Burma? Hong Kong? Venezuela? Nope, it’s my home town of Melbourne, Australia.
If the scenes from three increasingly combative confrontations from the last four days were broadcast from any of the aforementioned nations, Aussie PM Scott Morrison and his ministers would be on their feet so quickly they’d have scorch marks on the seat of their trousers, as they denounced the over-the-top brutality on display against citizens exercising their democratic right to protest.
There would be ministerial statements condemning the police action in the strongest terms, ambassadors would be summoned to explain their nations’ unacceptable actions and the United Nations would face pressure to sanction this aberrant behaviour and start freezing assets.
Instead: nothing. Hypocrisy is alive and well Down Under, which is starting to resemble a bio-tech police state more than the Lucky Country.
While the Australian government might be keeping its counsel over the scenes of pensioners being pepper-sprayed by police, the silence has been filled by social media and well-intentioned if unwelcome concerns from across the Pacific, with commentators from America denouncing what they have seen online and calling for US sanctions against the Aussies.