The election campaign in Australia is being fought with the lives of men, women and children. Some drown, others are banished without hope to malarial camps. Children are incarcerated behind razor wire in conditions described as “a huge generator of mental illness”. This barbarism is considered a vote-winner by both the Australian government and opposition. Reminiscent of the closing of borders to Jews in the 1930s, it is smashing the façade of a society advertised as benign and lucky.
By John Pilger
November 06, 2009
In a speech at the Sydney Opera House to mark his award of Australia’s human rights prize, the Sydney Peace Prize, John Pilger describes the “unique features” of a political silence in Australia: how it affects the national life of his homeland and the way Australians see the world and are manipulated by great power “which speaks through an invisible government of propaganda that subdues and limits our political imagination and ensures we are always at war — against our own first people and those seeking refuge, or in someone else’s country”.
Thank you all for coming tonight, and my thanks to the City of Sydney and especially to the Sydney Peace Foundation for awarding me the Peace Prize. It’s an honour I cherish, because it comes from where I come from.