Update: Keep Sydney Open rally called off
Get your banners ready because the Keep Sydney Open gang have announced a third rally this Saturday the 21st January. And this one’s taking place at night! In Kings Cross!
UPDATE: Actually don’t bother planning your witty banner slogan because the rally has been shut down by the powers that be. Here’s Keep Sydney Open’s statement…
Today, the NSW Police Commissioner took Keep Sydney Open to the Supreme Court of NSW to prohibit Saturday’s rally. Their case was that a crowd of 7,000 people would be too dangerous to accomodate in Kings Cross. Prior to the lockouts, Kings Cross received 27,000 visitors per night. Keep Sydney Open maintains that the police’s argument could be applied to any protest or public assembly, and they could shut down any major political rally by arguing the size would create risks. It is the job of police to work with organisers to mitigate those risks, but the right to assembly and political free speech must come first. We oppose risk management becoming a cause to prohibit political assembly. When red tape gets this powerful, it should be a worry for everyone in our state.
Sadly, the court ruled in the Police Commissioner’s favour. That means the usual legal protections that apply to people at public assemblies, would no longer apply. Any of our supporters who arrived at the location, could be arrested for unlawful assembly or blocking roadways. Under these circumstances, we felt we could no longer go ahead with the rally.
We don’t want to be responsible for putting our supporters into a situation where they would likely face arrest. We also didn’t want to tarnish the reputation our movement has built, with all of your support.
As far as Saturday night goes, we urge you to go to the venues in Kings Cross and help bring vibrancy and excitement to that iconic part of our city. But our rally will not be taking place. We are exploring alternatives and will keep you posted in the coming hours.
We want you all to know that we fought hard for your right to rally. We were served at 6:00pm yesterday. Along with our legal team, we prepared through the night to defend the case. We’re extremely proud of the case we brought before the Supreme Court and we believe it was an exceptionally strong case.
This state has told responsible adults when we can and can’t have fun, now it’s telling us when we can and can’t politically express ourselves.
There’s a new premier on the way and our cause is as vital as ever, we hope you will join us in the coming weeks: we’ve got a strong message to send.
Keep up to date with Keep Sydney Open over at Facebook.