Statement by Julian Assange after Six Months in Ecuadorian Embassy
an article by Wikileaks, December 21 (abridged)
Video: Assange Christmas Message
. . . Thanks to the principled stance of the Ecuadorian government and the support of its people, I am safe in this embassy to speak to you. And every single day outside, for 185 days, people like you have watched over this embassy – come rain, hail and shine. Every single day. I came here in summer. It is winter now. I have been sustained by your solidarity and I’m grateful for the efforts of people all around the world supporting the work of WikiLeaks, supporting freedom of speech, freedom of the press, essential elements in any democracy. While my freedom is limited, at least I am still able to communicate this Christmas, unlike the 232 journalists who are in jail tonight. . . .
click on photo to enlarge
I salute these brave men and women. And I salute journalists and publications that have covered what continues to happen to these people, and to journalists who continue publishing the truth in face of persecution, prosecution and threat – who take journalism and publishing seriously. Because it is from the revelation of truth that all else follows. Our buildings can only be as tall as their bricks are strong. Our civilization is only as strong as its ideas are true. . .
Despite the limitations, despite the extra-judicial banking blockade, which circles WikiLeaks like the Cuban embargo, despite an unprecedented criminal investigation and a campaign to damage and destroy my organization, 2012 has been a huge year. We have released nearly one million documents: Documents relating to the unfolding war in Syria. We have exposed the mass surveillance state in hundreds of documents from private intelligence companies. We have released information about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere – the symbol of the corruption of the rule of law in the West, and beyond. We’ve won against the immoral blockade in the courts and in the European Parliament. After a two-year fight, contributions to WikiLeaks have gone from being blockaded and tax-deductible nowhere to being tax-deductible across the entirety of the European Union and the United States. And last week information revealed by WikiLeaks was vital – and cited in the judgment – in determining what really happened to El-Masri, an innocent European kidnapped and tortured by the CIA.
Next year will be equally busy. WikiLeaks has already over a million documents being prepared to be released, documents that affect every country in the world. Every country in this world. . .
True democracy is the resistance of people, armed with the truth, against lies, from Tahrir to right here in London. Every day, ordinary people teach us that democracy is free speech and dissent.
For once we, the people, stop speaking out and stop dissenting, once we are distracted or pacified, once we turn away from each other, we are no longer free. For true democracy is the sum – is the sum – of our resistance. . .
People often ask, "What can I do?" The answer is not so difficult.
Learn how the world works. Challenge the statements and intentions of those who seek to control us behind a facade of democracy and monarchy. Unite in common purpose and common principle to design, build, document, finance and defend. Learn. Challenge. Act. Now.
Question(s) related to this article:
Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?
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Latest reader comment:
In my previous post on this subject (see above), I provided a link to a television program by Democracy Now with Amy Goodman on the question of whether Julian Assange is a culture of peace hero.
Now, a month later, there is a new television interiew by Democracy Now with Amy Goodman who speaks with an attorney who is a legal adviser to Julian Assange in the United States. Here is the introduction by Democracy Now of the contents to the interview: "Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may have been designated an "enemy of the state" by the United States. U.S. Air Force counterintelligence documents show military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or its supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy" — a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death. We speak to attorney Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a legal adviser to Assange and WikiLeaks."
Is it not possible to interpret this to mean that the State has come to monopolize the culture of war and those who work for a culture of peace are therefore seen by the State as "enemies"?
(Note added in May 2013: For more update on the status of Julian Assange, along with an assessment of the importance of his work, see the interview "The Death of Truth" by Chris Hedges in Truthdig.)