Thousands of residents of Sydney, Australia came on streets to protect against the lockout laws introduced by the state government. They carried funny posters supporting the demolition of the law on demand of the people. They marched united with decorative posters with proud and for a purpose.
The huge protest came just two days after anti-lock out law campaigners #KeepSydneyOpen released a report stating that since the introduction of the 1:30 a.m. curfew on entering bars, pubs, and clubs in the city, alcohol-fuelled assaults are increasing — rather than decreasing, as lawmakers would hope.
Opponents say the laws are killing off the city’s nightlife with venues being forced to close and hundreds of jobs disappearing along with it.
"It's been an absolutely fantastic day and not only are we protesting the lockout laws and fighting for a better Sydney that stays open late and is more diverse and inclusive but we’re also showing Sydney’s best version of itself," says Tyson Koh, founder of Keep Sydney Open campaign.
“The lockout laws have seen Sydney’s nightlife leached away while the violence and aggressive atmosphere has just spread to other areas,”
The government requires central Sydney venues to turn people away from 1.30am, serve last drinks by 3am and ban the sale of takeaway alcohol after 10pm.
A number of measures were introduced following a number of one-punch deaths and assaults during alcohol-fuelled nights out.
Dr. Tony Sara told reporters in Sydney the number of victims of alcohol-related violence turning up at St Vincent’s Hospital had fallen by one-third since the laws were introduced.“All assaults have gone down by 32% and the number of severely injured persons has also gone down,” he said.
There have not been any deaths from alcohol-related violence or trauma since the lockouts, and there have only been three patients admitted to the intensive care unit for such violence, Sara claimed.
However, he said relaxing the laws for live music venues “could be a good idea” if proven effective through a small-scale trial.