What is going on in Australia? How are Truckers (“Truckies”) involved?
COVID-19 lockdown actions in the nation of Australia are among the most onerous, if not the most onerous, on the globe. Parts of Australia have been subject to martial law, with police dragging citizens out of their homes, beating them in the streets, and firing rubber bullets and tear gas into crowds of protesters. Many citizens and social media posters have gone on the record asking out loud what any of this can possibly have to do with “health.”
Photos and videos of police brutality have been posted to various platforms over the past weeks; Road Warrior News has been in direct video conference call contact with Australian protesters and business owners between August 25th and 27th to confirm media reports. More updates are scheduled over the next 48 hours.
It is challenging to get an clear and accurate view of precisely what is happening on the ground in Australia because multiple strikes have been called, for a variety of different reasons.
First, Australia’s Transport Workers’ Union voted for and launched a “commerce” focused strike on Friday, August 27th. TWU is striking against transportation giant Toll. Members are striking for a fairly standard pay-and-benefits/improved compensation and job protection package. This is a legal strike, for which the TWU received a mandate from its members. The TWU strike is NOT being held in response to or protest of COVID-19 measures, police brutality, or governance.
Second, Australia’s “Truckies” (slang for truckers) are organizing an illegal wildcat strike for Tuesday, August 31st to protest COVID lockdown measures, police brutality and governance which is appalling in their view. Reports from organizers on the ground supported by video postings indicate that the Truckies will be joined by thousands of ANZACs. (“ANZAC” is slang for “Australia and New Zealand Army Corp,” which historically referred to the troops these nations sent to fight in World War One but has come to refer to all military veterans in Australia.)
The original reason the Truckies organized the August 31 protest was because Australian public health officials demanded highway truck stops be closed as a COVID-19 measure. Truckies were not allowed to stop for food, fuel, or to use washrooms or showers. Police rescinded this measure relatively quickly and the highway stops have been re-opened for Truckies only (members of the public are not allowed). However, momentum for the August 31 protest has continued to build and the protests have morphed into anti-COVID lockdown, anti-police brutality, and anti-government events.
Now, as seen in the video below, ANZACs are calling for Australia’s state governors to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections. In the video posted August 22, Karen Brewer of “the Bush Telegraph” (slang for an informal information network) refers to current law enforcement as “costumed thugs, firing on your fellow citizens.”
“Wake the fuck up…stand up on the two feet God gave ya,” she advises Australians, instructing them to gather at state parliaments, council chambers and the homes of state governors to demand new elections at noon, Tuesday August 31st. Governors will be given 10 minutes to comply; what will occur if they do not comply is left unstated.
Obviously, police are well aware of these protests being planned and will be prepared to respond.
If the Truckies, the ANZACs, and other groups including trade workers and motorcylists now being included in the protest planning are successful in their aims, Australia’s parliament will be dissolved and a new election called.
If the events fail to achieve the stated aims, these efforts may be perceived as a lot of noise accomplishing nothing; or they may sow the seeds of continued protest.
One of the original and widely shared videos talking about the Truckie strike is below:
Truckies describing the frustration of trying to follow appaently nonsensical laws is below:
For a full-blown, expletive-laden rage rant giving insight into how angry some Australians are at their government, you may wish to view this. WARNING: strong profanity.