Pilger, Wilkie, Burnside to defend WikiLeaks

February 5, 2011
John Pilger.

As momentous events in Egypt demonstrate, much of the world is calling to account an “old order”. These are exciting times for the possibilities of real change in the way our societies are run.

One of the catalysts of the “people power” we see on our TV screens is the extraordinary disclosure of secret information that tells us how wars begin and governments manipulate and deceive in our name.

In the tradition of courageous investigative journalism, WikiLeaks has blown the whistles that alert us to these injustices and lies, serving a basic democratic need.

The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is an Australian.

Instead of democratic governments praising such a spectacle of empowering information — what Thomas Jefferson called the “currency” of democracy — this Australian citizen has been attacked, his life threatened.

Among the attackers has been the Australian Prime Minister.

A unique public forum, “Breaking Australia’s Silence: WikiLeaks and Freedom” will take place on March 16 at Sydney Town Hall.

It is staged by the Sydney Peace Foundation, Amnesty International, Action for Peace, GetUp, the Stop the War Coalition, and supported by the City of Sydney.

The Sydney event will feature three renowned speakers: award-winning journalist John Pilger, whistle-blowing Andrew Wilkie, the only serving Western intelligence officer to break cover and expose the truth about the invasion of Iraq, and the human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC.

Broadcaster Mary Kostakidis will moderate the public forum.

The goal of the Town Hall meeting is to both ignite and engage a public forum that will break Australia’s silence on the responsibilities of our own government towards its citizens, and, above all, the right of all of us to free speech, based on information that calls to account those who claim to speak in our name.

[The public forum will take place on March 16, 6.30pm at Sydney Town Hall. Admission is free.]


So Ironic that Green Left Weekly should defend free speech and information in Australia while in Venezuela your paymesters are clsoing down opposition newspapers and arresting dissidents.
If only we had paymasters in Venezuela, it would solve a lot of problems. We don't get any money from any corporation or any government. Chavez "shutting down" opposition newspapers is something Venezuela's large majority of newspapers that are aligned to the opposition have been screaming about for years now. It is getting a bit old. For a relatatively details and balanced view of the Chavez government, which explains quite clearly why it is not a dictatorship but has actually help extend democracy in key areas, Greg Wilpert's piece on 12 years of Chavez is good. http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5971
At both Wikileaks rallies (Jan and Feb) the Greens had stalls selling "wikileaks" t-shirts for $15 / $20 each. I asked if the money went to Wikileaks to help with a) Assange's huge legal costs for his present court case; or maybe b) the massive cost of the Paypal/Visa/Mastercard denial of facility to Wikileaks; or if not those then perhaps c) the defence of Bradley Manning. But no - the Australian Greens person behind the table said no, The Greens kept the money. Now, I am a "Green" type of person, and I am a staunch supporter of Wikileaks and believe that Julian Assange has basically earned a V.C. for putting his neck on the line in the defence of identical principles as those which our Australian Armed Forces ostensibly exist to defend. However, I think the attitude displayed by the Greens in selling Wikileaks t-shirts without any of the money going directly to Assange or those other two suitable causes above is utterly tasteless, inappropriate and incredibly selfish. It states clearly that you regard the Assange situation as nothing more than a lever to gain benefit and attention by association for your political party. You are not helping Wikileaks, Wikileaks is helping you. Shame on you, Greens - lift your act. So much for your usual tone of moral or ethical superiority - it's just the cosmetic on what is basically just another fraud.
.......IT IS THE POWER OF A COMMUNITY that will change governments so that they actually work for the people who voted them into office. So what about people who can not attend this meeting? Through the internet, and social media we all now have the capacity to participate in supporting organisations like Wikileaks or simply affecting change. Whether its signing that petition, 'liking' the Wikileaks Facebook page, 're-tweeting' a news article, or commenting on a article such as this one, we all have the power to affect change for the better. No single raindrop causes a flood - that is why we need a world community - and now with social media this exists. So get contributing :). This post is one of those raindrops. Helen
I will be attending the march @ Sydney town hall
Great idea for the meeting, a forum to bring together diverse groups with common interests - exactly what we need at this time. I look forward to following it on a live feed and will pass on the info. re T-shirt monies - yes indeed, a portion to Assange defence, please. Viva Venezuela Viva Chavez !
Hey, Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be not working? Does anybody here at www.greenleft.org.au have a mirror or another source? Cheers, Peter
Hey, I have a message for the webmaster/admin here at www.greenleft.org.au. May I use part of the information from this blog post right above if I provide a link back to this site? Thanks, William
Will you be posting footage of the Public Forum at Sydney Town Hall for those of us unable to make it to Sydney but who passionately support Wikileaks and Freedom. Love and your work John Pilger, Andrew Wilkie and Julian Burnside. f.zee
Yep, we intend to have the footage of this meeting on Green Left online very soon.
I was there last night and it was one of the best public forum that I have ever been. All the speakers are great and share their ideas and knowledge with people. Julian Burnside did a fantastic speech as usual with provide his extensive legal advices and how we can hold Australia government accountable for whatever happenend to Australians recently. We are proud of having him in Australia and his courage, knowledge and personality is a grear example for young generation. Lets' work together to support freedom of speech and freedom of information in Australia.

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