Rally adds voice to ABC campaign

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 1.16.26 am.jpgProtestors turned out to support the ABC in Sydney and Melbourne on the weekend in the face of expected cuts by the Abbott government.

The Guardian notes the Melbourne crowd was reminded of Abbott’s pre-election pledge that there would be no cuts to funding for the ABC or SBS.

“Does anyone here think that was ambiguous?” said David Risstrom, president of the Victorian branch of Friends of the ABC, drawing a loud chant of “No!”.

“I ask this government … keep to your promise. That’s as little as I ask today – you made a promise, keep to it!”

Author Elliot Perlman told the crowd, “… When a government starves the ABC it tears the most fundamental cultural fabric of this nation and the people of Australia will duly note the identity of the vandals.”

About 1000 people attended another rally in Martin Place on Saturday.

Former Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes told the crowd that the ABC was already producing efficiency dividends “like iView and ABC 24 and radio digital channels popping up everywhere,” adding that there was a crisis of democracy.

“People simply don’t trust the politicians any more. That’s why, God help us … so many people are voting for Clive Palmer,” he said.

Speakers also included Adam Spencer, Wendy Harmer and Tom Ballard (pictured).

Advocacy group GetUp!, which has been behind a Save the ABC campaign, will step up pressure on the Abbott government ahead of the budget in two weeks.

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