This weekend’s Keep Sydney Open rally has been shut down by the Supreme Court
Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh has confirmed that their planned rally for Saturday night will not go ahead following an order from the Supreme Court. Koh addressed the outcome in a Facebook Live video this afternoon.
“There was some representations by the Crown, and also by Keep Sydney Open,” Koh said. “We had quite a few people representing us – three barristers and two solicitors. But I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t in our favour. Unfortunately tomorrow’s event in its current form will not go ahead.”
“The decision of the court was pretty strange,” he went on to say. “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.”
“So for the intents and purposes of Keep Sydney Open, it is prohibited. We don’t want to break the law.”
The police also apparently claimed that having 7,000 people in Kings Cross presented a danger.
“Prior to this entire lockouts debate, there were 27,000 people coming into Kings Cross on a Friday and Saturday night each. What that says to me is that police and government aren’t willing to provide the services that crowds require in order to be entertained and have a night out.”
The rally might be called off, but Koh encouraged people to go out and support venues in Kings Cross. “A lot of the venues in Kings Cross were really looking forward to having you. Make sure you go out and support Sydney nightlife.”
This morning, it was reported that police were attempting to shut down the rally, with the outcome to be decided this afternoon. KSO were only notified of the proceedings yesterday. “It should be noted that despite receiving lawful notice of the rally on January 9 that the Crown only filed proceedings against KSO yesterday at 4pm, serving us at 6pm,” KSO wrote.
The rally was specifically 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.
Keep Sydney Open want the 2am lockout lifted, as well as exemptions to the 3.30am cease of service time and the ban on the sale of takeaway alcohol after 11pm reverted back to midnight; they are also calling for measures like 24-hour public transport and the appointment of a Night Mayor.
Sydney duo Flight Facilities were scheduled to DJ at the rally. We’ll bring further updates as they come.