Police in the Australian state of Victoria will be fining each of the organisers of the Black Lives Matter protest held on Saturday.
Thousands of protestors gathered in the state’s capital, Melbourne, to speak out about police brutality and systemic racism following the death of George Floyd last week.
Protestors were also highlighting the mistreatment of the nation’s Aboriginal people.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said in a statement that organisers from activist group, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, will be fined $1652 (£908) each.
The full statement read:
While the Black Lives Matter protest was held in breach of the Chief Health Officer directions, police were generally pleased with the behaviour of those who came into the city to protest today. We remain concerned that such a large gathering has occurred without regard for the need to maintain social distance and will now consider what action should be taken in relation to the organisation and conduct of this unlawful gathering.
As of 5pm, there were no arrests made during the protest and we are not aware of any acts of violence or property damage.
Victoria Police will be issuing a $1652 infringement notice to each of the organisers of the protest today for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions.
Police will continue to investigate the events of today to determine whether any further follow up enforcement activity is required.
It’s unclear whether people present at the protest will also be fined.
People began offering to pay the organisers’ fines, which they haven’t formally received yet.
Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance took to Facebook to say they were “touched” by the offer but they should donate the money instead to the families “directly impacted by deaths in custody”:
Melbourne wasn’t the only state in Australia to hold protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement currently sweeping the globe.
Thousands descended upon Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Sydney and the nation’s capital, Canberra.
On Friday, the New South Wales Supreme Court ruled the planned Saturday protest in Sydney as unlawful.
Organisers of the Sydney protest took the case to the state court of appeal and successfully got the ban overturned, just 15 minutes before it was due to start.
By then, people had already planned to defy the initial court ruling to attend the protest.
Major protests are planned for Saturday in the UK, despite Matt Hancock warning people not to gather in large groups.