By Melissa Frost
Its Bullshit. The media, it’s Bullshit. We have been lied to since the 50s. Where’s the anger? Why aren’t we angry? Where’s the protests and the movements?
Award winning journalist and film maker John Pilger addressed the propaganda of the media, during his Q&A talk at the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay last week.
The hall was crowded with Byron Bay/Mullumbimby residents, sitting obediently still. Waiting for inspiration perhaps. Or a platform to express their discontent at the facts behind the fictions that Pilger has been reporting on for over 40 years.
When the 76-year-old wandered through the crowd to the stage, a wave of excited celebration moved across the Byron Bay audience.
Pilger said it was good to be home. Pilger been based in London since 1962. The acceptance of home was not lost on the Byron Bay audience who lapped up the recognition.
“John Pilger’s independent journalism is the stuff of legends,” said Dr. Richard Hill, convenor of the Ngara Institute.
In his talk, Pilger tackled what he calls the “great Australian silence.” The complacency of Australians. The lack of dissatisfied energy of the Australian populous. “Where are the heroes? “Pilger says. “Here!”, “Here!”, “Here!”, several in the crowd called out. And with that the energy of the hall lifted. People were leaning forward, mesmerised by the heinous facts Pilger was delivering about our unjust world. The 750,000 starving Yemeni children. The brutality “Le Petit Royale” aka Macron was enforcing on his French countrymen and women of the Yellow Vests. And the ever expanding listening and scrutinising US base at Pine Gap.
Pilger goes on to say he is disgusted at the political agenda of all Western governments. Australia not independent, continues to do what America tells it, still playing the race card, still at odds with the one unique element of Australia: The First Nations. “Where are the journalists?”, Pilger asks. The ABC under siege, Fairfax on the ropes and Murdoch manipulating all sides of government.
Pilger is a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda. Pilger goes on to say that a war between US and China is likely, referencing his recent film, “The Coming War with China”.
Pilger then turns to the topic of Julian Assange, whom he has visited in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London many times. Assange now a dual citizen of Australia and Ecuador. Pilger tells us that Assange is constantly monitored by guards and cameras and that his lack of human rights are in violation of asylum international law. Assange has not been charged or convicted of anything and the Australian government continues to abandon him. Pilger fears for Assange’s health and sees no immediate solution. Pilger goes on to suggest that Ecuador would lose its reputation on the World Stage if Assange is forcibly removed from the embassy by British Police.
Little did Pilger know, exactly 24 hours later that’s indeed what took place in London.
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