JOIN US IN CELEBRATING THE 7TH BIRTHDAY OF WIKILEAKS!
FRIDAY 4TH OCTOBER 6pm outside ECUADORIAN EMBASSY
3 HANS CRESCENT LONDON SW1X 0LS. NEAREST TUBE KNIGHTSBRIDGE
Come and celebrate the 7TH BIRTHDAY of WIKILEAKS by joining the solidarity vigil on Friday at 6 o’clock, outside the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Bring candles, cakes and share with us in celebrating the work of a bunch of remarkable people who deserve our support!
UPDATE: see this post for some first photos back from the Birthday Vigil
WIKILEAKS 7TH BIRTHDAY ALL NIGHT VIGIL
From the facebook page:
7th October 2013 marks the 7th anniversary of the launch of WikiLeaks. It will also be 472 days since Julian Assange, the organization’s founder has been trapped inside the embassy building. And it will be 44 days since Chelsea (Bradley) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison – expected to be first up for parole in 7 years. And it will be 137 days since Edward Snowden fled from the US.
Let’s find as many people as possible who believe in justice and a true freedom of speech, willing to participate in a protest on Friday 4th October at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Let’s come up with some unique ideas to attract the attention of the media.
Please share this event and invite your friends!
There will also be an all night vigil at the BRITISH CONSULATE GENERAL, BOSTON in Cambridge, Nr Boston MA, USA starting at 5pm (EDT) (10pm our time – BST), to mark the occasion.
THIS YEAR IN WIKILEAKS
It’s been an amazing year in the WikiLeaks World!
The organisation has continued to be at the heart of the struggle for truth, justice and freedom in the resistance to corrupt governance and the marked (and in some ways, extraordinary) erosion of civil liberties that we are facing in our time .
On the publishing side, WikiLeaks releases over the past year included the following:
The Detainee Policies, more than 100 classified or otherwise restricted files from the United States Department of Defense covering the rules and procedures for detainees in U.S. military custody, were released in October last year.
In April this year they published the excellent resource PLUS D by collating the Kissinger Cables, which, although already declassified, were pretty inaccessible in their original release, with Cablegate into a fully searchable Public Library of US Diplomacy.
In May they released the prosecution and prison documents for Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (Anakata), to assist in his defence.
In September they released more Spy Files - Spy Files #3, showing us how, as the intelligence world has privatised, US, EU and developing world intelligence agencies have rushed into spending millions on next-generation mass surveillance technology to target communities, groups and whole populations.
Back in November of last year, Cypherpunks was published; a book on freedom, the future of the internet, and the role of cryptography as the means of achieving privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful instead of the dystopian world of the reverse that the internet could make equally possible. The book is drawn from a series of discussions on this critical subject between Julian Assange, Jacob Applebaum, Andy Muller-Maghn and Jeremie Zimmermann.
Some Significant Events
FUNDRAISING & US ELECTION
In October of last year, WikiLeaks was busy launching a fundraising campaign focusing on the run up to the US Presidential Elections. The progressive release (some each day) of another set of documents from the Stratfor emails accompanied this campaign – the Presidential Campaign releases from the Global Intelligence Files (GI Files or Stratfor emails) - 200,000 documents giving behind the scenes insights into both Republican and Democrat campaigns during US presidential elections. WikiLeaks said:
Whoever you elect into power, keep them accountable by supporting WikiLeaks – vote with your wallet, vote WikiLeaks.
In November of 2012, the European Parliament voted to protect WikiLeaks, donations become tax deductible EU wide, and WikiLeaks released European Commission documents showing that it facilitated the financial blockade of WikiLeaks by U.S. hard-right Lieberman/King, contrary to the European Parliament’s wishes.
In December Julian Assange made a Presentation to the European Parliament on Corruption Revealed in Cablegate. And WikiLeaks declared war on the banking blockade by actively pursuing all legal avenues to reverse it and enable supporters’ donations once more. This resulted in a partial victory later in the year.
LEARN CHALLENGE ACT – NOW
On the 20th of December Julian gave an inspiring speech from the Ecuadorian Embassy balcony coining the phrase ‘Learn, Challenge, Act, Now’, and announced the formation of the WikiLeaks Party with a view to making an impact for transparency in the cause of justice in the Australian Senate.
THE FBI MOLE
In February 2013 WikiLeaks revealed that eight FBI agents conducted an interrogation in Iceland in relation to the ongoing U.S. investigation of WikiLeaks, targeting a young man who later in the year told the press he became a paid informer within the organisation for the F.B.I.
THE ‘GOOGLE’ TRANSCRIPT
In April they released a transcript of a secret meeting between Julian Assange and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
WE STEAL SECRETS
And in May a blow by blow critique of Alex Gibney’s entire script for We Steal Secrets – the Story of WikiLeaks (not!), the duplicity of which begins with the very title, was published by WikiLeaks ahead of the film’s release date, as an annotated transcript of an audio recording.
PVT MANNING’S TRIAL
thanks to Clark Stoeckley for courtroom art from Ft Meade
In June we held our breath as Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning’s formal trial began after 15 months of pretrial hearings in the Court Martial, and over three years pretrial imprisonment – the longest known in US courts martial. WikiLeaks issued a statement calling it a show trial, saying that in truth, it was the US government and the US military that were on trial, rather than Pfc Manning:
A runaway military, whose misdeeds have been laid bare, and a secretive government at war with the public. They sit in the dock. We are called to serve as jurists. We must not turn away.
EDWARD SNOWDEN – THE NSA/GCHQ SURVEILLANCE REVELATIONS
As the first anniversary of Julian’s entering the Ecuadorian Embassy to seek asylum from Ecuador came around, WikiLeaks was rushing to assist another whistleblower in trouble – Edward Snowden, whose NSA/GCHQ revelations confirmed the statements on the reach of govt surveillance made by Assange in a series of interviews promoting the Cypherpunks book back in Nov 2012.
Details of the extent and scale of the US/UK global system of surveillance hitting the headlines caused shock waves not least amongst those whose wrongdoing was being revealed and United States government, hell bent on getting their hands on Snowden, responded with incredible and implacable aggression, apparently not caring who they offended or what the repercussions of their obsessive pursuit might be.
All of which availed them zilch, as, with the strategic assistance of WikiLeaks, Snowden gave them the slip accompanied by the immensely courageous Sarah Harrison (who went out to support him in person putting her own safety in jeopardy), and the public debate which WikiLeaks was urgently promoting with the publication of Cypherpunks and previously the Spy Files releases, was now well under way.
ON THE LEGAL OFFENSIVE
In September, after David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, was disgracefully detained under terrorism legislation in connection with the Edward Snowden leaks, and had property seized (and still not returned) under the allegation that it threatened national security, WikiLeaks launched a criminal investigation in several jurisdictions regarding events in Sweden and Germany back in 2010, in which WikiLeaks property was seized and not returned. Julian Assange said:
Now is the time for everyone to take a stand to put an end to Obama’s war against national security journalism – at home and abroad. This filing, recent court victories, and our successful intervention in the case of Edward Snowden, represent the continuing reorientation of WikiLeaks from legal defence to legal attack.
The WikiLeaks Party, only first announced in December 2012, made a decisive entrance into Australian Politics by registering Candidates for the Senate elections in three states. Although it did not succeed in securing a senate seat for any of its candidates and internal strife had us holding on to our seats, it was, despite this, remarkably successful in attracting thousands of votes, carrying a promise for the future.
THE FIFTH ESTATE
The upcoming release of Hollywood Film The Fifth Estate has been described as an anti-WikiLeaks propaganda effort against the organization and its staff, creating cultural bias against it to undermine its support base. A mature edition of the script as well as a 4000 word essay addressing the inconsistencies and falsities in it was released by WikiLeaks and has been widely reported in the press.
SPEAKING OUT FOR FREE SPEECH, FREE PRESS & AN END TO INJUSTICE
And throughout the year WikiLeaks has continued its support to other journalists who find themselves in difficulties like Jeremy Hammond and Barrett Brown, whose prosecutions are in part connected to the Stratfor Files. And Swedish Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (Anakata), who many believe is being prosecuted so relentlessly in part because of his connection to WikiLeaks and in any case at the behest of the US govt, was also recently assisted by the appearance as a defence witness of Jacob Applebaum. The text of the speech (you can listen to it in the video below from Katia) which Julian Assange (owing to the Snowden crisis) never actually gave on the first anniversary of his asylum bid, included reference to these political prisoners (and others), as have previous speeches.
READING OF JULIAN ASSANGE LANDMARK SPEECH 22nd JUNE
And WikiLeaks continues to actively promote Free Speech and a Free Press to stand against the corruption of those in power, as they participate on all manner of platforms in speaking out and taking action in support of these values.
So CONGRATULATIONS to them for a fantastically productive year!
post contributed by greekemmy (additions&edits Lindi Carter) 2nd Oct 2013