Image Credits: Anna Kucera (edited)
Fishermen return to Melbourne piers in #BLM garb
RYE, VICTORIA – Fishermen returned to Melbourne piers in droves this weekend despite a continued ban on the sport, successfully evading police attention by utilising the lax social distancing rules for protests demonstrated in the #BlackLivesMatter protests only a week earlier.
In an apparent show of solidarity with the movement, fishing enthusiasts adopted plain black attire and Aboriginal flags, marching to piers while carrying #BLM signs along with their fishing rods.
President of the Rye Anglers’ Club, Rodney Codrington, stated that his members were very disappointed to miss out on the great fishing conditions a weekend earlier, and therefore thought they could to do their part to support the #BLM movement.
“Yeah we umm, we really love fishing and we want to do our bit to umm, oppose racism, deaths in custody, and Mabo, just the whole vibe of the thing,” said Mr Codrington. “There is no doubt what you’ve seen today is definitely a protest.”
Many passers-by thought the spectacle was irresponsible and selfish, with crowds packed onto piers far exceeding limits on outdoor gatherings and little, if any, social distancing being practiced by the fishermen.
Victoria Police refused to comment, but said in a statement: “There is nothing we could have done to stop these gatherings, but we will be working with community leaders to ensure our officers undertake cultural sensitivity training to prepare them for similar incidents.”
As a final sign of solidarity, Mr Codrington assured onlookers that all fish would be released from custody at the conclusion of the protests.