Sep 21, 2017

Rundle: Fed Square’s censorship of Adani protesters is bad news for Vic Labor

The management of Federation Square's decision to censor a political rally held by the "Stop Adani" movement will hurt Labor in Victoria.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Federation Square in Melbourne was sparkling new, 20 years ago; its deconstructive crap-clad style has dated so badly that it may now require a heritage listing. City Square -- a genuine public space -- was destroyed by the Kennett government, and Fed Square put up instead, a warren of restaurants, bars and cafes. The political intent was obvious: to deprive Melburnians of a central place to hold large political and social movement rallies.

So it proved on the weekend, when the management of Fed Square censored a political rally held by the "Stop Adani" movement, which had hired the square’s big screen to show a series of slides and information about the Galilee coal project. According to a report in The Guardian, the rally was threatened with eviction at the last minute unless they removed a whole series of slides, deemed to be "political". Faced with a possible lockout, the rally complied -- even though they weren’t told which slides were offensive.

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