Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Peaceful protesters met with rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray. Rescue dogs shot so people won’t travel to save them.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is triggering mass psychosis. It’s destroying our moral compass. Shameful things occurred in Melbourne’s central business district this past weekend. Peaceful protesters were pepper sprayed by police. They were shot with rubber bullets. They were tear-gassed.
These people weren’t looting. Or rioting. Or setting fires. They were simply making it plain that government relies on the consent of the governed.
Any politician who impedes freedom of movement for extended periods of time should expect pushback. Anyone who shuts down other people’s economic activity for months on end shouldn’t be surprised when those people cease complying.
Lockdowns don’t harm everyone equally. Politicians have been drawing their full paycheques this entire time. So have government employees of all descriptions, including health officials and police chiefs. Academics have continued to be paid. So have journalists.
There isn’t even symbolic sharing of the economic pain. Show me a country in which politicians and public sector workers take home 20% less than usual whenever lockdowns are in force, and I’ll show you a country that swiftly finds an alternative approach.
The entire state of Victoria is currently in an extended lockdown. Melbourne is under a nightly, 9 pm curfew. Take a look at the long, long list of rules published this weekend by the Guardian. Essential workers “need to get a permit to go to work.” Anyone shopping or exercising is required “to stay within a 5 km radius” of their home. There’s a “two-hour limit on exercise.”
The border between the state of New South Wales and the state of Queensland is now closed. This prevents people from getting to work. On Sunday, thousands of protesters gathered on that border. The Daily Mail has plenty of photos and videos here.
Australian authorities are so adamant that travel in private vehicles will unleash Armageddon that Bourke Shire, a region on the New South Wales border, shot several rescue dogs recently, so that volunteers wouldn’t travel there to fetch them (see here and here).
Australia has turned itself into a prison despite the fact that fewer than 1,000 people have died of COVID-19 in that entire country throughout the entire pandemic. This is a nation with an extraordinarily low deaths-per-million rate. It currently stands at 38. Let’s compare that to the deaths-per-million rate elsewhere (data from here):
Where COVID-19 is concerned, Australia is one of the most fortunate nations on the planet. If it now did the sensible thing and gave everyone who tests positive early, out-patient treatment, almost no one would end up in hospital.
We know a lot more now than we did in March 2020. It is within Australia’s power to crush COVID. Instead, its politicians are more interested in crushing Aussies and shooting puppies.
This video was taken at the New South Wales/Queensland border. The gent on the horse is urging others to cross the border. “They cannot arrest all of us,” he says.
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