UPDATE 20/01/17: The NSW Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the New South Wales Police’s legal action against Keep Sydney Open, shutting down the planned protest in Kings Cross from 9pm Saturday, 21st January.KSO’s Tyson Koh addressed the decision in a Facebook live video.
UPDATE: In a statement to Music Feeds, New South Wales Police say: “While police respect the public’s right to protest, we need to ensure it is done in a safe manner. Due to safety concerns relating to this rally, the application by organisers was not supported. As this is now a matter before the court we are not in a position to comment further at this time.”
ORIGINAL STORY: New South Wales Police is allegedly attempting to stop this Saturday’s Keep Sydney Open rally from going ahead, with a case against rally organisers to be decided in the NSW Supreme Court today.
In a statement, the Keep Sydney Open movement says proceedings were filed against it by the Crown at 4pm AEDT on Thursday, 19th January, and were served at 6pm. The proceedings come after Keep Sydney Open organisers supposedly filed a ‘Form 1’ Notice Of Intention To Hold A Public Assembly with the Crown on 9th January.
Saturday’s Keep Sydney Open rally is due to take place in Kings Cross from 9pm, and organisers say the main areas of contention for police are the rally’s start time and the temporary closure of Darlinghurst Road.
Keep Sydney Open organisers believe that if NSW Police prevents the rally from happening, it will set a “dangerous precedent for similar legitimate protests”. The group’s Campaign Director, Tyson Koh, says this weekend’s protest is especially important because of NSW Premier Mike Baird’s shock resignation yesterday.
“The incoming Premier needs to know how unpopular these [lockout] laws are,” Koh says. “We are a nightlife advocacy group, so clearly rallying at night makes sense, and there is no doubting that Kings Cross is central to the lockouts issue so it’s highly pertinent we stage our protest there.
“We have continually made it clear to NSW Police that we are happy to work with them to find a time, location and duration for the rally that is suitable, but they have failed to reciprocate this offer of collaboration and not attempted to find alternate solutions.
“Keep Sydney Open has been filed against despite its history of safe protest, collaborative relationship with police, track record of effective crowd control and previous statements from police that note the good behaviour and compliance of our supporters.”
Keep Sydney Open says it will vigorously defend its right to a peaceful protest. Music Feeds has contacted NSW Police for comment.
Catch details of this weekend’s planned Keep Sydney Open rally, below.
Keep Sydney Open January 2017 Rally
DJ’d by Flight Facilities
Saturday, 21st January
Kings Cross, Sydney
Gallery: The Best Signs From The Keep Sydney Open Rally (October 2016)