It may have been the clink of champagne glasses at last week’s Logan Center for Investigative Journalism Symposium in Berlin that finally drove me over the edge.
The toast came from Julian Assange’s friends and fellow cypherpunks. Some of the most brilliant minds in the world, whose contributions and support of him are beyond question.
As the creme de la creme of privacy activism and technology raised their glasses to Julian, they repeated the oft-heard and wistful mantra of “we hope that one day you will be here with us in person”.
The sentiment was clearly heartfelt but the motion felt inherently insufficient.
They seemed resigned to wait for something to occur, some kind of watershed event; an externally bestowed progress or resolution.
In that moment it was more obvious to me than ever that what is needed is not hope or well wishes but a self-determination – a commitment to, by sheer force of will and relentless, active co-ordination on a global scale, make it happen.
That determination is now being made and stamped upon the social sphere by the formation of a new mass movement with a single unequivocating demand: immediate and safe passage to Ecuador for Julian Assange.
By risking his life to speak the truth, Julian Assange speaks for me. Now we will rise up for him until they set him free. #JA4me
Although the campaign began less than a week ago, our website is already receiving over 5,000 hits per day.
The decentralised action framework is inspired by the ultimately successful ‘Free Schapelle Corby‘ actions of 2013. The horizontal hierarchy of the organisational structure is coupled with a relentless and accelerating action calendar. The longer Assange remains detained, the greater the frequency of actions. This is designed to raise the stakes on his tormentors. To inflict a toll upon them for their obstinance. A tangible cost, in the only way that really matters to them: when it becomes a monolithic, looming current liability that is reflected in their bottom lines.
For when the risks involved in the continued arbitrary detention of Assange outweigh the perceived rewards; just as with the icons of past generations, the powers that be absolutely will back down.
Last month, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found in Assange’s favour — a legally binding decision that was promptly disparaged and ignored by the defiant and hypocritical world superpowers behind his political persecution.
The message is clear: they do not respect and will not obey their own laws, international agreements, covenants and dictates, when it does not suit them to do so.
While the U.N. is used as a mechanism to impose sanctions upon smaller, more marginalised, non-compliant countries, it will never be used to sanction those superpowers of the West who so callously and openly defy the mandates of the U.N. Working Groups.
Thus, the founding declaration of the United Nations lies desecrated and the forums of diplomacy are rendered farce.
The open, wanton undermining of the core premises of international law is tenable because we, the global citizens, allow it. We reinforce the electoral processes of these countries who are democracies in name only, by our participation in the sparse theatrical sideshows they call elections.
Despite knowing full well that the unelected deep state never leaves office and operates behind closed doors.
They count on our social decline facilitating political apathy. On us allowing ourselves to be consumed by entertainment, sports, gaming, celebrity, food, drugs, sex. Or any of countless hollow spectacles designed to bedazzle us; so that we sleepwalk through myriad unfolding global crises.
They wish to render us powerless by subconsciously convincing us that we are.
But this is one case where we are far from powerless and where we can make a difference. Just as with Mandela and others before him, the concerted efforts, relentless actions and singular focus of a freedom movement can and will liberate Julian Assange.
Just as his devotion to transparency and accountability for those in the seats of the greatest power changed the course of modern history, now we must act to secure his future by standing together to influence the outcome.
Because merely hoping is not enough to make it happen. Neither is waiting. Nor debating, and we refuse to sit passively or vicariously, waiting to see the end of his story blaring from a television screen.
We refuse to allow them to reduce his fate to reality TV. Rather than making of him an object lesson for us, it is we who will create an object lesson for them.
For five long years we have waited for the various legal processes to reach their conclusions, debated the merits of (and gaping holes in) the case against him, and hoped for justice and his emancipation. Yet Assange still remains confined with seemingly no end in sight.
That will only change if we band together, and fight.
This is our golden opportunity to thwart the evil plans of the corrupt and to tip the balance of the scales, towards justice.
Join us! Here’s how:
- Visit the campaign website
- Tweet to #JA4me
- Read the media resources pastebin with all the key details about the movement (over 1350 people already have!).
- Download awesome eye candy in the form of ready-to-use stickers, posters, wallpapers, profile pics and twitter banners from our amazing ‘Goodies’ page. Use them to dress your social media accounts, your desktop and your IRL!
- If you are comfortable to do so, you can join our awesome supporters gallery by sending a 300×300 pic along with your name and title/occupation to email@example.com.
- Plan an action for the first #JA4me global action day on March 31st 2016, no matter how big or small. Take pics or video and post them or links to them, to the hashtag, and people all around the world will take heart from and amplify your actions.
- Contact local social justice groups and unions and ask them to plan a support action. Contact media and ask them if they are covering the movement.
- Above all, tell everyone you know about the campaign and the hashtag!
Together we can do this. We can make a stand and rewrite the book.
For no longer shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look.
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