It’s time for those who produce and those who consume the media to find new frames through which to represent and attempt to understand the can of social unrest we’ve seen in Melbourne. These new frames would attempt to understand how government policies and pronouncements (no matter how well-intentioned) can ostracise and alienate certain groups (such as tradespeople), and make their particular grievances vulnerable to co-option by nefarious actors. To put it bluntly, if we want to stem the rise of the far right, it’s advisable not to push people into their arms.
Framing the Melbourne protests as our very own Capitol riots is inappropriate. Such framing misrepresents the participants and the issues at stake in the Melbourne events, and thus stands in the way of knowing how to reduce the likelihood of repeat performances.