For Rukshan Fernando, something simply didn’t add up — it didn’t make sense.
“The government is doing great, the police are doing great, and everything is doing great,” the press said in a response to the Victorian pandemic.
But at the same time, protesters were portrayed as peripheral elements of society, “radicals” and “anti-bakers.”
“As an individual, I didn’t gel what I felt,” Fernando told The Epoch Times. “It didn’t match what my friends and family were saying about the experience at the time, and it certainly didn’t match some of the video footage captured on my cell phone.”
“I think that’s what prompted me to take that step and not only comment on things, but go out and shoot what’s really happening in the field.”
The full-time wedding photographer’s approach was simple. Participate in major events in Melbourne, set up a live feed from your camera and shoot the minutes. Under the name “Real Rukshan”, it streams video uninterrupted for hours over social media channels.
The movement resonated.
In the coming months, Fernando, now a social media personality, has attracted more than 400,000 followers across platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
In a recent live stream during the protests on November 27, hundreds of Australians approached him, thanked him for his work, and posed to take pictures and selfies.
“Thank you for telling the truth, man,” said one Melbourne man.
“You are a legend!” Another cry.
Confront COVID-19 Narrative
Fernando admits that he is vigilant not to violate any rules.
He was visited by Victorian police for his work and appeared on Fox News after reporting a September protest that saw police deploy tear gas and harsh takedown tactics to capture congregations. I got criticism for that.
Josh Roose, a political sociologist at Deakin University, argued that Fernando’s activities were not passive and encouraged right-wing extremism.
“”[His videos have] Last week he grew exponentially. It’s an interesting tactic and style. He will participate in these protests, film violence and still deny liability, “he said. Sydney Morning Herald..
“The filming of his protest is actually part of the problem,” he added. “He’s making a spectacular movie, trying to entice protesters in the midst of a pandemic not only for their health risks, but also for their records of violence against the police. “
Weeks of protests began when several members of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) gathered outside the union headquarters over the mandatory vaccines in the construction industry.
The protest became ugly in the case of violence. Shortly thereafter, the Victoria State Government issued a sudden order to suspend all construction work in Melbourne for two weeks.
The rally escalated the city into a powerful march of thousands over the course of several days. Today, protests take place almost every week and are now attended by people from all disciplines.
Still, with political leaders Media In most cases, the action is neglected or misunderstood.
Former Labor leader Bill Shorten called the September protesters “boys Nazis,” and Western Australian Premier Mark Magawan told protesters in the state.Grow your brain.. “
Fernando says he can see frustration boiling on the ground.
“People are generally angry with the government and the way they have been abused. Some people have lost their jobs and livelihoods and have been banished from society,” he said.
Pandemic causes political awakening
On November 20, tens of thousands of people marched across the country in the most important action to date. According to Fernando, it is these numbers that are breaking the story of government and the media.
“It’s hard to ignore big numbers. As these numbers grow, I think these political leaders are having a lot of trouble saying this is illegal. 100,000 all I can’t say it’s a radical, “he added, saying that many were completely vaccinated and that Australia’s high vaccination rate was not” government or government policy approval. “
The activity also sparked him and many Australians, bringing new interest in politics. This is a sharp departure from what has been a past interest for many years.
“What really happened around the pandemic is that individuals (political leaders and medical authorities) who actually make decisions about their work, future, children and schools affect their lives almost every day. I think it’s starting to realize what you’re giving, whatever, and they’re watching the process unfold in front of them, “he said.
“I think one of the things that’s happening here is what people understand. Ultimately, who’s in power, which bills will be passed, and the content of the bills are important. I understand that there is a possibility. “
He specifically mentions a pandemic management bill that has received widespread opposition from Victoria’s legal community over concerns about excessive power in the hands of the state prime minister and health minister.
“I’ve noticed that many people are really focused on the bill itself and the actual content of the bill. They may not fully understand the legal terminology, but actually read it. I am willing to engage in it. “
See the blockage through another lens
According to psychiatrist Tanveer Ahmed, Australia has experienced some of the world’s lowest infection and mortality rates, which in turn facilitates a “safety-first” approach from many leaders. bottom.
“As a country, we don’t calculate risk in a sound way, and I think it’s an imbalance,” he told The Epoch Times. “We don’t consider other important parts of life, for example, sending children to school.”
State leaders also easily implemented rigorous measures to combat the virus, including national border closures, mandatory vaccines, and snap lockdowns, even when dealing with a single case of COVID-19. ..
Another view that challenges vaccine efficacy, blockade, and even the science behind COVID-19 is filled with slight resistance.
For example, Australian health authorities have suspended practitioners to share content on social media platforms that are not compliant with existing medical legitimacy for COVID-19 disease.
“The government, the media and the authorities are all like three-headed snakes. They all support the same view,” Fernando said.
“People aren’t happy about it in a way, or it confirms suspicions about their media,” he added. “Alternative or independent media fills that void in many ways.”
According to Fernando, protesters often say that his live stream gave him a “different perspective” on what was happening in his city.
“It only provides that balance.” Hey, I’m showing you one truth, and what exactly it’s showing you in my live stream. ” I don’t want to be this guy. I understand that there are different layers and different problems, “he said.
Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to make your own decisions, whether you’re watching commercial TV or listening to the Prime Minister or the police. “People can take them all and reach their conclusions.”