Why are Australians getting free speech Wrong?
Australia is the land of the 'Fair Go'. But does this extend to giving everyone the right to speak freely about politics? While most Australains take this vital freedom for granted, in Speech Matters political analyst Katharine Gelber shows why many of Australia's laws and policies are actually damaging our democratic ideals.
A council officer shuts down a Sydney art exhibition that challenges the basis for the Iraq war; big day out organisers are attacked for asking attendees not to wear the australian flag after the Cronulla riots. Gelber investigates a wide range of political expression to discover what value australians place on free speech: from the national flag, hate speech and anti-terrorism laws to protest, campaigns against corporate actions and provocative art. Gelber considers the rules that regulate our speech and actions alongside the views of everyday australians on these issues.
What Gelber finds is a political culture that is failing free speech. In Australia, powerful companies can silence dissent, and even peaceful protest can be difficult to carry out. Filled with controversial examples to fuel the debate, Speech Matters challenges australians to rethink freedom of speech. It’s time to give everyone a voice in running the country.