Approximately 10,000 people gathered at Langley Park in Perth on Saturday 13 June 2020 for the Black Lives Matter rally, protesting the treatment of Black/ Blak, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC); in particular, racial profiling, police brutality and Aboriginal deaths in custody.
The Black Lives Matter movement originated in 2013 after the shooting death of Travyon Martin but was thrust into the spotlight in early June 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd by Police in America. Seeing the nature in which this crime occurred, Australian BLM supporters were able to see parallels between the American movement and the Australian context of 437 Indigenous deaths in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody was handed down in 1991.
The rally was organised by Youth advocacy group, Boorloo Justice, who outlined five demands for change to stop systemic racial discrimination and violence:
- End racial violence
- Reduce the incarceration rate of Aboriginal people
- Stop the removal of Aboriginal children
- Address systemic racism
- Sovereignty now
(ref National Indigenous Times, 19 June 2020)
Despite pleas from the Premier of WA to delay the event given the COVID-19 situation, the rally went ahead with protesters taking precautions against the spread of the virus. Masks and sanitiser were distributed by the organisers.
A second rally was held on 4 July 2020, with protesters gathering in Supreme Court Gardens before marching down Barrack Street.