Australian police are seeking to stop a Black Lives Matter protest from going ahead in Sydney this weekend, saying it poses coronavirus health risks.
Thousands are expected to attend the rally in solidarity with US protesters and to express anger about indigenous deaths in Australian custody.
But New South Wales (NSW) Police has applied for a court order to halt it.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison criticised the protests on Friday, saying “don’t go”.
“Let’s find a better way and another way to express these sentiments, rather than putting your own health at risk, the health of others at risk,” he said.
Australia has recorded about 7,200 cases of the virus and rapidly flattened its curve since April. There have been no community transmissions in NSW for more than a week.
Since the killing of African-American man George Floyd in the US, Australians have protested against their own country’s disproportionate number of black deaths in custody.
Demonstrations have already been held in cities including Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. More protests have been planned for the weekend.
Police in Melbourne have urged people not to attend a planned protest there, pleading with organisers to cancel the event and threatening to issue fines. However, in Brisbane and Adelaide, protests have received police approval.