The wife of Western Australia’s health minister will attend the next Black Lives Matter protest in Perth despite the state government urging people to stay home due to the risk of COVID-19.
The wife of Western Australia's health minister will attend the next Black Lives Matter protest in Perth despite the state government urging people to stay home due to the risk of COVID-19.
Carly Lane, an Indigenous woman married to Health Minister Roger Cook, said she would participate in the rally at Langley Park on Saturday in solidarity with all those who stand against racism and Aboriginal deaths in custody.
"Systemic racism, whether it happens here or in America, is an abuse of our human right to live free of fear, and of our right to enjoy a full life," she said in a statement on Wednesday.
"I support a peaceful rally and we should all be mindful of the health and safety of those around us."
Mr Cook says his wife is a private citizen and makes her own personal choices.
"That's one of the many reasons why I love her," he said in a separate statement.
"I have great sympathy for the cause of ensuring Aboriginal people and minorities are protected from racism."
But Mr Cook said the world was in the middle of a pandemic and people must take necessary precautions to minimise the spread of coronavirus.
"While I respect the right to protest, given the current situation, large mass gatherings are not advisable and I ask people to follow the current health guidelines," he said.
"We urge people to not attend the protest due to the current health pandemic."
Perth hosted Australia's first Black Lives Matter protest, which drew about 2000 people.
The WA Police Force said officers will take a "measured approach to the circumstances" on Saturday, with "the ultimate aim being the safety of the community".
Rally organisers have urged protesters to bring their own water, face masks and hand sanitiser, and stand 1.5 metres apart if they are from different households.
"The risk of developing severe illness is much higher for older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions," co-organiser Jacinta Taylor-Foster wrote on social media.
"Our beloved elders are precious and we acknowledge the significant work they already contribute.
"We respectfully request that elders put their own safety first and consider not attending."
Anyone who is immunocompromised or suffers from respiratory, cardiac or other chronic illness is also urged to stay home.
People from remote communities are encouraged to participate via self-organised, online events to reduce the risks associated with travel.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/black-lives-matter-protest-coronavirus-western-australia-health-minister-roger-cooks-wife-to-attend/827bdcbd-533c-4660-9b54-f062ee49c7d9