House debates

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: Black Lives Matter Demonstrations

1:50 pm

Photo of George ChristensenGeorge Christensen (Dawson, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

All lives matter, but, during a pandemic, mass protests breaching our public health laws could cause lives to be lost. Just days ago, tens of thousands of activists engaged in protests which turned violent, triggered by an event which occurred not here but in the USA. Behind these protests were the extremist Communist Party of Australia and Antifa, a group that engages in terror tactics. Protesters waved signs saying 'The only good cop is a dead cop'. Police officers were punched, kicked, spat on and abused, with chants of 'Eff the police'. Protesters threw bricks at, bashed and jumped on top of police cars. We don't need this anti-police, race-baiting violence and division here in our country.

What of social distancing restrictions in force to deal with the pandemic? What a slap in the face these protests were to our diggers and veterans, who couldn't attend Anzac Day ceremonies. What disrespect to those in mourning, who couldn't go to the funerals of loved ones. To think Labor and Greens politicians attended these rallies. To think state Labor governments gave wink-and-nod approvals for the protests to go ahead. I know I speak for the silent majority when I say this race baiting is not welcome here, this violence is not welcome here, and this disrespect for public health and the Australian community is most certainly not welcome here.