There’s plenty of things happening right now in Melbourne, as a second wave of COVID (including a reported nearly 200 new cases overnight) starts to cause some concerns across the community. None more so than the debacle happening at Flemington Towers, and Aussie rapper Remi has been uber-vocal about it on his Instagram.
Remi Kolawole, aka Remi, has been sharing a bunch of stuff on his Instagram account, including videos from people inside the building, news that food they’ve been getting is out of date, sources for donations, and a tonne more.
In some of his recent stories, it shows some of the 500 cops deployed to the towers not complying with social distancing rules (not that they have had great PR recently), food being left to unsafely defrost in lobby areas, and authorities confiscating donations from the public/friends/relatives. One story also claims that residents have now been told that the initial five day full-lockdown, will be extending to 14 days.
Remi told us that there was one key goal when it came to his (and a lot of other Australians) sharing an insight into what is really going on in the Towers:
“Our goal here is strictly to amplify the voice of the people,” he told us.
The rapper said there were five key demands from the people involved.
“Their demands are number one, all public housing estates to be placed under Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions like (their) neighbours so we can still leave (their) homes for work or education, exercise, medical care or care giving, or shopping for supplies,”
“Number two, that the Victorian government must withdraw all 500 police and Authorised Officers from the inside of public housing estates,”
“Number three, the Victorian government must implement infection prevention measures such as regular disinfection and cleaning of communal spaces, and distribution of masks,”
“Four, the Victorian government must set up testing sites in walking distance of the nine public housing estates instead of inside the public housing estates in order to prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19,”
“And five, the Victorian government must coordinate services in support of current community led activities that are responding to residents food, medical, financial, mental health and social service needs,”
He’s also been posting various posts about what’s happening, and they serve as a great, and really important, source of news that ain’t making many mainstream publications.
View this post on Instagram
To me there is a serious lack of human decency with this unfolding story. We know that the building is largely made of refugees and people of colour – yet the only people on scene when the buildings were locked down were police. Not one translator, no social workers, no medics. And while some support staff have since made it to the scene, they’re proving hard to access.
There is just some straight up blind hypocrisy with this whole situation, too. For example, one of the three towers has zero reported cases – yet it’s on complete lockdown? Meanwhile, there’s a high rise residential building next door with zero reported cases – yet not on any lockdown, no police presence??
One of the public housing sites has no confirmed cases, yet police lockdown. Down the road from it a private residential high-rise, no confirmed cases, no police lockdown. #covid19vic #melbournelockdown #springst
— stay autonomous (@stayautonomous) July 6, 2020
Now if you’re going to argue that transmission between buildings could be high – why is it a complete lockdown? To the point where relatives and friends of the people in these buildings can’t even get essential food and grocery deliveries to the residents? A lot of this story just doesn’t make sense, and while we’re all here to make sure we contain COVID-19 spread – in this case we’re wiping out some of the human condition we are essentially striving to protect.
This article was updated at 4:53pm on Wednesday 8 July 2020.
Image Source: @remikolawole Instagram