A crowd of over 800 people came together to listen to acclaimed author, journalist and documentary maker John Pilger last night in Byron Bay.
Addressing the propaganda that is rife in mainstream media he said it was ‘up to you’ to both ‘break the silence’ on government and corporate abuses and to give voice to those concerns.
Rather than being paranoid about the use of mobile phones (he admitted he didn’t own one) or being watched and spied on he pointed out that surveillance is an inescapable part of our lives and encouraged the audience to use every platform available to find a voice and create citizen action.
‘John Pilger’s independent journalism is the stuff of legends,’ said Dr Richard Hil, convenor of the Ngara Institute.
‘For several decades he has steadfastly sought to dig beneath the trashy journalism and “bullshit” propaganda presented to us by mogul-dominated media empires and morally corrupt governments. Last night, John’ passionate commitment to truth and justice was on full display. He railed against the Australian government’s abandonment of Julian Assange, the ongoing injustices experienced by our Frist Nations people, Australia’s obsequious support for American militarism, the selling of arms to despotic states like Sansui Arabia, and the Brexit fiasco.
‘John called on each of us to act on these injustices and to help build social movements capable of bringing about change,’ he said.
‘John insisted that we shouldn’t be asking what can be done to fix this or that, but rather, what is it that I can do to make change happen. How can I work actively with others to advance social justice and human rights? This question takes on even greater importance in the current era as we face multiple crises, not least the threat of war and anthropogenic climate change.’