Remove police from the nine public housing buildings

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Daniel Andrews, we need you to remove the 500 active cops that you have allowed to profile and police the 9 public housing buildings in Flemington, Kensington and North Melbourne.

In the same breath you took to describe those living in public housing as being “among the most vulnerable in our community”, you proceeded to declare that you decided to send 500 cops into their homes. Police are not equipped to deal with a public health crisis. This only shows that you understand the severity of your actions and have completely disregarded the adverse repercussions they will have on these communities. These communities need access to safe and uncrowded housing, healthcare, access to any medications they rely on, in addition to fresh, nutritious and culturally competent food, fresh air and so much more. 

Public housing in these suburbs are largely composed of lower socioeconomic immigrant communities. Many of whom have immigrated from Africa have continuously faced documented anti-Black discrimination at the hands of the police. You have previously acknowledged the racism and disregard police have in the so-called Australia for Indigenous communities. We know that this racism affects all People of Colour, but especially towards Black immigrants as well. To send cops into their housing is to completely disregard their safety and their mental health when considering the trauma associated with past experiences at the hands of the police. 

In not allowing anyone to leave public housing for any reason. You have disproportionately infringed on their rights. All other lockdown suburbs are able to leave the house for work, study, groceries and exercise, despite these other areas having significant active cases. To deny these people the same right is discriminatory. We saw those with the privilege to travel being isolated in nice hotels with security - not cops. I ask exactly why you have chosen cops? Is it not to instill fear and coerce cooperation among these communities?

If you truly cared about Victorians, you would have locked down all of metropolitan Melbourne much earlier. It is clear by the way you have gone about this that you have prioritised economic growth at the cost of working class and migrant communities. This decision is not only discriminatory but may also be very dangerous.