We are standing here, on this side of the street, with strangers who are turning out to be brothers and sisters, and we are looking through the thin line of police, at the Australians who are sitting at the café’s tables and drinking their lattes, as they make it clear that they are leaving us behind.
Yesterday their leader stated that he had changed our culture and here they were, two days in, celebrating its dawn. And their side of the tracks have all the guns, and all the money and all the rights to work and soon to travel. They have the right to socialise in restaurants and pubs, and to have all their family and friends there when they baptise their children and when they celebrate their marriages or bury their loved ones.
Whereas us? All we share are a few things like; each other, and remarkably we are very close; a deepening grief mixed with anger and astonishment for what we can see we are all losing; and this stubborn determination to hold on to our freedom. But this is a different freedom than what we were given at birth. It’s a purer freedom, the one all the freedoms we took for granted, the ones we have lost, emerged from. The Freedom of Choice.
But this freedom is no longer free, its price is our jobs, our families and friends, loved ones who are now too frightened to associate with us. It might even cost us our dreams. And yet here we are, sharing it, displaying it, even celebrating it, and the presence of our little cluster is so frightening to this emerging culture, that the street is full of police, and around the corners, more police are waiting, some of them on horses, as though we were a virus that could break free and infect the city. The media too, will work with the authorities to portray us as right winged domestic terrorists.
They are even organising their own march against us, like a rushed vaccine. They are calling it an anti-racist anti-fascist antivax march. To us that is so ridiculous it has to be a joke. But it isn’t. What they are doing in order to frighten us into complying, in order to eradicate us, is to continue to publicly identify us as the problem. And by doing so, their leader, under the safety of our community’s greater silence, is successfully reclassifying us as the first demographic in living memory, that these people, drinking their lattes, will not only be allowed to fully discriminate against, but to openly hate.
And we can see this. To us it’s crystal clear. To us, this rising, state sanctioned hate, thinly covered in the words, for your health, is the cancer that is on track to destroy everything that was great and beautiful about us. And this is why we are looking across the tracks at those who are ignoring us. Doesn’t this worry you? We are thinking. Can’t you see it? Or out of the two of us, are we the ones who are blind?