Increasing punishment: ever harder to get food,medicine,car fuel
Undercover police raids
Here’s the authoritarian future inevitably facing all countries which impose a Covid Pass regime:
Lithuania is Europe’s strictest Covid Pass regime. It’s week 8. There’s no end planned. And it’s getting stricter.
With no Pass, my wife and I may only enter small shops which mainly sell food, pharma, optics, or farm/pet goods.
We’re banned everywhere else.
Without a Pass, we are banned, by law, from every clothes store.
Fashion, sports, kids’, punk, wedding dresses: all clothing stores ban us.
Even second-hand stores must enforce the banishment. No one may buy or sell without the Pass.
Technology. Books. Health and beauty. Variety stores.
Without a Pass, we may not enter.
We are banished.
Until mid-Oct, the law allowed us to buy food and medicine in small shops.
Bureaucrats decided this was too lax. Two weeks ago they imposed a new restriction on small shops:
Either limit capacity to 1 shopper per 30m2
Or ban people without a Pass.
One shopper per 30m2 is too few for many shops to survive.
The bureaucrats’ rule forced shops to decide: save their own business, or ban us from the few remaining shops
permitted to us.
Many shops – chains and independent – chose the option to ban us.
Kill or be killed.
The result: in many areas, there’s no longer anywhere to buy food without a Pass.
Supermarkets already banned us since Sept. Now small shops also ban us.
So how to buy food?
Online. Outdoor markets. Or travel to one of the dwindling number of shops which don’t yet ban us.
Most pharmacies chose to not ban people with no Pass. Given their small size, this decision means only one client may be inside at a time.
The result: clients wait outside in the cold. Or leave without medicine.
At pharmacies which require the Pass, clients enter as usual.
For gas (petrol) stations, the increasing coercion has resulted in a mixed system.
2 out of 5 stations decided to completely ban people with no Pass.
About 1 out of 5 still allow full access.
The rest ban us from entering inside, but permit us to fill up and pay outside.
In a few cases, the law doesn’t banish us completely. Instead it allows us restricted service.
At banks, those with the Pass receive all services.
But for those without a Pass, the law only permits us “essential financial services” for a maximum of 15 minutes.
At libraries, people with a Covid Pass may use all facilities.
But without a Pass, my family may not enter or use the facilities. We may only pick up a pre-ordered book.
Separate entrances enforce the segregation.
Separate and unequal: legalised segregation in Europe 2021.
Undercover plain-clothes police now raid supermarkets and shopping centers, stopping people to check their Covid Pass and ID to verify that it’s a valid Pass belonging to that person.
The police give press conferences about the raids:
The size of the police raids is staggering.
One day last week, 200 officers in plain clothes raided stores and malls. That’s 2.5% of all officers in the nation.
They conducted surprise investigations on 11,700 people. That’s 0.4% of the entire population.
In one day.
You’re in a supermarket, pushing your cart through an aisle. A person in normal clothes suddenly stops you and demands to see your Covid Pass and ID.
If anything is not in order, you’re thrown out and face a fine of up to 5000 euros and jail of up to six years.
“17-year old girl arrested for entering shopping mall!”
Every day, media publicise police reports of people who enter stores with a Pass belonging to someone else.
This is not “education to encourage vaccination”.
This is a police state.
Us vs. them. Othering. Legalised segregation.
Opinion that was repugnant in 2019 has become mainstream in 2021.
Restriction by restriction, the Covid Pass regime has shredded the bonds which hold us all together in one society.
Revoking some freedoms has opened the door to revoke more.
Media and government collude to block free speech. Lithuanian media is among Europe’s first in stifling dissent on Covid policy.
Many techniques have developed. Censorship the most direct:
Another technique: stigmatise principled opposition.
I’ve written often how debate about the Pass is stigmatised. Incredibly to me, my own writing became another example of this: Lithuania’s state media now attacks me for writing about the Covid Pass regime.
LRT is Lithuania’s BBC: government-funded, the biggest media group.
They published a long Lithuanian article attacking me, then a short English one.
The attacks on me are a good illustration of how media and government in every country avoid principled debate about the Pass
One technique to stigmatise opposition to the Pass: cast doubt on reality.
For example, in my case, I wrote that my family cannot print documents because copy shops require a Covid Pass.
The state media tells its audience this is a lie: copy centers don’t require the Pass.
CopyPro is a well-known copy center chain in Lithuania.
There’s a branch of CopyPro located 6 minutes from the headquarters of the state media company:
This is the copy shop. Like all non-essential shops, it requires the Pass. No Pass, no entry.
Check it out yourself; the address is in the image.
The media says this does not exist.
This is doublethink: “Accept as false what is clearly true… because we tell you to!”.
Another technique to stigmatise opposition: smear them.
The headline of the article about me is “Twitter users donate money to Lithuanian ‘victim'”. It’s also the article’s URL.
And it’s 100% false: no one has donated anything to me. I’ve never taken one cent from this.
I’ve publicly written dozens of times that I will never take money or donations. My only goal: defend freedom against authoritarianism.
But the state media doesn’t mention this at all.
Instead, they resort to the fraught trope of the greedy money-grubber.
Small, unreliable-looking sites! Anonymous circulation! Fake readers!
With vague innuendo and smears, the state media disparages any source other than itself, and belittles people – i.e., you, reading this message now – who want to know more about the Covid Pass regime.
Hate speech! Censor! Criminalise! Prosecute! Punish!
This isn’t a random internet troll; this is Lithuania’s government-funded media attacking me for describing the Covid Pass regime.
This is intimidation.
What the media doesn’t address stands out even more.
In my posts, I discuss authoritarianism 25 times, segregation 14 times, freedom 10 times.
The media mention that: 0 times.
This is deflection to avoid debate and dismiss opposition.
And it’s happening everywhere.
Censor. Stigmatise. Doublethink. Smear. Intimidate. Deflect.
This is how leaders and media – here and around the world – try to normalise what is not normal: an authoritarian regime of segregation and control where undesired behaviour is punished with banishment from society.
But we can now see with our own eyes the society which the Covid Pass has created.
So no more doublethink. No more deflection.
This is the headline that needs to be written:
“Lithuania banishes citizens from food,work,clothes, books, toys. Other countries following soon.”
The Covid Pass has already transformed Lithuania into a regime of authoritarianism and segregation.
But there’s nothing unique about our case. We’re just ahead by a few months.
Other countries are now starting to face the same inevitable reality.
New laws in Eastern Europe:
In Western Europe, many countries started Covid Pass restrictions in the summer or early fall: France, Italy, Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Switzerland, Netherlands…
As the winter comes, the restrictions are expanding.
New rules imposed in just the last two weeks:
New rules in the Asia-Pacific region in the last two weeks:
In every country the intention behind the Covid Pass is noble: a healthy society.
But in their zeal, leaders and media dismiss what we can now see with our own eyes: the Pass is unleashing the segregation,hate, and authoritarianism we thought our world had overcome long ago.
If your goal is to encourage vaccination, then encourage vaccination.
You don’t need hate and othering.
You don’t need to ban your neighbours from food, clothes, income.
You don’t need to create an authoritarian society of legalised segregation.
3 months ago, my wife and I were free citizens in a modern democracy.
Now, we’re banned from food shops, big and small. Cannot buy clothes, toys, or books for our kids. Have no income. And leaders and media openly wish for our death.
Its astounding to me that this needs to be said, but here we are:
Banishment from society is wrong.
Authoritarianism is wrong.
Segregation is wrong.
Hate is wrong.
No amount of denial, dismissal, and doublethink can normalise it.
All of this is so deeply, deeply wrong.
There is a lot of fear around us, and fear leads to anger.
But we shouldn’t let that fear control us.
We shouldn’t let that fear make us forget who we are as individuals.
A mob may say that people without a Covid Pass should be banished from society.
A mob may wish for hate and death.
But as individuals, people would never accept this de- humanisation of their families, friends, and neighbours.
My wife and I wrote this message because we hope to show people – as individuals – the reality of life in a Covid Pass regime.
We hope – and truly believe – that as individuals we will all recognise the inhumanity and reject the segregation and hatred that it creates.
So we’d be deeply grateful for your help to share this message so that together, we can unite to stop this madness before it’s too late.