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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/21/20

New Rules May Allow Australian Police to Detain "Conspiracy Theorists"

Data updated September 20, 2020
Data updated September 20, 2020
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The Australian state is rolling out increasingly fascistic laws. When will people finally say enough is enough?

New rules passing in the Australian state of Victoria could see "conspiracy theorists" and those "suspected by health authorities of being likely to spread the virus" detained in quarantine centres, according to The Age.

The rules are amendments being added to the Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill, which was first passed back in April.

The proposed detention would last "for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health".

To translate that from bureaucrat into English: it means as for long as they want, or can get away with.

Legislation with this kind of vague verbiage is always a red flag, but then Victoria is currently over-flowing with warning signs of this kind.

VICTORIA - THE WORLD'S FASCIST TEST RUN?

Maybe you haven't been following exactly how bad things are getting in Australia - and most especially Victoria - but they have essentially aggressively seized their opportunity to create a fascist micro-state. A social Petri dish, in which to culture some tyranny.

They have declared both a "state of emergency" AND a "state of disaster" for a disease that has killed fewer than a thousand people in 9 months across the entire country.

For a sense of perspective, in 2018 over three times as many people died of influenza, and the same number again committed suicide.

As of right now Australia has just 16 cases of coronavirus classified as "severe".

And yet, among other highly authoritarian regulations in place, Victoria currently has:

A curfew--everybody must be home by 9pm and remain there until 5am. Special work permits for "essential workers", which must be carried at all times and presented to any law-enforcement officer who asks. Police check points on the roads - "leaving a restricted area" is now a criminal offense. "Indefinitely suspended" all jury trials - all criminal proceedings are now bench trials (they tried that in Scotland, too). A 60-minute limit for anyone leaving their home to exercise, and a rule forbidding people from going more than 5km (3.1 miles) from their home. Instituted mandatory masks for anyone leaving the house for any reason.

Though notionally intended to be "temporary measures" that only lasted six weeks, they have already extended that timeline for a further six months. There is some planned "loosening" of these restrictions, but with such vague and mutable conditions it's unlikely this "new normal" is going away.

Indeed the "emergency" is so comparatively minor that this precedent means almost any future event can be designated a "disaster" or "emergency", and used as excuse to impose authoritarian social controls.

THE EVER-QUOTABLE DANIEL ANDREWS

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has been a quote machine during this pandemic. When challenged on the draconian nature of the new rules Andrews said [our emphasis]:

The most logical, the most prudent thing to do, is to simply accept the fact that we have a need for rules ... they're not about individual liberty, they're about public health.

When asked about the 74 protesters arrested in Melbourne this past weekend, he said [again, our emphasis]:

It's not smart, it's not right... it's not the time for protest... No one has the right to make choices like that, that potentially puts at risk everything we are working towards.

Andrews is currently subject to a vote of no confidence from the opposition.

ENTHUSIASTIC POLICE BRUTALITY

The Victorian police have certainly launched into their new mandates with gusto. Raiding the homes of people who share certain facebook posts before arresting them for "incitement" and violently detaining those who weren't wearing masks in public.

Oh, they are also detaining people at checkpoints for no reason at all, and hitting protesters with their cars, putting them in hospital. Some people are being arrested for refusing to identify themselves or "driving on a highway" or "refusing to follow orders".

The situation in Victoria is terrible, but it's not much worse than here in the UK, or the US or many other countries around the world. People need to resist it--non-compliance and non-conformity have never been more important.

We're in a grip of a fascism pilot scheme, and the only way to stop it is to see it and say it.

 

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Republished from OffGuardian.  OffGuardian was launched in February 2015 and takes its name from the fact its founders had all been censored on and/or banned from the Guardian's 'Comment is Free' sections.

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