An open letter to the government: Why are Australia’s quarantine camps going to be staffed by prison officers? (And other important questions)
Dear Prime Minister Morrison,
I know it isn’t fair to jump straight to conspiracy-like conclusions about these quarantine camps. Maybe your motives are not sinister at all. Maybe this really is about ‘health and safety’ and ‘stopping the spread’.
Yet, there are several red flags that must be addressed.
Firstly, the name. If you don’t want us to think that you are constructing an Orwellian reality, please don’t call it a ‘Centre for National Resilience’. Maybe this isn’t quite at the ‘Ministry of Love’ level, but let’s just say if I was ever unlucky enough to be a ‘guest’ in these facilities, I would studiously avoid Cabin 101.
Secondly, the staffing. Prison officers are great and all, but really? It isn’t exactly reassuring to be told in a recent community briefing Zoom that this is because they bring ‘a really strong understanding of command and control and also what a rule means and how a rule should be applied. Also, after the recent show of brute force by police in Melbourne, finding out that ‘VicPol provides the support around the security elements for all of our operations and will continue to do so’, is just a tad concerning.
Thirdly, if ‘universal vaccination’ is our path out of the pandemic, why do we need these camps at all? Surely it isn’t for all those unruly ones holding out against being vaccinated…is it? The reference to ‘future emergencies’ sounds just a tad ominous. Let’s hope we don’t need to employ ‘strike teams’ as a recent Washington State government attempted to do (and then quietly edited the job ad to hide the reference).
Finally, you realise that the world is laughing at us, don’t you? There are the constant memes describing Australia as ‘the world’s largest prison camp’, a New York Times inside scoop describing people being confined in these camps ‘like animals in a zoo’, and a viral tweet from James Melville showing drone and news footage with the caption: ‘Meanwhile in Australia. Quarantine camps. They are so far down the rabbit hole now.’
I’m trying hard not to don a tin-foil hat, but it’s getting just a little difficult now. I guess as long as you don’t promise to be our ‘single source of truth’, we’ll be okay?
A Concerned Citizen
Victorian quarantine hub – Community information session
Arrest footage and teargas raise concerns about Victoria police’s use of force to quell protests
Creating additional quarantine capacity and enhancing Australia’s ability to respond to future emergencies
Washington state hires ‘Isolation & Quarantine Strike Team Consultants’
Australia Is Betting on Remote Quarantine. Here’s What I Learned on the Inside.
If Americans don’t want to end up in the above type scenario, we need to speak out!