More than a hundred protesters have descended on Sydney’s financial district to demand an end to police violence on the eve of Mardi Gras celebrations.
Police were called to Flinders Street, near Oxford Street, after Pride in Protest protesters staged an anti-police protest at around 8.30pm on Friday.
Traffic was forced to come to a standstill as dozens of people gathered to wave flags and chant “police, go home” as officers stood just feet away.
At one point, officers were forced to physically push the group back after several protesters attempted to pass police onto the street.
“This is a march demanding an end to police violence, ranging from the murders of Luke Davies and Jesse Baird to the deaths of Blak (sic) in custody like (in 2009, that of indigenous trans woman) Veronica Baxter” Pride in Protest said in a statement. .
More than a hundred protesters gathered in Sydney’s financial district (pictured) on Friday night.
Traffic was forced to come to a standstill as people gathered to wave flags and sing (pictured).
Footage posted to X by SBS senior reporter Brian Thompson showed protesters gathering at the busy CBD intersection.
One of the protesters sat in the driver’s van before an officer told her to get out as police began to slowly disperse the group.
At one point, a bearded driver claiming to be Palestinian was heard shouting at protesters before police could calm him down.
Live Traffic NSW has issued an alert urging motorists to be aware of changing traffic conditions due to an ongoing police operation in the area.
A New South Wales police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that officers cleared the road after ordering protesters to move on.
“Officers from Surry Hills Police Area Command, assisted by police from other commands, directed the crowd to the sidewalk,” they said.
“A short time later the crowd dispersed from where around 50 people invaded Goulburn Street, opposite Surry Hills Police Station, where officers again directed them off the road after several minutes.”
No one was injured or arrested, and no property damage was reported.
It is understood that the protest concluded at 9:06 p.m.
Conversations of “the police are going home” were heard before officers led the large group (pictured) away from the area a short time later.
The latest protest comes as thousands of people prepare to march on Oxford Street on Saturday night as part of Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras parade.
Organizers of Monday’s event had not previously invited New South Wales Police to attend following the arrest of police constable Beaumont Lamarre-Condon.
Police allege Lamarre-Condon, 28, murdered former Channel 10 presenter Jesse Baird and flight attendant Luke Davies at Baird’s Paddington home on February 19.
However, organizers have since backtracked on the original decision and will allow New South Wales police officers to march in the parade in plain clothes.
Organizers said the decision was made so officers would “volunteer their time and service to the community to participate in the event.”
The decision to allow plainclothes police to march was made to allow officers to appear in a “respectful manner as we navigate this tragedy together.”