Police will fine Melbourne Black Lives Matter rally organisers $1652 each for breaching the directions of the chief health officer, as thousands turned out to call for an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody.
Victoria Police had earlier warned the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance they could face fines if they went ahead with the rally and on Saturday evening followed through on their warning.
"We remain concerned that such a large gathering has occurred without regard for the need to maintain social distance and will now consider what action should be taken in relation to the organisation and conduct of this unlawful gathering," Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said.
Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson, who spoke at the rally, said it was ridiculous to fine people for fighting injustice and she would contest a fine if she received one.
"It's a democratic right to protest," Ms Nicholson told AAP.
"We also had police marching with us and talking with us.
"It was very peaceful and a life-changing event for not only black people but everyone."
Late in the evening, the organisers said on their Facebook page that they had received offers of help.
"We are really touched by the offer from everyone to pay the fines we may cop in Melbourne.... But we would prefer you to direct the funds to the families directly impacted by deaths in custody."
They reassured their supporters they had sufficient "networks and community to deal with this internally (if we even get a fine)".
Mr Cornelius noted that although the meeting was unlawful, police were generally pleased with public behaviour.
"As of 5pm, there were no arrests made during the protest and we are not aware of any acts of violence or property damage," he said.
"Police will continue to investigate the events of today to determine whether any further follow up enforcement activity is required."
Melbourne rally organisers were resolute in holding the event despite Professor Brett Sutton warning just one COVID-19-positive person at the rally could squander the gains made during the virus lockdown. He asked Victorians not to attend the event.
Protesters turned up in their thousands.
All protesters wore a face mask while volunteers offered hand sanitiser and encouraged people to practise social distancing.
Indigenous speakers at the rally said global outrage over a police officer's suffocation of Minneapolis man George Floyd had finally caused Australia to question its own systemic racism.
Family members of Aboriginal women and men who have died in custody spoke at the rally to share their pain and their hope for a better future.
More than 400 Aboriginal people have died in custody since 1991 after the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Wurundjeri leaders, whose native land is Melbourne, painted white ochre across their foreheads as a sign of mourning.
Aboriginal teenager Ky-ya Nicholson Ward told the crowd it had been a hard week dealing with everything happening in the world, but a video of an Aboriginal boy being slammed facedown to the ground by a NSW policeman was particularly disturbing.
Aboriginal people make up 28 per cent of the Australian prison population, 50 per cent of the youth detention population and only three per cent of the overall population, the 17-year-old said.
"We all bleed red because we are human," another speaker said, to shouts of support from the crowd.
The Melbourne crowd let out a roar of approval when they heard the NSW Court of Appeal had authorised the concurrent Sydney demonstration, which had earlier been refused approval.
Australian Associated Press