Campaigners – many wearing Anonymous masks - descended on the BBC headquarters at Salford's MediaCityUK yesterday to protest against the Corporation's lack of reporting of demonstrations against the ConDem Government and its policies.
The BBC's attitude, they argue, was epitomised by the non-coverage of the huge march against the Conservative Party Conference in September that saw over 60,000 people take to the streets - an example that was publicised at the time by Labour Party shadow ministers too.
"It's about what the majority of the people think, and the majority of people in the country have had enough, there's marches going on everywhere but they don't report it" said a girl called Pixie who dresses as a fairy and hands out fairy cakes on demos
"They can report on the Tory Party Conference with a couple of toffs but not 60,000 people marching around Manchester and me dressed as a flippin' fairy" she added "I've been on Anti Bedroom Tax marches, all sorts, and the Independence rally in Scotland, which really upset me because I drove hundreds of miles and even BBC Scotland didn't report it. People who talk of the BBC having a left wing bias are absolutely potty."
Indeed, speaker after speaker spoke about wider issues too in the way the news is handled in this country – and the demonisation of the NHS, the poor, the sick, the unemployed and the disabled.
"The smiling faces of BBC presenters come on and say how shit the NHS is; I don't believe for one second that the NHS is anywhere near as bad as Chris Patten [Chair of the BBC Trust] makes out" said one speaker "He's got shares in private health corporations, he's making money out of us as taxpayers. The NHS is not free – we pay our taxes on everything, and there's a NHS there for you, a pension there for you, but they're selling it off - and the BBC along with other media corporations are not joining up the dots.
"We are being lied to, we are being told that things are going on `for the good of the people'" he explained "They are pumping out programmes for you to get the message they will give you Saints and Scroungers, Britain On The Fiddle but they never ever look up – that's where the money is going. It's not you, it's not yer nan, it's not sick people or the unemployed. It's being stolen by them at the top and the BBC deny coverage. I'm sick to death of the demonisation of the unemployed, the NHS the poor, the elderly, the working class.
"Unemployment is going up, but they tell us it's going down…the BBC tells of food banks but never contextualise it" he added "The story goes like this… drama, crisis, war, death, destruction, war machine, celebrity, weather someone kicking a ball…and you've forgotten what they guy was saying at the start. They've got News 24 which could run any number of stories yet they repeat the same stories all day and all night. That's not a news channel it's a repeats station…"
As the campaigners were venting their feelings about the BBC, above them on the giant Media City tv screen, the news was being pumped out about NHS scandals, David Cameron railing against human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and the latest expensive hi-tech gadgets…
Meanwhile, top protest singer, Daznez, led a series of songs, including a special one for the BBC…
"I don't know but it seems to me
Ain't no truth at the BBC
I don't know how it feels to you
I'm sick of being taken for a fool
1-2-3-4 Freedom's what we're fighting for
5-6-7-8 We want peace and we won't wait
I don't know but it seems to me
Ain't going to pay my licence fee
I don't know how it feels to you
The mainstream media ain't got a clue...'
The most poignant speech of the day was by a guy in an Anonymous mask who said… "I ended up in hospital with malnutrition because I couldn't afford to feed myself…this Government has to be held accountable for the shit that it is doing to each and every one of us."
Those who attended the protest gave their thoughts on the BBC's attempt to do this by lining up under the giant TV screen at the MediaCityUK piazza and sticking their fingers up in the direction of the BBC's offices…
To hear more of Daznez see his website at www.daznez.com or check him out on facebook.com/daznez