Despite not having a single arrest at the Black Lives Matter protests as of 5pm on Saturday, Victoria Police will be issuing fines to each of the protest organisers for breaching the directions of the Chief Health Officer.
In a statement released on Saturday afternoon, the Assistant Police Commissioner Luke Cornelius said they were “generally pleased with the behaviour of those who came into the city to protest today” but fines will still be issued for breaching social distancing regulations.
“While the Black Lives Matter protest was held in breach of the Chief Health Officer directions, police were generally pleased with the behaviour of those who came into the city to protest today. We remain concerned that such a large gathering has occurred without regard for the need to maintain social distance and will now consider what action should be taken in relation to the organisation and conduct of this unlawful gathering,” Cornelius said in a statement, according to Sydney Morning Herald.
Each of the organisers from the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance activist group will be slapped with a $1652 fine for arranging the event. However, it is unclear if any fines will be handed out for individuals who came to the city to attend the protests on Saturday afternoon.
According to the Assistant Commissioner, police will “continue to investigate the events of today to determine whether any further follow-up enforcement activity is required.”
Thankfully, there were no arrests or reports of violence or property damage at the Melbourne protests, which is a huge win for the movement and the thousands of protesters who peacefully made their voices heard without the need for violence or aggression.
“As of 5pm, there were no arrests made during the protest and we are not aware of any acts of violence or property damage,” Cornelius said.
The news comes after Brisbane and Adelaide protests were also reported to be completely free from any arrests for violence or property damage.
The organisers of today’s protest in Melbourne, and those across the country, all did a phenomenal job of organising peaceful but powerful protests that illustrated just how many Australians aren’t going to turn a blind eye on black deaths in custody anymore.Image: Chantelle Schmidt