Channel 7 political reporter, Jennifer Bechwati got more than she bargained for whilst on the campaign trail. Turning to Twitter on Monday 18 April 2022, Bechwati posted this photograph with the caption ‘Vax checked’ Stamped as we entered a bar in Perth.
The tweet caused outrage on social media with followers blaming mainstream media for championing “this lunacy for two plus years now”. Stating “maybe if you have to live it, like we have you’ll collectively change your tune as an industry”. Another tweeted “Channel 7, 9, 10 not one interview with an anti-lockdown, anti-mandate, anti-authoritarian, anti-masking citizen put to air. Smearing, misrepresenting & deliberately ignoring protests”.
Still others have drawn parallels between the stamp above to historical events that saw many citizens outcast, stating “thanks but stamps or yellow stars to make discrimination easier to apply is a no from me”.
Many questioned why Bechwati stayed at the venue, stating they would have walked out and would not support that kind of action.
According to one report, a Reveley Bar spokesperson said “we are required, by law, to only allow fully vaccinated patrons into our venues and face huge fines if we do not undertake this check…so we check the vaccination status and then use a stamp so that we don’t have to ask patrons’ multiple times to show us confirmation of vaccination. It is something we have to do, not something we choose to do.”
Sadly, the Reveley Bar is not the only venue to mark their patrons in this fashion. As one man tweeted, “here’s another, a popular venue in Mount Hawthorn”. Only this stamp showed how many doses the patron had.
In response to Bechwati’s tweet, Lead Senate Candidate for the Liberal Democrats and strong opponent of the government’s handling of the pandemic, Kate Fantinel apologised on behalf Western Australia.
Only a small handful of followers supported the use of the stamp, saying it was no different to nightclub stamps. Despite this, most tweets were strongly opposed to what this stamp stood for, namely a complete violation of people’s rights and a symbol of government overreach.