Why no outcry over public Corvid-19 measures by CLA?
Emailed question to Civil Liberties Australia 15 March 2020:
Hi, why has there been no outcry from you regarding the loss of liberties, introduction of new laws and manipulation of old laws relating to freedom of association, participation, travel and (soon to occur) education?
The virus is being used as a means of taking away liberties, imposing restrictions and reenforcing political allegiances that predate WW2. Why are you not vocal?
A common definition of civil liberties is:
Civil liberties nearly always involve balancing “the rights of a person” against the rights of other people (“…if this does not harm other people”).
Rights and liberties are not absolute. They can be altered by circumstances. A virus pandemic, like a world war, is such a circumstance.
All Australian states and territories, and the federal jurisdiction (as for most countries) have emergency health powers which have been in place for many years. Under emergency health powers, like in war (which fighting a pandemic is akin to), government health bodies have extraordinary powers to make decisions for the public good (“not harming other people”).
The emergency powers can usually be enforced by police and punitive action, if needed.
Civil Liberties Australia agrees with the need for such emergency powers and actions in times of a pandemic, or war, or similar major emergencies.
That’s why there has been no outcry from Civil Liberties Australia, or from any like group.
PS: You ask: ‘Why are you not vocal?’
Just in case your query was directed personally, I am not vocal because:
- I’m in the high-risk age group. Being retired has allowed me to volunteer to run CLA for more than 15 years.
- I have cancer (CML, chronic myeloid leukemia).
- I have high blood pressure.
- I have high ferritin.
…these are four of the main high-risk factors* for death from Covid-19.
I haven’t been vocal in urging people to follow health orders, but I am urging you, Laurence, to consider (if you have them) your parents’ and/or grandparents’ health first.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to campaign against draconian terror and anti-privacy laws and cases where our civil liberties are being jeopardised by governments, without proper reason or a balanced approach to freedoms and “the rights of other people”.
People at risk:
ABC journalist Mary Lloyd is in the middle of chemotherapy, and with her immunity low she is imploring you to do your bit to stop coronavirus spreading.
* First major analysis of those most at risk:
* Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study
Fei Zhou*, Ting Yu*, Ronghui Du*, Guohui Fan*, Ying Liu*, Zhibo Liu*, Jie Xiang*, Yeming Wang, Bin Song, Xiaoying Gu, Lulu Guan, Yuan Wei, Hui Li, Xudong Wu, Jiuyang Xu, Shengjin Tu, Yi Zhang, Hua Chen, Bin Cao
Published online March 9, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30566-3
CLA Civil Liberties Australia Inc. A04043
Box 7438 Fisher ACT Australia
Email: secretary [at] cla.asn.au
16 March 2020