巨變中的書寫

駐墨爾本的自由運動觀察人.

亞拉河畔的兩次遊行

墨爾本每週六的中午遊行 劇作家記下墨爾本警民的心結在丹政府下的憂慮


幾名警察手持三角架上的錄影機。如果你觀看那些試圖記錄墨爾本實際情況的獨立記者的直播畫面,你會看到這些警察在努力捕捉這些逃離的抗議人士的面孔時是多麼的敬業。

毫無疑問,在某個地方,面部識別技術正被用來將這些持不同政見者編入一個檔案,該檔案應該是和平抗議者,但現在卻被貼上了 "國內恐怖分子 "的標籤。我想,唯一比這更低級的檔案是未接種疫苗的國內恐怖分子。

我們預計,在新冠發生之前重新分類的原因是允許警察根據新的反恐怖主義法去逮捕這些人。這些法律允許當局不經審判而無限期地關押他們。這就是他們在米克勒姆(Mickleham 維省入境後檢疫隔離中心)建造的巨大新的集中營地的目的嗎?一個現代適應能力強城市的彈性營地?

我們在一次抗議活動中遇到一個人,他說他在一個採石場工作,為這個隔離所的營地提供石頭。他告訴我們,那些撿拾這些石頭的建築工人,總是低聲地對他說,他們認為這裡是一個集中營。

當你意識到你在談論墨爾本時候,這些話聽起來很荒謬,但當你看到那些最終可能成為守衛的警察時,他們似乎已經在津津樂道於這樣一個事實:他們正在對待他們的墨爾本同胞就像罪犯一樣,並視這些人聚集、行走和高呼要恢復他們的人權。

今天,在亞拉河畔,在十月柔和的陽光下野餐的家庭和試圖減掉封城增加的體重的慢跑者之間,已經被跟蹤了一個小時,一小群抗議人士現在高呼他們的口號。

一週前,一群興高采烈的惡魔支持者,他們放下面罩,不顧社會上的距離,齊心協力地向遊行。而且他們在遊行時沒有重兵把守。那時他們是自由的。

現在,一個星期後,這些不同意政府實施他們認為嚴格的法律的人們,現在正在奔跑來的是跟隨他們的警察隊員也開始奔跑。

突然間,騎馬的警察在自行車道上衝了出來,頭頂上的直升機在盤旋,就像電動螺絲刀一樣把政府的設的籠子擰得越來越緊。

剛剛離開辦公室的會計師告訴我,他看到警察把抗議的人士摔倒在地並跳到這些逃跑的人士的背上,這些人有男有女,年齡不一。即使抗議者舉起手說,看,我沒有抵抗,我沒有武器,他們還是被抓住了他們的頭。他們的臉被警察壓在地上。

讀這備忘錄,這應該叫新的墨爾本,你不允許再抗議了。

然而,這些活動者仍然折回。這群無權無勢的人在無權無勢的群體中再聯合起來,以一幫女同性戀者的精神和風度,為自由而呼喊。為正在失去的東西而歌唱。當他們的同胞,有些穿得像衝鋒隊一樣,一次又一次地追趕他們,越過沙地上的界線,他們警察的靴子把標語踩深進草地、踩抗議者的臉在瀝青上,幾年前我們的海報上都有這個標語,墨爾本,世界上最適合居住的城市。

發生什麼事了?我看著一位父親問一位停止奔跑的警察,因為抗議活動又一次被平息了。這位父親站在野餐毯旁邊,他的夥伴和他的孩子們都已經停止了吃飯。

但這位警察沒有回答這個問題,而是要求看他的身份證,只是為了確保這位父親和他的家人沒有離開他們的區域。

邁克爾-格雷-格里菲斯  

from YouTube

Two Marches Down the Yarra

Several of the police officers hold video cameras on monopod tripods. If you watch the streaming video of those independent journalists who are trying to record what is actually happening in Melbourne, you will see how truly dedicated these officers are as they work to capture the faces of these fleeing activists. 

No doubt somewhere, facial recognition technology is being used to catalogue these dissidents in a file that should read, peaceful protesters, but instead, now will be labelled “Domestic Terrorists.” The only file lower on the rung than this, I guess will be the unvaxxed domestic terrorists. 

The reason for the reclassification, we expect, which happened before Covid, is to allow the police to arrest these people under the fresh anti-terrorism laws. Laws that allow the authorities to hold them without trial, indefinitely. Is this what that enormous new camp they are building in Mickleham is for? A resilience camp for a modern resilient city?

We met a man at one protest who said he worked in a quarry that was supplying rock for this camp. He told us how the construction workers, who picked up this rock, gravel I expect, were always whispering to him, gravely to how they believed it was a concentration camp.

The words sound ridiculous when you realise you are talking about Melbourne, but when you see the sort of police who could end up being the guards, Police who seem to already be relishing in the fact that they are getting to treat their fellow Melbournians, these people gathering and walking and chanting to have their human rights restored, like criminals.

Today, on the banks of the Yarra, between the families picnicking under the soft October sun, and the joggers trying to lose their lockdown pounds, a small group of protesters, who had been shadowed for an hour, now chanted their way down the (word )

A week before, a jubilant crowd of Demon supporters, their face masks lowered and with no regard for social distancing, marched as one to the Gee. And they marched with no heavy police presence. They were free.

Now, a week later, this mixed bag of people defying the Government’s implementation of what they see as draconian laws, were now running, as the long line of police following them had begun running too. 

Suddenly police on horseback were charging down the cycle path, as overhead the helicopters circled, like power screwdrivers twisting the Government’s cage down ever tighter.

The accountant, who had just left his office, told me he witnessed the police leaping onto the backs of these fleeing protesters and wrestling them down to the ground, men and women of all ages. Even when the protesters raised their hands to say, look, I’m not resisting, I have no weapons, they were still grabbed in a headlock and had their faces smashed into the ground. 

Read the memo, this should be called, this is the new Melbourne and you are not allowed to protest anymore. 

And yet still these activists return. The neo powerless uniting in powerless groups to chant for freedom, with the spunk and grace of a gang of corellas. Singing as one for what is being lost. As their countrymen, some dressed like storm troopers chase them down again and again, back over the line in the sand, their boots crushing the slogan into the grass and the asphalt and the protesters’ faces, the slogan that a few years ago we had on all our posters, Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city.

What’s going on? I watched a father ask an officer who had stopped running for the protest had once again, been quashed. The father was standing next to the picnic blanket, where his partner and his children had all stopped eating.

But instead of answering this question, the officer asked to see his ID, just to make sure this father and his family wasn’t out of their zone.

Michael Gray Griffith  


Like my work??
Don't forget to support or like, so I know you are with me..

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Want to read more ?

Login with one click and join the most diverse creator community.