Just days earlier the Assistant Police Commissioner for the North West Metro Region, Luke Cornelius, warned everyone in Victoria against participating in the Saturday protests. He referred to people who planned to protest against lockdowns as “boof heads”, calling them an “anti-vax, anti-mask, tinfoil hat-wearing brigade who were batshit crazy”.
This oddly extreme language from one of the State’s most senior police officers is not accidental. It serves a specific purpose.
In order to get ordinary well-adjusted police officers – who may have joined the force out of a desire to be of public service – to brutalize a population whose only crime is that they object to being locked in their homes for 23 hrs a day for months on end, you need to demonize dissent. If your officers on the ground can identify in any way with the people they are being told to terrorize, they might not follow orders.
This is a perennial problem for martial leaders everywhere. It’s particularly problematic when the rules being enforced are arbitrary or unjust. Hence the need to malign.From Blue Shirts to Brown