‘Target on yourself’: BLM activist verbally threatens 2GB host Ben Fordham live on-air

‘Target on yourself’: BLM activist verbally threatens 2GB host Ben Fordham live on-air
  • PublishedMay 13, 2024

A Black Lives Matter activist has threatened Ben Fordham live on-air in a heated phone call, telling the 2GB radio host he had “put a target” on himself and that he would be “waiting for you” outside the building.

Paul Silva, 26, called into the Sydney radio station on Monday taking issue with Fordham for branding him a “pest” over a video he shared to TikTok in which he told a NSW Police officer during a traffic stop that “your law does not apply to me as an Aboriginal man”.

Mr Silva is the nephew of David Dungay Jr, who died in custody at Sydney’s Long Bail Jail in 2015, and has been involved in Black Lives Matter and Invasion Day protests.

Speaking to Fordham on Monday, Silva demanded to know “why did you put a story up about me” based on his TikTok video, which has been viewed more than one million times.

“It’s subject to a current open investigation,” Mr Silva said.

“You’re the bloke who posted the video,” Fordham said.

“I know, because the laws don’t apply to us, because the laws that are currently occupying on stolen land was enforced on Aboriginal people, it’s a fact, a 15-year-old kid can learn that in school,” Mr Silva said.

“Alright well then if the law doesn’t apply to you, why are you before the courts, Paul?” Fordham said.

“Because I’m being forced to go to the courts, they say if you do not go to court you’ll be locked up and thrown in jail,” Mr Silva said.

“That’s because the law applies to everyone, Paul,” Fordham said.

“No, the law is enforced on you,” Mr Silva said. “The law doesn’t even apply to you, Ben, the law is enforced on you. So why make a story about it?”

Fordham asked again, “Well why did you put it on TikTok? If you didn’t want it out there, why did you put it on social media?”

“To expose it for what it is,” Mr Silva said. “What’s the backstory of the video?”

Fordham said he didn’t know the backstory and “I don’t care”.

“Don’t report on stuff if you don’t know the backstory,” Mr Silva said. “You could have contacted me and got my side of the story first.”

Fordham argued “the video was your side of the story”.

“That’s where you journalists get things wrong,” Mr Silva said.

Fordham then questioned why “you want to come and meet me face-to-face”. “What do you want to do face-to-face?” he said.

“Why don’t you come downstairs and we’ll have a conversation?” Mr Silva said.

“What would you be doing?” Fordham asked.

“I’d be asking you questions on why you’re such a poor journalist, why haven’t you got the backstory from the actual person that posted the video,” Mr Silva said.

“We’re repeating ourselves now,” Fordham said. “Is there anything else you’d like to say that’s new that we haven’t heard already before we say goodbye?”

Paul Silva speaks at a Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney. Picture: David Swift

Paul Silva speaks at a Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney. Picture: David Swift

Mr Silva replied, “That’s new that you haven’t heard already? That I’ll see you around. You have now put a target on yourself, right? For you to sit there and call me a pest and a moron, I’ll show you what a pest and a moron does, right? I’ll be hanging around at 2GB all day today waiting for you to come out, you can go down to the underground carpark and drive out. This is what happens when you try to demonise…”

Fordham warned that “you’ve got to be careful” because police “will be listening to this and they’ll be saying hang on a moment, this sounds like a man making threats”.

“If you feel harassed or threatened in any way shape or form I’m sorry you feel that way, I can’t control the way someone feels based off the words I say,” Mr Silva said.

“Are you OK?” Fordham interjected.

“Are you OK?” Mr Silva said. “Because if you feel intimidated or threatened this call will be disconnected, wouldn’t it be? If you want to have a conversation like a man and get the actual backstory…”

Fordham told Mr Silva he needed to “chill out”.

“You need to chill out,” Mr Silva hit back. “You’re trying to demonise Indigenous people on your platform.”

“We’re talking about one bloke, his name’s Paul Silva,” Fordham said.

“You’re bringing Aboriginal into it — you’re racist,” Mr Silva said.

The activist ended the call telling Fordham “I’ll talk to you soon”.

Fordham told news.com.au that the call had not been reported to police.

“Police called us and asked if we would like to report it and I’ve politely declined,” he said. “My theory is that if people are going to harm you, they’re not going to warn you about it on radio.”

A NSW Police spokesperson said: “No complaints have been received over this matter. No further police action is required.”

Mr Silva was pulled over by police in Kempsey on the mid north coast earlier this year after he was seen allegedly using his mobile phone while driving.

In the video, Mr Silva argues with the officer who repeatedly asks to see his driver’s licence.

“Don’t raise your voice, sir,” Mr Silva says, adding, “Activate your bodycam, please.”

“It is,” the officer tells him.

“Well don’t raise your voice at me,” Mr Silva says.

“All you’ve got to do is just follow simple directions,” the officer says.

“Nah, nah, nah, I don’t follow your directions, your law does not apply to me as an Aboriginal man,” Mr Silva says.

“If you’ve got no reason to articulate this decision to stop me…”

The officer tells him “I stopped you for a reason”.

Paul Silva filmed a traffic stop in Kempsey earlier this year. Picture: TikTok

Paul Silva filmed a traffic stop in Kempsey earlier this year. Picture: TikTok

“Don’t yell at me, I’m not yelling at you, if you want to be yelled at, stop yelling at me I’ll yell back at ya,” Mr Silva says.

“Mate, you’re getting very close to being arrested,” the officer warns.

“No, no, you’re yelling at me,” Mr Silva says.

The officer asks for his name and address.

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten,” Mr Silva replies.

“I said name and address,” the officer.

“It’s on there [the licence],” Mr Silva says, as the officer repeats himself several times.

In a statement last week, a NSW Police spokeswoman said officers attached to Mid North Coast Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle travelling on Lachlan Street, South Kempsey at about 4.15pm on March 30 after the driver was observed allegedly using his mobile phone.

“The 26-year-old male driver was spoken to before he left the location, allegedly excessively beeping the vehicle’s horn,” she said.

“He was issued two traffic infringement notices for driver use mobile phone when not permitted and use/allow use of horn/similar warning device unnecessarily.”

Mr Silva was one of the organisers of a Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney in July 2020, controversially held during Covid.

At the time, Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the decision “appalling” and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian demanded it be cancelled.

Addressing the media about the pleas, Mr Silva claimed the Covid crisis was being used as “an excuse to silence us” and said the protest would “most definitely” go ahead.

“These protests are being singled out by the NSW police and the government and that’s because they see the support from all different nationalities, people of all different walks of life, and they know our message is definitely getting across,” he told reporters.

“They’re trying to silence us while using the pandemic as an excuse, but Westfield shopping centres, pubs and clubs are still chock-a-block. We put in substantial steps to make sure everyone is safe at these protests. Personally, I’d say they’re safer than your local pub because they’re conducted outdoors so there’s space for social distancing. We hand out hand sanitiser and masks for people that don’t have them.”

The following year, Mr Silva attended an Invasion Day rally at the Domain in Sydney where thousands turned up to protest the date of Australia Day.

“People are out celebrating the day like it’s a birthday or Christmas when our ancestors were killed,” he said at the time.“Our family has been demanding justice for five years. We’ve literally got f**k all.”


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