About 200 people rallied in Melbourne against media baron Rupert Murdoch in Melbourne on April 4.
Murdoch was speaking at the 70th anniversary dinner of the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank dedicated to preserving and strengthening a pro-big business, neoliberal agenda.
Attendees at the $400-a-head dinner included former prime minister John Howard, Murdoch-columnist Andrew Bolt, Opposition leader Tony Abbott, conservative shock jock Alan Jones and Catholic Archbishop George Pell.
The Australian said Murdoch said at the dinner: “We need to defend the market on precisely the grounds that its critics attack it: on justice and fairness. Yes, the morality of free markets.”
He did not explain whether this morality extends to his News Corporation, which owns hundreds of newspapers, websites, radio and television stations and dominates the global media landscape. This media empire defends an economic system in which there are more than 2 billion people in the world living on less than $2 a day and whose journalists were involved in hacking into private voicemails of British citizens.
Melbourne’s lord mayor, Robert Doyle, tried to drive through the protest in an act of provocation. Protesters reminded the rally about Doyle’s action in 2011 when he ordered 700 police to violently evict 100 peaceful protesters from City Square during the height of the Occupy protests.
The April 5 Herald Sun quoted Doyle describing protesters as “self-righteous dickheads” and “a disgrace”.
Protesters highlighted the difference between the treatment of Andrew Bolt, who is promoted because he serves the interests of the 1%, while truth-tellers such as Bradley Manning languish in jail.
VIDEO: Speakers Viv Moore and Trevor Grant addressing protesters inside the National Gallery of Victoria.