Voices against lockdowns – 7 February 2022

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This is an archived version of one of Gigi Foster’s email missives. Some links may no longer be current.

Dear all,

What a stunning few weeks it has been. In the footsteps of previous generations of freedom fighters, Americans have gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in the US capitol to “defeat the mandates” (livestream coverage here). In the Freedom Convoy 2022, Canadian truckers have staged what is fast proving to be the most determined, level-headed, and internationally inspirational demonstration against the covid policy response that we have seen in the past two years. Inspired speeches and community spirit have been heart-warming features of the Ottawa occupation that has drawn attention from across the globe. Taking a cue from the Canadians, Australian resistors have convoyed down to Canberra and set up camp.  (More on the Canberra events herehere, and here, with anger boiling over into signals of revolutionary intent in some quarters and the convoy drawing attention from the UK press.)  The New Zealanders too are now convoying.

As my publisher has written, when performed at the right moment, such acts of solidarity and courage can make a measurable impact on the course of history.

We are starting to see mainstream figures edge away from the conviction that freedom restrictions as the right response to covid, including the White House and the American NFL. Several countries in Europe have significantly walked back pandemic restrictions, including the UK (whose national health system has scrapped its vax mandate for health workers, citing staff shortages) and Sweden and its Nordic neighbours; and some countries are stopping some covid vaccines in some age groups based on accumulating evidence about side effects. The international press (with the Wall Street Journal a leading example; see here and here) is increasing publishing sensible dissenting arguments.

This paper, finding that lockdowns weren’t worth the damage they caused, has seemed to crack into the mainstream – including in Australia.  Realities about the present covid vaccines (such as their ineffectiveness in preventing transmission) are starting to surface even in mainstream journals. There are signs that infighting, re-writing of history, and the blame game have begun amongst the ranks of those who have played prominent roles in covid policy-setting, with whistle-blowers speaking out, corporate execs resigning for moral reasons, some politicians facilitating and disseminating their own investigations about what has gone on during covid times, and some jurisdictions pro-actively defending their people against covid-inspired bullying and moralising.

On the legal front too, developments have been rapid.

Increasingly, private citizens and groups are standing up against the damaging restrictions, and insisting on their right to live peaceful, normal lives:

Documentarians are coming into their own: https://rumble.com/vsrnsp-planet-lockdown-documentary.htmlhttps://swedenfilmawards.se/something-aint-right/?fbclid=IwAR0Imk3ALwsP8wRNTzH9MC4AKNFMwntWTGDBiM-92aM6z7nTaAUT-0YHfuA (trailer here)

Contributions from the academy have been inviting readers to return to their senses:

Evidence has been accumulating on excess deaths, presented here on a site that invites viewers to conduct their own analysis: https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid; and some data suggest a worrisome rise in deaths amongst younger groups – the vast majority of which are not because of covid itself, but rather because of various aspects of our response to it.

Some straight talk from the Australian and international blogosphere:

In spite of the promising developments of the past couple of months, the fight is not over. Claiming violation of their standards, the fund-raising site GoFundMe has kicked the Canadian Freedom Convoy off its platform, and in response the convoy’s organisers have shifted to GiveSendGo.  The public outcry against Spotify for giving Joe Rogan a platform (about which you can express a view here) has seen Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and other musicians try to wield their power as artists to block the expression of non-mainstream opinion. Medical professionals who have followed their conscience and their expertise during this time rather than following government edicts and the pronouncements of bureaucrats are still being attacked, bullied, and censured, and are reporting that when they want to discuss the evidence, “no one wants to fight” them (an experience I’ve also had, with no pro-lockdown Australian commentator having yet been willing to engage publicly with me about covid policy questions). Participation in our legal institutions, including juries, has been prohibited for unvaccinated people in WA.  In a now-familiar pattern, people still thoughtlessly supporting and justifying the standard line on covid continue to accuse dissenters of doing exactly what they themselves are doing – i.e., offending values as diverse as free speech, tolerance, life preservation, empathy, and scientific approaches to policy-making: https://jonathanturley.org/2021/08/04/baylor-professor-calls-for-prosecution-of-criticism-of-fauci-and-other-scientists-as-hate-crime/.

I will be flying to Brisbane this week to speak here – please join if you are local:  https://aip.asn.au/events/the-great-covid-panic-what-happened-why-and-what-to-do/

In closing, as usual, some art and humour.

As always, thank you to those who have been sending me material to consider for these missives.  Also, some brief reminders: all previous missives (since August 2020) appear below if you scroll down; on-forwarding or re-posting is welcome; and all requests to be removed from this mailing list will be actioned promptly.

The “mainstream narrative” seems to be rapidly losing its vice-like grip on populations and politicians around the world.  This is not the time to ease up on our efforts to recover the freedoms from which we have been separated for nearly two years, to illuminate and communicate the truth, and to work towards amending our institutions so that such a horror never recurs.  Steady on and we will see a return of light and freedom.

gigi

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  • Prof Gigi Foster

    Gigi Foster (Professor, UNSW School of Economics; BA Ethics, Politics and Economics, PhD Economics) works in diverse fields including education, social influence, time use, lab experiments, behavioural economics, and Australian policy. Named 2019 Young Economist of the Year by the Economic Society of Australia, she publishes in both specialised and cross-disciplinary outlets, and her innovative teaching was awarded a 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. She has filled numerous roles of service to the profession and engages heavily on economic matters with the Australian community, as one of Australia’s leading economics communicators, in the media and at live events. She is co-author of The Great Covid Panic (Brownstone Institute 2021, with Paul Frijters and Michael Baker) and Do Lockdowns and Border Closures Serve the “Greater Good”? (Connor Court 2022, with Sanjeev Sabhlok).

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