The carpark under Westpac in Boundary Street last night hosted a Brisbane Free University panel discussion titled Reporting the G20 Brisbane conference to be held in November this year.
Panellists included Nic Seton, community strategist for Greenpeace; Jim Beatson, founding member of 4ZZZ and activist in the Joh Bjelke years now adviser to Bryon Shire’s Green mayor, Simon Richardson; another ZZZer, Andrew Bartlett, community activist, then Democrats Senator and now convenor of the Queensland Greens; and Ben Pennings author of Generation Alpha and active member of BrisCAN-G20 an umbrella group coordinating the communities response to the G20.
The panellists all referred to the struggle to get fair representation in the mainstream media and emphasised the important role of independent media such as 4ZZZ and the Westender.
The challenge is that the mainstream media portray the G20 as a benign and beneficial conference showering millions on the people of Brisbane. A long list of opponents, though, recognise the G20 as a primary mechanism in the dominance of a small ruling class over small independent business and the other 153 nations of the world.
That list includes governments of developing nations, independent states, climate activists and those opposed to Free Trade Agreements. Free Trade Agreements grant corporations legal rights to sue governments for interference in trade thereby stripping governments of their sovereign rights to control pollution, slavery and abuse of workers within their borders.
The Australian tobacco regulations and pharmaceutical benefit scheme are two pillars of Australian society that the G20 specifically want to see removed.
Westender attended the discussion as part of its ongoing coverage of the G20 summit and the impact it will have on the people of Brisbane. We are in close contact with the authorities planning the summit as well as the groups opposing it. Our role is to accurately report the events and the issues. The next major piece will run in the February print edition, due on the streets on February 1st.