Sunday 22 June 2014

No More Austerity Demonstration, 21st June 2014

[Image descriptions: the crowd & the march; via One Honest Man © u/k]

According to The Guardian in an article published at 20.45:
"An estimated 50,000 people in London addressed by speakers, including Russell Brand, after People's Assembly march"
However, details of the number actually on the march are not known and are estimated at tens of thousands, because:
"The Metropolitan police [aka The Met] refused to provide an estimate."
As far as I am aware, of mainstream media (MSM) outlets, Russia Today or RT was the first to broadcast an item on the demonstration at 13.43. The news channel linked the march to recent reports on poverty in the UK:
"The Poverty and Social Exclusion project found that more than 500,000 children are living in families who can’t afford to feed them properly and 5.5 million adults have to go without essential clothing."
Under the title "Russell Brand Calls for 'joyful revolution'" ITV (via ITN) commented at 19.20 as follows:

"Comedian Russell Brand has called on thousands of protesters to be part of a "peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution" that seizes power back from Westminster.

The former Big Brother's Big Mouth presenter, who this year implored readers of the New Statesman magazine to abandon the current political system, told crowds gathered in London's Parliament Square that MPs no longer represented the people.

Speaking in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament at the end of a march marking the one-year anniversary of the People's Assembly being formed, Brand stripped off his T-shirt and replaced it with one carrying the message "Firefighters rescue people not bankers".

An estimated 50,000 people took part in the march, which started at the BBC in Portland Place where protesters accused the broadcaster of ignoring the plight of impoverished Britons."

A little later, at 20.17, The Huffington Post also reported on the protest in central London. They quoted Sam Fairbairn, the national secretary of the People's Assembly:
""Soon we will reach a size and influence where neither the BBC nor this austerity Government will be able to ignore us."
He said the group will aim to hold the biggest protest in British history later this year."
Even the normally right-wing Express newspaper reported on the events and even-handedly at that, saying:

"An estimated 50,000 people took part in the march, which started at the BBC in Portland Place where protesters accused the broadcaster of ignoring the plight of impoverished Britons."
Whilst Google did not provide me with a link, I checked Sky News and they also reported on the demo at 10.09 quoting and character-assassinating Russell Brand:
""This will be a peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution and I'm very grateful to be involved in the People's Assembly."

Around 50,000 people took part in the march and Brand was joined by speakers who also included comedian and commentator Mark Steel, MP Caroline Lucas and journalist Owen Jones."
So, the reader is perhaps wondering where are the link to and quotations from Britain's national broadcaster, paid for by every television-owner via the licence fee, the once balanced BBC. Well, Auntie Beeb apparently did not notice the marchers meeting outside its news-gathering HQ, nor the 50K folk who streamed through London. It is really odd, because I live in Manchester, and find that London and the South-East (London's Hinterland) are usually the idée fixe of the Corporation's reporting.
As on previous occasions when I have criticised the BBC, I tried to ensure that I had not missed anything from its website.

At 22.10 I searched for "austerity march". The Beeb had reported nothing, but did give a link to Russia Today:

At 22.15 I searched for "Russell Brand". Again nothing from the BBC, but links to Russia Today again plus The Guardian and The Huffington Post articles:

I tried a several searches for "London demonstration", but kept getting the following screen (I took screenshots at 22.17. and 22.19):

Finally, at 22.20 I succeeded in obtaining the following search result, which only referenced an article in the London Evening Standard from Friday:

What possible explanation could there be for the BBC failing to cover a huge demonstration about a subject clearly of national interest and, as such, importance? The ONLY possibilities now have to be political interference or political bias. Whichever: the BBC can no longer be considered an unbiased, balanced and fair news outlet.

The BBC has form: it failed to report on "Manchester’s largest protest in modern history" back in October last year when a similar number of demonstrators, including this author, protested outside the Conservative Party Conference.

Should you be unhappy with this situation you might wish to lodge a complaint; but don't raise your hopes, for as reader of this blog know, the BBC will just refuse to even take any notice. However, if like the chap in this video, you really want to have a go - he had his call cut off twice - he gives you the telephone number to ring at the end. Good luck!

For anyone interested in following events of the day, check out the hashtag #NoMoreAusterity on Twitter.



Some time between ten and eleven on Sunday 22nd June, the BBC finally put up a news report entitled "Thousands attend People's Assembly's first austerity protest". The full text reads:
"The first austerity protest organised by the People's Assembly campaign group has taken place in London.

Organisers say tens of thousands of people met at Portland Place and marched to Parliament Square on Saturday.
The group included politicians and union leaders and was protesting about the impact of cuts around the country."

I should also point out that besides the Met refusing to provide an estimate of numbers on the actual march and the BBC failing to adequately nor appropriately report, the Guardian article referenced above also points out that the Prime Minister's spokesperson also refused to make any comment. It really does look like the Establishment closed ranks, doesn't it?

[Image © Rick Campbell]

1 comment:

  1. The Independent on Sunday published an item at approximately 14.00 -