It's the lies
(For my grandfather)
Now I understand
Why the Anzacs burned their uniforms
Why my grandfather never talked about Poland
Why the lads in Vietnam dropped out
Why the Iraq and Afghanistan vets suicide
It’s not the deaths
It’s the lies
Lies the government told me
As they kill(ed) us
With their policies
Then blame(d) us
For their lies
It’s also the rage
A rage that burns as we watch them lie
As they kill us
All in a line with their poppies
While we are covered in blood
The things we were forced to do
For their lies
And the things that are silenced
In our country
There are more of us
Than there are of you
This is our country
You didn’t build this
And we have long memories.
Lest. We. Forget.
RSLWA Chief Executive John McCourt had earlier told how those who attended (freedom gatherings at Kings Park) would be “stupid” and “arrogant.”
“On the face of it, what an insult to those dead soldiers who fought for freedom just to have people dancing on their graves.”
“That’s the way you repay the people who died for your freedom?”
[Orientation for international readers: Anzac Day]1
ExcessDeathsAU has been banned from social media: I rely on you to share articles
Anzac – ‘Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.’ During WWI, on the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. This was ultimately a failed campaign that saw over 8,000 Anzacs killed but has been embedded in the Australian psyche as a day of remembrance of the courage of our ancestors, the futility of armed conflict, and the concept of ‘mateship.’
Anzac dawn services are held annually in small and large towns throughout the country accompanied by military marches where family often wear the medals of their ancestors. This was the rhetoric from the government media in 2019: freedom and democracy.
Now we know that the institutions spouting these words were just using them as cudgels to control us. Both the public services and marches were officially cancelled “due to covid” for years which left a devastating mark on the Australian psyche. However, many Australians ignored ‘covid restrictions’ and showed up at services anyway, facing either a wall of police and smug politicians in roped off areas, or a completely empty cenotaph where they were the only one who laid a wreath or said a prayer. The scenes at the Australian War Memorial in the Australian capital city of Canberra were particularly disturbing but the fencing away of citizens and veterans occurred all over the country.
During the mandate protests in Melbourne, the protestors retreated to the War Memorial and were shot by police.
In response to the peaceful Perth protests, John McCourt (the President of WA’s Returned and Services League (‘RSL,’ the peak body for servicemembers of the Australian Defence Force)) called protestors assembling at Kings Park for a prayer meeting before a peaceful walk to Parliament house “arrogant and stupid”. I was there and it was peaceful, respectful and appropriate.
The reason why I’m explaining the Anzac history and mythology to readers is that it is embedded deeply in the Australian psyche, and we realised during covid that ‘Anzac’ isn’t institutions or politicians in suits. It’s us. And in true Australian tradition, we are currently being led to our deaths in a military operation with those sounding the alarm being abused and ignored by politicians.