Campaigners celebrate 6 Music and Asian Network at Rally
Campaigners trying save digital radio stations BBC 6 Music and the Asian Network have held a rally to celebrate the two stations – and the BBC’s website which is also under threat of closure. The rally comes as the protests to stop the cuts at the BBC continue with thousands signing petitions, joining Facebook groups and complaining to the BBC.
If the BBC/Mark Thompson hoped that the protests over cut backs at the BBC would quieten down after a few weeks then he/they were wrong. The protests over the corporation’s plans to slash services, close radio stations and cut back spending on its website is still generating a lot of anger amongst the public – licence fee payers – and thousands are still signing petitions or joining Facebook groups to try and stop the cuts.
Around 180 campaigners, politicians and trade union representatives held a “celebration” of 6 Music, the Asian Network and the BBC’s website. The rally was held at Westminster and amongst those in attendance were 6 Music DJ Tom Robison as well as MP’s John Grogan, Tom Watson, Charles Kennedy, Peter Bottomley and Kelvin Hopkins. Tom Watson, a Labour MP, has also put down a motion in Parliament which opposes the cut backs – so far 87 MPs have signed the motion.
On Facebook a staggering 166,000 people have signed up for a group opposing the cuts and now Jon Morter has joined the campaign and is helping to run it. Jon Morter successful ran the Facebook campaign at Christmas which saw Rage against the Machine reach number one instead of X Factor winner Joe McElderry. The success of that campaign has lead Mortor to lend his expertises to the this campaign as he told the BBC News site he was a “huge fan” of 6 Music. As well as thousands signing up to Facebook a further 30,000 have signed a petition on the campaigning website 38 degrees while over 8,255 have complained to the BBC directly and its rumoured at least 17,000 people have contacted the BBC Trust – though the trust has not confirmed the figures and is unlikely to do so.
Over 100 prominent British Asians signed a letter earlier this month opposing the closure of the Asian Network; amongst those who signed the letter were Meera Syal, Shipla Shetty, Jay Sean and Amir Khan.