Australian leaders use courts, coronavirus fears to block anti-racism protests

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By Colin Packham Reuters

Posted June 4, 2020 11:30 pm

Updated June 4, 2020 11:32 pm

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3:59George Floyd protests: How to stay safe while demonstrating during the coronavirus pandemic

Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets in the U.S. and around the world to protest against racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But health experts are urging demonstrators to take the necessary precautions in order to avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged people not to attend planned Black Lives Matter protests around the country this weekend, citing the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Organizers expect thousands of people to attend rallies in Sydney, Melbourne and other cities. The protests have split opinion, with some state police and lawmakers approving the action despite the health risks.

Morrison said people should find other ways to express anger following the death of Black American George Floyd in U.S. police custody.

“The health advice is very clear, it’s not a good idea to go,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

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