‘Look what’s going on in Australia right now. After a year and a half they are still enforcing lockdowns by the military. That’s not a free country. It’s not a free country at all, in fact, I mean, I wonder why we would still have the same diplomatic relationships when they are doing that. Is Australia freer than China – communist China – right now? I don’t know, but the fact that that’s even a question tells you something has gone dramatically off the rails’.
‘Off the rails’ is putting it mildly. That was Florida’s Republican Governor Ron de Santis answering questions about last week’s protests and subsequent police crackdowns in Melbourne. For those who didn’t see the images on social media (the majority of the mainstream media avoided showing them), the approach by the Mussolini-style, black-clad Victorian Police forces included bludgeoning a man on the ground with a rifle butt, tackling numerous unsuspecting individuals onto concrete surfaces, shooting people with rubber pellets, throwing a 70-year-old woman to the ground and then spraying her in the face with capsicum spray and other such grotesque human rights abuses almost too numerous to mention.
These images are now sweeping the globe and are fast becoming the new face of Australia. In this week’s cover story, Nyunggai Warren Mundine recalls how Covid restrictions are eerily reminiscent of the same brutal authoritarian over-reach which Indigenous Australians endured for decades. Already one Victorian police officer has been suspended but a full investigation is needed and criminal charges must be laid where police brutality has occurred. Shamefully, not a single political leader has so far addressed these potential crimes, preferring instead to demonise the protesters and hide behind the Orwellian shield of ‘public health’: ‘We are smashing you in the face, shooting you, throwing you on the ground, kicking you in the kidneys and spraying a toxic substance in your face in order to protect your health’.
This is as ugly, as repugnant and as sinister as the activities and behaviour of those tinpot dictatorships and creepy authoritarian regimes we free Australians either fled from or grew up holding in contempt. Yet it is many of those societies, from eastern Europe, from parts of Asia and South America, who now pity us. In all likelihood, the huge amount of money and effort that Australians invested in promoting the openness and beauty of our nation around the planet has now been rendered redundant by these new images of the ugliness perpetrated primarily, but not exclusively, by the narcissistic authoritarian regime of the Victorian Labor government of Daniel Andrews and the unacceptable fascist behaviour of its police force.
Of course, police must be allowed to do their job and law and order must be upheld and public property protected. But not at the expense of long-cherished and hard-won personal freedoms, the hallmark of a self-respecting democracy.
Although some of the protesters may have been ‘Nazi man-babies’ as the reliably obnoxious and unctuous Bill Shorten sneered at his own union members, and ‘anti-vaxxers’ no doubt made up a hefty percentage of those most fervently protesting, the simple truth is that these demonstrations were the inevitable and predictable result of arguably unconstitutional and illegal mandatory vaccination rules being forced upon the citizens of this country. Inevitable because there can never be a justification for coercing people into injecting a foreign substance into their bodies against their better judgment and predictable because we have seen similar demonstrations in many countries around the world, most notably in France. Here, only one politician has genuinely railed against the assault on our democracy and way of life, the United Australia Party’s Craig Kelly. Taking out full page ads in the mainstream media and saying what once the journalists themselves would have been proud and principled enough to say, Mr Kelly writes:
‘Dear Prime Minister, The violence on the streets of Melbourne has shocked the nation. To see in the shadows of the Shrine of Remembrance, Victorian Police firing rubber bullets into the backs of fleeing protesters is what you might see in a dystopian dictatorship – not in a free and democratic nation. This division and violence is being driven by one issue – the State Premiers wanting to enforce a Domestic Vaccine Passport. I no longer recognise the nation I grew up in, and as Prime Minister the buck stops with you. You have the power to end this division by banning Domestic Vaccine Passports, as many states in the USA have done.
There is legislation (I have introduced) modelled on Florida’s legislation which bans discrimination based on Covid vaccination status. The case for vaccine passports has been debunked by experts around the world.
I implore you Prime Minister to stop the division in our society through a despicable ‘No Jab, No Job’ policy; to end the chaos and madness that the nation has fallen into under your watch; and to restore our nation’s freedoms by recalling Parliament and urgently passing the No Covid Domestic Vaccine Passport Bill 2021.’
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