Telling the Government to Stick It

Telling the Government to Stick It

Tree huggers. Dole bludgers. Hemp-wearing hippies.

These are just some of the words that were used to describe the protesters that gridlocked Melbourne this morning.

My morning commute took about 45 minutes longer than normal.

I had no idea what the hold up was. The Monash Freeway regularly becomes a car park after someone sneezes…

…so there was no clue something else was up…

…until I saw a major exit was closed.

These protests are divisive.

There’s the people saying congrats to the protesters on the way to work…

Then there’s the others shouting out names, telling them to get a real job.

Me? I’ve never been so proud to be an Aussie…

And the Darwin Award goes to…

Today is a glorious day I declared…as I sauntered into the office 45 minutes late.

All I heard were grunts and swearing about having to get off trams to walk around the protesters with their arms locked in plastic tubing around a tree

Source: The Age

…then there were the others like me, that had their drive rerouted because people glued themselves to the road.

That’s right. They glued themselves to the tarmac.

Don’t get me wrong, gluing yourself to the road isn’t a particularly bright move…

…but it does make you a top candidate for a Darwin Award.

Nonetheless — no matter what ‘side’ you’re on — protests are meant to be disruptive and non-violent.

Furthermore, this protest is a small group of people — maybe 100 at best — and it crippled Melbourne’s morning rush.

Despite my slow and frustrating crawl through Melbourne, this protest is proof of the democratic freedoms I enjoy.

Something society may be in danger of losing.

Today’s article isn’t about climate change, the threat of taxation from it…or what the protesters’ views are. My opinion on that doesn’t matter right now.

What does matter, is that every single hemp-wearing anarchist is doing exactly what Australian law gives them the privilege to do: Challenge the government through peaceful civil disobedience.

It’s a celebration of a free society…

Draconian laws stifle freedom

Melbourne isn’t the only city being impacted by the protests.

Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney have all had their own demonstrations.

The thing is, what could happen to the protesters in Brisbane should alarm you.

Way back in 2015, when Queensland was in the ‘grip’ of bikie epidemic (it wasn’t), the government established draconian legislation that prevented bikies from being around each other.

The legislation put in place was nothing but dangerous government overreach. And as Queensland was trying to implement them, I argued it was only a matter of time before those laws would be pushed onto other people.

At the time I wrote an article about how these laws would lead to an abuse of government power. When I went digging for it to share it with you today, it turns out that website no longer exists.

That raging libertarian piece is lost to the digital ages. I guess not everything on the ‘net lasts forever…

Then, yesterday The Guardian wrote that the Queensland government is trying to ‘fast track’ legislation to have the bikie laws apply to the protesters, writing:

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The proposed laws give police search and seizure powers where they reasonably suspect people are carrying locking devices, which are designed to prevent or delay the removal of protesters from public spaces. They also introduce new fines for the use of such devices.

When the laws were announced in August, the state government made claims – but has offered no evidence to support them – that activists were using devices “laced with booby traps” and “designed to harm”.2

Prophetic abilities aside, applying the so-called bikie laws to protesters hands extraordinary powers to police.

That is, the Queensland government is willing to give law enforcement the ability to stop, search and seizure.

The sort of laws that don’t normally apply to people behaving in non-violent ways.

Remember, there are less than 100 people causing this disruption. Yet the Queensland government is so hell-bent on ‘civil’ control that’s it’s looking for ways to exert its power on people — who are generally behaving within existing laws.

Worse still, they want to ‘fast track’ the move. Meaning that public debate is stifled. Just a government decision to ‘act in your best interest’.

Like all laws written to control anti-social behaviour, they eventually hand increasing control to the government. More to the point, it’s a terrifying overreach because of the actions of a small group of people.

Doing this, the Queensland government implies that power over people is more important than personal liberties.

We have the right to express our opinion, in public, in a peaceful manner.

Yet draconian government policies slowly erode that.

U-Jack system lives on

Society has a way of working out protests.

The legitimate ones last. Provide a platform for change.

The smaller fringe ones that can’t muster broader societal support find themselves pushed out.

If society agrees with the movement — like the push for the end of conscription, ending the involvement of the Vietnamese war, Aboriginal land rights, and discrimination against homosexuality — the protest finds itself supported.

The thing is, sometimes, the best thing to do is to let the stupid folk keep talking. They’ll undo themselves sooner or later.

All uncensored speech will upset someone at some point. But free speech and the right to express your views is what makes us a free society.

That doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with them.

To boot you may have had a crawl into work this morning to get around these nuffies glued to the road.

But simply being frustrated because you were inconvenienced doesn’t mean you should be against protesting. Too many people fall into the u-jack system these days (you know, stuff you Jack, I’m OK).

This is a dangerous complacency.

The government doesn’t need to be hostile in order to sway public opinion.

The disruptions and actions will see us make up our own minds.

Hong Kong is a perfect example of this.

The four-month long protest that has taken over the streets grows in intensity with every government decision.

Every new ruling from the Beijing leaning government unifies the Hong Kong people further to maintain their democratic freedoms.

Back at home however, the people currently hanging from bridges, or glued to the road, or hugging a mock tree in the city, may have infuriated you on your commute this morning.

That very fury you expressed at them, is because we are free to express our views without threat of persecution from the government.

Today is a celebration of Australia and our values.

And that is the right to express yourself.

You may have a had a crawl into work today. You may have missed an important meeting.

But you reside in a country where YOU have the right to live freely and challenge the government.

And that is something we strongly value here at The Daily reckoning Australia.

Until next time,

Shae Russell Signature

Shae Russell,
Editor, The Daily Reckoning Australia