessa Turnbull tweeted police did not comply with Covid-19 restrictions during the arrests. 

Groups of protesters arrived at The Domain parklands half an hour before the protest was scheduled to start at midday.

Organiser Paul Silva said protesters were told by police on Wednesday morning they would be fined even if they were following the public health order which restricts groups of more than 20 people.

BLM rally organiser Padraic Gibson. Picture: Matrix
BLM rally organiser Padraic Gibson. Picture: Matrix

"What he stated was unlawful. We are not breaking any laws. The current law states that if we are in groups of 20 1.5 meters apart we are not breaking any laws," he said.

Tensions between protesters and police quickly rose with officers telling protesters to leave.

Rally organiser Padraic "Paddy" Gibson was the first person taken into custody.

"Justice for David Dungay. We will not stop until the guards are charged," he shouted.

"Charge the guards who killed David Dungay."

Tensions between protesters and police rose. Picture: Matrix
Tensions between protesters and police rose. Picture: Matrix

He was fined $1,000 for his role in the protest.

Mr Gibson, an academic, told another protester to get people out of the park as he was put in the back of a large police van.

Vanessa Turnbull, who was later taken into custody, grabbed the microphone off Mr Gibson and told protesters to leave.

She was also fined $1,000 and accused police of only fining "black people".

"You guys won't get fined," she said to reporters.

"You all aren't exercising 1.5m so I'd split. You guys won't get fined.

"Sorry black people get fined. I get it."

She wore a Aboriginal flag face mask and initially told The Daily Telegraph she was not protesting.

Another man, waving an Aboriginal flag, screamed at police as he was escorted to another police van.

"This is against the native title act," he said.