The anti-lockouts rally shut down by police has been rescheduled
Keep Sydney Open will hold their third rally on February 18, following the forced cancellation of their planned rally last Saturday.
On Friday, KSO appeared in the NSW Supreme Court to defend a last-minute suit filed by the Police Commissioner. Despite strong representation by the group, the Supreme Court sided with the Commissioner and issued a prohibition order against the rally.
“The decision of the court was pretty strange,” KSO’s Tyson Koh said in a video just after the decision was handed down. “Essentially what was being said by the judge was that the finding against us wouldn’t prohibit the rally from going ahead – it just wouldn’t be classified as a public assembly.”
“For us, holding it as a public assembly is very important for us, because it is a political protest. It’s not a fun event, we are out there for a political purpose. So even though the finding technically doesn’t prohibit us from holding the event, if we were to turn up and hang out on Darlinghurst Road, or set up a stage – we would probably get shut down and arrested.”
In a statement issued over the weekend, the group addressed the controversial decision further.
“The decision has huge implications for the future of political assembly in NSW,” they wrote. “It has never been incumbent on protest groups to provide public toilets, evacuation plans, risk management assessments, traffic management plans or police officers. These have always been the responsibility of police when public assembly protocols are triggered. Yesterday’s decision now puts that in doubt.”
“In response, we are announcing that the rally will go ahead at a later date, and it will be bigger, louder and stronger than the one originally scheduled. On February 18, join us for the Keep Sydney Open Rally 3.”
The rally is not only opposing the the NSW Government’s planned 30-minute extension to the lockout laws – an amendment that Keep Sydney Open say is “not enough” to save the city’s nightlife – but also will fight “for our very right as citizens of NSW to gather on the streets and express ourselves politically.”
Get more info on the rally here.