Sunday, January 25, 2009
Breaking News: BBC’s Scottish HQ Occupied
BBC’s Scottish HQ Occupied in protest at BBC DEC decision
"Around 5pm this evening between 30 and 50 demonstrators occupied the BBC Scotland headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow in a protest over the failure of the BBC to broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza.
Scottish Television (based just next door) have refused to cover the story citing a policy not to cover demonstrations at rival media institutions."
[More information added 26th Jan, with photos]
STW's Andrew Burgin tells me that the occupation was ended peacefully around 11pm, with no arrests. This may be because Strathclyde police have had enough of the time and expense of arresting peaceful demonstrators. They are a decent police force, and the Met should go and take lessons from them.
Andrew tells me that more occupations may take place today.
The heat on the BBC is increasing. See below for links to complain against the BBC and also to donate to the DEC.
We need to know who made the decision. It looks as if it was made by Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, in consultation within and outside of the BBC. Who were they? What was their expertise or involvement? Were they lobbyists?
We must remember that the BBC belongs to us, the licence payers, and not to Government - although in this case, it looks as if Government is on the side of the humanitarians.
If Mark Thomas does not resign, we can bring pressure on him by pooling pledges to withhold our TV license fee payments. This is a troublesome path to go down, because it could destroy the BBC, and leave us with just commercial TV. But the Beeb would probably cave in before it comes to an actual fee boycott if we get enough pledges.
Anyway, fair play to the occupiers!
PS According to Sky News, who are covering the occupation, the BBC has said it has received “approximately” 1,000 telephone complaints and a further 10,000 by email. Good start, but it needs more, much more.
CNN is carrying the story of the occupation, but still the BBC is censoring what we are allowed to know.
PPS There is a claim that they are "Palestinian" demonstrators. From the photos most of them look like Galswegians. Still, we are all Palestinians now. As indeed, we are all Israelis, because we are all people. Our anger at the Gaza outrage should be focussed on the stupidity of the militaristic mindset, not against the people on both sides who are both suffering, though the Palestinians are clearly receiving more than a proportionate share of the suffering.