The protests against the lockdowns in Melbourne and Sydney were interesting in a variety of ways. Interesting in the ways that government handled them in comparison to other protests that have been conducted in Australia since the pandemic began in 2020. Also interesting in the way the media covered the protests compared to other protests.
The BLM, Antifa, climate change, and extinction rebellion protests that have been conducted during the pandemic have been viewed differently by government and media. The responses to these protests have been different also. Why then are the protests against the lockdowns being treated like they are criminal actions?
To answer this you have to view the protests in the light of the time periods they were conducted in and not in the flawed view of judging then by the reality of now. In other words, it is faulty to judge yesterday by today’s standards.
Let me explain.
Perhaps the best and easiest protest to use would be the BLM protests of 2020 in Melbourne and Sydney. The respective governments of these states virtually did nothing to stop these protests despite the country being in a pandemic. The police pretty much just stood by and allowed the protesters to do their thing. The media mostly praised the protests.
It should be noted that these protests had vastly more people attending than the anti-lockdown protests of August 21nd 2021.
The easy and flawed answer to the disparity in how these protests were dealt with and reported on is that the Delta strain of the virus is so lethal that you can get it and die just from being there and that to protest against lockdowns is just going to keep lockdowns happening and with more repressive restrictions. That the BLM protests of last year simply did not have the same risk as the original strain of the virus was far less virulent than the current strain.
It sounds reasonable except for a simple reality in that at the time of those protests last year that strain of the virus was the killer in the community and the reason for lockdowns and restrictions. At that time variations to the virus were unknown. If you recall the government, ‘experts’, media, and anyone who could were telling us that the virus was going to run rampant and kill hundreds of thousands of us.
Further to that is another simple reality in that to say and do nothing but comply is to ensure that our leaders will continue to do as they have been doing since last year when we had the two-week lockdown to ‘flatten the curve’. Along the way, despite denying it, they changed gears and instead went for an eradication model which is impossible unless Australia remains sealed off from the rest of the world forever.
Factor in that the respective governments publicly stated that not only was it impossible to stop those protests last year and this year not related to lockdowns so there was no point in attempting to. Then after the event they stated that the protests were not super spreader events. A couple of token fines handed out to the organisers and that was the extent of enforcing the health orders.
Yesterday it was an overwhelming police action, lots of arrests and fines, government officials publicly stating that this would be a super spreader event and urging people to call hotlines and denounce friends, family, and people they recognise for being at the protest. Also that these protests were now super spreader events which greenlights our leaders to be more repressive. Yesterday handed an excuse to our leaders to continue doing as they wish.
Can you see the hypocritical differences?
Sure there were people at the protests for reasons other than protesting the severity of the lockdowns and the lack of vision on the path out of this insanity. The nutjobs also attend things like this so you have anti-vaxxers, conspiracy nuts, people with an axe to grind, people hoping to get laid, people who just love to cause trouble, and the list goes on. Every protest has people with their own agendas and axes to grind, it is always the case.
The cops could have let the crowd have their march and be done with it, but the government cannot afford for this to happen for one reason in the main and it has little to do with public health, it is that they have tasted the most power they have ever had and simply don’t want to let it go. To allow the protest would threaten their power and that is unacceptable.
The media is as the media normally is and they toe the line of what they consider to be public sentiment condemning the protesters with all the standard name calling and belittlement. That is until their own comments sections are largely filled with comments that don’t match their narrative. Then they try to change it slightly and sit on the fence rather than just doing objective reporting. The problem with sitting on the fence and waiting to see which way to jump generally results in just getting a sore arse.
Society is fracturing into camps here in Australia and that is reprehensible as it is being driven by our governments, media, and big business. Do they have no concept of the problems they are creating, or do they simply not care? Do they imagine that at a time of their choosing that we are all just going to forget all this?
A percentage of population will forget all this as the extent of the dumbing down of population ensures that many will, but many will not forget, and they will not forgive. This with good fortune will be reflected in the elections of next year.
In closing here are some simple facts. The vaccine does not stop you getting the virus or transmitting it to others. It reduces the severity of the virus just like the flu vaccine reduces the severity of the flu if you catch that virus. The vaccine does not last forever, just like the flu vaccine. The other simple fact is that the longer lockdowns go on and restrictions are emplaced and enforced with heavy hands and heavier enforcements the more people will rebel against it. To date not one thing the respective governments, state or federal, have said have been upheld in how to get back to a life of some sort of normality as they continue to move the goalposts. If the reactions to protests are heavy-handed and repressive then the rebellion to these things will grow and at some point it may be tens if not hundreds of thousands of people protesting in the streets.
To effectively protest against the lockdowns and restrictions they should be carried out with careful planning and if the government wants to squash physical protests as it has both stated and displayed that it does. Perhaps a concerted protest consisting of online activism, flooding politicians with petitions and reasoned arguments coupled with bombarding our media with our discontent will force our leaders to get off their power trip before they cause more damage to this country. The online activism would have to be unrelenting to be successful. Every argument should be balanced and backed up with facts and timelines of the actions of officials rather than with personal attacks and abuse as that approach dismantles any changes to what the situation is currently.
One voice alone is a whisper easily ignored, while a million voices are deafening and cannot be ignored.
I do not for one moment suggest that this virus is not real or that the vaccine is what the nutjobs claim it to be. I suggest that the approach to dealing with this virus is flawed and destructive to lives, livelihoods, and a cohesive society. I also suggest that the damage that is happening from these lockdowns and restrictions will impact people for years to come in so many ways that it is incredibly sad, particularly for our young who are our future.