At first it was : I can’t work at a freedom protests without being criticised by government authorities and the mainstream media. Now it looks like: I can’t attend any events celebrating freedom as a guest without being criticised by various representatives of movements, the government and the mainstream media.
I’ve been told that of course I could attend as a guest only if the event met all the correct criteria, which brings me back to the same type of things the government says about attending only protests that meet the correct criteria. As fascinating and amusing as all of this is, it’s mostly just a distraction for all involved.
I will keep doing what I’m doing – because the very reason I went to cover protests in the first place was because I didn’t care much for what the government said. Likewise the same applies here, I don’t care very much for the criticisms being levelled against me for attending this event, because I’m doing something which I’m prepared to stand by.
The implication that I’m not aware of the optics of attending these events, are the same type of arguments thrown around about me not knowing the optics of attending freedom protests. If I only cared about optics and my image in the public, I would most likely not be doing what I’m doing.
Despite what you may have heard about this event, I want to commend the organiser Simeon (Aussie Cossack) for bringing even some people within the same space together. As always everyone is entitled to form their own opinions on the intent and the appropriateness of such gatherings. For me personally, It was an opportunity to chat with and gain insights from some of those working within the independent media / content creation space in Sydney.
I hope there continues to be events like this organised by various individuals and/or organisations going forward, perhaps even implementing the lessons and feedback learned from this event.
I’m addressing this issue in public out of courtesy to those that are messaging me for my thoughts on the matter.