Truth, Spin and Propaganda.
As I work predominately from home I am in the fortunate situation of being able to watch live streams of the numerous protests that are happening across Melbourne and country . These protests are being broadcast directly from where the protests are happening as they are happening by several independent journalists. Most notably Rukshan Fernando, but there are others.
It is important to note as independent journalists these individuals mostly do not take any direction from editors or management and they get right amongst it with the protesters, unlike mainstream journalists who work mostly from behind police lines.
Due to this, you receive a much clearer idea of who the protesters really are as well as learning far more clearly about their concerns. The reality is that once you have watched a few live-streamed events you will never trust mainstream news media coverage again. These independent journalists simply expose the editing and as one famous President recently proclaimed, the “Fake News” that emanates from our television screens between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm each night
The most challenging aspect of being exposed to live streaming is to try and convince others, who through work or family commitments, do not have the time to view them.
So for those who may not get the chance to follow the live streams here are my observations.
There is certainly an element amongst the protesters that attend just to cause trouble and are looking for conflict with the police; these types however are in a clear minority. You wouldn’t believe that if you watch the edited clips on the mainstream media’s nightly news. If you, like me, also watch the live stream vision then you would realise how dishonest mainstream media’s coverage actually is.
On many nights these news broadcasts border on outright propaganda. Here are a number of the lies they have spread.
Young men looking for fights
Every protest I have witnessed via live streams has included a diversity of people. Young and old, male and female, Christian, Jewish and Islamic people, Mum’s, Dad’s, brothers, sisters and partners. One of the unique aspects of these protests is how they have brought together a variety of communities who have historically seen themselves as adversaries, Muslims and Jews, Serbs and Croats, Arabs and Christians and dare I say it blacks and whites. They have all rallied together to fight for the way of life and freedoms that Australia has provided them and against draconian and what many would claim is tyrannical government that many of them have fled from.
It has also united people from across the political divide, people from the left and right, unionists, playwrights, business people and even corporates. They all have grown to love their liberties in this country and are prepared to fight long and hard for them.
When police confront these protesters and I mean confront as there is no effort to escort them or allow them passage to protest peacefully, they use the tactic called kittling which is to herd and carrel people into condensed areas, where there is no place for protesters to retreat at which stage police then pick off protesters one by one to be arrested and processed for fines.
Since the CFMEU members rioted at their union’s headquarters police tactics have become even more aggressive, with the implementation of military-style tactics with the use of armoured vehicles, riot police in armoured uniform now charging, attacking and firing upon protesters
So when confrontation looks imminent then naturally young men tend to move to the front to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I don’t find that to be young angry men looking for conflict, it would be something I would expect a son of mine to do. This is young men fighting and defending those who cannot. Are there ratbags amongst them? Of course there are, but from what I have seen there are far more amongst the police ranks who are doing irreparable damage to a once highly respected police force.
This is not healthy for our society in Victoria and Australia more generally.
Police command must know that young men of Middle Eastern and former Eastern Bloc nations will not take a backward step when confronted and neither will tradies or young Aussie men. It needs wiser calmer heads which for a few hours prevailed amongst the police leadership at the Shrine of Remembrance. My observation; were they young men involved? Yes, there were. Were most of the protester’s angry young men looking for a fight? Absolutely not, this is a total fabrication from the police, politicians and the media.
Extremists and Right-wingers
The most galling sledge and the one that is the most intellectually lazy yet swallowed and then perpetrated by our media is the accusation that people at these protests are right-wing infiltrators or neo-nazis. This seems to be an ever-expanding group within the community, as whenever the woke left amongst our political and media elite have a section of society that are opposed to them, they are automatically tagged as right-wing nut jobs. This group now includes tradies, union members, Muslims, Jews, people on the left of politics, Mums, daughters and girlfriends and anybody remotely to the right of the far left. It’s an expansive group that is growing by the day.
This week when nurses protested they had trouble demonizing them as far-right protesters, so they instead questioned their integrity by labelling them as “alleged” health care workers. It wouldn’t have been hard to identify their credentials, but yet again mainstream media took the lazy option of demonising people with concerns as opposed to understanding them. A keen eye scanning across these protesters would see people of all colours, cultures, ages and gender. As I previously noted in this article the protesters included people with Middle Eastern and Islamic backgrounds, Hindu Indians from Punjab, Maori & Tiwi Islanders, Anglos and indigenous.
It’s a strange group for right-wing Neo-Nazis to be mixing with.
Our politicians, media and police command should be ashamed to label such a diverse group of their own citizens as right-wingers or Nazis, it’s both abhorrent and vile and reflects their desperation to demonise those with differing views. If you’re looking for labels, this behaviour from our government and police is the action of a fascist state.
Another intellectually and morally corrupt label being used by politicians, public officers and the media is that of “anti-vaxxers”. There are many people amongst the protestors that have been vaccinated but are protesting against people not being given the right to make that choice themselves. The vast majority amongst the protesters have had previous vaccines or had their kids fully vaccinated, but for whatever reasons don’t trust these new mRNA vaccines that have been rushed to market without the usual rigorous testing processes and been provided without indemnity for the producers of the vaccine. I mean why wouldn’t you have doubts?
There are also many protesting against forced vaccinations on their children or children in general and they find it repugnant that our government would even consider vaccinating an age group and demographic clearly at no risk from the covid-19 virus. Naturally, there are far more people opposed to the covid-19 vaccinations who simply don’t want it, but to collectively slander everybody at these protests as anti-vaxxers is again an intellectually weak argument that is oblivious to the facts.
There has been violence on both sides, but if you listened to the media you would think it was just violence perpetrated upon the police when in fact they are as much, if not more to blame as anybody involved. Police use a tactic called kettling that herds protesters into a condensed area to be surrounded; they attend protests in riot gear, have batons at the ready and won’t hesitate to use pepper and capsicum spray and now there is the use of rubber bullets combined with tear gas.
After riot at CFMEU headquarters by CFMEU members police then introduced armoured cars or “bearcats” and initiated the arrest of people on appearances as opposed to any infringement. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would see in this country police riot squads charging towards peacefully marching protesters and firing upon them with rubber projectiles while being supported by armoured vehicles. All we need now is live bullets and we would have Australia’s version of Bloody Sunday from Russia in 1905.
There can be no argument that Victoria police egged on by their police command came to protests ready to rumble and some of their behaviour is not what I would expect from the police force I have lived with and respected in this state throughout my lifetime. This was highlighted last week when we all saw the assault of the 74-year-old lady in Barkers Road, Kew and the violent sling tackle from behind of a man who was talking calmly to police.
This is not to excuse those amongst the protesters who are also looking to be violent. A number of them have engaged in unjustified assaults on police. If the police though just allowed the protesters to march rather than block their way, if they escorted the protesters instead of provoking them, if they allowed them to have their say instead of trying to silence them, then I have no doubt these protests would be predominately peaceful and we would then probably have less of them.
Instead, we now have continual confrontations between police and protesters where social spacing is non-existence on either side, mask-wearing is done in a token manner if at all and people are bumping into each other, tackling each other and pushing against each other continuously. If this was about enforcing health measures then it goes against every measure that we have been lectured about for two years now. How does that make any sense?
People are finding fault with protesters, which no doubt can be found, but let’s remember it’s the police who are paid to act professionally. Sadly in many instances they are some distance away from the professional behaviour you would expect from a police force with integrity. Police attend these protests fully armed and the PORT (Public Order Response Team) and SOG (Special Operations Group) sections are in full riot and military gear and are particularly brutal in their conduct. They are now not hesitating to use their weapons upon the citizens that they have sworn to protect and who pay taxes to finance those very weapons they are being attacked with.
While there is fault that can be found on both sides between police and protesters, there can be no excuse for our shameful mainstream media industry. They attend these protests, they see and edit the footage and they know what occurs. Yet if you watch the live stream footage you simply cannot relate it to what you see on the edited clips of the nightly news broadcasts or in the broadsheets of our print media.
An example of this was on the channel nine news broadcast covering events at the Shrine of remembrance. While I support the protesters for much of their efforts, I am opposed to any protests at the shrine, but no matter your thoughts, the events there should be covered accurately. Channel Nine used the footage to portray protesters as taunting police. If you had watched the live stream footage though you would have realised that the protesters were running towards the police with joy in their hearts as they thought the police were bending the knee and laying down their shields and weapons to join the protesters. The protesters ran to welcome them and then knelt on the grass ten meters away from the police line, pleading for them to join the protester’s ranks. This can be seen on the live stream footage of Real Rukshan.
Channel 9 news portrayed that vision as protesters taunting police when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Over the last two years, this is only one of a litany of such incidences from the editing room of mainstream media news outlets that misconstrues or manipulates the truth.
I watched both Channel 7 and 9 news that night and you didn’t see people being arrested as soon as they ventured into the city. In some instances, ten officers took down one person while in others, they assaulted not only protesters but people legitimately going about their daily business. You would have seen a para-military force ready to meet protesters as opposed to a police force and you would have seen police charging at protesters and firing rubber bullets at them to get them to disperse.
Through live stream you would have also seen those protesters singing our national anthem, acting peacefully throughout, collecting garbage and bagging so as not to desecrate the shrine and even conducting a minutes silence for fallen war service members and a tradie that had committed suicide earlier that day. Had you watched the mainstream media that night or in the ensuing days you would not have seen any of it.
You would have also seen that the police at the Shrine gave protesters several chances to leave, opportunities protesters rejected which was a pity and while I am against protests at the Shrine of Remembrance, I was appalled that our police would ultimately actually choose to fire rubber bullets and tear gas at unarmed citizens at this sacred site. It’s not what our fallen diggers would have wanted no matter what you thought of the choice of location
Finally, on the choice of location; people opposed to the choice of site (as I was) do need to remember that these protesters had faced bullets, assault, tear gas, pepper spray, armoured vehicles and rubber bullets in the city. Through this they were forced out of the city and whether you agree with it or not, they chose the steps of the shrine to congregate as they believed the police would not attack them at such a sacred site in the same manner that they had in the city. For a few hours, they were correct.
I have spoken to a number of people with war service experience that have polar opposite views about the protesters choosing to protest at the Shrine. I think one thing most people with a smattering of common sense would agree to is that the principles that our diggers sacrificed their lives for are far more important than any property or building.
From my observations of the lives streams are that if any veterans had watched the same footage that I had watched, then they would agree that our current governments and police force are shaming their memories by trampling and abusing the very liberties, freedoms and rights they fought to defend and preserve both here and overseas.
The only ones with a smile on their face would be the purveyor’s of false truths and the spreaders of spin and propaganda. You only have to turn on your televisions sets in the evening to see who they are as they are all rolled neatly into news media packages across our television channels each night.
Watch them and don’t believe a word.