Saturday 2 November 2019

Daniel Andrews: “An Outstanding Job” (II)

From "Gravis Tray" Facebook.

A few days ago, Daniel Andrews, Labor Premier of Victoria, could not find more words to condemn climate change protesters. As quoted by the ABC’s James Oaten:
“Premier Daniel Andrews described the actions of protesters as ‘appalling’ and ‘violent’. ‘[Protesters] are free to protest peacefully,’ Mr Andrews said. ‘What they're not free to do is to act the way they acted. It’s appalling conduct, absolutely appalling conduct. Violent conduct.”
Words, too, proved insufficient when it came for Andrews to praise the Victorian Police for its performance: “I think police have done an outstanding job.”

That outstanding job, widely documented in video, could be summed up this way: About 50 activists were arrested during 3 days of protests, several were injured and at least one was hospitalised. There were pepper spray storms and batons were used unsparingly, mounted police was deployed to break human chains, and “palm strikes” with clenched fists were seen.

Victoria Police explainad that. The ABC’s Stephanie Ferrier:
“Commander Libby Murphy said protesters had turned ‘more violent’ and she thanked police at the scene for their ‘restraint’.”
Victoria Police further explained a video showing Chanel Seven reporter Paul Dowsley being pushed around and manhandled by female officers under the command of a male officer barking orders and threats like an out-of-control escapee of a mental asylum:
“Commander Murphy said the reporter was trying to ‘push through’ into an unsafe area and was asked twice to move, but refused. ‘It required us to physically remove him from a particular area, so the footage that you have seen is probably not the full story,’ she said.”
Law enforcement agencies’ concern with climate protesters was not recent. Less than a month ago, this, according to The Age’s Carolyn Webb, was the news:
“[Victoria] Police north-west metropolitan region Commander Tim Hansen said crowd behaviour would be closely monitored. Commander Hansen told radio station 3AW that police were concerned the Extinction Rebellion movement had been infiltrated by fringe groups.”

Daniel Andrews’ renewed admiration for the Victorian Police is surprising, even making allowance for the possibility of him not being the sharpest tool in the toolshed. Less than a year ago Andrews had to call a Royal Commission over the Lawyer X/Informer 3838 scandal: Nicola Gobbo, QC, a Victoria Police informant on their own clients (and herself “a suspect, witness, and informer at the same time”), whose dealings with police, on top, were eventually leaked to the public, making of her a potential target for a bunch of dangerous and disappointed clients.

And this time Victoria Police, again, didn’t disappoint. As it turns out, among those police officers doing such an outstanding job at least two could have links to the alt-right.

That finding, understandably, made the news (see here and here). But the credit for that doesn’t go to the Victoria Police: they were too busy looking for dangerous characters elsewhere. It was the protesters themselves who discovered that.

Mind you, those officers weren’t shy about their political allegiances: the one whose identity was made public, Senior Constable Travis Gray (whose clever artwork opens), even included alt-right memes in his Facebook, which he bravely inactivated after the news was announced. (Victoria Police may be the only employer in Australia that does not check its employees’ social media).

Predictably Victoria Police repeated the tried and tested tactics they applied in the Lawyer X case: double down in excellent job and restrain bullshit, “there was no evidence” this and “they will investigate” that. Same old, same old.


I’ll be blunt. It’s already bad enough that Daniel Andrews and Victoria Police see themselves as hired muscle for mining. But to act as alt-right cucks is really the last straw.

Andrews, grow some balls. Quit the bullshit and discipline those thugs. That’s your job. Get your head out of your ass, before they do a Christchurch, maybe even in your watch. Your ineptitude and that of the Victoria Police is what’s appalling.

Either that or resign. Act like a man.

And, federal Labor, you guys made a big deal when John Setka screwed things up with his big mouth. Why I hear nothing about Daniel Andrews? (or Queensland’s Annastacia Palaszczuk, for that matter?)


So, you want to help climate change protesters but street protests are not your thing. Well, they need money.

GoFundMe page “Support activists arrested at mining conference
GoFundMe page “Support Aussie School Strikers 4 Climate Action

Other ways you can help:

  1. Join or form a local climate action group.
  2. Having a conversation with friends/colleagues about how you can grow the momentum started by the climate strikes.
  3. Sign up to volunteer with one of the many organisations across Australia fighting for climate justice.

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