Mon, 29 Nov 2021

Conspiracy cults breeding terrorism through protests

Independent Australia
24 Nov 2021, 16:52 GMT+10

Protests by right-wing groups over vaccine mandates have seen a rise in extremist behaviour, with death threats carried out against politicians, writes Bilal Cleland.

IN MELBOURNE over several days, "freedom" protesters carried nooses and a mobile gallows to the front of Parliament House and one protester said she looked forward to seeing Victorian Premier Dan Andrews "dance on the end of a rope".

Anti-terror detectives charged two men on 18 November with incitement over threats to the Premier and MPs.

Michelle Pini noted of the protest movement, 'chief dog-whistlers cheerleading the fray' included members of the Victorian Liberal Opposition.

Saturday 20 November saw anti-vaccination, anti-emergency powers demonstrations in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Brisbane.

PRGuy tweeted:

In Brisbane, mining billionaire Clive Palmer, the main backer of the United Australia Party, and MP Craig Kelly said at the rally he'd rather "go out of business" than listen to vaccine advice from Queensland's Premier - who he called "Palachook".

The anti-vaccine protests were already extreme enough in Western Australia for the Premier to close his electorate office, due to threats of rape against his staff and the bombing of his office.

The decline of the Liberal Party from its traditional conservatism into a supporter of radical reactionary politics in this protest movement is dangerous.

The weak statement of the Prime Minister created great concern.

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers tweeted:

Terrorism is a real danger.

A terrorist act in our law is an act, or a threat, that intends to coerce or influence the public or any government by intimidation to advance a political, religious or ideological cause and causes, amongst other examples, death, serious harm or danger to a person.

The Christchurch massacre is an example.

The annual threat assessment 2021 by ASIO stated that ideological extremism takes up some 40 per cent of its current caseload.

According to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), QAnon is part of that threat:

Anti-vax rallies stink of Fraser Anning's populism

The current anti-vax movement is starting to show signs of White nationalist politics as spouted by Fraser Anning in 2019.

Not all those taking part are QAnon. The wellness industry has contributed substantially to the number of protesters.

However, the BBC Anti-disinformation Unit warned in 2020 that the anti-vaccination and the QAnon conspiracy theories are merging.

It noted that these groups also have a money-raising function.

Josh Roose of Deakin University recalls that Victoria police warned a parliamentary inquiry into extremism:

A valuable analysis is in QAnon and on: A short and shocking history of internet conspiracy cults by Van Badham.

The theory has penetrated quite deeply into Australia.

Liberals and mainstream media encourage extremism

The mainstream media and Liberal Party through their lies and propaganda have created a breeding ground for violence and extremism.

Badham writes:

Cam Wilson exposed one major source of the anti-vax agitation in Victoria involving a former Family First leader and a property mogul:

There may also be votes to harvest from the 10 per cent who resist vaccination against the virus, but if this comes at the cost of fomenting domestic terrorism, it is too high.

Bilal Cleland is a retired secondary teacher and was Secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Chairman of the Muslim Welfare Board Victoria and Secretary of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. You can follow Bilal on Twitter @BilalCleland.

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