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Pepper spray and kneeling amid Australia's BLM protests

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:30s - Published
Pepper spray and kneeling amid Australia's BLM protests

Pepper spray and kneeling amid Australia's BLM protests

Crowds gathered across Australia on Saturday (June 6) to support the Black Lives Matter movement and raise awareness of the mistreatment of Indigenous Australians.

Soraya Ali reports.

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Tens of thousands of Australians rallied on Saturday (June 6) in solidarity with U.S. protests against police brutality -- after authorities in one area lifted a ban on the gatherings under the country's social-distancing rules.

A last-minute appeal at the New South Wales Court of Appeal allowed a rally in Sydney, where several thousand people marched chanting, "Black Lives matter." Protesters took to the city’s main train station, among a heavy police presence.

Some were seen dousing liquid in their eyes after being pepper-sprayed by authorities.

Inspired by the death of George Floyd - who died in Minneapolis after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes - Australians were also calling all for an end to police mistreatment of indigenous Australians.

The protests came despite earlier requests from authorities to stay home and obey social-distancing rules which allow only for small groups to gather outside.

But after the court ruling, the New South Wales police urged people via Twitter to "keep a safe physical distance," saying they were there to "facilitate" people's movement.

More than 10,000 people rallied in Brisbane, according to police estimates, with many protesters wrapped in indigenous flags.

Many protesters wore black masks with handwritten "I can't breathe" signs on them - Floyd's last words, which have become a rallying cry worldwide for the "Black Lives Matter" movement.




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