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June 20, 2024

Pilger draws huge crowd in Byron

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John Pilger holds up the Northern Star as he highlighted the propoganda that is being perpetuated at every level by the media. Photo Jeff Dawson.

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.’



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  1. The Cavanbah meeting was terrific and inspirational however many of the questions, as usual hereabouts, were long involved statements and sometimes, irrelevant soap boxing.
    These were condensed by our able Chair Mick O”Reagan, into sensible questions a little closer to the topics.
    At the last wonderful Politics in the Pub the plan announced was to have questions submitted prior to this meeting for inclusion- a great idea that unfortunately didn’t eventuate..
    Q&A sessions are often sidetracked and it wasn’t what most of us were there to hear.
    Pilger’s depth of experience and truth telling must be heard!
    Now it’s up to us.
    What will we all do to help make this world of ours a better and fairer place?

    • I do agree. Too many were “listen to me about my favourite subject – please comment”….. very irritating!

      However a wonderful talk from a modern day hero.

  2. Rather than accepting the ‘bullshit propaganda’ of the corporates, Pilger would rather we all acepted his bullshit propaganda. Gotta larf!

  3. There’s ‘no bullshit’ to be accepted from Pilger… rather by far too much
    from the ‘knockers & blockers’ of common sense & commitment.

  4. What would anyone like Pilger know about current issues like vegan redaction, or corporate corruption. His argument about the Cambodia war was perfectly cogent but still avoided the fact that goverments have to act in real time, not with a journalist’s hindsight five or ten years later.

  5. Apparently, ngara means to hear, listen and think. How you get all three into one word is beyond me, please explain. What I see is a country becoming surrounded to north and east and interior as well. And what good is solar going to be if we have to make ships and guns, bullets, we’re sitting ducks because the greens are concerned about the climate.

  6. I guess from a poetic view, hearing and listening and thinking at the same time is possible, I would hope. At a political level there is hundred conundrums instead of the three. And activism has changed, it’s activism that has become the norm. We are are looking at a future without any real information, blogs, posts like this, tweets, briefs, condensed analytics, whilst the world accepts day by day an unformed technology, inferior really, as yet. And people like Pilger talk of geopolitics. This is happening now, not in 20 years to be summed up. No doubts about his research, just the climate has changed.

  7. I was just reading myelectriccar on the net, so promising – tesla is the windows of the future – it all read so well, past, prognostics – then they got a simple fact wrong, lithium is limited, enough for a hundred years. According to my science dictionary, lithium is the 2nd most common element on the planet, WA has heaps, and Brazil leads the pack, though there are two types of it to be found, the solid and the water extract. So how could it be limited, in either sense? Another example of modern propaganda, thank you Tesla, will your trucks cross the Nullabor?

  8. Alright, my percentages wrong, silicon the 2nd most abundant mineral, and Chilli not Brazil. I don’t remember yesterday, it’s not in my program!

  9. Even Pilger had trouble with the closure of coal mines in England all those years back, as did Sting in his famous song, We Work the Black Seam, strange how fates collide, any future is unpredictable … O Fortuna, variabilis. Do we cry and sing O Woe is me, or look how the new winds are tending. We are tending to Socialism if we haven’t already arrived there, and noone really asked. When the Communist Party disbanded here and in Brisbane sold up its ownings in Coronation Street, do we think they settled on darning their socks and knitting wooly jackets?

  10. I do think Robot needs his own very personal ‘article’ space at least
    5 days a week to get it all said. Socialism! The only way left to go.
    Look at what our so-called Capitalism’s vandalised, distorted &
    impregnated with it’s far-flung fear & saturated lies. It’s a hateful
    time. Worse still, we’ve allowed our parliamentarians to get away
    with their grubby ways. Peace is now a 4 letter word.


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