Man dragged out of Black Lives Matter protest

 

A man labelled a racist has been removed after walking into an otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday and yelling at protesters.

Around 1,000 protestors sprawled across parklands at the Domain, chanting "too many coppas, not enough justice", and "whose lives matter? Black lives matter."

They were surrounded by dozens of police who had to escort a man out of the park.

While indigenous elders spoke to the protestors about deaths in custody the middle aged man in black clothing walked towards the groups of protestors.

Black Lives Matter protest leader Paul Silva at the protest in The Domain on Sunday. Picture: David Swift
Black Lives Matter protest leader Paul Silva at the protest in The Domain on Sunday. Picture: David Swift


He told The Daily Telegraph he had said "there is a higher rate of incarceration in South Africa" and "what about the racism white South African farmers face".

Protestors screamed at the man, calling him a racist, before police marched him out of the park. He was not charged with any offences.

It was the only flashpoint during the socially distanced protests.

Volunteers handed out face masks and hand sanitiser. Groups were told to sit at least 1.5m apart from each other.

18-year-old Vera Ireland at the protest to highlight black deaths in custody. Picture: David Swift
18-year-old Vera Ireland at the protest to highlight black deaths in custody. Picture: David Swift

Organiser Paul Silva, the nephew of Indigenous man David Dungay Jr who died in custody in 2015 , said the protest was a part of a national weekend of action.

"We are here to demand substantial change in our law enforcement officials and how they interact with indigenous Australians," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"We want programs to be created that will help our communities lower the rate of incarceration."

Leetona Dungay, whose son David died in custody. Picture: David Swift
Leetona Dungay, whose son David died in custody. Picture: David Swift

He added he was not concerned about the protest spreading the coronavirus.

"Everyone here has masks and hand sanitiser. People are social distancing," he said.

"I think the government is using the coronavirus as an excuse to stop the protest."

Tom Huggett was not worried about potential spread of coronavirus either.

Dozens of police are positioned around The Domain at the protest. Picture: David Swift
Dozens of police are positioned around The Domain at the protest. Picture: David Swift

"You can look around. Everyone is wearing a mask people are passing out hand sanitiser," he said.

"I don't think it is disrespectful about the virus the numbers are down. People are as close, probably closer, to each other at the supermarkets and shops."

His friend Jo Chan said she was not concerned about another spike in cases after the protest.

"Look at everyone here. Everyone's spaced out. It's fine."

Originally published as Man dragged out of Black Lives Matter protest in the CBD