Whenever a small elite wants to control a large population it is imperative to control their movement. In feudal times this was done by laws regulating what the rabble was permitted to do and travelling wasn’t.
The rabble belonged to the land the feudal ruler ruled. If someone needed to travel they could only do so with the permission of their ruler. What’s more, if found on the land of the next door feudal ruler they would be send back to their owner and could be punished harshly and often were to set an example.
In the second world war and the years leading up to it the German ruling elite demanded registration cards were carried at all times and roadblocks were set up to make sure their citizens were safe obeyed.
When I grew up this was often a subject of conversations as people revelled in their new found freedom and young people started to travel around Europe. In fact when I grew up there were two countries we did not visit. One was Germany (travelling to Yugoslavia via Italy and France for holidays) and the other was Spain still ruled by Franco and therefore to be avoided.
In fact my fathers family lost everything when his family which lived in Antwerp where is father was a diamond cutter was send back to Amsterdam when the Germans invaded Belgium because that was his birthplace and the Germans did not want people from one Nationality living in a country that was of a different nationality.
So when I began to read about the horrors facing US travellers and when travelling to Sidney two and a half years ago I realised that my travelling day for the time being were over and that I was damn lucky to be imprisoned on these beautiful almost empty Islands were with the help of my parents in law I would be able to grow my own food and live in relative safety.
I knew what was coming because I had seen it before or rather my parents and their friends had lived through it as they grew up during the second WW in occupied countries. They has seen the arrests at roadblocks, the imprisoned and tortured the people who disappeared because their passport had a David star or a J stamped in them. They had seen up close what it means to have to identify yourself at every opportunity the Gestapo stopped you and had been in food convoys desperately trying to reach some farmers who still had food while being bombed by German aeroplanes. My step grandmother had lived for four years in an attic with her two children for fear of being deported while her husband one day just didn’t come home because he too was caught in one of the roadblocks while on his way to work. He died in a concentration camps because, you guessed it, he was Jewish.
I learned from those who lived it what it was like to be humiliated and patted and treated like a criminal for simply going about your business.
So when I had to take my shoes of at Hamilton airport and empty my water bottle, when I had to answer time time again why I wanted to go to Sidney and where I was going to stay I knew that once again our ruling elite was closing down our right to free movement and like they had always done they were once again using our safety as the motivation to do so and like sheep people bought into this just like the Germans did 75 years ago.
Like then they use the brutalisation of children, women and the odd guy to intimidate and discourage their citizens to stop travelling and going about their business and it won’t be long before the will take people away if and when they refuse to be X-rayed and probed and have their children molested at the hands of brutal strangers paid minimum wages to bully and intimidate while their leaders say screw you and like in Germany by the time the population wakes up to this it will too late to do a damn thing about it because by then they are, like I am, prisoners in their own cities. Cattle waiting to be deported. The only difference is that I was forewarned and found myself in a pretty good spot to hang while the US is going down in flames and the poor uneducated citizens of what once was the biggest empire this world has ever seen will go down with it. What’s more Europeans of all walks of life who all grew up in the aftermath of the WWII are all beginning to smell a rat as tourism to the US has gone down by a third and entire countries are beginning to remove the scanners while the US protests. Maybe that was why German got the big scare this time?
Maybe, who knows. But I ain’t travelling any time soon.