2020 SEP 03 All The Hallmarks Of A Police State

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Remarks: It’s a gruesome scenario most of us know only from films. Just a few people in Australia who have lived under the Nazis, the Stasi or China’s national security laws know the reality. COVID has brought an incremental erosion of civil liberties and suddenly Victorians are living a dystopian nightmare. FULL STORY HERE: https://www.4cmitv.com/2020/09/09/2020-sep-03-all-the-hallmarks-of-a-police-state/

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VICTORIA: The knock on the door, the fear and shock as police arrest someone in the home for a supposed crime against the state — often expressing a view contrary to the diktats of the ruling elite.

This time last year, the idea that any Australian police force would arrest and handcuff a pregnant woman at home in her pyjamas, in front of her children, in a provincial city, for a Facebook post, would have defied credulity.

The pandemic, however, has brought an incremental erosion of civil liberties, especially in Victoria. The heat has been turned up gradually, to the point Victorians are living a dystopian nightmare. House arrest for 23 hours a day, working (if they still have job) at home while they home-school children; an 8 pm curfew; isolation if they live alone; no visiting friends or family. Many people, understandably, are too fraught to add another worry — the encroaching police state — to their burdens.

Others, alarmed that their state has crossed a dangerous line, are outraged. Professionals at the coalface, such as the medical practitioners who have signed a letter noting the dangers to citizens’ physical and mental health posed by restrictions, are increasingly concerned for the sick and vulnerable.

Apart from the Aussie accent, the only moment in the exchange with police at the Ballarat home of Zoe Buhler, 28, that felt remotely Australian was her partner, James Timmins, 21, appealing to police: “This is a bit unfair, come on, mate. What about she just doesn’t do the event?”

The couple are worried about the health of their unborn child. Ms Buhler offered to take down the offending post, which promoted a “Freedom Day Ballarat” planned for Saturday, but to no avail. The police also said they were obliged to seize any mobile phone or computer: “Any device in this house we’re taking.”

In a supposedly liberal democracy, the slide into authoritarianism is intolerable. Such a crude show of force suggests authorities are tone deaf to the public mood, or indifferent to it. The lack of an apology from Victoria Police or the government is telling.

The Institute of Public Affairs, supporting Ms Buhler, says Victoria is a “police state”. Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius did little to disavow the public of that notion. He defended the arrest but, with astounding understatement, admitted the “optics” were “never going to look good”.

Like the Black Lives Matter protests in June, the anti-lockdown rallies planned for Saturday are dangerous, irresponsible and unconscionable.

The high-handedness of Premier Daniel Andrews and the police has fuelled the anger. But those who want to protest should show the maturity and discernment to stay home. Turning out could endanger lives and health. It also may prolong stage-four restrictions.

Mr Andrews has promised to tell Victorians on Sunday about his proposed road maps out of the restrictions for Melbourne and outside the city. The second wave of COVID-19 has cost 572 lives in Victoria and extracted a heavy economic and social price.

After a crisis that arose mainly from his government’s egregious failures over hotel quarantining, and slow testing and tracing outcomes earlier on, Mr Andrews needs to ease the pressure as soon as possible.

The public deserves better than the oppressive, prescriptive blueprint leaked to the Herald Sun. It suggested Melbourne’s stage-four lockdown and curfew would be extended for a fortnight.

Dates for retail, hospitality and entertainment venues to reopen as soon as possible are essential. Mr Andrews’s power grab to extend the state of emergency for another year, which led to a compromise of six months thanks to “libertarians” such as Greens, Reason Party and Animal Justice MPs, set alarm bells ringing.

Now the video of an expectant mum in handcuffs has ricocheted around the world, adding to the impression of a power-crazed regime. As the COVID crisis passes, the state needs to step back but copy the success of NSW in tracing, testing and isolation to keep the virus in check while Victorians get on with life.

That is when the state of disaster abates.

Original Source: Date-stamped: 2020 SEP Author: The Australian | Article Title: All The Hallmarks Of A Police State | Article Link: theaustralian.com.au

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