Australian Black Lives Matter protest goes ahead after court battle

With minutes to go an Australian court has reversed a ban on a Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney.

The march began on Saturday evening with thousands of people marching through the streets. Originally, the rally was banned in order to protect people from COVID-19. This was later overturned by the NSW Court of Appeal.

Demonstrators took over the streets and the sky above Sydney. 

There was intense opposition to the ban and many were prepared to ignore it.

"We don't care what any acts of law tells us what to do because those acts of laws are killing us, said protester Leetona Dungay. 

Her son David was killed in prison when guards restrained him in 2015 after he refused to stop eating a packet of biscuits. Just like George Floyd, the Aboriginal man's final words were "I can't breathe". 

"It is our right to take it to the streets. It is our right and it is your privilege as non-indigenous people to stand with us in that fight," said protester Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts.

But that means standing too close for COVID-19 comfort and too close for health authorities, who were still very concerned. While black lives mattered during the march, physical distancing didn't.

In Adelaide, protesters wore marks and held signs. The city's centre was flooded with thousands all with one voice. 

"Black lives matter," they said. 

There were similar scenes in Melbourne and Brisbane as protesters spoke of police brutality against people of colour. 

What happened in the United States has clearly reignited a depth of feeling about Australia's own problems.