Contributed from New South Wales
The Back Lives movement in Australia is obviously important to Frist Nations people, and it is important for the whole of Australia. Our progress as a nation cannot go forward, without coming to terms with history and putting an end to this injustice.
We can only go forward together.
Although there is widespread sympathy for the motives of this week’s protest in Sydney, there are differences of opinion on whether this was the best strategy, in the circumstances of an emerging second wave of Covid-19.
Regardless of this, the police response was unwarranted. Even they admitted that those who turned up observed social distancing, wore masks, and had plenty of sanitiser handy. This warranted a more respectful response.
Video from news.com.au
Police moved in and made 6 arrests. They seemed targeted. This happened before the event began. Organisers called called it off and asked people to disperse. It made no difference.
The handling in Sydney contrasts with the treatment of protests tied to United States funded organisations defending the so-called Hong kong democracy movement.
Different police forces may be involved. Nonetheless, it is a glimpse on the emerging overt politicisation of policing in Australia. It is not what you do, as much as it is who you are, that determines the police response.
There are shades of Trump’s America. There organised police assaults are meted out against the Black Lives Matter movement, while gun toting supporters of the Trump administration are allowed to go about freely and intimidate people, even legislators. Australia is not as bad as this. but we are going down the same road.
If all there is to it is the threat of infection spread, the same zeal would be applied to any other gathering, from sports to church, to pubs and restaurants. This is not what is happening.
This emerging shift towards political policing must be taken accounted for, by those organising public political events. It does not mean giving in. It does mean paying even more attention to winning the support of the public. This is the best protection and the surest way to make a difference.