Julian Assange has been warning us for over a decade that free speech and free press were under attack and yet no one seemed to care. Many journalists including myself have been warning the public that silencing Assange would set a precedent for future generations to invariably lose those rights. Unfortunately, on March 28th,2018, President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador, (being coerced by the US government with threats to hold back funds), isolated Assange by removing his right to internet, phone and visitors. This essentially put an innocent publisher and journalist in solitary confinement. (Article on Disobedient Media seen here and my article on solitary confinement here ) It continues on indefinitely without an end in sight. Since then, many journalists have been suspended from social media, 3 were kidnapped and assassinated in Ecuador, 2 Reuter journalists have been imprisoned and much more. It makes me wonder who will be next on their agenda.
Shortly after Assange was silenced, 3 journalists were murdered in Ecuador as seen here. They were investigating violence along the Columbian border in Ecuador when they were effectively targeted and murdered. Julian Assange wrote a letter while silenced and sent out through his lawyers expressing his sympathy (seen below). He was deeply affected by these murders.
Then there was the suspension of Lauri Love, Peter Van Buren, InfoWars and Alex Jones from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This was a direct hit on free press and free speech from Silicon Valley. An attempt was made to silence Caitlin Johnstone on Twitter but there was enough people who refused to allow this that Twitter reinstated her account. @WSWSUpdates has also been censored. ( Link found here).The ongoing attacks on journalists and Tweeters by @Jack and FB’s censoring of journalists who publish the truth is just the beginning of internet censorship I am afraid.
“Since the launch of Operation Weeting five years ago at least 67 UK journalists have been arrested and/or charged.”
“Over the last five years the UK has arrested more journalists than anywhere else in the Western world. Globally, the countries that compete with us include the likes of Eritrea and Iran.”
This article includes a list of the 67 journalists arrested in the past five years but does not include Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange who has been detained by the UK in the Ecuadorian Embassy as a political asylee for 6 years. The British government has literally turned it into an alternative to the Tower of London for political prisoners. The UN ruled the detainment illegal as seen here
“United Nations panel has ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been unlawfully detained at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, according to reports.”
In December of 2017, two Reuters journalists were imprisoned in Myhanmar as seen here. The NY Times stated that imprisoned journalists have reached a record high in 2017 as seen here. Acoording to the New York Times:
“The number of journalists jailed around the world in connection with their work has reached a record high of 262, according to a new report, with just over half of them imprisoned in Turkey, China or Egypt.”
According to the Washington Post (seen here) 18 journalists were killed last year making it one of the most dangerous years recorded to be a journalist. This same article states that there are over 182 journalists jailed worldwide which is a more current article than the Times. Either way, writing for a living has become a threat rather than rewarding. Just ask Julian Assange, who has been detained illegally for the last 8 years, spent 6 of those years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in a room no bigger than a large office without fresh air, sunlight and proper medical care.
As I said before, Assange has been talking about the reasons why we need to defend free speech for over a decade. One of his quotes states “The First Amendment unapologetically nurtures the democratization of knowledge. With the internet, it has reached its full potential.The US public defends free speech more passionately, but the First Amendment only truly lives through its repeated exercise. The First Amendment explicitly prevents the executive from attempting to restrict anyone’s ability to speak and publish freely. ” There is much truth in this statement when the internet is not censored as it has been recently. Another quote from Julian: “I mean there’s enormous pressures to harmonize freedom of speech legislation and transparency legislation around the world – within the E.U., between China and the United States. Which way is it going to go? It’s hard to see.”
“Our ability to communicate is important because from it derives everything that we think about as civilized in a civilization,every law, every regulation,every constitution & in fact every other right derives from the practice of communicating with each other.”–Julian Assange
Yet, if the free press obeys considerations above informing the public, we are no longer talking about a free press, and we are no longer talking about an informed public. ~Julian Assange
If you don’t speak up–if you give up what’s uniquely yours as a human being: if you surrender your consciousness,your independence,your sense of what’s right & what’s wrong –perhaps without knowing it, you become passive & controlled, unable to defend yourself & those you love. ~~Julian Assange
“Our ability to communicate is important because from it derives everything that we think about as civilized in a civilization,every law, every regulation,every constitution & in fact every other right derives from the practice of communicating with each other.”– @JulianAssange https://t.co/zElm37zw26
Julian Assange is literally a mentor of Free Speech and Free Press as he has stood strong and courageous against the US government for nearly a decade. He has stood up for other’s rights and been a defender of whistleblowers. His silencing is definitely setting the precedent for the silencing of other voices.
If we as a people do not stand up against the war on our rights to free speech and free press around the world, we will ultimately lose those inalienable rights and be ruled by governments that do not answer to the people. If you listen to this video of Julian talking about why free speech is so important, you will have a better understanding.
“If the law is put in charge of the right to communicate, then the law is put in charge of the law. Which is inherently corrupt” — Unreleased footage of
@JulianAssange from documentary filmmaker @Tarquinster. New film about #FreeSpeech just released: (Wikileaks Art twitter post)
In 2012, Julian Assange was quoted as saying:
“Will the United States of America return to & affirm the revolutionary values it was founded on or will it lurch off the precipice, dragging us all into a dangerous & opressive world in which journalists fall silent & citizens must whisper in the dark?” —
The world as we know it is changing drastically every day. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be for the better, as governments are waging war for more control through the silencing of our voices. In fact, it appears as though the days of Nazi Germany are around the corner. When will our governments take complete control of the media and require us to burn our books and our history? Many in America are already taking down Confederate statues hoping to erase the Civil War from our history. Will we allow our governments to control our minds in the future? Propaganda and the brainwashing of the populace is more prevalent now then it ever was with the constant use of computers and TVs. Independent journalists are the only real source of what was once known as journalism and good reporting. When will put our foot down and say enough is enough? Will we die and leave a legacy of inaction and sedentary? It is time to rise up and give our countries back to the people and not allow us to rule us like serfs and slaves.
“The world cannot afford, and the constitution does not permit, a muzzle placed on the work that transparency organisations do to inform the American and global public.” –Julian Assange
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
“It is not so much freedom of speech but the right to truth that great men protect.”
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