4th August 2021
Is Australia ready for civil disobedience against public health terrorism?
As far as I know, there’s never been mass-scale civil disobedience in Australia. There’s no role model like Gandhi or Mandela to lead the people to protest bad laws.
One of the reasons for not having had any major civil disobedience in Australia in the past is obvious: this country has been exceptionally well-managed and except for a few areas (e.g. Aboriginal affairs), it has been largely a great place to live and to work.
But everything has changed in March 2020, with politicians refusing to stop their inhumane “public health” policies that breach Australia’s laws and pandemic plans. They are terrorising the people and now we do need civil disobedience to challenge these unlawful actions.
I’ve noted this on my FB page:
Australia needs three things to become free:
- A well-planned information campaign to stop the hysteria.
- A well-organised civil disobedience movement in which tens of thousands of people court arrest. Ideally this will be led by someone with moral stature.
- A well-organised set of opposition political parties that offer people a genuine platform to vote for after they realise how badly they’ve been misled.
Without all three of these I suspect nothing much is going to change since the incentives of politicians are to keep things going the way they are: they don’t pay for the costs they impose on society, and keeping a population in fear is a proven way to get re-elected.
THE CASE FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
The decisions of NSW and Victorian governments to prohibit protests during lockdowns raise fundamental issues.
The right to protest is the most fundamental of democratic rights. There must be no reduction in the rights of the people between two elections. A pandemic is no excuse to diminish the right to protest. I understand the High Court of Australia has said that protest is an implied right in the Australian Constitution but now is not the time for legal niceties. Too many laws have been broken and the courts have allowed all kinds of atrocities to be justified. The Parliaments have failed, the political parties and politicians have failed, the bureaucracy has failed, the courts have failed.
In theory, therefore, this may well be a correct time for civil disobedience.
WHAT IS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE?
The most well-known exposition of civil disobedience is the 1849 essay by Henry David Thoreau. His work influenced Mahatma Gandhi who then experimented with various forms of mass-scale civil disobedience in South Africa and India.
By formal civil disobedience I mean a group led by someone with moral authority that formally rejects the authority of government through non-violent means and challenges the government to arrest and jail those who formally and publicly break one or more of the immoral laws – with advance notification to the government of such action.
In brief, civil disobedience requires the leader and followers prepared to be arrested – in fact, who demand to be arrested. The various Freedom rallies to date are a form of ordinary disobedience, NOT civil disobedience.
HOW CAN CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE BE SUCCESSFUL?
To be successful, civil disobedience needs a leader with moral authority who can attract a large number of followers and get the media to report on his/her actions. I also believe that around 30% support in the general community is needed for a successful civil disobedience movement – even though the actual protestors may only number a few hundred.
The slightest hint of violence is fatal to civil disobedience. Gandhi’s stopped his 1922 civil disobedience movement because of the Chauri Chaura incident. Any violence will effectively destroy the moral authority of the movement.
FATHER DAVE AS A POSSIBLE LEADER?
I recently saw some comments from Father Dave which seem to me to indicate a possible willingness to undertake civil disobedience. He is calling upon people to prepare to sacrifice to wrest back our liberties. People have to be prepared to be arrested and beaten by the Police.
AUSTRALIA NEEDS TO PREPARE SYSTEMATICLALLY FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
In my view, Australia is not yet ready for civil disobedience. Not only is the opposition scattered and diffused, there is no leader (yet) with moral authority whose voice the community will listen.
It is in this context that that someone like Father Dave could potentially become the nucleus of a civil disobedience movement. But a lot of preparation will be needed.
We will need a single united movement that will be ready to face the baton of the Police, with members of the movement willing to be arrested and jailed – potentially for months on end. There are real costs of civil disobedience.
A force of volunteers involved in this will have to be trained not to retaliate in the face of severe provocation – and indeed, violence – by the police.
Once all these conditions are met, civil disobedience can become an option for Australia.
PREPARING FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
To prepare Australia for formal civil disobedience, I’m starting to compile a reading list that will include original works from Thoreau, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mandela, etc.
If anyone has access to an existing reading list for civil disobedience, please share with me asap at firstname.lastname@example.org.
READING LIST/ TRAINING MATERIAL
I’ve found the following so far:
Article in Spectator by James Allan with some good arguments for civil disobedience.