On Saturday 10 October, Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) met at Taylor Square in opposition to Mark Latham’s (NSW MP for One Nation) raft of transphobic bills. The set of bills aim to BAN ALL MENTION of trans, gender and sexually diverse people in NSW schools, and has been called the most drastic attack on LGBTI+ people across Australia in a generation.
NSW Police took CARR activists to the NSW Supreme Court in an attempt to have the protest banned under current COVID related Public Health orders. We opposed their attempt to stymie the democratic right to protest, particularly given the glaring inconsistencies in how the current Public Health Orders are being applied. While thousands can visit beaches and attend football matches, COVID-safe protests of hundreds or even dozens are being broken up, attendees arrested or fined.
At the protest 11 attendees were fined $1000 each under COVID Public Health orders, and 2 were arrested. This happened despite implementing a detailed COVID-safe plan, with widespread face mask use, continual hand washing with sanitiser and social distancing as best as possible while the 500 strong congregation was compacted by heavy police presence. We oppose this draconian use of fines to scare activists from fighting against bigotry and oppression. And we oppose the presence of police forces during protest, who demonstrated little concern for COVID Safety and were a barrier to us carrying out our plan.
CARR asks supporters to donate generously to the fighting fund which will allow us to continue to fight bigots such as Mark Latham, and help us fight the fines attendees have received. All proceeds will be put toward expenses related to our COVID-safe practices at the demonstration on the 10 Oct, other protest materials, and funding legal challenges to fines.
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