Formerly a member of the Victoria’s state police, Craig Backman delivered a powerful speech on the steps of Melbourne’s Parliament House during a protest on Sunday. At one point the ex-cop turned to address the police on guard behind him and urged them to “create history.”  

“You need to understand that you are in the unique position of being able to create history,” he told the police. 

“This is a dictatorship that’s trying to be ushered into Victoria and then it’s going to be ushered into the rest of Australia, and the world is watching, and they’re watching with good reason because what is going on here is absolutely ridiculous, and we are a laughingstock,” he continued before offering his former colleagues a choice.  

“You need to make a decision,” he said.

“You need to make a decision as to whether or not you want to go down in history as the private army of a madman [Premier Dan Andrews] … or … as the people’s protectors that stood up and prevented this tyranny from happening.” 

A  large crowd, reported by Rebel Media to be in the thousands, cheered and applauded Backman for his remarks. 

Like many other members of law enforcement, Backman recently resigned from his position—in his case, as a senior constable (roughly equivalent to an U.S. state senior trooper)—due to the Victorian government’s “tyrannical” public health orders. In his short speech, Backman focused on the role of police in enforcing the state’s harsh COVID regulations.  

“I thank you on behalf of these police officers who you’re also fighting for, and they just don’t get it,” Backman told the crowd, adding that his former colleagues know that the approved COVID narrative is “all nonsense.”  

“I came out against all this CHO [Covid Health Order] nonsense… because I could see the divide that was coming, the divide that was caused, and it was caused because I could see my colleagues who were trapped by a paycheck following unjust orders,” Backman said.  

“I could see the community calling for violence against them, and it was breaking my heart because I know that every one of these people is a saint at heart and wants to help the community,” he added, gesturing to the police behind him.  

Backman then condemned claims that police are motivated by “white supremacy.”

“You know, I signed up to be a police officer because I wanted to be a part of the ‘thin blue line’,” he said.  

“[And] I’ve heard some nonsense stories even from the leadership of the police force that that’s about white supremacy,” he continued.  

“Whoever said that is a goddamn idiot.”  

He explained that the purpose of “the thin blue line” was to be a “layer of protection” for “the good, hard-working, decent citizens of Victoria against those who seek to do them harm.”  

“Now, what I am seeing, and what many have seen, but many have yet to grasp, is that those who seek to do them harm are in that building,” he added, gesturing towards Parliament House. 

The former cop then turned to address his former colleagues directly, telling them that they have known for two years that the approved narrative about COVID is “nonsense” but have just gone along with it.   

“I know you don’t agree with [the COVID restrictions], but … instead of showing loyalty to the people, you’ve shown loyalty to a paycheck,” he stated.  

“You haven’t even shown loyalty to your co-workers, some of which have been in the force for 30 years,” he continued and reminded the police that their decisions have implications that would impact the future of Victoria and Australia. He concluded his speech by warning them that their choices will affect their futures, too.  

“Understand that what happens to us, happens to us all,” he said.  

“When you take that uniform off at night, you won’t be the oppressor anymore; you’ll become the oppressed just like us.” 

“Realize that this is a fight for the freedom of our future – of everyone’s future and for our children’s. What happens from here is in your hands,” he added. 

“You can change history. You can do it right here today and start making amends with these people who are here fighting for you.” 

The protest at Melbourne’s Parliament House was in response to Premier Dan Andrews’ new “Pandemic Management” bill that would give his government unprecedented power. 

Under the new Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021, Andrews’ police force would be given the power to fine individuals $90,000 or face two years in prison for “intentionally and recklessly” breaching public health orders. 

This can include the failure to wear a mask, the failure to practice social distancing, or failure to comply with lockdowns orders. 

The thousands of protesters , largely ignored by Australia’s mainstream media, urged Victoria Police to  stand with them. The crowd chanted a range of anti-authoritarian slogans, including “Kill the Bill,” “Free Victoria”, “End the Mandates”, “Freedom,” and “Sack Dan Andrews” accompanied by the sound of drums while waving their state flag upside-down, an international symbol of danger and distress. 

Under Premier Dan Andrews’s COVID regime, Victorians have experienced some of the harshest lockdown conditions in the world. This includes mandatory vaccinations as a condition of employment, the indefinite closure of businesses since the outbreak of the pandemic, the closure of state borders, and the violent suppression of anti-lockdown protesters by heavily armed police. 

**By Dorothy Cummings McLean