The Day Australia Changed Forever. John Stapleton.

This is an extract from the upcoming book Convoy to Canberra: The Day Australia Changed Forever.

This is Chapter One. The book will be available in the coming weeks. The series so far can be accessed at the bottom of this piece. The book will be available in the coming weeks. The series so far can be accessed at the bottom of this piece.


The humanitarian crimes committed by Australian authorities against their own citizens, beginning in early 2020, will live on in infamy, but it is the people themselves who create a nation’s history.

On the 12th of February 2022, one of the largest if not the largest gathering of Australians in the nation’s history marched on the National Parliament in Canberra to protest the totalitarianism of the Australian Government, chanting “Sack Them All, Sack Them All”.

Crowd numbers are notoriously difficult to calculate and prone to distortion. Estimates varied between demonstrably incorrect official figures of 4-10,000, up to three million. Many estimates settled at over the million mark, which we believe to be fair.

Whatever the number, no politician, intelligence agency, police force or political strategist in Australia failed to notice that a massive number of people marched on the nation’s capital, with a remarkable amount of good cheer, jubilance and camaraderie; character traits which the nation’s leaders had failed to show in the previous two years of authoritarian derangement.

Between 2020 and 2022 Australia was gripped by a madness which was spiritual, administrative, political, social and judicial in its dimensions. 

This humble record can only do a little to record this seismic shift, a profound turning point in the history of the nation. 

In the preceding two years many Australians stood up against the rising tide of tyranny, only to find themselves pepper sprayed, bashed by police in repressive, dictatorial abuses which made headlines around the world, imprisoned, fined, thrown out of their jobs, socially marginalised and ridiculed in the mainstream media. 

Across the preceding two years there had been one remarkable demonstration after another, attracting at first tens, then hundreds, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands of participants. 

But if the nation’s government manipulated mainstream media was to be believed, they numbered only a few, and all were either nut jobs or conspiracy theorists.

Nothing could have been further from the truth; but the protestors, from all walks of life, were given no credit and no voice – until they found their own. 

There is an odd resonance to events of this era, as if the destruction of Australia was only an afterthought; that all the millions of people’s lives destroyed by megalomaniacal politicians, Pfizer funded academics and lunatic, over-paid, self-aggrandising health bureaucrats barely even rated a mention in the power centres of the globe.

 Australia’s democracy proved virus thin.

Those who claimed Australia was merely a testing ground for techno-fascism gained a new credibility. 

As former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson put it in his groundbreaking bestseller Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives, put it: “At the beginning panic made sense. Maybe. But within a few weeks anyone paying attention could see the cure was worse than the disease. We had done more damage to ourselves and the world than the virus ever could. Media hysteria, political partisanship, overreliance on unproven technology, and scientific illiteracy brought the world to the brink of breakdown. Countries such as Australia show just how fragile our freedoms have become.”

A nation which once prided itself on its laissez faire approach and the friendly, easy going nature of its population lay besmirched by a descent into totalitarianism.

All the systems Australians had come to rely on failed them at their time of greatest need; every last one of them. 

The mainstream media, the social media platforms, the legal profession, the courts, the politicians, the bureaucrats, the medical profession, the police, the military, and not least the universities, with their filthy hordes of snake peddlers and intellectual traitors loyal to their government and vaccine manufacturer funding sources; mopping up massive amounts of public and corporate monies while peddling nothing but garbage.

In early 2020, seizing on Covid-19 as their excuse, politicians and health bureaucrats stepped into the forefront of everybody’s lives; and created absolute chaos. 

While repeatedly refusing to release the medical evidence to justify their actions, because there was none, the nation’s political leaders inflicted unprecedented restrictions on their fellow Australians, and it was not just the political establishment, but the medical and media establishments which had now been utterly shamed.

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” 

Charles Mackay.

Churches and places of worship had been closed for two years, and these congregations of believers denied a fundamental aspect of their humanity. Equally, for the secular, those who saw their pubs, clubs and beer gardens as their “churches” had been denied an essential part of being human, the social nature of the species. 

A fundamental part of the spiritual experience is the realisation that we are not alone; and whether or not that awakening is of the spirit, or simply to the communality of the human experience, significant number participants believed it to be so.

The long periods of government imposed isolation and absence from all normal forms of communality added to the joy and triumphal nature of the event. 

Spiritual wars all have epicentres, and many people, whether of religious or spiritual bent or not, spoke of the spiritual nature of the event. 

Many of the individuals interviewed by us expressed almost identical sentiments: “I was compelled to be here. I was drawn here. I just knew I had to be here; I couldn’t not be here. I woke up and God was in my head, and told me I had to go to Canberra. I just got in my car and drove.”

Local Canberrans, who had grown comfortable on the sweat, toil and taxes of the rest of the country were entirely confronted by this gathering of ordinary, good hearted Australians, the citizens the nation’s capital was built to serve.

All those apparatchiks who had rained terror and ceaseless restrictions on their fellow Australians, bashing, fining, jailing and marginalising them now had egg on their faces. They could deny the truth no longer. They had done more harm than good; and the country they were paid to serve would take decades to recover from their self-aggrandising insanities.

The arrogance of Australian politicians and bureaucrats, the so-called “laptop class”, towards their working class fellows drove deep divisions into the body politic. 

Despite all the warnings from months of demonstrations in the nation’s capitals, despite the many cautionary words from some of the planet’s sharpest minds and leading tertiary institutions, the Australian authorities did not step back from the brink, blindly leading their nation over the cliff. 

Many thousands of professionals, doctors, nurses, teachers, police and others who had lost their jobs because they refused to get “jabbed” were among the demonstrators; and yet still the authorities insisted on an absurd medical apartheid against the nation’s unvaxxed, marginalising their own citizens while ignoring “the science”, which was now turning rapidly against them.

Mainstream media, always the subject of government manipulation, became a primary source of disinformation and fear mongering. 

The government offered backdoor funding and tax concessions to mainstream media to peddle their Covid messaging. Loyal to their funding sources, trapped by their failing business models and declining revenue streams, the mainstream media lost all impartiality, and thereby credibility. 

You lie by commission or omission; and throughout the period beginning in 2020 the mainstream media lied constantly. Australia became a profoundly dishonest country.

With the death toll from suicides, broken businesses and broken lives mounting by the day, the mainstream media literally helped the nation’s politicians literally get away with murder.

Tell a younger generation that journalism used to be a respected reputation, and they look at you like you’re from Mars.

While in the parallel universe of government manipulated media and taxpayer funded academe it was as if nothing was happening, and mainstream journalists continued to ignore the biggest story of their lifetimes, Australia’s independent media was on fire.

It was at this very juncture in history citizen journalists and independent outlets displaced “legacy” media as a primary source of information for the majority of Australians.

Streamers, bloggers, essentially anyone with a smart phone, pumped out stories and footage in a tsunami of alternative information which well and truly dwarfed the legacy media’s increasingly poorly performing “news” outlets.

David Oneeg, a singlet wearing truck driver with an enthusiastic following which would be the envy of many a mainstream journalist, became a classic of the new genre of citizen journalism with his podcast Aussie Chat.

Fired up by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s claim that Australia would stand up to authoritarians in the Russia Ukraine conflict, he declared: “Australia always stands up to bullies!!! Might I remind you Scott Morrison, you opened up the door and rolled out the red carpet for a host of bullies who came here and screwed this country and screwed over regular Australian families.

You rolled out the carpet for the World Economic Forum, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations and Big Pharma to lead Australia into medical apartheid, and it has been fucking catastrophic. 

“They have trodden down Australia for the past two years. They have bullied, coerced, and manipulated Australians into this unscientific, untested, unjustifiable injection, on your watch.

“I know so many of you are so frikin’ angry about what has happened in our country over the past two years. Many of us have been so angry seeing our country destroyed and torn apart right in front of our eyes. The will of the people has to be expressed. 

“When will an Australian politician rise to the top and defend us, the Australian people?

“Our teen and youth suicide rates are at levels never seen before because of this bullying. Don’t you dare say you stand up to bullies, because you don’t. You have aided the destruction of this country. And I hope I’ve put another nail in your political coffin.”

Your average Canberra bureaucrat would never meet a person like David Oneeg, yet here he was, on their doorstep with many tens of thousands of others just like him; completely outraged at the destruction of their lives and livelihoods. 

The movement was essentially organic, and spontaneous, meaning that it was at times rudderless, without clear leadership or administrative structures.

The protests were both chaotic and glorious, and the burgeoning campsites first outside the National Parliament and then at the showgrounds on the outskirts of Canberra which became known as Camp Freedom or Camp Epic daily demonstrated a remarkable cohesion and goodwill amongst people from hugely disparate backgrounds.

While political infighting, personality conflicts and conflicting views of the way forward were on clear display amongst the putative leaders, out in the makeshift tent cities which sprang up around Canberra the level of good cheer, cooperation and mutual support brought many people to tears.

Everyone there had been through a terrible time, courtesy of their own government. 

All great social movements are born of chaos and extremity, just like life itself.

Thus it proved in Australia’s national capital.

There were frictions and personality clashes; but there was also repeated and heart warming displays of kindness, cooperation and camaraderie. 

Together they changed history. 

People who had been essentially placed under house arrest for the previous two years embraced each other like long lost friends. Australia became Australia once again; a friendly, open, hard working and decent place. 

One of the tongue-in-cheek sign read: “Make Australia Average Again”.

And what a joyful celebration it was.

The Canberra Convoy started out as literally a few people getting inspired by the truck convoy in Canada and thinking “why don’t we do that”?

In early 2022 the blockading of the Canadian Parliament and the massive country wide support for the truck convoy were provoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introducing poorly thought out vaccine mandates for truckers frequently crossing the Canadian US border. Just as in Australia, they came after a two year blizzard of liberty destroying health diktats. 

The vaccine mandates were a step too far; with the backlash threatening to destroy the entire Covid narrative. 

At this point in history, only the illiterate or the deliberately ignorant could possibly be unaware of the controversy enveloping vaccine rollouts worldwide.  

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The wave of protests across the globe occurred at exactly the same time as study after study demonstrated the Covid-19 vaccines to be useless at stopping the spread of the disease while producing multiple serious side affects up to an including death, and on a population wide basis producing negative efficacy in multiple jurisdictions.

The brutal crackdown on the truckers in Canada, including the freezing of bank accounts and multiple violent arrests, inspired and outraged millions around the world, including in Australia and New Zealand.

The authorities, with their power and credibility fading by the hour, threw everything they could at ordinary people with entirely legitimate grievances, and they failed for one simple reason: In the end, the truth will out.

Australia’s convoy was different in nature to other countries, attracting vast numbers of supporters across all sections of society; from disabled children in wheelchairs to the elderly, from the young and wildly enthusiastic to thousands of professionals, from members of Australia’s sometimes rough and ready working classes to a very strong indigenous presence. 

For everyone who showed up in person in Canberra, there were many others lending their support.

Australians are a phlegmatic people; it takes a lot to make them protest. The young may be drawn to government generated narratives such as climate change or racism; but a genuine uprising or a revolution was always considered impossible in the Land Down Under simply because Australians just wouldn’t be in it, too lackadaisical and too satisfied within the confines of their suburban lives to put themselves out.

Two years of false promises and fake news courtesy of the government and their puppets in the mainstream media changed all that; with the mood rapidly turning sour across the country.

Two weeks to “flatten the curve” had turned into two year blizzard of ever changing rules and regulations, making running a business or creating any semblance of a normal life virtually impossible.

Thus it was that when asked how long they were going to stay, many of those in the Freedom movement replied tongue in cheek: “I’m just staying two weeks to flatten the curve.”

Australians, due to their geographical isolation, had been among the world’s great travellers. Now their homeland had become a Prison Island, with many of its residents unable to leave the country due to some of the worst travel restrictions in the world, akin to North Korea.

Equally thousands of Australians were stranded overseas, unable to return home; while internally the state borders opened and shut on the whim of power-drunk Premiers, creating utter chaos for businesses and producing many heart wrenching scenes of divided families.

Even as Australia became one of the most heavily vaccinated countries on Earth, the promise of mass vaccination as the path out of Covid restrictions proved entirely illusory. 

How insane it all was. 

Everywhere the country was grinding to a stop, and everywhere individuals of independent mind began shouting out: “Enough is enough.” 

And so people, a significant number with no homes and no jobs to go back to, having lost everything as a result of the government’s deranged mishandling of the Covid scare, got on their bikes, piled into their cars, packed up their trailers and their vans, and headed to Australia’s national capital. 

As poet Bill Massie put it:

Oh Canberra here we come, here we come here we come
Lookout Canberra here we come,
we come from far and wide
Millions of Aussies can’t be wrong
We are young, old, free and strong

Truckers, Farmers, Teachers, Plumbers, Doctors, Nurses and all the Drummers
We cannot be wrong
We cannot be wrong
We cannot be wrong
 
Lookout Canberra here we come, here we come, here we come
Mums and Dads Babes in gowns
Heading to Canberra to see the clowns
They are the clowns who have let us down
Let us down, let us down
 
Lookout Canberra We’ve arrived.


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