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Are we there yet?

The greatest harm does not often come via gun, it comes under the guise of ‘protection’, ‘good intentions’ and ‘care’. In all our communities and societies, it always has.

Beyond personal dignity and national economic stabilisation, there was a reason for unfettered social security. It was the first and last recognition by the unbridled ‘State’ that every human life has an inherent value; is respected, is needed, is to be included and is worthy of protection and care, as a free, equal member of society.

The advent of this Human Right was in a fashion, a national and international demarcation line, a step away from feudalist notions of nations, and the social acceptance of ‘acceptable’ slavery and poverty that devalued ALL our lives.

The rise of the concept of Social Security in its pulsing root was itself a result of new awareness hard learned by centuries of war and bloodshed, abuses and the lived consequences of inaction and political corruption – a refutation of our acceptance of our own self-deceit.

Coming off the back of the Second World War, this emergence of the need for collective care and the obligation on individual responsibility to uphold it, was a symbol of our growth as a species, not just as a nation. A new value of human life had been learned through and by the survivors of atrocity and their allies. Acting upon that wisdom, somewhere at some point a line was drawn in the sand between the modern and past, old and new, the acceptable, and what was no longer to be acceptable.

Over time that line became a freedom from those centuries of abuses that were always and inevitably compounded by the structures that supported them and the institutions that legitimised them. It was not a forgiveness for the past, just an opportunity to step away from it, or if you like, to step away from our sins to create new pathways.

The generations that did had earned the freedom to do that. Freedom from and freedom to.

With this new awareness and capacity, we all became able, and were enabled to turn and begin to move towards something more, something better, where prior to this time we were immersed and could not do that for the guilt or the grief.

WE ALL lose that demarcation line this week if the Continuation Bill 2020 passes. ALL of us… but not just us. As a once example to the world full of struggling hoping nations and peoples, the impact of what happens here and now to us, is far wider than most could comprehend.

In this steady march of the blind we have going on in our nation right now, our national social and political regression that has been underway since 2013, will be cemented in law as fact if the bill makes it through Senate. History will have come full circle and everyone aware of that fact right now is still and holding their breath.

Speaking of the patterns of power in totalitarianism, we know already, that in the early 1930s, under the T4 pogrom, Hitler did not give orders for his subordinates to go out and murder innocent disabled, different, sick mentally ill or elderly people – he just stopped enforcing the laws that made doing so a crime and took off the restraints of those he had empowered, non-believers and believers in his message alike.

He had already long reassured most people who might be disturbed through propaganda and threats, that ending the lives of society burdens was the right and good thing to do, ‘in the national interest’… though the surprising thing was that most were not disturbed by it. For the majority, collaboration in T4 was entirely consensual.

With his propaganda army and his well-founded economic rationale for the removal from society of this ‘unworthy class’ and using stereotypes vilification and repetition, he gained the support of an ignorant society willing to dehumanise ‘the other’ and on completion of that dehumanisation, some 300,000 people, all German citizens, had been murdered long before the religious ever saw an oven.

Please do not tell us residing in this ’bottom tier’ not to be afraid.

The removal of this ‘bottom tier’ of vulnerable but already second-class citizens, and the methods utilised in that process were eventually refined to their apex during the Holocaust, and that knowledge is made harder to bear when you consider that in the end, these people considered ‘unworthy of life’, over half of them children, were enthusiastically offered up to the state, even by their own family members. T4, in its own right, was the first wave of a tsunami of holocaust.

When you understand history and FULLY comprehend this bill and what has been done through it, like how it has now become ‘acceptable’ to deny and withhold legal rights and protections for the vulnerable; and when you comprehend the process of how they bought that into being, how they expanded it, all the tactics and tools, you start to recognise the repeating the patterns of the not so distant past – like a government once again refusing to enforce the laws they ought to that are meant protect vulnerable groups of powerless people from abuse, by predators, including neonate totalitarian governments.

These patterns that I suppose only a person who has lived through atrocity can see, are a vanguard. Mile markers that warn and say, ‘this is how it started.’

When you consider the lengths being taken by the Morrison government now, their eagerness and rush to actively segregate and marginalise the poor, the different, disabled, sick and elderly, quickly before everyone notices what they are really doing, alarm bells start to sound. Whenever a day in media for seven years nonstop all you hear is ministers out there proselytizing the message that poor people are ‘bad’ and expenditure for the poor is so ‘burdensome’, you finally start to see the ‘bigger picture’, that really is not so big.

If you do not run away from the view your view of where we really ‘are’ as a society changes and the precipice we are all standing on together becomes immediately and acutely visible. Still being remotely human and free to think, your breath should evaporate with the recognition that we are indeed, that close to the edge.

I’m sitting here right now and have been for a while, looking at the all amazing if not minor revolutions, the evolutions and uprisings we are having here and around the world, and I am seeing the good and solid strengths still within our communities despite the confusion. I can see how brilliant and how monstrous we all are, typically human.

Yet behind my glasses I am also weighing up the probabilities, doing the math and wondering in my heart if our ‘progress’ will be enough? Will we be able, where those people back then were not, to defeat our own collective denial that we are so close to that edge? They did not see it when they were in ‘it’ either way back when… and we are no less human than they are so this is not said as a judgment.

I am genuinely wondering, ‘can we do this’? Can we overcome – ourselves?

The words Social and Security were carefully chosen by wiser people than sit in office today. They understood what today’s cheats and liars do not – that social stability is dependent on how those at the bottom of the ladder are treated – that individual liberty, like it or not, is dependent on the liberty of the ‘other’- even those we may despise.

We who have, have tried honestly to avert the disasters that our national social and political devolution away from these principles has created – both the present ones, and the one that is coming should this bill pass.

We have tried to make blind people see, to garner help and support in that fight and to avoid the breakdown of our society for ALL Australians, the financially poor and the rich.

WE know, if this bill passes, that the reassuring warm blanket of stability Australians are gripping tightly, a stability that is already under so much stress and duress, will begin at pace to end and soon enough, every eye WILL see the price of ignorance and our widespread lack of vigilance, like it or not.

It appears there is a risk we may lose the bill fight, and if so, please know the effort was not for nothing. What will be, will. And if we do lose, we know it is a collective loss, and it was not our fault, and we will have been sold out and sold off, again, by those who have no education or wisdom to speak of, most of whom have not even read the legislation they are voting on, individuals, who have no idea what they are doing, who had by status, every responsibility to know.

If by any chance we do not lose… good stuff… though even that victory will be soured now; the losses of forced Indue card holders these last 5 years will never be compensated, people will still BE broken by this policy’s impacts and in need of support and healing, most will be impacted permanently, just as it is for those who have survived BasicsCards for the last 13 years. So, it will be a broken hallelujah if it comes and in reality, a purchase of nothing more than time given who and what is in power here right now.

What has been broken throughout this process though, cannot be fixed now, a new system must be built. Not just root and branch, soil, and air as well. It will be a mammoth task.

What has been revealed about us, all of us, and revealed to us – the knowledge of what this government is prepared to do to its own people, will not ever be forgotten. Fear will replace faith for too many and only time can show the true injury count of that.

This government’s willingness to use FORCE against their own population to roll out this completely unnecessary T4 replica agenda, has shown this policy and this government for exactly what it is and is not. Yet none of our so-called leadership seem to even begin to comprehend this much – yet.

It was not hard though, to read the writing on the wall to anyone who has learned from history. Yet just as it was back then, ‘the people’ and the so-called leaders, again, have by and large simply chosen to ignore there is even a wall at all. Sing louder people…sing louder.

We all know in our hearts where this all ends if the strength cannot be summoned and conscience realised now and, in enough force, to defeat this bill and the ideology empowering it. Different form, same outcome. History repeating. Wide and close field.

Even forgetting the deep past, we know without doubt, that at minimum, this bill is the NT Intervention take two – a repetition of a mistake we have only just made a short time ago, and yes, we ALL know that… yet here we are… about to make it again.

If this bill passes, ALL of us, all Aboriginal people, the working poor, the disabled, elderly, and all people on Centrelink payment of any kind, everywhere, AND their families AND absolutely anyone dependent on their spending for any reason, will be forever defined and collectively collared by this formal, legislated, state sanctioned segregation of innocent groups of people, from their rights and protections within our society.

From the point of the bills assent into law, there will not be a single household left impacted in due course. Not one.

Yet at least, we who have stood to say no now, are unwilling victims of this abuse of power, not its midwives. We did not give permission in silence, and that matters. And will matter even more in times to come. Collaborators will find little mercy in the end as they have shown none, and the laws and frameworks that govern the giving of mercy, like grace, are not in our hands.

People are writing to me today saying ” I’m sorry, I understand”, regarding the decision to close SN7. Let me say now, as politely as I can, that no, you do not understand, and that is not OK, as you SHOULD understand, and you most certainly will soon enough in any case if this bill gets through.

Right now, though, you do not, and I refuse to allow anyone that self-comforting escape into rationalisation, an evasion of your part and responsibility for what is happening here and now. And we are ALL, responsible.

Unless and until you walk in MY shoes, or in Kathryn’s shoes, or have trod the path of any one of us who have had to deal with this card or this fight in the absence of our daily personal lives 24/7/365 for five years without pause; and until you have turned to face the despair created in ignorance yourself, and are mature enough to empathetically, genuinely, set your own self aside to stand in the shoes of those suffering under this policy in order to recognise the harm and impacts being inflicted by this policy, then you can never understand what it has been like and what it is like for us today. You can never understand what this decision to depart the field has cost – us.

I can accept that without maliciousness, and now it is your turn to do likewise and embrace your ignorance and overcome it as we have all been forced to. There is no hiding place down here and no willingness to take on specious self-soothing.

While Kathryn who has given all, stands naked before the nation yet again, pleading for nothing more than rational thought and actual human compassion, 35 people now have emailed me within this last one week just to tell me they are going to end their lives if this bill passes.

That is about 13 less than the 2018 senate vote period, but this time, my entire capacity to cope with that knowledge has gone. Stripped raw. I have nothing left to offer them, no hope or words to give and suddenly and strangely to myself, no capacity to create any for them or with them. We should not be ‘here’. They know that too.

They at least, understand in their kindness and awareness, that it is not in our hands any longer and we cannot even shield ourselves much less others from the crush of a yes vote if that is what will happen.

All I have left is the knowledge that I DID fight. I stood when it mattered to stand.

That matters.

WE who have, HAVE fought for everyone without judgment.

That matters.

WE who have, HAVE tried OUR best to get those in positions of privilege and power informed.

That matters.

WE who have, HAVE fought for time, media, to share platforms to be prioritised, yet well informed others, including several being paid well to support us, have completely erased, and ignored us over issues that mean very little by comparison to what is being lost in this fight.

That matters.

WE who have, HAVE fought while every doctor, lawyer, human rights, and civil liberties activist in the nation has sat publicly silent and stayed invisible; have publicly said and did little or nothing while the very human rights laws they revere and find so economically alluring, were being used as weapons against us.

That matters.

WE who have, HAVE tried to pay our debt, to do as most First Nations groups have asked us to do and work with them to undermine the institutional structures of their oppression, slavery, and imprisonment. We have learned we are not responsible for those who would choose it.

That matters.

WE have fought, even for those who despise us and laughed at us.

That matters. WE have done everything WE could humanly do.

That matters. We have learned our limits.

That matters.

Australia has ALREADY segregated Centrelink recipients from society. That much is 100% clear to all of us who have fought this fight. Yet being in fact, still very much a part of society, we are the best informed to say that absolutely NO ONE will escape the impact of the decisions being made about us and policies being forced ON us this week if this new atrocity is allowed to come to pass.

Now, and if this bill passes, Australia will take that subsurface experience and will become an open and formal living breathing socioeconomic apartheid state by law, and inevitably, as a result of that alone, ALL of Australia will soon experience the impacts of CDC policy and the instability to come – if not this rollout, then the next and next and next.

If this bill passes, maybe the Australian people will indeed learn the hard way, why we stood at all; maybe to their loss, maybe not at all. All I know for certain, is even if ‘they’ win – they lose and I can no longer afford to stand to care about the outcome of other people’s choices to re-enslave themselves nor am I willing to sit silent and conform as all that was gained through courage and sacrifice, is tossed out of the parliament window by people smoking cigars worth more than my rent.

What remains is that I will not choose enslavement and I will no longer continue to piss into the wind either. If you want to fight, then stand up! Do it! Fight! Fight for your own life if not for others.

I refuse any longer, to do the work that paid executive staff and politicians SHOULD be doing for them, that we have done by necessity, unpaid and always under fire with no Kevlar. So now I am at a point where I needs must step back and say in my heart, that if it is going to pass let it pass.

If this government is intent on dragging us all down, then LET us fall together. If we are to fall as a society, then let society fall. Let it all go, and let it crumble fast, so something better can be built on its ashes, something hopefully wiser and better… more human.

I can longer mentally, spiritually physically, afford to say anything less.

All I have now and take with me, is the knowledge I TRIED, that I have done absolutely everything humanely possible to speak out and stand, and to keep standing for as long as I have. They cannot put that on an Indue card or steal it. That is in my heart.

I have learned at depth, that I am not accountable for the choices or ignorance’s of others. So, whatever I will do now, is up to me. Me, exercising MY. CHOICE, while I still can.

Silent self-serving Australia needs to go grow up, and I will not join them in a journey I have already undertaken or in ego, offer them what remains of my life to keep being mamma google and standing so they can sit idle. I am not some self-deceived martyr.

I know too well Australians will reap what they have sown one way or another, for GOOD and BAD…and while I very much hope for the good, I will not any longer, be conceited enough to interfere in that existential education and evolutionary process of avoiding the bad.

Right now, I refuse give this illegitimate government the attention it craves. So yes, I need to turn away and I hope only that those that have walked with us for so long will understand that I am walking and carrying a big stick… looking for the time and place to draw a new line in the sand.

So, if I cannot watch, cannot play their game anymore. Please forgive me. The hypocrisy is beyond my stomaching and I am not into gore.

As an example, just yesterday, this government were ‘debating’ to ‘protect’ social security recipients from pay day lenders, yet next up was a bill that will remove our basic human rights and economic freedoms. They have no eyes and do not see.

All that is left to ask is, who is going to protect us from them?

As it stands and after five years embedded, all I can say is, when it comes to social and civil society… absolutely no one. Oh, people will stand, and they will make a great flourish about it too, but it will not be for you.

If they truly want to be defended in the halls of power by people who respect them, it’s clear that disengaged Australians will need to re-learn that they are the body politic and that they must engage and educate themselves in order to stand up for and by themselves in order to ensure their own protection. And to do that, maybe it is true, that they first need to understand ‘why’ they need to do that. A lesson usually born through pain. If nothing else comes of our marathon SN7 journey, let it be that we do find our ‘why’, and with as little pain as possible, but just enough to grant the journey through it its own meaning.

Thank you to each and every individual and group who has stood up and stepped up and is actively standing beside me, and our teams. You matter. I will never forget YOU.

Signing off with gratitude and thanks. Let us win this thing or together find a new courage in our paths as friends.

Be well.

Amanda. Formerly known as SayNOSeven2


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  1. Phil Pryor

    All was well put, said because it is necessary, and essential. We who care and think about public matters must fight for truth and justice in theory and practice, fighting the conservative caked arseholes in federal conservative government who remain unthinking, uncaring, unethical, huns and savages of excesses, selfishness, egoromancing fixation, bone deep vanity and greedy ambition. Turds.

  2. Keitha Granville

    Will done to each and every pertain who actively opposed this ghastly dehumanising segregation agenda. For another moment it has failed, but only a pause. We must continue to educate ALL those on pensions and other benefits that THEIR basic rights will be stopped. I spoke to several of my friends who had NO CLUE they would be affected. That’s the challenge for us now, the only way to make sure this trial is defeated, dead and buried after another 2 years.

    Fight on.

  3. Josephus

    I understand that Bismarck was the first to introduce some social protections because he feared communism. The end of the cold war gave free rein to the capitalists.

  4. wam

    Such beaut words so sadly read, Amanda,
    The ignorant phon are happy with stereotypes and the lnp conservatives are even happier, as long as there are people below them.
    The welfare recipients are persecuted by these ignorant indoctrinated voters under the image of the surfies of 50 years ago and everyone knows of dole bludgers living comfortably at home on the dole as julia banks attests she could do. The real people suffering is ignored and labor is remiss.
    Couples rort the system even when they don’t?
    Aborigines, have no individuality and, like children, we must look after them.
    How come labor was not screaming that the human gets $13k per person and the company gets that into the company plus $12k+ per person” Presumably if there are problem accessing the card or unspent money is indue’s property.
    How poor was it for aluminium (certainly not sterling) griff to slink out of the chamber and leave lambe and patrick, who had investigated the card, in the lurch

  5. Lawrence S. Roberts

    Some left leaning economists are promoting the idea of a Universal Basic Income. If we were All on a state owned debit card; would that improve things? No child would live in poverty.

  6. B Sullivan

    I listened to the welfare debit card topic being discussed on The Drum on the ABC. Defenders of the policy think that people who receive welfare payments have an obligation to taxpayers who don’t want their tax dollars misspent on drugs and alcohol, and also surprisingly on brothels and at least one overseas holiday per year.

    The thing that people don’t seem to understand is that tax revenue belongs to the public and is meant to be spent in the interests of the public. Income tax is what taxpayers owe the state according to the size of their slice of the economic pie. Welfare is a right owed by the State to those people who are denied a slice of the economic pie or to a slice large enough to suffice their basic needs.

    So why should taxpayers object to how welfare recipients spend money to which they are entitled? It doesn’t belong to them as the term taxpayer’s money implies, The money belongs to the welfare recipients. The taxpayers have no claim on it whatsoever. No one tells them how they must spend their money so why should they tell anyone else how they must spend theirs? Taxpayers owe a debt to society. Nobody owes them any special privilege in return for paying that debt. The fact that they have an income large enough to incur tax should be considered reward enough.

  7. Geoff Andrews

    B. Sullivan
    Spot on. This whole virus thingy has been an education in the national economics. I hope the taxpayers approve of the trillion dollars (a multiple of the taxpayers’ contributions) being “spent” on jobseeker, jobkeeper, job deeper and jobbleaker. Funny how “debt and deficit disaster” has disappeared from LNP vocabulary. And I don’t want to be told hold we’re saddling the younger generation with a massive debt.
    On a sadder note. I’m sure many AIMN readers will lament the death of Mungo McCallum.

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