Category Archives: Totalitarianism

School Makes Unmasked Students Wear a ‘Yellow Badge’

School Makes Unmasked Students Wear a ‘Yellow Badge’

By Jon Fleetwood 11/18/2021

QUICK FACTS:
  • Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson reported on Wednesday a U.K. school is instructing students to “wear a Yellow Badge” in order to identify those students from other students as having received a mask exemption.
  • Pearson tweeted a screenshot of an email she says is from the school explaining the school’s decision to reintroduce mask-wearing in the classroom.
  • The email goes on to explain that mask-exempt children must don a yellow-colored “Badge.”
  • “Those pupils who were exempt from wearing a mask last academic year will once again be exempt and should wear a yellow badge to indicate this,” the email reads.
  • Summit News pointed out the yellow badge is “historically understood to symbolize a ‘badge of shame’ and was imposed on Jews at numerous points throughout history to denote them as ethnic or religious outsiders.” “While no one is comparing the treatment of Jewish people in Nazi Germany to kids being forced to wear yellow badges,” the article clarified, “the use of such a symbol is still odious and morally bankrupt.”
  • Pearson concluded her tweet, asking, “Does the school have teachers who know their history?”
BACKGROUND:
  • Australia implemented more strict lockdown measures for the unvaccinated on Monday. About two million unvaccinated Australians “will only be allowed to leave home for limited reasons, like working or buying food,” the BBC reports. The Australian government “says police will carry out spot checks in public spaces to determine the vaccination status of individuals, and issue fines to those caught breaking the rules.” Austria’s health ministry “says anyone who violates the lockdown for the unvaccinated could be fined €500 (£426; $572), while a penalty of €1,450 could be incurred for refusing to participate in checks.”
  • Austria and Germany have also implemented severe lockdown measures for the unvaccinated. “Testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated alike would become mandatory in some regions once hospitalizations reach a given threshold, German authorities said on Thursday. Vaccinations will now be made mandatory for healthcare workers,” according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Unvaccinated Austrians are “excluded from entertainment venues, restaurants, hairdressers and other parts of public life in Austria,” CNN reports. But now Austria’s lockdown measures apply to “all those age 12 and older.”
  • Measures have also been introduced in Croatia this week, “including obligatory vaccination or testing for employees, have prompted protests, as well as criticism from President Zoran Milanovic, who is elected independently of the government,” notes WSJ.
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Inside the Austrian lockdown – UnHerd

What the ruling classes and the ‘Left’ have come to, or perhaps better, are now showing their true beliefs and character. mrossol

By Freddy Sayers,  11/18/2021

Mia and Christopher are Austrian circus performers. From their home in Vienna, accompanied by their dog, Magic, they go off to take part in theatrical shows large and small around Europe, from the Royal Albert Hall to private parties, sometimes juggling fire, sometimes trapeze, sometimes simply with stunning displays of balance and strength.

Perhaps the least interesting thing about this talented young couple is that they are unvaccinated against Covid-19. When I meet them at their house in a wooded suburb outside Vienna, I am almost embarrassed to ask about it. But they carefully explain how, for reasons of mistrust, caution and, as they see it, integrity, they have decided not to take the Covid vaccine — and how this fact is suddenly defining their whole lives.

 

 

Since Monday, unvaccinated Austrians are not allowed to leave their homes except to go to work, to buy essential supplies, or to take exercise: it’s the world’s first “lockdown for the unvaccinated”. It was introduced in response to rapidly rising cases and a lack of excess capacity in Austrian hospitals. “It is not a recommendation, but an order,” announced the Interior Minister Karl Nehammer at a press conference. “Every citizen should know that they will be checked by the police.”

It is, essentially, a ratcheting up of the regime of vaccine passports that exists already in many countries across Europe, whereby unvaccinated people are already excluded from restaurants, museums and theatres. But to place a minority of the population under partial house arrest does seem to cross a new line.

Mia is an artist who is unvaccinated but allowed out because she had covid recently.

The Brazilian-born Mia has already had Covid and, in the Austrian “2G” system, proof of recovery affords you the same status as if you had been vaccinated — albeit for a period of six months. So, for now at least, she is allowed out and about. Chris is stuck at home. He describes it as a “brainfuck”. Attempting to remain philosophical about it, he explains how he tries to tune out the relentless fear coming out of the TV and keep control of his own mental state. “I don’t want to be dependent on these kind of things to be happy.” But the sense of alienation and unease is palpable. What will the future look like? He is supposed to be performing in Paris before Christmas; who knows if he will get there.

It’s a “brain fuck”, says Mia’s partner, Christopher

Back in the old town, alongside the fancy boutiques of the Kärntner Straße, it’s a very different world. Affluent shoppers are out and about in the crisp November air, and they are more than happy to share their views with us.

“I think it comes much too late,” says one woman. “They’re crazy. All the trouble we have is due to those people that believe in, I don’t know, that the earth is flat… If the majority of society depends on idiots, then they can’t be helped and it’s the end of society!”

Her view is typical — there is very little sympathy here, and a good deal of frustration. Only a few voices take the opposing view, and they tend to be passers-through more than the wealthy locals; the doormen and deliverymen we try to talk to just shake their heads. One man simply describes the latest lockdown as “bullshit”.

What is striking is that very few think the policy will actually work. Covid levels per capita have shot up in recent weeks, and Austria now has one of the highest case rates in Europe. The rationale behind the lockdown is that it will increase the level of vaccination (low for a Western European country at 65%); but even supporters of the move predict that it will be followed up by more universal measures soon enough. The Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg openly explains that the policy is a heavy-handed “nudge”: “My aim is very clear: to get the unvaccinated to get vaccinated, not to lock up the unvaccinated,” he told ORF radio station.

On a practical level, though, the logic of the new rules does not withstand much scrutiny: unvaccinated workers are permitted to travel to and from work, and they work disproportionately within the hospitality sector. This means that they are currently allowed into restaurants and bars to serve, but not to consume. In any case, if there were only vaccinated people in a venue, that wouldn’t necessarily make it Covid-free. Many places require daily testing for non-vaccinated staff, yet not for the vaccinated, leading to the odd situation where the unvaccinated are “safer” than the patrons.

It feels like a bit of a stand-off. The vaccine issue has become a show of strength, a test of principles. As Ivan Krastev, a political scientist at Vienna’s Institute for Human Sciences, tells me: “When some of the anti-vaccine people said, ‘we are ready to defend our freedoms’, the basic message of the Government was, ‘Okay, let’s see what price you are ready to pay for them.’ The idea of this measure is to make people uncomfortable.”

Ivan Krastev: “the government wants to make people uncomfortable”

One peculiar feature of this dramatic new measure is the silence of the liberals. Why are the bien-pensant Viennese, usually so concerned with the rights of minorities, so relaxed about a measure that in other contexts would seem outrageously draconian?

Somersaults of logic have been performed to assert that the policy is more liberal than the alternatives. For one thing, they say, it stops short of an actual vaccine mandate, which just about keeps alive the notion of personal choice; for the majority, it offers the hope of avoiding another lockdown, so seems to them to be a lesser intervention. And, unlike in neighbouring Italy, the unvaccinated can still work, with tests being provided at public expense. In Austria, across the West, there is no one left to assert the rights, or even try to understand the motivations of this despised minority, the anti-vaxxers. They are the new deplorables.

 
 

To interrogate this seeming contradiction, I visit Professor Manfred Nowak, one of Europe’s pre-eminent human rights lawyers, at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He has dedicated his whole life to the upholding of human rights and the defence of oppressed minorities against arbitrary detention and mistreatment. Former Special Rapporteur to the UN on Torture, current Secretary-General of the European Campus of Human Rights, activist against Guantanamo Bay, UN Independent Expert on Children Deprived of Liberty — the list continues. I expect him to be a little concerned about the potential direction of travel in his home country of Austria.

He wasn’t. He thinks the policy doesn’t go far enough. “From a human rights perspective, you always have to balance the obligation to protect the right to life, the right to health, with interfering with other rights such as personal liberty,” he tells me.

He wants to make vaccination mandatory, with refusal equivalent to a traffic offence, resulting in a fine rather than a criminal record. He is also worried about how this partial lockdown might affect an already divided society — but he is unconcerned about the human rights or civil liberties implications. Do you not even have a twinge of anxiety about the shift in democratic norms, or whether such discriminatory policy might be applied in different settings, I ask? “No, not really,” he says, with admirable candour.

Manfred Nowak, an eminent human rights professor: “vaccination should be mandatory”

The final component in this lockdown mix is, of course, politics. In most European countries there are no mainstream political parties that could be described as “anti-vaccine”, but Austria has the populist, right-wing Freedom Party, which was part of the coalition government until 2019; it has made vaccination choice a central issue. The FPÖ organises regular rallies in cities around Austria, and its new leader Herbert Kickl is gaining popularity by condemning Covid policies as “corona fascism”.

Having thus turned vaccine hesitancy into a “right-wing” political campaign, Kickl has managed to put a face to the dissenting minority — and it’s not one that many people like. As a result, instead of thinking of the unvaccinated as a vulnerable, if misguided, group and one worthy of protection and respect, they have become viewed as an extreme political enemy who must be defeated.

It would be hard to think of anyone less threatening or extreme than Mia and Chris. Alternative, certainly; anti-establishment, yes. But good people who in any healthy, confident culture would be cherished and celebrated. Allowing them, and millions like them, to drift into a caste of untouchables, separated from the mainstream, all for the sake of a marginal gain against a virus that is rapidly becoming endemic, may prove to be a grave miscalculation with effects that will be felt for years to come.

https://unherd.com/2021/11/inside-the-austrian-lockdown/?tl_inbound=1&tl_groups[0]=18743&tl_period_type=3&mc_cid=7c4e768f15&mc_eid=0ff3e7ea29

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Hundreds of Thousands to Go on Four-Day Nationwide Strike Over Vaccine Mandates

11/8/2021  The Epoch Times

November 7, 2021 Updated: November 8, 2021
biggersmaller

nationwide strike against vaccine mandates will take place from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11, according to the main organizer for the walkout, Leigh Dundas, a human rights attorney and public speaker.

The event will kick off in Los Angeles on Monday. The locations of the marches have not yet been disclosed.

The walkouts involve people from various industries such as trucking and telecom. Air and rail transport workers are not federally allowed to go on strike due to a law passed in 1926 named the Railway Labor Act, but some plan to protest anonymously.

“The Golden Gate Bridge Rally is going to be an epic and unprecedented moment in time. It will mark—on Veterans’ Day evening—a 4-day Nationwide walkout, by rank and file workers everywhere, from blue-collar to white-collar, black, white, yellow, red, every faith, every creed, who are uniquely united despite their differences on one common truth: that vaccine mandates have no place in a truly free society,” Dundas told The Epoch Times.

“Every group: anti-vaccine, BLM, gay, straight, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Asian, Latino, Christian, atheist—all groups—are coming together for this one historic moment in time—to trumpet not just to our own government, but indeed to the watching eyes of the world, that vaccine mandates will no longer be tolerated. That in this country, WE are the government, because our founding fathers knew this truth: a truly free nation is a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. That we are the leaders we have been waiting for. And that today marks the day that we retire vaccine mandates as a concept that cannot live in a free society, and that we are, indeed, simply that: a free society.”

Epoch Times Photo
Leigh Dundas (Photo provided by Nationwide Walkout to The Epoch Times)

The Epoch Times talked to some of these frustrated workers who will participate in the strike to see why they are doing it.

‘I Choose God’s Immunity’

Kristen Grace has been a Raytheon Systems Engineer for 18 years.

“I will lose my livelihood on December 8, because I won’t allow an experimental gene therapy to be injected into my bloodstream. I’ve recovered from COVID, and I work from home, but the government has claimed authority over my body and medical choices. I choose natural (God’s) immunity over government,” Grace said.

Brandon Childs has been serving for 7 years in the Air Force, 5 years in active duty and 2 years with the Arizona Air National Guard (ANG).

“I have stepped away from being ANG full time due to the mandate and I was promised by my civilian job that they would never require the vaccine.

“However as an army contractor that changed within the last month. I’ve lost 3 family members in the last year one being my father a week ago. I’ve put in RE’s [religious exemptions] at both and was told that the chances of being accepted are extremely dismal and I will face what looks like a general or dishonorable discharge (with a clean military record) from one and termination for the other. Affecting the benefits I have worked for and bled for the country I love.”

Another systems engineer that has been working for Raytheon for 25 years told The Epoch Times: “I’ve submitted a Notification of Religious Accommodation. If it’s not approved, I’ll be fired on December 8th because I’m not going to violate my beliefs or surrender my Constitutional rights for a job. Honestly, this is the most stressful year of my professional life. I’ve lost many nights of sleep. Even if approved I’ll likely continue to look for a new job.

“I feel betrayed by a company I’ve given my best years. They could have stood up for us but they put profits and the ‘woke’ agenda first. I’m surrounded by fully vaccinated people with new and mysterious health issues, many have gotten COVID, but I’m treated like someone unclean, less than. Science, logic, and common sense have been tossed in the COVID dumpster fire. While I love my country, I’m ashamed of my company and my government. The only good news is that even the fully vaccinated now realize the promise of normality was all a lie. Now they are once again masked and being told boosters will be mandatory. And they are now rising up too,” the engineer said.

Health Information Privacy

Christopher Burns, an attorney that works in Portsmouth New Hampshire, said: “For the first time in the history of the country the president and an entire political party seem to think it’s constitutionally appropriate to dictate to a private employer how to treat its private employees by requiring the employer to demand privately protected health information from the employee.”

Jet, a Honeywell employee, feels disappointed and is depressed about his company mandating the vaccine, which he is determined not to take due to his religious beliefs.

“I have so many feelings about this situation that it has gotten me into a state of depression. Never in a million years [had] I imagined that something like this would happen in the United States. This is what tyranny looks like and it’s not going to stop here. Equally disappointing is to see that Honeywell, along with the rest of major U.S. corporations have decided to go along and enable tyranny. I’m not getting the vaccine. I have applied for a religious exemption. If not granted, so be it. Because of this mandate, we’re now going to be treated as second-class citizens. In case people have forgotten, this is the definition of tyranny: cruel and unfair treatment by people with power over others.”

A consultant for Thomson Reuters who does not even work physically at the company is bewildered at why he should take the vaccine.

“I have been working [for Reuters for] 13 years and at least 3 consultants are 100 percent remote, 2,000 miles away from the office! They say because the company has government contracts that means I have to abide by the mandate too.

“How am I endangering anybody from my home?” the consultant asked.

John Knox is part of the LA Firefighters for Freedom.

“We are fighting against these unconstitutional mandates because anything that is repugnant to the constitution is illegal. These mandates clearly step outside the constitutional parameters. As firefighters and first responders we need to take a stand and we need to let the rest of America know we will fight and they can join us,” Knox said.

‘It Is Against Our Rights as Americans’

A Maine 3rd Grade School teacher thinks the COVID vaccines should not be mandated.

“People have the right to make the choices that work best for their families and for themselves. I feel it is against our rights as Americans. Why are we dying on this sword?” the teacher asked.

Amtrak’s vaccine mandate deadline is also on Dec 8, an employee told The Epoch Times about her situation under the condition of anonymity.

“Employees with religious exemptions are either 1. Denied with no explanation, or 2. ‘Approved’ for unpaid ‘personal leave,’ and not allowed to seek other work while on involuntary ‘personal leave.’  This ‘accommodation’ is exceptionally harsh and retaliatory, considering that medical exemption employees are permitted to continue work with weekly testing, including full customer contact workers such as conductors,” she said.

“Any employee not in compliance with the vax mandate will be charged with insubordination and terminated, per Amtrak repeated internal announcements.”

Eric Mallow, a railroader, said: “The longer we comply with their tyranny, the worse this will get! We were absolutely essential last year and now we are completely expendable. Standing up for the rights of Americans far outweighs the difficulty of leaving a company that sees me as an insignificant number.”

A secretary from Arizona told The Epoch Times that the mandates are a “total violation” of her freedom.

“Where does this end?  If they can force vaccines in our bodies and violate our will that way, where is the line drawn?  We need to fight back and not allow this,” the secretary said.

The Epoch Times reached out to Amtrak and Raytheon for comment.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_breakingnews/hundreds-of-thousands-to-go-on-four-day-nationwide-strike-over-vaccine-mandates-organizer_4090848.html?utm_source=News&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-11-09-1&mktids=b99ab46962fbb2cd33fefe5a95f7ca93&est=AwqzX577fbmd9bz+/salhFsp/jUoEfuFA4EIp11f/7YLiiEv+DxHNxT2v3FUJg==

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