It seemed like a good idea at the time. To someone. Somewhere.
When the approval figures are down and there aren’t any 8-10 rated flag announcements then why not get a national security scare, and deploy “Border Force” to check visa’s (that everyone carries on them at all times) and possibly throw in a bit of casual racial profiling in… downtown Melbourne?
“The original announcement quoted ABF regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania Don Smith as saying officers would be positioned at various locations around the city and would speak “with any individual we cross paths with”. (ABC)
Except Melbourne was having none of it.
As social media recoiled, nauseated at the historic overtones of “checking your papers“, a range of groups and individuals scrambled quickly – the word went out to gather at 2pm at Flinders Street Station where a media conference was planned to announce “Operation Fortitude”.
And it appears Operation Fortitude had so much darned fortitude it had to first clarify, then back pedal, and then cancel the whole shebang.
Buzzfeed and Junkee had a ball following the mayhem, unions were in uproar, the human rights lawyers were brought out to shine a bit of reality on the situation and talk about, you know, human rights and what you can actually be stopped and questioned for, and First dog on the moon got a cartoon out before the TV news barely had time to have a crack at the story that kicked off just before lunch. And it made international news, including the BBC.
So, that went well.
It appears that the refrain that seems to have caught on any time racism is in the air, “You will always lose in Melbourne” is multipurpose.
** Please find out more from voices directly impacted here by this proposed policy **