|Victorian lawmakers can’t vote on legislation against COVID measures without showing a vaccine passport|
|Last week, four members of the Victorian Legislative Council were denied access to parliament because they refused to show a vaccine passport.|
Three of them, Liberal Democrats MPs Tim Quilty and David Limbrick, and independent MP Catherine Cumming, have taken to working in a nightclub in Melbourne.
“A few weeks ago, the government forced through a motion in parliament to get all members of parliament to hand over their papers or be suspended,” said Limbrick. “They followed through with that. They suspended four members of parliament from th Upper House and one from the Lower House, and so we’re in a situation where we need somewhere to work. We can take part in parliament remotely, and that’s what we’ve set up here.”
The MPs, speaking to Rebel News Australia, compared the measures taken by the Victorian government as unreasonable.
Although the MPs can attend hearings remotely, they’re not allowed to vote.
Related: How vaccine passports are crushing freedom, privacy, and civil liberties
While the MPs are in exile, the government has proposed yet another controversial piece of legislation focused on the pandemic. The Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment Bill 2021 seeks to increase the Premier’s powers so that he can continue to declare, sustain and issue public health orders.
Currently the Public Health and Wellbeing Act allows the Premier to issue public health orders in the short-term. The proposed amendment gives the premier the power to declare lockdowns or other measures limitless times in three-months blocks for as many times as he deems fit.
The premier could issue public health orders even when public health officials have not declared there is a pandemic.The proposal could also create a permanent system for future pandemics.
“It’s pretty scary stuff – what they’re coming up with – especially when we’ve seen how the powers have been used in the past,” said Limbrick. “The idea of these powers being used responsibly… We just don’t buy it.”
The proposed amendment also includes a “classes of persons” provision that would allow the government to issue health orders that only apply to a specific group of people.
“A pandemic order may apply to, differentiate between or vary in its application to persons or classes of persons identified by their location in a pandemic, participation at an event, or characteristics, attributes, or circumstances,” the amendment reads.Cumming, whose mother came to Australia after World War II, compared the pandemic restricitions to Nazi Germany.
“During this pandemic, a lot of people have actually been making references to Nazi Germany and those kinds of things – which has really broken my heart,” said Cumming. “Watching what has been happening for even the Jewish community [in Melbourne] trying to actually be able to gather has really broken my heart. We don’t need it here. We don’t need to mandate.”
|Following video posts claiming COVID-vaccines are bad for people, Brazilian senators have requested the country’s high court suspend President Jair Bolsonaro from all social media platforms.|
On Tuesday, members of the Brazilian Senate called on the high court to ban the president from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, after he posted a video linking COVID-19 vaccines to immune deficiency syndrome.
[NB – see this link for information on the connection to this syndrome and other “adverse events”]
Bolsonaro made the claim in his live weekly address on Facebook and Instagram. The video was also posted on YouTube. Both platforms flagged the videos for misinformation, with YouTube going a step further by suspending him for a week.
In the video, the Brazilian President said: “I’m just going to report it, I won’t comment. I’ve talked about it in the past, I’ve been beaten a lot… here we go: official UK government reports suggest that the fully vaccinated… Who are the fully vaccinated?”
“Second dose, right… 15 days later, 15 days after the second dose… fully vaccinated… They are developing Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) much faster than expected.
“So, read the article, I won’t read it here because I may have a problem with my live [stream].”
The senators’ request for the President’s banning from social media came as the Senate Commission, which has been investigating the government’s pandemic response, is preparing to vote on a final report.
The Senate Commission is recommending multiple criminal charges for the president, including crimes against humanity because he has continually downplayed the severity of the pandemic and disregarded advice from medical experts.
This was not the first time Bolsonaro has had his posts censored or removed by social media platforms. In July alone, YouTube took down 15 of his videos.
|Facebook employee said censorship colleagues were “drunk on power”|
[NB – this is about Rittenhouse censorship, but also applies all social media censorship; the censors are similarily “drunk with power” when they censor so-called “medical misinformation” so I am including the story]
|A Facebook data scientist accused fellow employees of being “drunk on power” for censoring posts supporting Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who killed two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, at the height of last summer’s riots.|
The data scientist said some of the censored posts did not violate the platform’s policies as they were discussing whether Rittenhouse was being treated fairly and if he was acting in self-defense. Rittenhouse’s official stance at trial will be self-defense.
Facebook removed many posts supporting Rittenhouse because its policies prohibit the praising of “mass shootings” and “mass shooters.”
In Facebook internal discussions, obtained by the New York Post, most employees agreed with the censorship of pro-Rittenhouse posts. However, one employee, a data scientist, disagreed.
“The rioting has been going on for over three months and it’s only an issue now because people inside the company saw violence they didn’t like,” the employee said.
“Employees are drunk on absolute power of being in control of civics in America, without ever having to visit a voting booth (if voting is even an option.”
The employee said the company should differentiate between support (which is not allowed) and discussion of the unjust treatment of Rittenhouse (which is allowed).
“Can we really consistently and objectively differentiate between support (not allowed) and discussion of whether [Rittenhouse] is being treated justly (allowed)?” the data scientist wrote.
“Try reading the posts mentioning him and see if you can separate violating from non-violating content.
“I know that our company is full of dedicated smart people who want to do the right thing.
“However, I don’t think the current system we are working in enables us to succeed, even as we have the money, talent and motivation that should lead us on the right path.”
A Facebook spokesperson said that the platform has an “industry-leading policy” in addressing “militarized social movements.”Rittenhouse’s trial begins next week.
|In this week’s senate hearing, a YouTube executive boasted about how the platform had removed more than a million videos under its “COVID misinformation policy.”|
YouTube’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy Leslie Miller testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
In the hearing, titled “Protecting Kids Online: Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube,” the senators asked questions on what the platforms were doing to protect kids online.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) digressed from the hearing’s agenda and asked the YouTube executive about COVID-19 misinformation. Like other Democrats, Klobuchar has previously called for more censorship, especially the censorship of COVID-19 misinformation.
“I also… just had a follow-up on your… YouTube banning all vaccine misinformation, which I commended you for at the time. How much content have you removed related to this policy change since you banned all anti-vaccine misinformation?” the senator asked.
Miller answered: “On COVID misinfo, we’ve removed over a million videos since we started rolling out COVID misinfo, and over 130,000 videos as it relates to COVID vaccine misinfo. So it’s an area we’ve put a lot of resources behind to make sure our platform isn’t promoting or allowing this type of content.”
In August, YouTube announced that it had removed over 1 million videos “related to dangerous coronavirus information” since the beginning of the pandemic.
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