Gallows in the streets of Melbourne

16 Nov

On Saturday in Melbourne a motley mob of protestors gathered in the streets to protest Victoria’s new pandemic laws. In a chilling performance of intimidation, protestors carried a mock gallows through Melbourne streets complete with three nooses, while calling for the death by hanging of Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews. 

The mob was compromised of anti vaxxers, QAnon believers, neo Nazis, Trump supporters, and religious zealots. What unites this disparate group is a common desire to live free of all government intervention. Co-incidentally (or not) over the same few days Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in a striking performance (even for him) of dog whistling consistently referred to Australians being sick of governments seeking to control them particularly after the last couple of years of lockdowns. His message was designed to feed the protestors’ grievances, and let them know they have his support.

Morrison has a history of decades long and intimate connection with leading Australian QAnon supporters, Tim Stewart and his wife Lynelle. The Stewarts stayed at Kirribilli House, and Mrs Stewart was employed there as a companion for Morrison’s wife, Jenny. This arrangement has now ceased, after considerable public scrutiny

When the leader of your country harbours right wing extremists in his home, it is hardly surprising that you see gallows and nooses in your streets. 

Death threats were also made against three Victorian cross benchers who are working with Labor to streamline the proposed laws. 

There has been a deafening silence from almost all politicians and media across the board on this weaponisation of menace, marking yet another dark turn in Australian politics. We now live in a country where the political class conspicuously do not condemn death threats against politicians. It appears that both major parties are dependent on right wing extremists for votes, and neither party is willing to risk alienating them by condemning their behaviour.

That nobody condemns this behaviour indicates that the extremists, in and outside of federal parliament, are currently in control of the narrative. When you dare not condemn death threats and imagery because they originate from your voter base, you are compromised probably beyond redemption, and you are not in control. 

Please take a moment to consider that death threats and nooses in the street are apparently so unremarkable in Australia that mainstream media and politicians, including the ALP, see no need to condemn them. 

Consider as well what would ensue if anyone other than white men and their white consorts carried a gallows through Melbourne streets calling for the death by hanging of politicians.  

The protests continue. On Monday night, a more substantial gallows appeared in the city, this time towed by a four-wheel drive. An effigy of Daniel Andrews was produced, and protestors attempted to hang it from the gallows noose, as they screamed “Kill Dan Andrews!” “Hang Dan Andrews” and “Freedom.”

Those of us who are both horrified and frightened by this appalling downturn are trying desperately to retain some semblance of decency and trust in our politics. We are doing this with no support and assistance from our politicians and our media. That these scenes go unremarked by both should alarm everyone. It’s almost as if this political violence and incitement has become normalised in Australia without us even noticing, and here we are. 

It is shocking but sadly not surprising that Scott Morrison apparently supports death threats against a Labor Premier. The standard you walk past. But what is most profoundly shocking is that there has been no condemnation from the ALP of these threats against one of their own. 

So can we assume if someone drives a mock gallows with an effigy of Morrison hanging from a noose through the streets of Canberra, there will be no repercussions? Or perhaps Peter Dutton? Anyone can do now this with impunity, we assume? Any group can gather around Parliament House shouting “Kill Scott Morrison, hang Peter Dutton” and there will be no repercussions?

Because this is where we are at now in Australia. Because these are our values. 

And the fish rots from the head. 

14 Responses to “Gallows in the streets of Melbourne”

  1. Marian Saines November 16, 2021 at 2:40 pm #

    Excellent article- and has Victoria Police charged anyone in regard to these very clear death threats?

    Like

  2. Claudia zappia November 16, 2021 at 3:05 pm #

    This article was chilling to read. You’ve expressed every aspect perfectly. Just as I was shocked by the horrific impact the U.S enabled Trump to have on their nation. Scott Morrison is our Trump. Given the heads up of what could come from the U.S, it further sickens me that the same has been allowed to occur here. The country can’t be run by cultist. We have no leadership here.

    Like

    • silkworm November 21, 2021 at 5:59 pm #

      Thank dog we don’t have the gun culture here as they do in the U.S.

      Like

  3. Thomas Brookes November 16, 2021 at 5:40 pm #

    What a crock as Dr Wilson tries to label the protesters on Saturday as just a “motley mob of protestors”, “anti vaxers QAnon believers, neo Nazis, Trump supporters, and religious zealots”

    Dr Wilson needs to go to Specsavers as I watched the protest by thousands of people that was overwhelmingly just ordinary mums and dads tired of being under the thumb of Dictator Dan.

    Extremist behavior by Premier Dan Andrews with outrageous sections in his new covid bill (which Dr Wilson has ignored), has sparked an equally outrageous reaction by what was clearly a small section of protestors.

    Dictator Dans bill has been widely condemned by the opposition, human rights groups, the legal fraternity and others as having gone way too far with its powers and lack of accountability. Andrews refused to budge on parts of the bill until this morning.

    Perhaps the intense hatred that is now directed at Andrews is his own doing by his power grabbing arrogance towards peoples rights and the damage he has caused to peoples lives and livelihoods.

    FFS Melbourne holds the worlds record for the longest lockdowns.

    If you want to start labeling extremist behavior, you need to start with Dan Andrews.

    Like

    • silkworm November 21, 2021 at 5:21 pm #

      G’day mate. Where is your condemnation of the right-wing extremists at these rallies and their blatant threats of violence?

      Like

    • Jane Rayner November 30, 2021 at 11:32 am #

      What utter bull excrement. The new “COVID bill” is a roadmap for future governments faced with pandemics like COVID. Obviously you have zero idea that the US and other countries already have these roadmaps in place. They are regularly updated and handed to incoming governments. Of course, the Tangerine Toddler junked the roadmap given to him by the Obama administration, which is why the Tangerine Toddler’s response to COVID was sooooo successful.

      Like

  4. avocet42 November 17, 2021 at 6:27 am #

    Thank you Jennifer for saying what should have been said by so many politicians and media organisations in this country.
    Our once beautiful country is being driven into a cesspit of hatred, division, greed and destruction in the lust for power of a few cunning but utterly stupid people.
    There is no future for this country if these people manage to retain power.
    We are heading straight down the Trump path to disaster.

    Like

  5. Maureen Helen November 18, 2021 at 10:22 am #

    This article chills me to the bone, Jennifer. Thank you for articulating so clearly and responsibly what is happening in Australia. In Western Australia, the electoral office of Premier Mark McGowan is closed indefinitely because of death threats to the Premier and his staff. I am very afraid.

    Like

  6. marymtf November 19, 2021 at 11:11 am #

    What’s absolutely chilling is Dan Andrews push for power and the left’s consistent determination to ignore it.

    Like

    • silkworm November 21, 2021 at 6:03 pm #

      Go away.

      Like

    • Jane Rayner November 30, 2021 at 11:38 am #

      It’s more chilling that assorted lunatics, Nazis and anti vaxxers are threatening to kill legally elected MPs. Of course if any of the idiots are infected with COVID, they’ll be the first ones stampeding into hospitals and accusing Andrews of not taking steps to protect them. Frankly, I wouldn’t lift a finger to help them.

      Like

  7. doug quixote November 19, 2021 at 12:35 pm #

    Scott Morrison “has a reputation for lying” in the words of his own former PM.

    His attitudes and beliefs are reactionary and almost as antediluvian as Abbott, another former PM who couldn’t lie straight in bed.

    It is hard to know which of Morrison’s deficiencies will affect us the worst –

    1) his poor diplomacy (France over the subs, China over almost every issue except trade, our near neighbours who are almost ignored);

    2) his recalcitrance over climate change and his love of coal (remember the stunt in parliament with the lump of coal?);

    3) his absence from duty and slow actions in responding to the bushfires and the pandemic crises, and potentially the same in any future crisis;

    4) his adherence to a strange Christian cult and its speaking in tongues happy clappy ways;

    5) his tin ear whenever called upon to respond to local, national or international events (this latest gallows RWNJ anti-vaxers affair is typical);

    6) his cynical and ad hoc approach to just about any social issue you care to name;

    7) his readiness to quote and requote lies and rightist propaganda (is that tautology?);

    8) his readiness to do whatever it takes to shore up a vote – surely he can’t be gaining any.

    I’m sure there are others – you, dear reader may have additions to make.

    Like

  8. silkworm November 21, 2021 at 5:57 pm #

    Australia is only a year behind America. These gallows are directly inspired by the gallows seen at the Jan 6th insurrection. Trumpism is still very strong in Australia.

    Like

    • doug quixote November 23, 2021 at 6:44 pm #

      Monkey see monkey do.

      Thankfully Trumpism is very weak in Australia, and the NSW/ACT vaccination figures show anti-vaxxers as much less than 5% of the population.

      But there will always be some benighted individuals in any population.

      Like

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