On Saturday, 12 February 2022, Australians protested in Canberra outside Parliament House in the “Convoy to Canberra” against vaccine mandates and Covid restrictions. According to reports, Australian Capital Territory Policing admitted to the use of a Long Range Acoustic Device (“LRAD”) during the protest, however, only after Senator Malcolm Roberts and Senator Alex Antic brought up the issue in Senate estimates on 14 February.
The LRAD device has two modes. One setting turns it into a crowd control tool – also referred to as a “sound canon”, “acoustic hailing device”, or a “sonic weapon” – and the other mode makes the LRAD a loudspeaker or amplification device to relay messages to the crowd.
In a meeting of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee held last week at Parliament House, Senator for Queensland Malcolm Roberts asked Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw if LRADs were used against protesters. Kershaw looked extremely uncomfortable and said he would get back to him.
“There have been many attempts to paint anti-mandate protesters as extremists. It’s not true and even the Federal Police have said so. At the protest some people were concerned about the appearance of possible Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) and whether they were used or not. We didn’t get an answer back straight away but the police will have to give me an answer on notice,” Senator for Queensland Malcom Roberts wrote.
A spokesperson for the police subsequently released a statement to The Epoch Times:
“ACT Policing has deployed several types of loudspeakers and amplification devices to quickly and effectively convey voice messages to large, and often loud, crowds of people during the recent protest activity in Canberra.”
Although the police claim to have not weaponised the device in Canberra, the mere presence of these devices caused reasonable concern due to their history as primarily being used as a sonic weapon.
The device has a controversial history when it has been used during protests, often coined as a “sonic weapon” meant to cause extreme discomfort by way of amplifying sound. However, protesters in Canberra have reported bizarre symptoms afterwards such as skin and scalp burns, and blisters on their lips.
Sources and resources:
- Australian Federal Police used SOUND WEAPON on Canberra Convoy Protesters, XYZ, 16 February 2022
- AFP used LRAD on Peaceful Protesters: Australian Politicians Just Laugh, XYZ, 18 February 2022
- Controversial Sonic Weaponry Being Used by The Australian Government Against Non-Violent Demonstrators? Red Voice Media, 18 February 2022
- Police confirm use of controversial LRAD device at Canberra protest, Rebel News, 18 February 2022