Vaccine mandate opponents come in a range of shapes and sizes. They include truckies, conservative history professors, wellness influencers and health professionals. …
When the freedom convoy set up camp in Canberra earlier this month, The Canberra Times showed its colours by asserting that it consisted of “loosely affiliated groups, such as sovereign citizens, anti-vaccine conspiracists and evangelicals”. Yet little evidence emerged to support this sweeping claim, which, like so much that appears in print these days, appears to have been written from the office.
Journalists such as Nine News’ Chris Uhlmann who remain burdened by the obligation to wear out shoe leather in pursuit of truth found it less easy to resort to stereotypes. Uhlmann reported the presence of a handful of mask-wearing Proud Boys and recalled a previous March4Justice protest at which a woman in a black balaclava yelled that he was “a c..t”. Most of the crowd, however, “looked like they had just wandered out of Bunnings”, he wrote. “If anything defined them, it was that most didn’t appear to work in jobs they could easily do from home. Once we would have called them working class.”
Any radical tendencies lurking in what Uhlmann described as the biggest crowd he could remember in 30 years of covering protests in the capital would surely have been splashed across The Canberra Times. Yet the worst the paper found it could blame on the crowd was the cancellation of a charity book fair and a growers’ market. The police charge sheet was thin, with a single charge of firearm possession, which is contested, and a handful of minor offences. Dr Bruce Paix, a trauma specialist with 32 years’ service as a rescue doctor and anaesthesiologist, was accused of breaking through a police roadblock and was held in solitary confinement for six days. Yet Paix contends he was driving around what he thought to be a vehicle accident at a sedate 10km/h.
In Australia, as in Canada, there are consequences for the “othering” of citizens wedded neither to the left nor right who for a variety of reasons feel aggrieved by the handling of the Covid crisis.
The long-term erosion of the civic fabric is more serious. Trust in officialdom has been badly shaken and will not easily be restored. Officials who don’t trust the public to do the right thing will discover the feeling is mutual.
For now, majoritarianism prevails and the rights of the minority are curtailed. Yet casting out the vaccine-hesitant is not only counter-productive, but also runs counter to the evidence, which suggests vaccination does not reduce the risk of transmission. Fundamentally, it is a betrayal of Australian values that deem everyone worthy of equal respect.
It’s a new world. The rules have changed. Join and obey the leftist mob, or risk being stripped of your rights and turned into a criminal figure of mob hate.
Speaking of the new class of criminal protestors, it appears that the Canberra police had two high-tech crowd-control weapons on hand at the recent anti-mandate/convoy protest:
- Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), a “sonic weapon” meant to cause extreme discomfort by way of directed beams of amplified sound. Nicknamed the “Voice of God”.
- Active Denial System (ADS), which produces a beam of electromagnetic energy at a microwave frequency, causing blisters, burns or feeling ill. US Department of Defense: “Producing an intolerable heating sensation, compelling the targeted individual to instinctively move. The sensation immediately ceases when the individual moves out of the beam or when the operator turns off the beam.”
The Canberra police admitted under Senate questioning — when presented with an incriminating photo — that LRAD was indeed present and set up to use against the crowd, but deny that it was actually used. Some protesters reported symptoms consistent with ADS.
Senator Antic holding a photo of Canberra police and an LRAD at the Canberra protest
Were such weapons deployed or used against BLM or other protestors that the ruling class approve of? Or just the new criminal-political class?
How does their deployment square with Australia’s human rights obligations? Or with our democratic traditions and noble aspirations?