NSW Premier Chris Minns apologises for pro-Palestinian protests, cops to block second rally

NSW Premier Chris Minns apologises for pro-Palestinian protests, cops to block second rally

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NSW Premier Chris Minns has called off a second Free Palestine rally in Sydney after hundreds of protesters caused chaos outside the Opera House on Monday.

In a press conference on Wednesday, the Premier apologised to the state’s Jewish community for failing to provide a safe place to mourn following devastating attacks launched by terrorists over the weekend.

“The intentions were to light up the Opera House as a space for the Jewish community to commemorate what happened in Israel, the number of family and friends caught up in the conflict,” Mr Minns said.

“We didn’t do it. I take responsibility for that. I want to ensure it won’t happen again.”

Camera IconProtesters gathered on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House on Monday night. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

Tense protests on Monday night, organised by the Palestine Action Group Sydney, saw protesters go from the Town Hall to the Opera House where shocking scenes showed a burning of the Israeli flag, anti-Semitic chanting by protesters, and flares set off in the Opera House forecourt.

The activist group had organised a second rally for this Sunday and have submitted paper work attempting to obtain permission for a march, however the Premier said he expected the application would be denied.

“The protest organisers have already proven they’re not peaceful. Shouting racial epithets is not the definition of a peaceful protest,” he said.

“The idea they’re going to commandeer Sydney streets is not going to happen, and I am sure NSW Police will make that clear this morning.”

Camera IconThe NSW Premier Chris Minns said further marches on Sunday will be denied. NCA NewsWire/ Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

Asked whether police will be able to stop any adhoc marches on Sunday, the Premier said NSW Police “will have more to say about it” later on Wednesday.

Mr Minns was said it was important to ensure people didn’t conflate NSW’s “massive and engaged Muslim community as being ubiquitous or in solidarity with the scenes that we saw on the Opera House Forecourt”.

“I know that many members of the Jewish community have tight, strong and long bond with members of the Muslim community, who have been appalled,” he said.


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