Last weekend, tens of thousands of people marched through major cities and country towns to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and on our home soil. The protests took place to march against Indigenous deaths in police custody and demand justice for David Dungay Jr., George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other BIPOC who have died at the hands of police brutality and racism.
Despite many COVID-19 regulations across the country, crowds gathered in the thousands to stand up against police brutality. For Sydney, the rally was ruled by the Supreme Court as an illegal gathering on the Friday afternoon before the protest began but was abruptly overturned just 15 minutes before beginning at 3 pm.
As the protests peacefully became underway in Melbourne, organizers asked the crowd averaging 10,000 people to be mindful of social distancing and to spread out along Bourke St and Spring St. VACCHO chief executive Jill Gallagher, who is the former Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner, told ABC news why she understood people marching regardless of restrictions, "I understand why people are still going to the protests. When you look at the history of this country, when you look at the 432 deaths in custody since the 1990s — and that's only the ones that have been counted.".
The protests in the US have had the world transfixed, with increasing amounts of cities across the globe protesting and standing in solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. The injustice in America has many outraged, and given many Australians a chance to look inwards at our own country and recognize the systemic and systematic racism that takes place daily on our own soil. If you would like to explore practical ways to support the Black lives Matter movement and the Aboriginal Lives Matter movement, we have included links for tangible steps.
Below, Emma Gillett at Street Smith Agency documents scenes from the Black Lives Matter march in Melbourne on Saturday, June 6.