Mark Chagall Peace window, UN 1967
In Holland Sunday, a protest demonstration against government Covid policies provoked a emergency order from that same government against thousands of people gathering in a place to … protest. The police and government had only “allowed” 200 demonstrators. So the government “allowed” a protest against itself, but demanded the right to determine where, how, and with how many people it could take place. But that’s not really a protest, is it? The police deployed dogs, horses and water cannons to disperse the crowd.
In Greece, a video appeared last Sunday of a policeman severely beating a man. Protests against that have occurred daily since. The prime minister spoke out against the protests, not the policeman. That made people even angrier. And then he proposed a “police reform” law. Yeah. And everybody lived happily ever after. But under heavy restrictions.
In the UK, a peaceful vigil for a woman kidnapped and murdered -by a policeman!- was broken up by police Saturday because there was “no permission” given for it. Several women were handcuffed and dragged across the pavement. Meanwhile, the government is introducing a “police reform” law (they’re popular these days!) that would impose conditions even on one-person protests. And protesters can’t make noise. And so much police will be deployed that it may become too costly to “allow” the protest.
In Canberra, capital of Australia, 10s of 1000s protested because of a rape scandal inside government buildings. Good thing the restrictions were recently eased, or the same government that’s so busy trying to hide the scandal would have not “allowed” the protest.
It’s perfectly safe to call this extremism. It all takes place against the background of one year of failed Covid measures and restrictions. Though of course governments will always claim the pandemic would have been much worse without them. But after a year, what right do they still have to impose restrictions? What right did they ever have in the first place to tell people they cannot travel, assemble, see their family or go to work? And how has that right, if they ever had it, changed after a year-long “emergency”?
I’ve talked about legal issues before, but I still don’t see them discussed. I see no supreme courts testing laws or calling governments back. People in democracies are told they have basic and inalienable rights. But not anymore. Joe Biden talked about how Americans could, if they were good and obedient, maybe invite a few friends over for the Fourth of July. How many inalienable rights does that trample on in one go?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Where did these governments all go wrong? Well, here:
They’re not benign public servants, they’re drug pushers -in this case vaccines- with armies and bodyguards. They protect corporations and institutions, not the rights of their people. They’re not democrats, they’re authoritarians. We are ruled by ideologies, not principles. The only rights we have are those that they “allow” us to have. There are no basic or inalienable rights left. Our politicians represent, and serve, long established parties and systems that have ruled for at least decades, in a symbiosis with corporations.
If there’s one lesson to learn from the sordid never-ending Covid episode it must be that: your human rights are just a thin veneer that serves to make your reality look nice and shiny, but may be scraped off at any moment. What does that say about our forefathers and -mothers who fought, and died, in order to provide us with inalienable rights? Do we really owe those people less than we owe our current ruling classes?
I read yesterday that the health minister of Jordan has resigned because 6 Covid patients died due to a failing oxygen supply in a hospital. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a politician being held to account for Covid failure. And even he is probably just a scapegoat.
I’ve seen a few reports on the damage the lockdowns and other measures do to children’s minds. They mostly talk about schools being closed, as if schools are every child’s happy place. Of course not. Children simply need other children, so they can find their place in the world, it has nothing to do with a school. But this goes far beyond children, untold millions of adults also will come away with mental traumas. People need people.
We have a few questions we should ask ourselves. History teaches us that rights being taken away are awfully hard to regain. That the Constitution talks about the Consent of the Governed also means that the governed were considered to be able to make proper, just decisions about their own lives, and had the right to do that, without goverment intervention.
But you are not.
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