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Sydney BLM Rally to Go Ahead Unless David Dungay Death Investigation Begins

Organisers of a Black Lives Matter rally to take place in Sydney this Tuesday say it will be called off if Premier Gladys Berejiklian launches an investigation into the death of David Dungay Jr.

A 2020 Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne

The family of David Dungay Jr say that Tuesday's rally will be called off if an investigation is launched into his 2015 death in custody.

Mitchell Luo/Pexels

Organisers have explained that they will call off an “illegal” Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney on Tuesday if New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian launches an investigation into the death of David Dungay Jr.

As the ABC reports, the Australian Supreme Court recently ruled to ban the upcoming rally, with those in attendance potentially on the hook to receive arrest and fines for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

Despite this, organisers, including Paddy Gibson, have maintained that the rally – which will travel from the Sydney Town Hall to Parliament House – will go ahead as planned on Tuesday.

While the Black Lives Matter movement is a global demonstration that seeks to find justice for the disproportionate amount of persons of colour that have been killed or targeted by law enforcement, much of the Australian arm of the protests has been focused around Aboriginal deaths in custody, including the likes of David Dungay Jr.

Dungay, 26-year-old Dunghutti man, was pronounced dead at the Long Bay Prison Hospital in late 2015, having been held down by officers and forcibly injected with a sedative. Dungay was reported to have claimed he was unable to breathe approximately 12 times before he died.

A coronial inquest was held in 2019, with the report finding that while inadequate medical attention factored into Dungay’s death, no charges or sanctions should be laid upon the officers involved.

Now, according to The Guardian, organisers of the rally on Tuesday will agree to call it off in the event that Gladys Berejiklian requests the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to investigate Dungay’s death to determine whether charges should be laid against the officers involved.

“We won’t stop until there is justice for my uncle’s death,” explained Dungay’s nephew, Paul Silva. “The reason we are protesting is because after five years not a single person has been held accountable for the death of my uncle.

“I tell you what, if the premier can commit to asking SafeWork NSW and the DPP to investigate whether charges can be laid in relation to my Uncle’s death I’m sure that we can put off the protest.

“If she refuses then it just goes to show that no one cares about our lives and we will see you on Tuesday.”

At the time of writing, the Black Lives Matter rally is still scheduled to take place from 12pm on Tuesday, July 28th in Sydney.