Excellent Mr. Assange. Fearless in the face of unquestionable Tyranny ~
Free Bradley Manning and all whistleblowers now.
Comment by William Crain — August 19, 2012 @ 6:43 pm
I hope Assange is truly safe. While watching this he seemed so vulnerable to sniper assassination. It would be hard to identify an assassin as he has so many enemies. May he live a full life of resistance and growth.
Comment by Mylo — August 20, 2012 @ 1:53 am
Cheerleading apart, what are the politics here? What is at stake? Unfortunately the discussion on ‘the left’ has been stunted, not following through the logic of the most vocal position, the view that Assange mustn’t go to Stockholm for a police interview. By not doing so the campaign against state secrecy is harmed, not least by getting shunted into the celebrity politics of the ‘Julian Telenovela’.
I want to focus on the attitude we should have towards the claim to justice of the two Swedish women who gave statements to the police. Simply, are they entitled to justice? Or should they be ignored, ‘collateral damage’, turned into sacrifices? Perhaps WikiLeaks & Assange supporters can mimic NATO countries & churches and give the women ‘semen money’? Have we learnt nothing? Catholic priests? Gerry Healy? Unnamed others? My party right or wrong? ‘The movement’ must prevail?
But prevail on what basis? Do we want the movements we are involved in and support to have the public position that activists, ‘our heroes’, are immune to criminal investigation by the prosecutors & police of capitalist states? In the absence of an alternative authority to deliver a reasonable degree of justice do we really say criminal law against the person must not apply to activists, and the only censure they can face is disapproval, ultimately ostracism? Is this how we think we can garner increased support for our politics, enhance our prestige & reputation, make ourselves proud of what we try to do? Is having an activist protection programme what we are about? Is it?
We need to recognise that there is a difference between transparency politics and Julian Assange: the ‘fate’ of each is independent of the other. Individual transparency activists, such as Daniel Domscheit-Berg & Assange, come and go, but the politics they try to promote is carried on by others. This is denied in practice by supporting Assange’s attempt to avoid extradition: here it’s as if the very existence of transparency politics depends on the fate of ‘the leader’, ‘our celebrity’, for only HE can be ‘the saviour’ in our struggle.
The two Swedish women were denigrated at the beginning, even accused of being CIA agents, but now they’re hardly mentioned. We shouldn’t allow them to be forgotten. Our attitude should be that Assange is on his own here – as he was with these women. It’s his personal matter, a private matter, not a concern of transparency activists. It’s an altogether different matter if a country makes an extradition request concerning his WikiLeaks activity; but that is NOT what THIS is about. Assange skipped the October 2010 police interview that was arranged when he was in Sweden. He could have stayed in Sweden & sorted it all out. But he chose to run away. And that has had consequences. Hopefully he will go to Sweden & try to clear his name – or be convicted as a rapist and perpetrator of a lesser crime of sexual molestation. Then transparency politics can carry on without this distraction.
Lastly, both Assange & WikiLeaks are legally represented in the US by the Center for Constitutional Rights, including Michael Ratner, who co-hosts the weekly ‘Law and Disorder’ on http://www.wbai.org. Surprisingly their latest programme, dated 20 August, at http://www.lawanddisorder.org hasn’t an item on either Assange’s new citizenship or his balcony speech. Perhaps this will be updated with the wbai broadcast at 0900 EDT today.
Meanwhile Bradley Manning continues to be persecuted – for what may be WikiLeaks activity.
Comment by Calum Turner — August 20, 2012 @ 11:48 am
Here’s Richard Seymour on Assange:
Comment by louisproyect — August 20, 2012 @ 1:27 pm
Right Calum, because the bourgeois state is who you can trust with fair and balanced treatment of a guy who literally opened the skeleton filled closets of bourgeois governments in a large chunk of the world.
Comment by Beer — August 20, 2012 @ 7:52 pm
There seems no reason to doubt that the vague, on-again/off-again Swedish rape allegation against Assange–not backed, one must observe, by criminal charges–is primarily a response to his role as the publisher of Manning’s and others’ whistle-blowings.
Unless you assume that the Scottsboro Boys really did rape Victoria Price and Ruby Bates–because, after all, they were accused–it’s idiotic to deny that rape accusations can be exploited, if not invented, by the Right for sinister purposes.
Comment by Joe Vaughan — August 22, 2012 @ 1:55 pm
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