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Sydney in protest against controversial nightlife laws


An estimated 15,000 protested against the law which stops alcohol service at 03:00 hrs.

According to group Keep Sydney Open, 15,000 residents converged on the city centre to take a stand against the state’s controversial lockout laws on Sunday afternoon (Feb 21).

The lockout laws were introduced in 2014 by the New South Wales government to curb Sydney’s alleged alcohol-fuelled violence problem. The laws prohibit patrons from entering licensed venues after 01:30 hrs and serving alcohol after 03:00 hrs.

Opponents say that the lockout laws are destroying businesses, the city’s nightlife culture and infringing on individual liberties. Many think pieces have been written on the so-called ‘nanny state’, nights out have been cancelled and kebabs shops have been shut down. “We haven’t been listened to up at this point, and this is why we’re here,” Tyson Koh from Keep Sydney Open told the cheering crowd.


Image: Vanessa Lawrence @nesslawrence

Hyde Park transformed into a festival for two hours, as rain sprinkled down on dancing protestors. Organisers reiterated that the protest was not only against the lockout laws, but also to celebrate Sydney.

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