Convoy to Canberra was a once in a lifetime experience for all those who travelled there.
It was the Woodstock of Australia where hundreds of thousands of people gathered in a communal connection of focused energy.
Love, unity and a single minded purpose saw all types of backgrounds join as one giant mixture of humanity. The individual ingredients of a cake are not as tasty as the combined and cooked version and so it was in Canberra at Camp Epic.
Perfect? No, but at the end of the day new friendships were forged in the heat of battle against a common foe. Friendships that continue to develop and strengthen. People were educated and enlightened with facts, figures and above all, love.
A spiritual connection some called it. A gathering of minds, bodies and souls.
The plan was to go home, regather and head back to Canberra 6 weeks later. Most left with hearts full of hope. Some had stayed. They had no where to go back to. Lives had been ruined by the draconian rules put in place by power hungry premiers and CHO’s. Businesses had folded, jobs had been lost, families had been broken and friendships destroyed. They had nothing to return to, so they stayed.
They stayed on the lawns of Parliament house or at a multitude of smaller campsites in and around Canberra. Everything from swags to tents, caravans and motorhomes. New villages sprang up, but it was not Camp Epic. I don’t believe the Camp Epic experience will ever be repeated but it was a birthplace. Our modern-day Eureka Stockade moment.
I headed back to Canberra with some trepidation but also excited to see the changes. I had heard stories. Some good, some not so much, but I needed to see for myself if all that effort of the Convoy to Canberra had been worthwhile.
The trip down was different. No flags on the side of the road. No groups cheering you on. No convoy of vehicles covered in flags and signage. No high fives at service stations. There was an emptiness. Even a loneliness. A longing for what had been but a realization that it would never be again. Like that long, lost love. A desire to see, to feel and to hold that which could never be.
‘Epic campground closed’ flashed on the road sign as I drove down the highway into Canberra. The ACT government were taking no chances of a repeat performance of the Convoy to Canberra. There was a police presence everywhere. Intimidation tactics that were totally unnecessary but showed the fear held by those in power of what could be achieved when the masses say enough.
I heard a radio interview with a police ‘general’. “We are tired of the protesters. Canberrans are tired of the protesters. We will do all we can to move them on. We will make life as difficult as we possibly can for them. They are not welcome”. Battlelines had been drawn.
Peaceful, legal protesters had now been targeted and become public enemy number one. The days ahead should be interesting.
This was seen on the day of the rally when an original sovereign man, Rivers Williams was attacked by police and arrested. He was held down by 6 officers and punched. When a bystander said this will end up as a George Floyd moment an officer removed his face nappy, smiled and winked.
I was reminded of Dr Bruce Paix, who was arrested and placed in solitary confinement for 6 days at Convoy one. His crime? He passed by an unfinished roadblock slowly and cautiously. His court case is still pending.
This is compared to an out-of-control girl who verbally abused and then drove her car intentionally into and over the top of a protesters vehicle. A slap on the wrist and a minor driving charge.
The difference in attitude is palpable.
At Parliament House the barricades were up. Orange scars across the green lawns where a few weeks ago the largest gathering of its kind in Australia’s history had taken place. Despite the barriers I did get to enter the House. Welcomed by security because I guess they saw me as a non-threatening tourist. Good natured banter, typical Australian, and helpful hints were offered to make sure I saw the highlights of Parliament House.
Wandering through the corridors of power I was disgusted by the display of pomp and ceremony being planned for the upcoming week of gathered dignitaries while outside there were those with nothing. Not only having nothing but were now potential targets of police aggression.
Tables had been set and stiff backed staff were gathered and listening to the rules of engagement they would need to follow to the letter in serving the politicians and their guests over the coming week.
On my way out I chatted to the security and asked what they thought of the protesters gathered on the lawns. To say they were uncomplimentary would be an understatement. They did concede that everyone in Australia should have the right to protest and express their opinions. They just didn’t want them expressing those opinions in Canberra.
Their understanding of why the protesters were there and what they were concerned about was very limited. They had little or no idea of the number of adverse reactions and deaths that had followed vaccinations. They knew nothing of the release of the Pfizer documents. They knew less than nothing of the growing health risks they potentially faced because of the jabs they had received. Two were interested in hearing more information but one had already determined I was crazy. His brainwashing by the media was complete. I moved on.
A small group of AFP were standing guard on the perimeter of the lawns. We chatted. Again, three were friendly and interested. The sergeant, overweight and agitated told me to move on and stop asking questions. He was looked at quizzically by the other officers, but they held their tongues and shrugged their shoulders.
This pattern was repeated over and over. Many AFP were kind and courteous. Some were aggressive and wanted confrontation. To be fair the same could be said for the protesting groups. The vast majority were controlled and considerate. A very small number that could be counted on one hand were drunk and antagonistic at times towards the AFP. This behaviour did not end well and caused major issues. The ‘random’ roadside alcohol and drug testing was not random. The AFP used every opportunity to target out of state number plated vehicles while allowing ACT plates to progress unimpeded. Any possibility to make life difficult for protesters was taken. Prayers for -5 degree weather were made to keep the protesters away.
Those gathered on the lawns of Parliament also became targets. Again, it was the drunk few that started the trouble but that gave opportunity for the police to attack. The AFP officers had their excuse to move in and they did. Violently.
They were not selective in who they tackled, punched, and moved in on. This included women and elderly. Property was seized and, in some cases, destroyed. Vehicles were towed and the screams were evidence of pepper spray use and physical brutality.
Everyone of those gathered had been warned that the police were looking for an excuse to ‘let loose’. It was a sad night that need not have happened.
The police and politicians who want this to end have an option. It won’t stop by the use of force and aggression. End the mandates and release the Wood Royal Commission report. Some say dissolve Parliament and ‘build back better’. The longer they continue to treat the Australian public as they are, the larger the protest numbers will become. They may not gather in the same place as they did for the original Convoy to Canberra but the numbers are there and they are growing.
As more and more information comes to light about the adverse reactions. As more injuries and deaths mount. As we see more sportspeople die with heart condition. As we hear of children damaged and dying after getting jabbed. As we see friends and family impacted the number of protesters won’t go away.
There is already a growing wave of shock and horror that politicians around the world knew of the potential damage these experimental drugs would cause. They signed the contracts anyway. They have pushed and coerced. Threatened and bullied.
There are a few in Parliament making a stand. Malcolm Roberts leading the charge along with Senators Alex Antic, Gerard Rennick, Craig Kelly and Pauline Hanson. These are courageous men and women who should be remembered for the stand they are taking. They are being ridiculed and persecuted by media and other politicians. When the whole story is told in the future these will be the heroes. They put their careers on the line to speak the truth.
The Canberra Times wrote an article suggesting the Convoy to Canberra 2 was a fizzer. Based solely on the numbers attending that could be one interpretation. However, when you consider that from the original Convoy there are now smaller Convoys around the country. Warrnambool is one such place. Weekly gatherings to educate, encourage, help and more. These types of groups are building across the nation. Rallies in front of State Parliament buildings are happening in every state. Collectively the numbers are more than gathered in Canberra. The word is spreading.
The Peoples Revolution, Hoodies Helpers and other groups have been conspicuous in their growing outreach. During the floods while the SES and other emergency services were selectively asking for ‘vaxxed’ volunteers only, these men and women just jumped in. Boots and all saving and helping those in need.
Many more lives would have been lost apart for these ‘unvaxxed, unclean’ heroes. No green tick required to help our mates. As it should be in Australia. When mates need help, we help. No discrimination, no questions asked. We just help our mates whether we know them or not.
Vaccination rates are falling. Booster uptake is nowhere near the original numbers. People are waking up. Slowly, but it is happening. As more information gets out these numbers will only grow. The release of the Pfizer documents is heartbreaking and eye opening. When the reality of what has happened sinks in, be afraid.
Australians are slow to rise. Our ‘she’ll be right mate’ attitude makes us sluggish to get out and rise up. Like my body on a cold morning. But when the realization sinks in that ‘she won’t be right mate’, that what these politicians have allowed isn’t right, and the general population has been used as experimental dummies while politicians lined their pockets with buckets of cash there will be revolution. Figuratively speaking there will be blood in the streets.
The ANZAC spirit is alive and well. You just don’t see it often. You’re seeing it now.
Each day at Government house ‘everyday Phil’ turns on his microphone and makes a demand to the Governor General for the release of the Wood Royal Commission documents. Every day, rain, hail or shine. If he is there on his own he makes the same demand. Usually there are a handful with him, somedays a lot more.
This group is educated and passionate. On one of the days I was present ‘Dan the bugler’ read out some thoughts he had put to paper. It was one of the most moving statements I have had the privilege to hear. He’s not a public speaker. He’s not a politician. He’s not perfect but his words rang true and I saw many of the AFP on duty wipe tears from their eyes.
Passionate, everyday Australian’s will bring great change to our country.
Perhaps one day our country will be united and honest again. For now the battle continues.