[UPDATED – 18 JUNE 2018 11:38 PM Chicago time]
With the US Government hell-bent on the persecution of WikiLeaks and its founder and editor Julian Assange for the “crime” of telling the workers of the world the truth about “our” governments, and with the UK, USA and Ecuadorean governments having conspired to turn an offer of political asylum into a de facto imprisonment in solitary confinement, WikiLeaks, the Courage Foundation and WikiLeaks supporters all over the world are planning a series of demonstrations and vigils in defense of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and freedom of the press. Anti-censorship, free-speech and freedom of the press advocates as well as WikiLeaks supporters across the political spectrum will participate in these events, in full recognition that the US Government’s attack on WikiLeaks is the thin edge of the wedge of their wholesale attacks on press freedom, the rights of all journalists everywhere to investigate government corruption and to expose it to the light of day. The capitalist classes of the world have lost control of their self-aggrandizing “narrative” of public affairs to the forces of citizen journalism on the Internet – and this scares them to death. No longer able to monopolize the news coverage through their wholly owned media subsidiaries, the 1%-ers are attempting to crush the ability of citizen-journalists to tell the truth about the high crimes and misdemeanors of the capitalist class, their military and their government. In the USA this is taking the form of threats to drag foreign journalists like Assange to the US for daring to expose the crimes of the US Government and the Pentagon. Domestically, the US capitalist class war against the freedom of speech and freedom of the press takes the form of wholesale attacks against and mass arrests of protestors exercising their free speech rights, and a savage crackdown on “whistleblowers” and the courageous journalists who work with them to expose the deep criminality of the capitalists and their governments.
It takes courage and a dedication to the defense of basic human rights to stand up in defense of an organization like WikiLeaks which has dared to rip the “democratic” mask off of governments from the USA to the UK and across “democratic” Europe. And this kind of courage is precisely what is lacking among the “knights of the pen” of the bourgeois press. Initially the big capitalist news organizations like the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN, and Time magazine praised the work of WikiLeaks and eagerly took part in disseminating and extolling the exposes of governmental corruption and war crimes being produced by WikiLeaks. Even politicians from the Democratic and Republican parties here in the USA and the “traditional” pro-capitalist political parties across “democratic Europe” and the “free world” praised the “new journalism” exemplified by WikiLeaks. But once WikiLeaks started to confront Western “free world” capitalists and their bought-and-paid-for governments to the same degree of exposure, all of these criminals joined hands in a conspiracy to crush WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. Where they once sold millions of magazines and newspapers and their news outlets made millions touting expose after expose of secret bank accounts of the rich and the truth about the US/NATO war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, now these same organizations and the politicians they support are practically unanimous in heaping slander on WikiLeaks and its chief editor Assange. Their slander has contributed to the ostracism that Assange and WikiLeaks now face from those who previously profited from WikiLeaks’ courageous work. And now we see what this treachery has achieved for the “old media”: the US government, emboldened by the global success of their efforts to ostracize and shut down WikiLeaks, are now attacking the bourgeois press itself, secretly seizing, for example, a New York Times reporter’s telephone records so they can find out the identity of her sources inside the US government! In the USA and across Europe, more and more “free world” journalists are discovering that they are in danger of becoming “enemies of the state” simply for doing their jobs! By refusing to defend WikiLeaks the entire world’s media conglomerates are paving the way for wholesale assaults of the freedom of the press and the right of reporters to do their jobs at all! An injury to one journalist or news organization is an injury to ALL journalists everywhere! When journalists refuse to condemn representatives of the US Government who have dared to issue DEATH THREATS against Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks staff they pave the road for the US Government and governments across the globe to declare “open season” on journalists everywhere! It is absolutely necessary for every member of the press to defy the threats of the US government to destroy their careers if they dare to defend WikiLeaks, because if you don’t defend WikiLeaks today, you and your news organization will be the victims the minute you dare to publish the next great expose of government corruption! The defense of the right to the freedom of the press today begins with the defense of WikiLeaks!
This is a list of all of the events that are planned in the US and around the world and will be updated as we receive new information.
ACTIVIST ALERT! CHICAGO, IL – EVENT #1: AVOID THIS POSSIBLE POLICE PROVOCATEUR
Veronica P. Wolski (@whalewarriors) who is running this is unfortunately on *very* friendly terms with the Chicago police.
It is *very unpleasant* to have to do this to someone but this person may be a cop herself; she is definitely way too friendly with the Chicago Police and working with her could very well present extreme dangers to activists. This is a DM Twitter chat we had with her on the evening of 15 June 2018:
We’d like to emphasize a couple of things you should focus on in this last Tweet of Veronica’s: she “livestreams” all her banner drops – and when the cops stop by she lets them wave to her followers on her livestream. So the cops know she makes videos of all her banner drops. They also know she’s going to be doing this on 19 June. If you work with her, you’ll probably be filmed by her illegally hanging a banner on a bridge – and her cop friends back at the station will probably be watching you do it live – and recording the event for future prosecution. Got it?
So we advise you to avoid this person – and this event – like the plague. Adios, “Veronica”.
CHICAGO, IL: EVENT #2 (CANCELED)
We have been organizing Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago since 2012. In the past 6 years, the workers and students of Chicago have somehow not managed to find us on the Internet (despite a Google search for “Wikileaks Chicago” turning us up right away)
nor have they dared to join our very small organization and build it up to be an organization worthy of a working-class stronghold of four million people. In the past two weeks we have been urging Chicago workers who want to build a demonstration here in this city for 19 June to contact us via our email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As of today (14 June 2018) we have received not a single response to our appeal. If the workers of Chicago are not interested in defending their rapidly-disappearing free speech rights and the freedom of the press rights, then that is a very serious decision that each and every worker of Chicago who refuses to defend these fundamental rights will have to answer to their children and grandchildren for. We can not and will not be able to lead this demonstration without the support of the workers of Chicago. On June 19th, if the working class of Chicago will not stand up in defense of free speech and free press rights and in defense of the greatest organization of the “new journalism” to have arisen since the advent of the Internet – WikiLeaks – then the whole world will know that the workers of Chicago, Illinois are either too cowardly, too apathetic or too clueless to be bothered to stand up for their own rights when they are being targeted for destruction by “their own government”. The demonstration is tentatively planned [SEE UPDATE BELOW!] for 2PM June 19th at the Calder Plaza (aka Federal Plaza) outside the Loop Post Office at Dearborn and Adams Streets. If you want to do “real” political work you must do it in person, on the streets – not only behind your computer screen! Stand up for your rights, Chicago! If you want to join our demonstration RSVP to email@example.com ASAP!
[UPDATE Saturday 16 June 2018] – So far we have not received a single response from anyone in Chicago who wants to help organize this demonstration; we won’t call for a demonstration if there is no sentiment among the Chicago working class to have one. So either RSVP to our firstname.lastname@example.org email and let’s get this thing organized – ***or there will be no Chicago rally on 19 June***.
[UPDATE Monday 18 June 2018] Since we have not received any response from even a single Chicagoan (who isn’t working with the Chicago Police – see Chicago Event #1) we will not be able to lead any kind of demonstration here in Chicago on June 19th. To the best of our knowledge there are no actions planned for the 19th here in Chicago (if there are we certainly have not been informed of them). This is a tremendous disgrace to the Chicago workers movement and is attributable, primarily, to: 1) the far too-cozy pro-Trump political orientation of libertarian Julian Assange, the leader of WikiLeaks as well as to 2) the deep corruption of the Chicago working class which have for generations sold their votes to the Democrats in return for patronage jobs and which remains to this day in thrall to their mortal enemies, the US capitalist class via the Democratic Party. If people would like to build demonstrations in defense of WikiLeaks and the Freedom of the Press in the future – and there *will* be more worldwide demos soon – then we will be happy to help organize these actions. But we can not be a substitute for the working class. The working class of Chicago – like the working class of the entire USA – has to face the fact that their vast apathy is going to lead to their complete and utter destruction as a political force capable of defending itself from the attacks of the US capitalist class and their fascist goon squads.
In the USA, a rally in defense of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and press freedom is scheduled for Tuesday, the 19th of June 2018 at 11AM at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C.:
WORLDWIDE EVENTS LIST – ALL EVENTS ARE ON 19 JUNE UNLESS NOTED! CHECK DATES CAREFULLY!