Friday, September 26, 2014
A Growing Sense of Dread
It's been gradual, but I have this growing sense of dread lately. It's to do with feeling safe in my own city.
There's a lot of hoo-haa about the G20 summit in Brisbane at present. Although the actual event itself is still weeks away, changes are already being felt. Measures are being taken. Processes are being put in place.
I see police standing around at strategic places, in pairs or trios. They're watching.
I hear train announcements that have changed from the familiar "mind-your-step" to instructions on what to do in an emergency situation. And please don't leave your belongings unattended.
Bins at various places have been boarded up - no bombs please.
I feel uneasy travelling on the train, and walking to work.
Nationally, there have been multiple arrests connected to alleged terrorist activity. Every day there are "incidents". The National Threat Level has been raised to "High".
I do genuinely want to believe that all these security measures are warranted, that they aren't part of some giant PR exercise to a) distract the public from other important issues on the politial landscape at present, both at state and federal level; or b) an exercise in making it look like something is being done to protect the public from a perceived threat, when there actually is little likelihood of anything happening.
I'm not overly cynical, and I do genuinely believe that bodies like ASIO do not muck around when it comes to these types of security issues.
But it is interesting that the result of various bodies taking steps to make me feel more protected are acutally making me more fearful. And then a part of me wonders if they want us to feel that way...
Do you feel afraid lately?