Just three weeks ago, Prime Minister Scott Morrison fronted media and was asked about crowds gathering in protest of lockdown measures, vaccinations, the roll-out of 5G, and just about every other conspiracy theory under the sun. The protests occurred in the peak of Australia’s coronavirus lockdown measures, and were subsequently attended by hundreds.
In regards to those protests, with a smirk, Prime Minister Morrison flippantly responded “it’s a free country.”
— David Marler (@Qldaah) May 11, 2020
Today, Morrison’s tune has changed significantly.
Addressing the planned Australia-wide action this weekend, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in America and highlighting Australia’s godawful Indigenous deaths in custody track record, Morrison invoked recent collective hardship in telling people to not go.
“For all of those Australians who couldn’t attend the funeral of a family member or couldn’t see a loved one in a nursing home or a veteran who couldn’t remember their fallen colleagues by attending a war memorial service on Anzac Day, I say to them don’t go,” the Prime Minister said.
The Government is using public health orders to suggest that the size of the crowds that are set to gather are illegal under coronavirus restrictions. That wasn’t a problem with the 5G protests, which were conducted under tighter lockdown conditions, and also violated outdoor gathering limits.
So what’s changed? Why is the Prime Minister declaring a “free country” for one mass gathering protest, and invoking the spirit of the Anzacs of all things to discourage people attending another?
What’s the difference here?
These protests are about black people standing up and speaking out.
That’s the difference here.
This protest movement is about race, and systemic racism. And therefore to this Government, and every one that came before it, it demands suppresion.
That much should be screaming bloody obvious to everyone.Image: AAP