In case you hadn’t noticed, last Saturday was declared ‘Freedom Day’ with hundreds of anti-lockdown protestors confronting police in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. In Brisbane signs were displayed evoking a Trumpian ideology of “Make Australia Great Again” along with an appropriated “Freedom Matters.”
In every city the relatively small number of demonstrators comprised an unholy alliance of anti-vaxxers, religious fanatics, sovereign citizens, born again libertarians and purveyors of far right conspiracy theories. Melbourne saw 15 arrests whilst police in Sydney issued numerous $1000 fines for non-compliance, making it a rather expensive day out.
The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has described the protestors as “selfish” and they have been vilified in most areas of the media. Their numbers have contained some particularly nasty political opportunists and Facebook hate mongers whose freedom loving ideologies include climate denial, Jew bashing and a smorgasbord of other bigotries. Protest is a democratic right, even in a pandemic, but you have to ask – is there a better way of doing it than an argy bargy tussle with the men in blue?
A one hundred person Zoom choir, singing “we shall not be mandatorily vaccinated” is never going to satisfy the aspirations of the more vocally inclined anti-lockdown crew. What they need is a creative approach, one that avoids the normal scenario of police bumping heads, and appeals to the public at large. Here are just a few suggestions:
SATAN WALKS AMONGST US: Religious extremists, pimp preachers and the evangelical right have come up with some pretty wacky theories when it comes to the spread of COVID-19. They do, however, all have one thing in common. It’s that “fear of God” factor. Let’s blame the whole goddam mess, whether COVID is real or not, on the devil and those satanists who are now imposing their will up on us. Deep cleansing of venues associated with COVID outbreaks is a waste of time but a series of public exorcisms would no doubt attract many more to the anti-lockdown cause. You’ll save a fortune on sanitiser when you tell the devil to get the hell out of there!
PREPPING IN THE BACKYARD: Doomsday preppers in the US, who once listed a possible pandemic and the resulting civil insurrection as a distinct possibility, were often the subject of ridicule. Now that that reality has set in many have gracefully retreated to their remote rural bugouts with two year’s supply of SPAM and an AK-47. Let’s have a national ‘bugout’ day where everybody snubs local Council compliance and digs a bunker in their own backyard, followed by a rush on the local supermarket where every tin of SPAM and roll of toilet paper is stripped bare from the shelves. There’ll be no mandatory vaccination when you are safely contained in your own subterranean sarcophagus.
NAKED INTENT: A good sense of humour never goes astray when you are trying to get a message across to the public at large. Remember the old gag of the greasy pig let loose at a football game and the fun and games involved in rounding up the little pink intruder. Come on all you sovereign citizens, imagine you’re at a Spencer Tunick mass nudie session. Get you mask and your gear off, grease up with a whole jar of lube and really give the cops something to catch when you strut out on the banks of the Yarra or at Sydney’s Olympic Park. If you can afford a fine for not masking up you might as well cop another for public indecency.
A NATIONAL FLOAT-IN: Wuhan celebrated the end of lockdown with a massive pool party and demonstrators here could jump the gun with a similar aqua spectacular. Suburban pools are closed for the time being but there is plenty of open water space to roll out the li-los, inflatable flamingos and other assorted floaties. The big yellow duckie could even make a surprise return to Sydney Harbour emblazoned with anti-lockdown slogans. The Deep State enforcers might well have their work cut out rounding up the rebellious fleet and there could be the odd drowning. But if we do lose an anti-semite or climate denier amidst the celebration, hey who cares!