| 06.06,20. 04:24 PM |
Counter-protester at Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney arrested
Crowds bearing placards gathered at Sydney Town Hall.(ABC News: Jack Fisher)
A male protester has had his "all lives matter" placard ripped from his hands before he was handcuffed and dragged away by police in the middle of a Sydney protest.
Protesters gathered at Sydney Town Hall this afternoon in defiance of NSW Police and a Supreme Court refusal to authorise a rally against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody.
Just before 2:30pm, a man standing on the steps of Town Hall was shouted down by protesters before he was detained and taken into the nearby Queen Victoria Building.
Two other people were also arrested and one police officer was spat on by a demonstrator.
Shortly after the counter-protester was arrested, the NSW Court of Appeal overturned a ban on the Black Lives Matter protest, meaning the gathering was considered lawful and protesters were immune from prosecution for breaching public health orders.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge announced the success of the appeal to resounding cheers from the crowd.
"This is one of those moments, you know when you fight the system and it's a system that's been in place against First Nations people for centuries," he said.
"But sometimes you have those moments when you have a win over the system."
Before the event was declared unlawful yesterday, at least 10,000 people were expected to appear at the Sydney rally — just one of a dozen protest across the country to oppose the deaths of Indigenous people in police custody.
NSW Police were out in force at the demonstrations, with columns of officers seen marching around the CBD streets.
Although organisers encouraged attendees to socially distance, there was no clear 1.5 metre gap between the protesters as they marched from Town Hall to Hyde Park.
Rita Wright, a member of the Stolen Generation, was among the protesters at Town Hall calling for change.
"I've lost a brother to deaths in custody and a cousin," she said.
"All from out west, especially out in Mount Druitt, our youth are always getting picked up over nothing, cause they're black.
"And something has to change."