A pregnant mother is handcuffed in front of her own children.
A young man’s door is smashed with a battering ram.
How can this be happening in ‘the land of the fair go?
Now let’s have a look at these seemingly egregious attacks on our human rights.
Firstly, we must bear-in-mind that we are in the midst of a pandemic.
(in case you hadn’t noticed)
l would imagine that even the most comprehensive human rights laws are suspended during such times. ‘Suspended’ means they are still there, waiting till the whole thing blows over. Just be patient, please!
Now, l personally believe that the right to protest should never be suspended, even during a pandemic, especially the right to protest about being denied the right to protest, so long as we follow the guide-lines: March at arms length with our masks on, etc.
But those recently arrested so dramatically, for incitement, were not arrested just for encouraging people to protest. They were arrested for encouraging people to break the lock-down and flout as many guide-lines as they could manage, on principal. l don’t think those arrested at the consequential protest were arrested just for protesting either, even though it is against the rules. Just as people at previous protests were not arrested just for turning up. (Though the instigators were fined)
The ‘Freedom’ protesters were arrested for deliberately going without a mask, and for not maintaining social distancing. Compare this to the BLM protesters, who were desperate to protest despite the lock-down. Believing, rightly, that their lives were just as valuable as the victims of Covid. Also believing, rightly as it turned out, that if they wore their masks the protest would not spread the virus. Yes, we live in a pluralist society. Ideally we should let everybody deal with the virus as they see fit, like they do in ‘The Land of the Free’.
(Luckily, there is no mad rush to follow ‘The Leader of the free world’ on this one)
But we here in The Land of Oz chose a different strategy.
Federal Parliament and every state and territory leader decided together, unanimously, to go down the path of lock-downs, and once you step foot on that path you must keep going until the bitter end. You must not look back, you must focus on the horizon.
(quick metaphor change here)
Imagine you are swimming across a flooded river. Your loved ones are beckoning from yonder shore, urging you on.
(feel free to add some sharks and crocodiles here)
You are over half way, the end is in sight, but you are tiring fast, exhaustion and hypothermia are effecting your mind. You make the fateful decision to turn back.
Protesting is not illegal, but gathering together is. Encouraging people to protest is not a crime, but encouraging them to break the lock-down is a crime, and a serious crime at that. If enough wreckless, foolhardy, hedonists and libertarians act on that incitement, then the entire strategy of lock-down will fail. It could be argued that the purpose of the ‘Freedom’ protest was to undermine the lock-down its self,
thus proving the fervent belief of the participants: that lock-downs don’t work. (or, if their actions fail to spread the virus, it proves the virus is a figment of our imagination. A win/win game)
As for the ostentatiously heavy-handed arrests so graphically plastered all over the airwaves, it seems all the stakeholders were quite pleased with the results. The mischief-makers got some damning footage of cops behaving badly.(not particularly rare footage, unfortunately)
Dan got to scare away any other potential miscreants, and the cops got to have some fun and let off their pent up frustrations in the usual time-honoured manner. A good time was had by all. High fives all round, well done team!