When Rosa Parks battled racism and oppression by catching a bus and then refusing to move into the “coloured” section out of the “white” section after being ordered to, her protest eventually saw bus segregation being declared as unconstitutional and a breach of rights. Her actions have since been celebrated as a significant contribution to the fight against oppression. There is a statue of her in the US Capitol’s National Statuary Hall and she received a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Congressional Gold Medal. Different states celebrate her birthday and the day of her arrest.
Fast forward to now and the Anti Vaxers and the Destiny Church have their own Freeedom Bus Trip. For the price of $60 Auckland anti vaxers can book a ticket to Wellington to make their final stand against all that is wrong with Aotearoa New Zealand, including vaccine mandates and compulsory mask wearing, even though these measures have saved us from the worst effects of the global pandemic that has inflicted every other Western nation.
But here is the kicker. To catch the bus people have to either have a clear covid test within 72 hours or a vaccine passport. It appears that not even a certificate from Dr Jonie Girouard will suffice.
Real protestors would walk rather than be subject to such “totalitarianism overreach” even though the reality is the measures are a necessary public health measure that have saved tens of thousands of lives.
But it is good to see that the Government’s messaging is getting through.
Expect many impassioned speeches at the protests, imagery of the treatment of Jews during the second world war and suggestions that the current steps are equivalent (they are not) and disparaging references to Ardern including multiple examples of misspelling of her name. Then expect a group of Aucklanders getting back onto a bus for a trip home in an environment that will be safer for them because they followed the rules.