Lanz Priestley, Martin Place ‘mayor’ and homelessness activist, dies

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Lanz Priestley, a social activist known as the “mayor of Martin Place”, has died after suffering a brain bleed last month.

He was known as the leader of the “tent city” in Sydney’s Martin Place in 2017, when he and dozens of other homeless people were evicted from the site.

“Mayor of Martin Place” Lanz Priestley (centre) died after suffering a brain bleed

“Mayor of Martin Place” Lanz Priestley (centre) died after suffering a brain bleedCredit:Wolter Peeters

Mr Priestley, who had been living with stage four prostate cancer, helped set up Sydney’s 24-7 Street Kitchen and Safe Space at Martin Place, serving meals and providing space for rough sleepers.

His death was announced by family on Facebook on Tuesday morning, with Mr Priestley remembered as a “selfless being”.

“His work has helped, inspired, and united so many people throughout the world,” the statement said.

“Nothing defined how hard he worked. Although it is time for Lanz to finally rest, his contributions will continue to live on.”

His family say a memorial will be held for Mr Priestley at Martin Place.

Last month, friend Freya Strom said Mr Priestley had been taken to hospital in Lismore after suffering a bleed on the brain.

“The plan is to keep him stable and transfer to another hospital for surgery tomorrow,” she said on Facebook at the time.

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