Legend has it that in the battle Thermopylae, the Spartans were able to subdue an army of one million Persians with just 300 men. This battle has since become an image of hope of what can be achieved when love of home and courage combine. In our recent interview with a young father of two, who also serves as a member of the Queensland Police Services and the Army Reserves, we are reminded that perhaps this tide of madness and tyranny can also be turned by the courage and conviction of 300 of our own.
A 27-year-old member of a tactical police unit of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) is mounting a Class Action after Katarina Carroll APM, Commissioner of Police sent a directive implementing mandatory vaccinations for all members of the Force.
The directive, emailed to all 13,000 members of the QPS on Thursday 2 September said that effective immediately, “all members of the QPS will be required to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 Vaccination by 4 October” as well as “receive a second dose by 23 January 2022, and provide evidence of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination if requested.”
Those who refused would be stood down until given further notice.
Members were given almost no advance notice of the directive, except by way of an email sent a few days prior.
Within days of the Commissioner’s statement members received a follow-up email from the Queensland Police Union, not only affirming the directive as “lawful” but warning members that the “Commissioner is lawfully able to take action” against those who refuse the vaccination “up to and including dismissal.”
Frustrated by several unsuccessful attempts of contact and eventual stonewalling from the Union, as well as “frankly useless” referrals to the internal Safety and Wellbeing team, our officer reached out to others on Telegram.
Within days, over 300 sworn QPS officers have joined a Telegram group expressing their concerns and outrage at this latest mandate against medical autonomy, “and it’s growing quickly,” he said.
Police, he said, need to be among those “driving” resistance to the daily violations of human rights and overreach under the guise of safety.
When asked if he would take the vaccine, he responded strongly in the negative: “There’s no way I’m having it,” he sees how many others are being coerced with financial and other fears.
“I am in conversation with one single mum in NSW who has doubts about it and doesn’t want to take it, but she feels like she has no other option,” he said.
Being the sole income earner for his family, supporting a partner and two children (aged 5 and 2), his decision would also come with considerable financial stress.
“However, I wouldn’t want to stay in a company or an organisation that is known for forcing things on their employees,” he said.
While the QPS in northern Queensland have been largely supportive of protests and freedom of speech, some even giving a sneaky thumbs up to the thousands that have taken to Cairns’ streets, he is concerned about the “disgusting” behaviours of fellow officers committing violence against unarmed citizens in Sydney and Melbourne.
When asked why he was speaking out, he answered that the time has come.
“I just think there needs to be more people to stand out there in the open … health professionals like doctors and nurses and especially police need to be driving this.”
“The doctors are the ones being told to give out this vaccination, and the police are the ones being told to enforce all the public health orders and whatnot, so I think it’s important for police to speak out.”
“I want [people] to know that they can say no, as much as it feels like they’re being coerced and pressured into taking it that they can say no. Even though they might be scared of what the consequences might be of saying ‘no’, just to know there’s a large number and a growing number at that, of people who are starting to stand up and speak out.”