Julian Assange and Australia Day

On 4th January 2021 a British court in London resolved that Australian journalist Julian Assange should not be extradited to the U.S.A. to face charge of spying. The judge Vanessa Baraitster refused however to release Assange on bail from the British prison in which he is being held. He will remain there pending examination of the American appeal against the British judgement.

On 26th January Australia will be celebrating its national day. The following video is an extract from a Tribute to Assange organized in Athens, Greece, in 2019 on the occasion of the national day of Assange’s native land.

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Ο Τζούλιαν Ασάνζ και η εθνική γιορτή της Αυστραλίας

Στις 4 Ιανουαρίου 2021 αποφασίστηκε από βρετανικό δικαστήριο στο Λονδίνο, ο Αυστραλός δημοσιογράφος Τζούλιαν Ασάνζ να μην εκδοθεί στις Η.Π.Α., όπου θα αντιμετώπιζε κατηγορίες για κατασκοπεία. Η δικαστής Βανέσα Μπαράιτσερ αρνήθηκε όμως να απελευθερώσει με εγγύηση τον Ασάνζ από την βρετανική φυλακή που κρατείται. Θα παραμένει έγκλειστος μέχρι την εξέταση της έφεσης που θα υποβάλλουν οι ΗΠΑ.

Στις  26η Ιανουαρίου  γιορτάζεται η εθνική γιορτή της Αυστραλίας. Το ακόλουθο βίντεο είναι απόσπασμα ενός αφιερώματος στο Ασάνζ που διοργανώθηκε στην Αθήνα το 2019 με αφορμή την εθνική γιορτή της πατρίδας του.

Απόσπασμα από το αφιέρωμα:

Assange letter to Australian parliamentarians

I think it is a good proposal for you to be present in Australia, even if only online, on 26th January, given your connections with the country and your world-wide influence.
Nikos Vakolidis (addressed to Yanis Varoufakis)

Australia Day Letter to Australian parliamentarians from W. Hall (convenor of Unity4j Greece)

Dear parliamentarians,

I write to you as an Australian citizen resident for many years in Greece. (I have also taken out, or should I say been granted, Greek citizenship). Two years ago, on 26th January 2019 I was the convenor, in Athens, of an Australia Day tribute to Julian Assange. Given that 26th January 1788 marks the beginning of European civilization in Australia, I thought it appropriate that Australia Day should be commemorated, as it was in 2019, only a few hundred metres from that key “totem” of European civilization: the Acropolis of Athens. And similarly that the Australian citizen Julian Assange should be recognized as a key upholder of what are praised as the standards of that civilization. Australian parliamentarians should similarly recognize that contribution from Julian Assange, whose rights as an Australian citizen they, and we, have the duty of defending, even if he were a person of ordinary accomplishment.

Among the participants in that tribute were the Queensland activist Phillip Adams, whose photograph you see on the right above, and who has made titanic efforts for a number of years to secure recognition of the injustice that has been suffered for over a decade by Julian Assange. Another participant was Nikos Vakolidis, convenor in the city of Ioannina in Northern Greece of the MeRA25 party, which has representation in the Greek parliament and was established by Australian (and Greek) citizen Yanis Varoufakis, whose photograph you see on the left.

I have no connection with Yanis Varoufakis other than common links with the island of Aegina, but Julian Assange was one of the first members of the pan-European citizens’ movement DiEM25 founded by Varoufakis and collaborators. Julian Assange has turned to Varoufakis for support on numerous occasions, particularly during his years of asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy but also afterwards, when he was expelled from there and lost, for political reasons, the Ecuadorian citizenship he had been granted, again for political reasons, leaving him with only the Australian citizenship that is his possession by birthright.

I have asked Nicos Vakolidis to convey the message to his leader Varoufakis that he, Varoufakis, should find a way to speak directly to Australians on Australia’s national day, 26th January, and specifically to fellow parliamentarians.

After the recent British court decision precluding Assange’s extradition to the U.S. to face charges which amount to attempted penalization of a journalist, who is in any case not an American citizen, from “doing his job”, the continued incarceration of Julian Assange in Britain is difficult if not impossible to justify legally. Not being a lawyer I cannot speak with authority on this subject but Julian Assange remains imprisoned in Britain without having been charged in Britain with any crime other than breaking bail (which he said he was obliged to do to avoid extradition to the U.S., something which the U.K. is now on the record as opposing). Ten years imprisonment for breaking bail is certainly something without precedent.

Is this a time to analyse the politics behind some of the confusion that surrounds the case of Julian Assange? In the immediate aftermath of the British court’s decision on non-extradition of Assange to the U.S., Yanis Varoufakis participated in a relevant online discussion with French journalist Frank Barat.

If you look at (or listen to) what Yanis says in the discussion with Frank Barat you will note an implication that Donald Trump is in the category of single-minded persecutors of Assange. But the reality seems to be that Trump has been not so much a key enemy as a semi-enemy, or unreliable ally, of Assange. Indeed one of Trump’s closest and most loyal followers, Roger Stone, got himself into trouble (and prison) by being too supportive of Assange.

 Of course a party-political agenda helped Roger Stone to speak without constraint on the subject of Assange, just as party politics has evidently induced Varoufakis to “pull his punches” in his defence of Assange.

Nevertheless, it would certainly help Julian Assange if Yanis spoke directly to Australians, and specifically Australian parliamentarians, and said to them what he is already saying to the world, but not specifically to Australians, and/or to parliamentarians, i.e. that Julian Assange should be released from prison immediately.

Wayne Hall

Varoufakis on Assange & Trump

Frank Barat and Yanis Varoufakis: discussion on Assange and “being on the defensive”

Starting at 47.10

Frank Barat: So Yanis, I wanted to ask you. We spoke five minutes before about us, the movement, the Left, being on the offensive. I can just give you a brief example. Someone that I dearly respect and love, Jeremy Corbyn, when he was attacked and called an anti-Semite and they said he wanted the destruction of Israel, and all this. I thought I would have responded in a totally different way. And that’s the problem of the Left. By being that defensive and by saying in a way: “Oh, I didn’t do that. Oh, I didn’t do that” it played totally into the hands of the far right. And as a movement we have to stop doing that, right? We have to stop only responding to the attack but to be on the offensive ourselves. I know you agree, Yanis. You told me that just before, but…

Yanis Varoufakis: The purpose you are articulating is to turn the tables. In the case of Julian Assange the point is to start prosecuting the war criminals that are killing him as we speak. And this is a process that we are continuing. You are giving me a great pass for discussing the assassination that precedes the actual murder, and that is the character assassination. What you mentioned regarding Jeremy is precisely what I experienced too in 2015, when I was actually warned. This is something that I don’t think any of you knows. But I was in the White House in 2015 as the Minister of Finance of Greece, and I just had a chat with Obama. And as I was coming out a former student of a friend of mine, who worked as part of the White House, approached me and said: “Minister, can I have a word with you?” We were sitting next to a toilet, you know. And he said: “I feel the obligation to warn you that in ten days there is going to be a character assassination against you.” Precisely ten days later every major newspaper: Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, you know, El Pais, all of them unleashed a torrent of abuse against me. Just complete fake news about me. About what I was saying. I experienced that. Why? Because that was the moment when the will of the Greek people had to be bent and, you know, we had to fold, and Varoufakis had to get out of the way. So they created essentially a narrative that made it impossible for any of my arguments, or facts, to emerge. Because suddenly it became something about me. This is exactly what they did with Jeremy. And this is exactly what they did with Julian. And, you know, the Establishment, the Deep State, call it whatever you want, the oligarchy, have become much much better at it than they used to be. Because back in the 1960s and the 1970s, you know, they would accuse you of being a Communist. Accuse me of being a Marxist. I am a Marxist and I’m not really going to suffer that much if you accuse me of being a left-winger. I am a left-winger. But now what they do is something far worse. They accuse you of something that really hurts you. Calling somebody like us a racist, a bigot, an anti-Semite, you know, a rapist. This is what really hurts because, you know, if anybody calls me a rapist today, right, even if it is complete baloney, I feel as a feminist, the need to give the woman implied or involved somehow in this accusation the opportunity to speak against me. Because this is what we left-wingers do. So this is what they do. The character assassination of Julian Assange is what? That he elected Trump, single-handedly, and that he was a rapist. Now look I don’t want to get deeply into this but allow me to do some reporting. I’m going to finish off with an account of a discussion I had with Julian in the Ecuadorian Embassy in November 2017. It’s no secret to the United States authorities because as I found out recently I actually watched the video that they taped of me speaking to Julian in the Ecuadorian Embassy as part of the court case that the Spanish judge started against the company employed to videotape Julian and me having this conversation. So I’m only telling you that which the NSA already knows. So he had actually sent me a message. I was in Athens and he said: “I need to speak to you. Can you get on a plane and come to London?” Which I did. I did that a number of times on a number of issues, but this is of interest to all of us, especially in the context of the character assassination of calling him a Trumpist. So, you know, almost every discussion we had for years was all about how to get him out, different ways and campaigns and so on, the purpose of which, just like what we’re doing today, is to save his life and get him out of there. And he said to me: “You know, one of the Republican senators came to visit me, recently.” I thought: “Oh my God, that’s big news. A senator going into the Ecuadorian Embassy, along with somebody else.” “And they offered me a pardon. A presidential pardon from Trump.” I said “OK, on condition of…?” “That I reveal that the Hillary Clinton e-mails……” Over which Trump had a problem at the time as you remember. All right? With the Mueller investigation and so on. “…. did not come from the Russians.” And I said “Julian, from what you’ve told me in the past you don’t know where your information comes from. I mean, Wikileaks is structured in such a way that it’s double blind. Nobody knows anything. Even Julian does not know who is sending the stuff to Wikileaks. This is the whole point of the design of the software.” He said: “Yes, that’s true, but this person, who actually gave me the e-mails, the Hillary Clinton e-mails, actually made himself known to me.” Himself or herself, I’m not sure, right? And I said: “So what, can you confirm that it was not the Russians?” He said: “Absolutely.” I said: “Well, why don’t you then?” He said: “That goes against the whole principle of Wikileaks. Non disclosure of sources.” So I said: “What if your source is OK with the idea of being disclosed?” He said: “Well look firstly, it’s very dangerous because if I get in touch with this person they may find out that I got in touch with this person and then therefore he may be found, he or she may be found out. So I don’t want to jeopardize that person. But even if they gave me the OK to disclose that I got the e-mails from them it would be against the principles of Wikileaks to do this.” So I said: “So what did you do? What did you say to the Trump representative?” “I told him to fuck off.” Now this is the man we are talking about, right? I mean I find Julian infuriating many times. I find most of my friends infuriating. I find myself infuriating. You know I clash with them. This is what it means to be friends, right? But he’s a man of principle. He had a chance of being pardoned by telling the truth. But because that would mean disclosing his sources he didn’t do it, and I said: “But you know you may end up in a Supermax prison as a result of that.” He said: “Yeah, I know and the worst thing”, he said to me, “is that because I will have turned the Trump people down they will be even more determined to bring me down.” That was in November 2017. I have the video.

Comment by W. Hall on this account.

The Guardian reports as follows the story of the congressman’s visit to Assange: “Assange’s lawyers alleged that during a visit to London in August 2017 congressman Dana Rohrabacher told the Wikileaks founder that on instructions from the president he was offering a pardon or some other way out if Mr. Assange …..said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC (Democratic National Committee) leaks.”

A few hours later, however, Rohrabacher denied the claim, saying he had made the proposal on his own initiative, and that the White House had not endorsed it.

“At no time did I talk to President Trump about Julian Assange” the former congressman wrote on his personal blog. “Likewise I was not directed by Trump or anyone else connected with him to meet with Julian Assange. I was on my own fact-finding mission at personal expense to find out information I thought was important to our country.

At no time did I offer Julian Assange anything from the president because I had not spoken with the president about this issue at all. However, when speaking with Julian Assange I told him that if he could provide me with information and evidence about who actually gave him the DNC e-mails, I would then call on President Trump to pardon him,” Rohrabacher added.

“At no time did I offer a deal made by the President, nor did I say I was representing the President.”

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told reporters: “The President barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than that he is an ex-congressman. He’s never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject.”

….. “In September 2017 the White House confirmed that Rohrabacher had called the then chief of staff, John Kelly, to talk about a possible deal with Assange, but that Kelly had not passed on the message to Trump. Rohrabacher confirmed that version of events on his blog on Wednesday.”

“I told him that Julian Assange would provide information about the purloined e-mails in exchange for a pardon. No-one followed up with me including Gen Kelly and that was the last discussion I had on this subject with anyone representing Trump or in his administration,” he wrote.

“Even though I wasn’t successful in getting this message through to the President I still call on him to pardon Julian Assange, who is the true whistleblower of our time.”

(end of quote)

So it seems that the attitude of all parties in this discussion was more or less exploratory. Assange seems to have been cautious but apparently not as negative as telling Rohrabacher to “fuck off” and certainly not willing to commit himself to anything without being more sure of how authorized Rohrabacher was to speak for anybody other than himself. The fact that he summoned Varoufakis to discuss the issue with him does not suggest that he was giving absolute priority to Wikileaks’ principles of non-disclosure, nor that he would exclude in principle the idea of accepting a “pardon” from Trump.

What the discussion omits is what was actually said in Hillary Clinton e-mails and how the leaking of this information was handled.

Roger Stone wanted to make this the key issue, and he went to prison for that. And he said nothing about it in his speech in Washington a day or two ago either, now that he is out of prison. His speech was electoralist.
7th January 2021

Ασάνζ και τέχνη

Η τέχνη δεν μπορεί να σε κάνει καλύτερο άνθρωπο, μπορεί να σε κάνει μόνο χειρότερο. Το μόνο που μπορεί να σε κάνει καλύτερο είναι η πραγματικότητα, αν την κοιτάζεις κατάματα.

Από τις 11 Μαΐου 2020 η γκαλερί Sala Fontana του Palazzo delle Esposizioni θα φιλοξενήσει την έκθεση «The Assange Condition» που δεν θα δέχεται επισκέπτες, ακόμα και αν οι γκαλερί επιτραπεί να ανοίξουν τις πόρτες τους για το κοινό. Θα περιέχει μια σειρά από σαράντα περίπου πορτρέτα του Ασάνζ ζωγραφισμένα από τον Μίλτο Μανέτα στο διάστημα από τον Φεβρουάριο μέχρι το Μάιο φέτος

” Ο Διογένης, κάποτε που στην Κόρινθο ετοιμάζονταν όλοι για μια πολιορκία, κύλησε το πιθάρι του και το τσουλούσε πάνω κάτω. Τον ρώτησαν «γιατί;». «Για να βοηθήσω κι εγώ στον κοινό αγώνα» απάντησε. Έτσι κι εγώ αποφάσισα να ζωγραφίζω ένα πορτρέτο του Ασάνζ για κάθε μέρα που περνάει στη φυλακή: Μέχρι τώρα 480 ημέρες. Όχι, δηλαδή, ότι η τέχνη μπορεί να βοηθήσει τον Ασάνζ ‒ μόνο το να αλλάξουμε τον κόσμο μπορεί να τον βοηθήσει. Ζωγραφίζοντάς τον, όμως, αισθάνομαι μια σχέση μαζί του που τη λέω #AssangePower. Αισθάνομαι σαν ο δικός μου αγώνας ‒πολύ διαφορετικός, βέβαια, από τον δικό του‒ να συναντιέται μαζί του! Και επειδή όλα τα πορτρέτα που κάνω τα δίνω δωρεάν σε όποιον μου τα ζητάει στα social media, αισθάνομαι πως ο Αγώνας Μας γίνεται και Αγώνας Τους, τουλάχιστον αυτών των λίγων που με παρακολουθούν στο Διαδίκτυο.

Το Palazzo delle Esposizioni στη Ρώμη αποφάσισε μέσα σε δύο μέρες να κάνει έκθεση. Συνήθως παίρνει δύο χρόνια να την οργανώσουν, αυτήν τη φορά πήρε δύο μέρες! Η έκθεση ανοίγει στις 11 Μαΐου. Τα έργα έφυγαν σήμερα. Σαράντα+ πίνακες. Πάνε εκεί και τα βάζουν στον τοίχο, αλλά το Palazzo είναι κλειστό λόγω Covid-19. Τα εγκαίνια τα κάνουμε στο Instagram στον λογαριασμό CondizioneAssange. Γύρω στις 18 Μαΐου το μουσείο θα ξανανοίξει, αλλά η έκθεση, που λέγεται «Κατάσταση Ασάνζ», θα παραμείνει κλειστή. Γιατί τον Ασάνζ δεν μπορείς να τον δεις. Αν γίνει κάποιο θαύμα και βγει από τη φυλακή, θα ανοίξει η έκθεση στο κοινό. Ή, αν τον δολοφονήσουν με Covid-19, που είναι πολύ πιθανό. Η έκθεση είναι ‒έγινε εκ των πραγμάτων‒ εμβληματική για την κατάσταση που ζούμε όλοι μας του τελευταίους μήνες. Έγκλειστοι.”

Assange and Art

Art can’t make you a better person, it can only make you worse. The only thing that can make you better is reality, if you look it in the eye.

From May 11, 2020, the Sala Fotana Gallery of Palazzo Delle Esposizioni will host the exhibition “The Assange Condition”, which will not accept visitors, even if the galleries are allowed to open their doors to the public. It will contain a series of about forty portraits of Assange painted by Miltos Manettas in the period between February and May this year

”Diogenis, once when in Corinth everyone was preparing for a siege, rolled his jar, pushing it backwards and forwards. They asked him why. “To help in the common struggle,” he replied. This made me decide also to paint a portrait of Assange for every day he spent in prison: so far 480 days. Not that art can help Assange – only changing the world can help him. Painting him, though, I feel a relationship with him which I call #assangepower. I feel as if my own struggle – very different, of course, from his – is meeting with his! And because all the portraits I do I give for free to anyone who asks me on social media, I feel as if Our Struggle is also Their Struggle, at least for those few who are watching me online.

The Palazzo Delle Esposizioni in Rome decided within two days to hold an exhibition. It usually takes two years to organize one. This time it took two days! The exhibition opens on May 11th. The works left today. Forty and more paintings. They go there and put them on the wall, but the Palazzo is closed due to COVID-19. The opening will be on Instagram and on the CondizioneAssange account. Around May 18 the museum will reopen, but the exhibition, called “Situation Assange”, will remain closed. Because you can’t see Assange. If a miracle occurs and he gets out of jail, the exhibition will open to the public. Or if they murder him with COVID19, which seems quite possible, the exhibition will become – it already is de facto – iconic for the situation we have been living through in recent months. Inmates.”

Why Julian Assange must urgently be freed

SOURCE

The life of my partner, Julian Assange, is at severe risk. He is on remand at HMP Belmarsh, and Covid-19 is spreading within its walls.

Julian and I have two little boys. Since becoming a mother, I have been reflecting on my own childhood.

My parents are European, but when I was little we lived in Botswana, five miles from the border with Apartheid South Africa. Many of my parents’ friends came from across the border: writers, painters, conscientious objectors. It was an unlikely centre for artistic creativity and intellectual exchange.

The history books describe Apartheid as institutional segregation, but it was much more than that. Segregation occurred in broad daylight. The abductions, torture and killings occurred at night.

The foundations of the Apartheid system were precarious, so the regime met ideas of political reform with live ammunition. In June 1985, South African assassination squads crossed the border armed with machine guns, mortars and grenades. As soon as gunfire burst into the night, my parents wrapped me in a blanket. I slept as my parents raced the car to safety. The sound of explosions carried through the capital for the hour and a half that it took to kill twelve people.

The first person to be killed was a very close family friend, an exceptional painter. South Africa claimed the raid had targeted the armed wing of the ANC, but in reality most of the victims were innocent civilians and children killed as they lay sleeping in bed. We left Botswana within days.

I have absorbed my parents’ vivid memories of the raid. If that terrible night shaped my perspective of the world, the incarceration of the father of my children will surely mark theirs.

Forming a family with Julian under the circumstances was always going to be difficult, but our hopes eclipsed our fears. Initially, Julian and I managed to carve out a space for a private life. Our firstborn visited with the help of a friend. But when Gabriel was six months old, an embassy security contractor confessed to me that he had been told to steal the baby’s DNA through a nappy. Failing that they would take the baby’s pacifier. The whistleblower warned me Gabriel should not come into the embassy anymore. It was not safe. I realised that all the precautions I had taken, from piling layers on to disguise my bump to changing my name, would not protect us. We were totally exposed. These forces operated in a legal and ethical vacuum that engulfed us.

I could write volumes about what happened in the months that followed. By the time I was pregnant with Max the pressure and harassment had become unbearable and I feared that my pregnancy was at risk. When I was six months pregnant Julian and I decided I should stop going into the embassy. The next time I saw him was in Belmarsh prison.

The image of Julian being carried out of the embassy shocked many. It struck a blow to my chest, but it did not shock me. What happened that morning was an extension of what had been going on inside the embassy over an eighteen-month period.

After Julian was arrested a year ago, Spain’s High Court opened an investigation into the security company that had been operating inside the embassy. Several whistleblowers came forward and have informed law enforcement of unlawful activities against Julian and his lawyers, both inside and outside the embassy. They are cooperating with law enforcement and have provided investigators with large amounts of data.

The investigation has revealed that the company had been moonlighting for a US company closely associated with the current US administration and US intelligence agencies and that the increasingly disturbing instructions, such as following my mother or the baby DNA directive, had come from their US client, not Ecuador. Around the same time that I had been approached about the targeting of our baby, the company was thrashing out even more sinister plans concerning Julian’s life. Their alleged plots to poison or abduct Julian have been raised in UK extradition proceedings. A police raid at the security company director’s home turned up two handguns with their serial numbers filed off.

None of this information is surprising to me but as a parent I ponder how to manage it.

I want our children to grow up with the clarity of conviction that I had as a little girl. Peril lay beyond the South African border. I want them to believe that inequitable treatment is not tolerated in mature democracies. At university in Oxford, I was proud to be at the intellectual heart of the most mature democracy of them all.

It is not just our family who suffers from the infringement of Julian’s rights. If our family and Julian’s lawyers are not off-limits, then nothing is. The person responsible for allegedly ordering the theft of Gabriel’s DNA is Mike Pompeo, who last month threatened the family members of lawyers working at the International Criminal Court. Why? Because the court had had the temerity to investigate alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan. The same crimes that Julian exposed through WikiLeaks, and which the US wants to imprison him over.

Julian needs to be released now. For him, for our family, and for the society we all want our children to grow up in.

Stella Moris is a lawyer and the sentimental partner of Julian Assange.

Humanity Is Making A Very Important Decision When It Comes To Assange

SOURCE: Caitlin Johnstone

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it.

So the narrative managers, by and large, have gone silent.

Which is good. Because it gives us an opening to seize control of the narrative.

It’s time to go on the offensive with this. Assange supporters have gotten so used to playing defense that it hasn’t fully occurred to us to go on a full-blown charge. I’ve been guilty of this as well; I’ll be letting myself get bogged down in some old, obsolete debate with someone about some obscure aspect of the Swedish case or something, not realizing that none of that matters anymore. All the narrative manipulations that were used to get Assange to this point are impotent, irrelevant expenditures of energy compared to the fact that we now have undeniable evidence that the US government is working to set a precedent which will allow it to jail any journalist who exposes its misdeeds, and we can now force Assange’s smearers to confront this reality.

“Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

That’s the debate now. Not Russia. Not Sweden. Not whether he followed proper bail protocol or washed his dishes at the embassy. That’s old stuff. That’s obsolete. That’s playing defense.

Now we play offense: “Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

Demand an answer. Call attention to them and demand that they answer. Dig them out of their hidey holes and make them answer this. Drag them out into the light and make them answer this question in front of everyone. Because that is all this is about now.

Don’t get sidetracked. Don’t get tricked into debating defensively. Force the issue: the US government is trying to establish and normalize the practice of extraditing and imprisoning journalists for exposing its misdeeds. That is the issue to focus on.

You will find that anyone who dares to stick their head above the parapet and smear Assange now gets very, very squirmy if you pin them down and force them to address this issue. Because they cannot answer without admitting that they are wrong. And that they’ve been wrong this entire time. It’s a completely unassailable argument.

We now have two and a half months to prepare for the second half of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing: all of March, all of April, and half of May. We’re going to need all that time to seize control of the narrative and make it very, very clear to the world that a very important decision is about to be made by the powerful on our behalf, if we don’t make that decision for them.

This really is do or die time, humans. If we allow them to extradite and imprison Julian Assange for practicing journalism, that’s it. It’s over. We might as well all stop caring what happens to the world and sit on our hands while the oligarchs drive us to ecological disaster, nuclear annihilation or authoritarian dystopia. It’s impossible to hold power accountable if you’re not even allowed to see what it’s doing.

If we, the many, don’t have the spine to stand up against the few and say “No, we get to find out facts about you bastards and use it to inform our worldview, you don’t get to criminalize that,” then we certainly won’t have the spine it will take to wrest control of this world away from the hands of sociopathic plutocrats and take our fate into our own hands. We are deciding, right now, what we are made of. And what we want to become.

This is it. This is the part of the movie where we collectively choose the red pill or the blue pill. We are collectively being asked a question here, and our answer to that question will determine the entire course we will take as a species.

So what’s it going to be, humanity?

Truth, or lies?

Light, or darkness?

A world where we can hold power to account with the light of truth, or a world where power decides what’s true for us?

A world with free speech and a free press, or a world where journalists are imprisoned whenever they expose the evils of the most powerful institutions on this planet?

A world where we all actively fight to free Assange and get the job done, or a giant, irreversible leap toward the end of humanity as we know it?

Do we free Assange?

Or do we sit complacent with our Netflix and our KFC and trust the authority figures to do what’s best?

Do we take the red pill?

Or do we take the blue one?

Choose your path, humans.

Choose wisely.