Another day of Black Lives Matter protests in NZ, another black life terminated in US

More protests today in Aotearoa: Thousands of NZers gather for Black Lives Matter marches

Thousands of people are gathering for Black Lives Matter rallies in Auckland and Wellington this afternoon.

Organisers have asked those attending to remain peaceful and refrain from offensive language.

They say the march is intended to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement, and to “stand against racism locally, nationally and globally”.

Unlike two weeks ago social distancing in mass gatherings is now not required since we dropped to level 1.

And today’s Covid announcement showed no new cases and no chases to the numbers.

But problems continue in the US:  Protests in Atlanta after black man shot by police at drive-through

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Atlanta to protest the fatal shooting by police of a black man who had fallen asleep in his car while waiting in line at a fast food drive through.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it was probing the killing of Rayshard Brooks, 27, of Atlanta. Police said he resisted arrest after failing a field sobriety test during the Friday night (local time) incident.

Protests over Brooks’ killing began Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, and were expected to continue through the day.

Georgia NAACP president the Rev James Woodall has called for the firing of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper.

Gun shots are heard along with someone yelling “I got him!” The video then shows Brooks prone on the ground.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Jr., said in an emailed statement that his office “has already launched an intense, independent investigation of the incident” while it awaits the findings of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Black lives matter more than Level 2

Actually I presume the organisers theoretically had a responsibility to follow Alert Level 2 changes confirmed for Friday 29 May:

Social gatherings can be held with up to 100 people

The limit for social gatherings will be lifted to 100 people. These include events at home and outside of home like religious services, parties, weddings, tangihanga and funerals. It is important everyone keeps playing it safe.

This means:

  • Social gatherings at a private dwelling will be able to have a maximum of 100 people.
  • A business or responsible individual, in charge of a social gathering, must ensure records are kept for contact tracing purposes, except where every person in a gathering knows each other. This includes in your home, community hall, or other such space.
  • Participating in community sport will also become easier, with greater numbers of people able to gather up to a limit of 100 people. Requirements for contact tracing still remain.
  • Workers providing a service to a social gathering, such as waiters at a wedding, are not included in the 100 person limit.

Some examples:

  • A game of community rugby could occur so long as there are no more than 100 people on the field. Groups of up to 100 spectators will be permitted if they are separate to the field and do not intermingle with players or umpires.

At a community sports game which has a field and two stands either side, 100 people could gather in each space provided they do not intermingle with those from the other stand or with players and umpires on the field.

The protest puts Ardern in a tricky situation:

Pressure on her to support the protesting, but that would be difficult if she ignores the breaching of Level 2.