When Western power-ups carry out abuses, it may be the one who reveals them, who end up as the criminal – something that is accepted by the outside world. For example, the Conservative wing has cheered on the arrest of Julian Assange in England earlier this year. Assange should be severely punished for uncovering war crimes. This was also recorded in Bergen during the Wearemillions.org exhibition period. He will slowly weather the physical, mental and ideological to have documents available Afghanistan og Iraq that was not intended for the public. As the political landscape is today, there is a high probability that he will be sentenced to life in inhumane conditions. The verdict falls in five months.
Legitimacy and reality
The government's strategy has always been to undermine the legitimacy of the notifier. If you read the court documents and other explanatory evidence, much of the criticism against Assange seems to belong to such a strategy on the part of the authorities. Key voices also continue to repeat already rejected accusations. The similarity between media images of Assange where he was pulled out of Ecuador's embassy is strikingly similar to how Saddam Hussein og Gaddafi were held out of their dungeons.
Should we interpret this as the news editors around the world believe that WikiLeaks went too far in revealing Western war crimes that have been inflicted on the Middle East? Or is the resistance in the methods – where the world was not ripe for the WikiLeaks concept, with documents verified only before publication, without editorial angles? Or is the press that could have set the agenda so pro-Western or press ethic overly reactionary?
Does it appear that it provides significantly better pecuniary bottom line than fact-based documentation? Stephen Duncombe's essay Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy reproduces a statement from an unnamed person in the White House in 2004: "Journalists and academics live in what we politicians call reality-based societies, you are people who believe that truth comes from rational investigations of real reality. That's not how the world works anymore. United States is an empire, and when we act, we create reality. […] We are the actors of history. ”
Here beat WikiLeaks to with its new journalistic method. We who want to act against such power arrogance are troubled. We now interpret it as an acceptance that Julian Assange must be sacrificed. And he is not as sympathetic as he could have been: He is talking too much, being paranoid, unhygienic and accused of sexual harassment – a case that has been opened time and time again without any judgment.
What happens to our greatest peace and media activist is neither fair nor in line with the world we want to live in. And mass media is no longer our most effective tool for mobilizing criticism and debate around national states' power arrogance.
We should now openly and shoulder to shoulder show solidarity with and fear of future freedom of the press. Our hope, and Assange's rescue, lies in the fact that more people choose to see the big picture. We need large media houses that publish statements of support on a regular basis until the sentencing decision in February 2020. And, for the future, it must be organized – by the Courage Foundation or others – a safe place with no disclosure obligation to the United States for notifiers.
What happens to our greatest peace and media activist is neither fair nor in line with the world we want to live in.
Based on their own experiences with the exhibition Wear Emil Lions In Media City in Bergen we see that this can be difficult. Our statement of support FreeAssange was for example called "Fake Art" by TV 2 journalist Øystein Bogen. The project Wear Emil Lions, which we ourselves regard as classic activist art, was removed without warning. Fortunately, the exhibition came up again, but the event Global Threats to Press Freedom at Media City in Bergen was not covered by media players such as TV 2, Bergens Tidende, Bergensavisen or NRK.
Also, there has been no one from Norwegian media who has wanted or managed to publish who got the exhibition removed, although many are convinced that it came from the TV 2 club [see picture / Book]. Should we interpret silence as collegial solidarity in a media house with a common canteen? Did you get a mouthful, or is there an actual agreement that it was "inappropriate" with a statement of support for Julian Assange in a media house?
A defense by Julian Assange is important to us. Alternatively, we end up with a narrower access to and less knowledge and awareness of what is happening around us. And no one will dare to follow in the footsteps of people like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Daniel Hale.
Sætre is a visual artist, debate editor at Kunsthall 3.14, chair of the Antikrig Initiative in Bergen, member of the artist group SAKén behind the project WeAreMillions.org/Bergen and press spokesperson for AFK. email@example.com, www.gittesatre.com
www.facebook.com/pg/couragefoundorg/posts/ (livestream from the event)