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by Jessica Ehlers, August 17, 2012
It's been a long few days lots of us watching the live feeds from outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London waiting, waiting, waiting for the next move in the very calculated game of chess being played. Julian Assange is inside the Embassy, seeking asylum which Britain does not want to grant him. So in the Embassy he remains. A perfect target for martyrdom, it would seem. He has charges against him, a large role in Wikileaks and he continues to willingly walking the arduous road he is on.
And let's not forget our own Vet, Bradley Manning and how terribly he has been treated.This is one video that caused a huge stir: Collateral Murder. It's important to check out. This is the kind of thing Wikileaks wants to share with the world, the types of things our governmental bodies do not want us to know about. The actual footage of the short version does not start until after 3 minutes in but once you watch it, you can see why it is so important.
Accountability is a huge issue. When I go to work, I am accountable for what I do there. I don't have much to hide, but if I did, I would be liable for it. This is the case in any job, be it parenting, running a corporation or a country. At least, some of us think it is. This is where I believe Wikileaks has a role. Of course I don't want terrorists to find out how to blow stuff up or where the weak links are, but I also think it is of upmost importance that we understand what is happening in our names as citizens of individual countries.
I don't know Julian Assange personally. I don't spend a lot of time reading the Wikileaks cables because honestly, it is overwhelming to me. The point isn't whether or not we sit online all night watching the Embassy on a live-feed or not. The point is that we have to pay attention to what is happening around us and if we depend on main-stream media to do this for us, we're not going to be getting accurate information.
I don't believe that corporations should be treated like people. I believe a massive trans-global shift is needed to protect our future as human beings and the planet as a whole. Lofty idealism is the core of why I have been following Wikileaks as a concept since I first heard of them five years ago. I winced because I know what happens when you get in the trenches of activism. My life was not John Trudells but I was present during the Battle of Seattle and I know who has the biggest guns, the keys to the jails. It's not me.
As a mom, I honestly don't want to go to jail. I fled from the anarchists in Seattle because it didn't seem to me like declaring a Class War was going to build contacts with those who could affect change.. My political activism today feels so slight. It's prayer. It's teaching my son to be brave even if he's afraid. It's working with the homeless. This is all preparation, though. Someday we will have to be willing to yell and scream to fight for the lives of our families, the families of those in our country, the families of those abroad. How can there be division between any of us? Are we not all made up of the same stuff?
I could keep writing about this all day and never wrap it up. I am going to go find another live feed to sit in on. Then I will go water the sunflowers. They sure are getting big.
Update as of 23 Aug 12: This is another worthy link: We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited from the Guardian