Students rally without police permission

Ashlea Witoslawski

Protesters demanding governments take serious action to tackle climate change have rallied at Circular Quay in Sydney despite police denying the group permission to march.

Uni Students for Climate Justice - the group behind the mass Sack Scomo protests across the country - walked from Customs House to Martin Place on Wednesday evening even though police refused to facilitate the event.

Organisers estimated 500 took part though they were forced to march on the footpath rather than the street after NSW Police said the protesters failed to provide the required seven days notice under the Summary Offences Act.

"This period of notice allows police to plan our operational response, to ensure public safety is maintained, and to ensure the significant disruption and inconvenience to the community that can occur with large-scale protests is minimised," a spokesperson said in a statement.

"NSW Police successfully facilitated a peaceful protest for this group last Friday as all legal requirements were met."

But Uni Students for Climate Justice co-convenor Gavin Stanbrook says the group has been told there was no appetite to allow the march.

"NSW Police are doing the dirty work of (NSW Premier Gladys) Berejiklian and (Prime Minister Scott) Morrison," Mr Stanbrook said in a statement.

The police force has argued that they need to balance the rights of citizens to hold peaceful protests with other rights - including the safety and security of the community.