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Gallows in the streets of Melbourne

On Saturday in Melbourne a motley mob of protestors gathered in the streets to protest Victoria’s new pandemic laws. In a chilling performance of intimidation, protestors carried a mock gallows through Melbourne streets complete with three nooses, while calling for the death by hanging of Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews.

The mob was compromised of anti vaxxers, QAnon believers, neo Nazis, Trump supporters, and religious zealots. What unites this disparate group is a common desire to live free of all government intervention.

Co-incidentally (or not) over the same few days Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in a striking performance (even for him) of dog whistling consistently referred to Australians being sick of governments seeking to control them particularly after the last couple of years of lockdowns. His message was designed to feed the protestors’ grievances, and let them know they have his support.

Morrison has a history of decades long and intimate connection with leading Australian QAnon supporters, Tim Stewart and his wife Lynelle. The Stewarts stayed at Kirribilli House, and Mrs Stewart was employed there as a companion for Morrison’s wife, Jenny. This arrangement has now ceased, after considerable public scrutiny.

When the leader of your country harbours right wing extremists in his home, it is hardly surprising that you see gallows and nooses in your streets.

 

 

Death threats were also made against three Victorian cross benchers who are working with Labor to streamline the proposed laws.

There has been a deafening silence from almost all politicians and media across the board on this weaponisation of menace, marking yet another dark turn in Australian politics. We now live in a country where the political class conspicuously do not condemn death threats against politicians. It appears that both major parties are dependent on right wing extremists for votes, and neither party is willing to risk alienating them by condemning their behaviour.

 

 

That nobody condemns this behaviour indicates that the extremists, in and outside of federal parliament, are currently in control of the narrative. When you dare not condemn death threats and imagery because they originate from your voter base, you are compromised probably beyond redemption, and you are not in control.

 

 

Please take a moment to consider that death threats and nooses in the street are apparently so unremarkable in Australia that mainstream media and politicians, including the ALP, see no need to condemn them.

Consider as well what would ensue if anyone other than white men and their white consorts carried a gallows through Melbourne streets calling for the death by hanging of politicians.

The protests continue. On Monday night, a more substantial gallows appeared in the city, this time towed by a four-wheel drive. An effigy of Daniel Andrews was produced, and protestors attempted to hang it from the gallows noose, as they screamed “Kill Dan Andrews!” “Hang Dan Andrews” and “Freedom.”

 

 

Those of us who are both horrified and frightened by this appalling downturn are trying desperately to retain some semblance of decency and trust in our politics. We are doing this with no support and assistance from our politicians and our media. That these scenes go unremarked by both should alarm everyone. It’s almost as if this political violence and incitement has become normalised in Australia without us even noticing, and here we are.

It is shocking but sadly not surprising that Scott Morrison apparently supports death threats against a Labor Premier. The standard you walk past. But what is most profoundly shocking is that there has been no condemnation from the ALP of these threats against one of their own.

So can we assume if someone drives a mock gallows with an effigy of Morrison hanging from a noose through the streets of Canberra, there will be no repercussions? Or perhaps Peter Dutton? Anyone can do now this with impunity, we assume? Any group can gather around Parliament House shouting “Kill Scott Morrison, hang Peter Dutton” and there will be no repercussions?

Because this is where we are at now in Australia. Because these are our values.

And the fish rots from the head.

Note: Late this morning after 3 days of intense social media pressure, commentary by the msm and some politicians has started to appear.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

 

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22 comments

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  1. Michael Taylor

    Scott Morrison was very vocal in his condemnation of school children who attended the climate rallies. Neither did he like the Black Lives Matter rallies.

    He’s damn quiet on this episode though. Disgusting silence.

  2. Terence Mills

    That’s not how you tie a hangman’s noose !

    Can’t the LNP get anything right ?

  3. Arnd

    My reply to Gladys Berejicklian’s tweet:

    1.Yes, I am gravely concerned (though I have seen this coming from a long distance away. In fact, I have hypothesized about it 30 years ago, but back then was certain that politics would converge on a more sensible and sober path – which it didn’t!)

    2.Yes, Gladys, you are a part of the problem.

  4. Carol Taylor

    It’s a shame that so many are so ignorant as to what the Amended Laws will mean. For example:

    “Human rights protections will be strengthened, with the application of Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities to apply to all orders made under the legislation”.

    As Dr. Wilson states, “ That these scenes go unremarked by both should alarm everyone. It’s almost as if this political violence and incitement has become normalised in Australia without us even noticing, and here we are”. This is about more than ‘just’ a pandemic, this is about whether we as a nation will accept Trumpist style violence infiltrating our way of life.

  5. Michael Taylor

    Arnd, that was a Gladys parody account.

    But yes, the real Gladys was part of the problem.

  6. Michael Taylor

    And to think what a Coalition government did to Dr Haneef over a SIM card.

  7. Josephus

    For weeks The Australian has carried cartoons representing Mr Andrews as a Maoist dictator, with articles to match. Why this hate campaign? To be fair , even as observers of this dangerous, Trumpian individualist selfishness (not genuine liberalism but mob madness in the name of unfettered ‘freedom’) is on display, even some writers for this right wing, somewhat obsessive newspaper has its gainsayer contributors who politely point out that Enlightenment thinkers did not support selfishness. On the contrary these argued for the freedom of groups to dissent peacefully, as opposed to the often prevalent imprisonment or execution of freethinkers. Thus the aristocratic Baron d’Holbach wrote his atheistic works under pseudonyms, and always attended Mass. In a plague some restriction of rights may be needed for a while. Instead of Mason absurdly excusing solipsist fanatics paradoxically assembling a quasi lynch mob, he invokes Nazism! The nazis hunted down the defenceless , not permitting dissent. Nor did they permit the handicapped, the homosexuals and the Left to exist. There is no absolute right to do as one wants, any more than our shouting freedom as we drive over the limit, drive on the wrong side, or shout fire in a crowded cinema. The business driven freedom in Europe is driving a surge in cases. Perhaps vaxxing limits the loss of lives , perhaps not. But even ‘freedom’ encourages mask wearing in shops and so on.

  8. leefe

    This is what Murdoch’s Minions have brought us to. And the likes of Alan Jones, Andrew Blot, Peta Credlin etc – and Morrison and Duttolini – just sit back and smirk while denying any responsibility.

    I’m ready to give up on this country.

  9. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Jennifer.

    Yes, this is a very frightening development. And it is particularly frightening to see remarks like the ones that James Mason has made here. Fortunately, though, James is wrong about the ‘masses of people in Victoria, and what they are concerned about, The ‘masses of Victoria’ have now had the double vaccination. These same ‘masses’ are NOT conducting mock hangings outside the parliament,

    Certainly, these obnoxious demonstrations are loud, but it doesn’t take many people to make a big noise. The actual ‘masses’ will be voting, and we all know how well that went for Donald Trump!

    Thanks, Josephus.

    ‘There is no absolute right to do as one wants, any more than our shouting freedom as we drive over the limit, drive on the wrong side, or shout fire in a crowded cinema.’ James, which side of the road to you drive on? You are perfectly free to drive on the right instead of the left. The only trouble with that is that there are consequences – both for you and for any unfortunate people who get in your way. Is it fair that you should have your freedom at the expense of someone else?

  10. Henry Rodrigues

    This is all being orchestrated by the crinkled old bastard and his maggots to bring down the very popular and strong Labor government in Victoria. Always in the background, and more often in the foreground, is the machinations and intrigues of the rightwing led by the maggots.
    It’s no accident that the gap toothed arsehole who doles out the money, is using it to reclaim Victoria for his despicable party of thieves, so he can wear it like a feather in his cap, to burnish his credentials for the next leadership round of the afore mentioned party of bastards The little prick is not half the leader that Dan Andrews is, so he resorts to gang tactics to prove he is worthy, keeping in mind his likely opponent in the next leadership round, is the sinister ex copper from Qld. His mentor the arsewipe Costello must be beaming with pride.

  11. King1394

    A couple of fools with nooses and their mates, and all the valid concerns of anyone else demonstrating because of their reservations and fears are pushed aside. We don’t help by calling them all neo nazis, Qanon members, anti-vaxers etc.
    People are finding some of the changes being made to control the pandemic have impacted on their beliefs about how best to handle their own health. And whether we agree or not, we should be upholding their right to peaceful protest. Ideally with masks and sanitiser!
    The Police need to carry out their jobs by removing the people who are promoting violence, and their offensive symbols.

  12. Kate Ahearne

    King,

    ‘And whether we agree or not, we should be upholding their right to peaceful protest. Ideally with masks and sanitiser!’

    Not relevant. They’re not protesting peacefully. If people want to protest peacefully, maybe they shouldn’t go to the parliament along with people who are calling for the murder of the premier. Perhaps they could go around the corner and protest peacefully. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    If you don’t want to be vaccinated and you don’t have a medical exemption, go home and stay there. The bottom line is that you do have the right to refuse vaccination, but you don’t have the right to put others at risk.

  13. Arnd

    Michael,

    … that was a Gladys parody account.

    So it was! Thanks! What do I know about Twitter. Nossink, that’s what! And I’m not all that curious, either.

    I’m not sure about demonstrations with prop gallows. I seem to remember lefties using them occasionally, and it didn’t spell the end of the world, despite panic-mongering assurances to the contrary by law-and-order reactionaries.

    But considering what is presently going down in “The land of the free, and the home of the brave”, I am not at the moment placing any bets, either.

    For things to get better, they’d have to get out of the rut they’ve been in for some time now – and I can’t see anyone with sufficient skill and control to jump public policy back onto the main track.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Arnd, some of those parody accounts can be quite funny, as well as making more sense than the person they’re mimicking.

  15. Andrew J. Smith

    Good read. The first three paragraphs are the giveaway of the ideological links that exist within the Anglosphere of UK, US and Australia, with several others related e.g. Hungary, Russia etc.; constraint free business, promoted by related MPs and underpinned by un/disempowered societies, dominated by ageing electorates, but love bombed by MPs and parties of the right.

    First and foremost are the radical right libertarian socio-economics or ‘Kochonomics’ promoted by the IPA, LNP and NewsCorp (& other media follow); historically the same ideology is inextricably linked to eugenics, but through obtuse language and policy e.g. immigration is now a security issue.

    According to NY’er’s Jane Mayer, as many of these libertarian policies are unpalatable to most of the electorate (including those demonstrating but don’t realise), hence, there needs to be much deflective noise, PR, dog whistling and action or ‘street theatre’ to deflect, then also for media content (aka Brexit and Trump).

    However, at the same time can be linked to those exhibiting extreme authoritarian or autocratic tendencies (replicated round Covid19, ‘freedom & liberty’ etc.) as seen in demonstrations, to intimidate anyone who does not agree, whether physically present or passively watching/following legacy media; not to forget LNP etc. stifling bottom up or authentic ‘grass roots’ freedom of speech.

    If one chooses to neither observe nor respect the wishes of the ‘top people’ for their economic ‘freedom & liberty’ and follow (orders), then look out, you can be subjected to metaphorical and/or figurative violence, by those practising their ‘freedom & liberty’. The former could be vexatious defamation action i.e. a ‘SLAPP’*, while the latter could be having your details doxxed or (like in the UK) being confronted on the street….

    *’A type of legal action is increasingly being used by powerful people to shut down criticism from activists, academics, whistleblowers, and journalists. This is known as a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or Slapp’ ‘Slapps: the rise of lawsuits targeting investigative journalists’ The Conversation UK 27 Oct ’21.

    Elsewhere, related Covid and unvaccinated, the Austrian Chancellor on lockdowns for unvaccinated due to rising cases, explains the desynthesis of the Orwellian takeover of ‘freedom & liberty’ by stating that ‘the majority who are vaccinated should not have their freedoms curtailed by an unvaccinated minority’.

  16. Keith

    I guess we are seeing the cancer created by Libertarian ideology coming to the fore. Absolutely disgusting behaviour, whether directed at Labor or Liberal politicians..

  17. Florence Howarth

    Heard one protestor say if they passed the bill, they will enter parliament & take over.

  18. Josephus

    ‘The Australian ‘says the Premier can overrule their chief medical officer- is that true? Why would he want to?

  19. wam

    A great read, Dr Wilson, Labor should be capitalising on the ‘gallows’.
    They failed to smack the rabbott on the attacks on gillard but this time go for the libs behind the gallows.
    Stir the pot, albo, and the morning shows will get excited.

  20. Max Gross

    The LNP has been dog-whistling RWNJs for decades. There is a straight line between the bigoted, intolerant and racist rhetoric spewed by LNP/IPA/Seven West Media/Nine Entertainment/Murdoch (and others) and the Christchurch mass murderer, an Aussie neo-nazi whose name I refuse to utter.

  21. Jon Chesterson

    RIGHT WING PROTESTS UNDERMINING OUR DEMOCRACY – NOTHING TO DO WITH FREEDOM AND THE LIBERALS ARE BEHIND IT!

    If this march had been pitched against a Liberal State Premier such as NSW or even Victoria for that matter, or a Federal Prime Minister, there would have been a public inquest and mass arrests, but a Labor State Premier, fair game!

    No Morrison, it is not fair game and there was nothing unequivocal about your response, with a blatant ‘BUT’ and sympathy for rioters, only because they are fodder and shake for your electoral campaign. Meanwhile observe how balanced and considered was Dan’s response, not the reactionary response of a dictator of which the scurrilous right wing including Morrison and the Victorian Liberal Opposition accuse! Toxic mud throwing from the Liberals in and out of parliament.

    This is what the Liberals do, they are the ones cutting away our freedoms with big government and corporate spends and national security legislation, but they pin and frame the blame on State Labor Premiers. Liberals… they insult and lie to us all, chopping the forest and our habitat away.

  22. Andrew J. Smith

    There is a website ‘World Wide Demonstration’ highlighted by the UK’s ByLine Times as central to anti-Covid protests globally (listed); in (very high level) English only, but based in Germany (may emanate from, or have been co-opted, after ’20 Covid protests in Germany).

    It operates from Kassel Germany (northern or ‘east’), claims to be supported by a coalition of Afd, anti-vaxxers and the left, protesting for their ‘freedom’ i.e. ‘Freedom Speech, Movement, Choice, Assembly and Health’.

    Not only does this oppose any constraints and application of science on Covid (climate science similar), echoing the cliched but disruptive memes or themes we hear in Australia; it seems to resonate or mirror Koch Network’s ‘radical right libertarian’ themes used by Tea Party, Capitol Hill, Covid protests everywhere…. and of course Fox etc.

    Six months ago in Kassel the mob behaviour would be familiar to those who observed what has occurred in Melbourne:

    ‘After the mega-protest of the “lateral thinkers” on Saturday in Kassel, more and more residents are complaining about aggressive demonstrators. …. Kassel – Even days later, Sarah Nort is still stunned by what happened on her doorstep. When 20,000 demonstrators marched through Kassel on Saturday afternoon to protest against the Corona measures, they also passed the 40-year-old’s apartment on Goethestrasse.

    Nort looked out the window and called out to the people that they were not welcome in Kassel. A little later, some demonstrators kicked the front door of the apartment building. A beer bottle flew into the apartment through her open window.’….

    …..Other readers told us similar experiences. Many wonder how people who supposedly only want their basic rights back can act and disregard all the rules.’

    https://www.hna.de/kassel/corona-demo-kassel-querdenker-attacke-kinder-einwohner-klage-polizei-news-90257458.html

    This is the modus operandi of the right nowadays but keeping in the background so as not to be publicly connected to their ‘whatever it takes’ tactics.

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