Media Release 28 November 2011
Rupert Murdoch burns at Eureka Dawn
4.30am Saturday 3 December 2011
At dawn on the 157th anniversary of the Eureka rebellion next Saturday, a cardboard effigy of disgraced press baron, Rupert Murdoch, will burn.
The burning will be a part of the annual commemorations of the Eureka rebellion being presented by the Anarchist Media Institute and led by radical historian and broadcaster, Dr Joe Toscano.
"Burning an effigy of Rupert Murdoch may seem to have nothing to do with the Eureka Rebellion, " says Dr Toscano. "Yet it is intricately linked with the unfolding of the Eureka story and our theme for the Reclaim the Radical Traditions of Eureka commemorations this year."
"A free independent press, the antithesis of the role the Murdoch Press plays in Australia and the rest of the world today, played a pivotal role in the Eureka Rebellion and its aftermath in Melbourne," he said.
The effigy maker is Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com, a gray nomad political activist who was responsible for the grand Eureka lantern walks of years past and is notorious for inviting David Hicks, father of the then Guantanamo detainee, to lead the lantern walk of the 150th anniversary in 2004.
Dunstan's effigy burnings have become an artful feature of recent Eureka commemorations. In 2009 he made a burned an effigy of AFP Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, the domestic Terror War enforcer of the times ; in 2010 it was "stay the course" widow maker, PM Julia Gillard.
"The 1854 Eureka rebellion was a fiery event," says Dunstan. "And burning effigies has always been a way for the common people to express their distain of the powerful and the corrupt."
Dunstan wonders at the fruit of such deeds and comments:
"Few see the actual event. Many see the web-spread images. For sure the effigy burnings did not further the careers of either Mick or Julia in the months that followed."
The Murdoch effigy will burn at first light about 4.30 am on Saturday 3 December 2011 at the Eureka Memorial cnr Eureka and Stawell Streets, Ballarat.
Graeme is sculpting the effigy out of recycled cardboard in a shed near Linton. It will be ready for viewing by am Friday 2 December.
Graeme Dunstan, Peacebus.com, 0407 951 688
Dr. Joseph Toscano, Reclaim the Radical Spirit of the Eureka Rebellion Celebrations / Anarchist Media Institute 0439 395 489
Why Murdoch? Media release by Dr Joe Toscano 28 November 2011