In this 50th anniversary year of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act it helped inspire, national media will focus on the iconic images of “Bloody Sunday,” the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the interracial marchers, and President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act.
The Martin Place siege has proven to be less of a galvanising force for the far right than they may have hoped for. On the one hand, on social media the Australian Defence League – one of the principal, if minor, movements to have formed on the basis of Islamophobia – gathered many more thousands of likes on Facebook and a much wider readership.
The hostage crisis continues at Martin Place tonight. And while most of us are focused on hoping and praying for a resolution there's been no shortage of racist and inflammatry commentary both from our media and from indivudals on Twitter and Facebook.
The great academic Noam Chomsky once wrote: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum”. This quote perfectly encapsulates the current debate around constitutional reform – where there is a bipartisanship backed by reams of PR spin as a “positive”, while in reality it demonstrates one of the most insidious developments in black policy today – a dangerous “Canberra consensus”, as described by Indigenous policy expert Jon Altman.
It’s an ISIS flag. No it’s not. It’s a flag with Islamic writing. Wait Islamic isn’t a language. Sydney is under siege. Well, actually a man has taken hostages in a chocolate cafe in Sydney. The police are working on the situation. No Ray Hadley is… no the police are… no Ray Hadley… Devices have been planted around the city. We’re not sure how we know this because no contact has been made with the gunman but let’s whip people into a frenzied panic anyway.
We don't actually know anything about what is going on at the Lindt Shop in Martin Place, beyond the fact there's a siege, some hostages, and a flag in the window. But why should that stop us from bringing you the news? So, in the spirit of Australian mainstream news reporting, New Matilda brings you 10 predictions (which we're parading as fact) that will either definitely, probably, possibly, or possibly not unfold over the next few days.
Professor Noam Chomsky said it would be “no small trick” for the Ferguson protests to turn into an anti-racism and social justice movement, considering America’s founding principles are slavery and the extermination of the indigenous population.
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