MARCH AGAINST MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORT
Links to the full speeches of each speaker are distributed throughout this article.
The demo, on Saturday the 16th of November, outside the BBC house in Portland Place London, was well attended with some 200 people or so showing up.
The point was to highlight the many ways in which the BBC is not responsibly seeing to its duty as the 4th estate in our power structure and informing the public in matters that concern our freedoms, rights and livelihoods.
Thanks to Anon, most of the organised speakers coming 30 minutes late because of train troubles and general fatigue, did not cripple the flow of the day, at all. They began the demo by standing in silent formation under the controversial statue of a man with a young naked boy by Eric Giles that adorns the top of the majestic traditional front door of the BBC Portland Place. It is no longer utilised as such, as most staff enter from the side door that opens to a glorious little square which would have been the perfect spot for the protesters to make their point and not disrupt traffic or pedestrians but as fate would have it, the BBC security guards had blocked off the square, the police had barricaded the pavement and I am proud to report that the barricades proved pointless.
The commanding police officer of the day , Neil, was personable, and easy to work with. There were no confrontations on the day.
Kerry Anne Mendoza (video of full speech)(on time) began with some hard hitting facts about the vested interests of the people in the BBC Trust, particularly that of Lord Chris Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, who earns more as an advisory for energy companies than he does from the BBC, collectively over £120,000 a year according to Kerry Anne. Read more on her findings.
George Barda (video of full speech) highlighted that for the BBC to talk in detail about climate change the BBC would have to challenge the way multi nationals do business. Carbon emissions are a direct consequence of their cutting costs by out sourcing labour to countries in other continents. George was recently on Russia today.
Clive Menzies (video of full speech), an investment and fund building manager and founder of the Free Critical Thinking University, spoke of the web of power. He reiterated the findings of a study that was published in the New Scientist in November 2011 that identified 147 corporations as having over arching power in our global economy. He went one step further to note that behind these 147 corporations are family dynasties. Despite researching this at length he claimed it is impossible to be certain who these families are. He warned that the US/EU Free Trade Agreement threatened all safety mechanisms against privatisation of all national services, namely the NHS, and berated the BBC for not being more clear about this, and not educating the British public.
Dr David Dewhurst (video of full speech) spoke of the lack of coverage that Occupy received when Andy Haldane from the Bank of England claimed that Occupy’s economic analysis was ‘right’. I recall there were quite a few articles on line one year ago, including the BBC on line news, but according to Dr David it seems to did not get radio or TV coverage.
Linda Kaucher (video of full speech) has been researching free trade agreements for over 14 years and there is no doubt that she knows more than most about the topic. Linda essentially was reading out a list of articles and issues that had been written by her or covered by other news agencies which the BBC had failed to cover. She failed to explain many acronyms or clarify the topics which meant that the audience including myself started to drift.
The open mic (video of full segment) segment of the demo outside the BBC, proved to be the most entertaining for me. In particular, Sarah Thomson, a fishing tackle shop owner from Norwich. She asked why the BBC covered a story on the £1.2 billion benefit fraud and not the £120 billion worth of tax evasion. She asked why we are not hearing more (from the BBC) about the successful social revolution that is occurring in Iceland where they took the bankers to court, and where 90% of the energy is renewable. She also asked why Tesco are essentially supported by her taxes, all be it indirectly. Taxes subsidise their impoverished workers struggling on minimum wage while Tesco’s ‘profits’ balloon. It felt to me that she had uncovered a crime! George reminded us that although privatisation was supposed to increase efficiency , it has inadvertently stifled competition with 30 – 40 year contracts. As any marketing person will attest, the competitive element in capitalism is beneficial to the consumer and yet with 30 to 40 year contracts, one can hardly consider that competition playable.
Kerry Ann Mendoza (full video of closing) ended the day by reminding us that the BBC board received over £5m in earnings last year and that for that amount of TV licenses she expected them to do their job! The day ended with a heartfelt call out to all the workers in the BBC who must be frustrated with the self censorship of the BBC. “we express solidarity with each and every one of you……………we need to send a message to the BBC that we want those people to get to do their jobs…..”
Within an instance of the final clap, a woman in a wheel chair promptly went into the middle of the main road. This is fast becoming the signature protest of DPAC members. Disabled People Against Cuts. Police officers are disarmed by this and it humbles me to see it each time. The cuts to their benefits harmonises any crowd into a deeper acceptance that for any government to approve of such measures, it must be made of the most cowardly fibre. One that deflects the most basic of human compassion. I no longer harbour any doubts that the only people we have to fear in our struggle for justice are cowards. As effortlessly as water flows downhill we all gathered round her, in grateful solidarity, and some 20 minutes later Anon led the crowd to a march through the streets of London.
I have to confess that I deleted myself from the protest at this point. Anyone who can offer a comment of this segment of the day please do.
Audio Visual Content
THE FOLLOWING WAS PUBLISHED ON THE WEBSITE TO ADVERTISE THE EVENT BEFORE HAND
Kerry Ann Mendoza – Poor Coverage of Protest
Clive Menzies – Web of Power. Trans-Pacific Partnership
Dave Dewhurst – Alternatives to Austerity
Linda Kaucher – US/EU Free Trade Agreement/BBC Business
George Barda – The Interest of Those Who Run The BBC
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MARCH AGAINST MAINSTREAM MEDIA is global event on Nov 16th happening in over 100 locations world wide.
This Saturday, please support this call for a more responsible media. Come down to the demo, watch us online via livestream, and/or share and tweet to the BBC – details below.
Because issues that deeply affect the British public are either under reported or not reported at all, such as:
In September 60,000 people marched TO SAVE THE NHS (from corporate take over), in Manchester. It was placed as local news, while the small Tory conference was televised, and the issue was not covered.
The #MillionMaskMarch occurred in 400 locations around the world, but was deemed “too small” to report.
The US-EU Free Trade Agreement. The Secret trade agreement that you know nothing about, but will make corporations more powerful than nation states.
Research conducted by the Cardiff school of journalism shows that business representatives now receive 11% of airtime on the BBC’s 6 o’clock news (this has risen from 7% in 2007), while trade unionists receive 0.6% (which has fallen from 1.4%)(14). Balance? Impartiality? George Monbiot article.
DON’T YOU EXPECT BETTER FROM ‘OUR’ BBC,
OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
BBC MEDIA CITY SALFORD , MANCHESTER
MANCHESTER – https://www.facebook.com/events/576695935730752/
SOUTHAMPTON – https://www.facebook.com/events/722334277794768/
HULL – https://www.facebook.com/events/562573580483603/
BIRMINGHAM – https://www.facebook.com/events/540107232743945/
BBC Scotland Pacific Quay Pacific Drive Glasgow G51 1DA
GLASGOW – https://www.facebook.com/events/388343207963053/
BRISTOL – https://www.facebook.com/events/1394011987504779/
MIDDLESBOROUGH – https://www.facebook.com/events/211057479073935/
Cardiff event OpBBC
LOCATIONS IN THE USA.
This event will be live video streamed via this channel: