Rally for North Africa, Wikileaks, Bradley Manning – April, NYC
For Immediate Distribution
January 13th, 2011
An unprecedented coalition of information activists and organizations have come together in an effort to advance the ongoing campaign against the informational tyranny that has been on view as of late in the context of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning. All three of these parties have been subjected to state oppression, without due regard for the alleged “rule of law;” all three have been maligned in dishonest and often bizarre ways; all three have earned such treatment by way of having together ensured that all of humanity may, for the first time in history, together learn how it is that their wealth, loyalty, and lives are being used by those who plead national security while having provided no such thing to their own citizens and even seizing it from those living elsewhere (and the effects may be seen in North Africa and particularly Tunisia, where Anonymous-affiliated activists have been successful in establishing a freer government to replace the prior tyranny).
In response to these latest outrages against competence and decency, and in support of the ongoing digital reformation, our coalition – comprised of veterans and anti-war groups, a faction of the Anonymous movement, the distributed think-tank Project PM, and a loose network of journalists, media professionals, scientists, former intelligence and government officials, and related organizations – announces a stepped-up campaign of information and direct action which will culminate in a rally and press conference on the steps of New York City Hall on April 7th at 3:00 pm. This event, the Rally for Information Freedom, will be supplemented by a campaign on the part of Anonymous, Project PM, and related entities to bring attention to the dozens of significant stories that have been largely ignored due to the unfortunate dynamics by which too many media have come to operate. The New York conference – conceived by longtime resident activist, Navy veteran, and acclaimed photographer John Penley – will feature about a dozen speakers including Penley, author and Project PM founder Barrett Brown, key Anonymous activist and Chanology co-instigator Gregg Housh, former civil litigator and author/blogger Glenn Greenwald, and National Lawyer’s Guild executive director Heidi Boghosian. Messages from other figures in the pro-transparency movement will also be presented in lieu of their ability to attend.
Never in human history has mankind endured a period in which so much of the terminology employed at its end would have been unrecognizable at its beginning. The last twenty years have changed the landscape in which man operates, expanding the potential for human collaboration in such a way as to eliminate the barriers that rendered the nation-state a viable institution. As those barriers fall, so too does the primacy of the world’s governments, which in turn have increasingly found themselves unable to maintain the secrecy through which they have run a great portion human affairs with results that may be politely characterized as mixed. The various states have responded to these developments with a collective message to the effect that such secrecy is necessary if they are to continue operating without the informed consent of their respective populations, though this has generally been expressed in slightly different words. Meanwhile, several such governments have, through their specific conduct in the wake of the last year, provided a timely reminder as to why it is that many of those who truly value liberty and morality have lost faith in those same governments.
This event is part of an effort to counter the dishonesty and injustice of the states which have reacted to such emergent phenomena with censorship and persecution while also forging greater coordination among the various parties that have been fighting on behalf of the cause of informational liberty. To this end, a series of meetings both formal and otherwise will be held throughout the first week of April; further information will be relayed in a second press release in late March.
John Penley is a Vietnam era Navy vet who was put in solitary confinement in 1984 by the U.S. government for a past protest at the Savannah River Nuclear Weapons Plant. A 59-year-old veteran of New York City housing, anti-war and civil rights activism, Penley is also a longtime photojournalist whose work has been pubilshed by most NYC major media outlets; his photo archive is housed at New York University’s Tamiment Library.
Barrett Brown is a writer and author as well as the founder of Project PM. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Onion, New York Press, Skeptical Inquirer, American Atheist, and other outlets. He has been active in the Anonymous movement for several years and serves as an advocate for efficient, ethical alternatives to traditional methods of governance.
Gregg Housh is an Internet activist involved with the online non-group Anonymous. His work has included coordinating global demonstrations against human rights abuses in the Church of Scientology and assisting Iranian members of the Green Movement in reaching the global media. Having built a strong sense of trust among several disparate subgroups of Anonymous, Housh now acts as a media interpreter for major online initiatives such as Operation Payback.
Glenn Greenwald is a former constitutional and civil rights litigator, the author of two bestselling books on the American socio-political environment, and a longtime blogger who currently writes for Salon. He now serves as one of the nation’s most formidable advocates of Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, and information freedom in general. Depending on his location on the day of the event, he’ll be speaking either in person or via relay.
Heidi Boghosian is the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, a progressive bar association established in 1937. She is co-host of the weekly civil liberties radio program Law and Disorder on WBAI, New York and over 30 national affiliate stations. She has published several articles and reports on policing, protest, and the First Amendment.
Professor Jonathan Farley is a mathematics professor whom Seed Magazine named “one of 15 people who have shaped the global conversation on science since 1995,” with a career including stints at MIT, Vanderbilt, and Johannes Kepler University. His work has appeared in Time, The Guardian, Huffington Post, and other publications; he’s also appeared on the BBC and NPR and occasionally serves as a political advisor in addition to his anti-war activism and related pursuits.
Bill Quigley is the Legal Director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, a national legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and defending the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Bill joined CCR on sabbatical from his position as law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans. He has been an active public interest lawyer since 1977. He has served as counsel with a wide range of public interest organizations on issues including Katrina social justice issues, public housing, voting rights, death penalty, living wage, civil liberties, educational reform, constitutional rights and civil disobedience. Bill has litigated numerous cases with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Advancement Project, and with the ACLU of Louisiana, for which he served as General Counsel for over 15 years. Bill received the 2006 Camille Gravel Civil Pro Bono Award from the Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter. Bill received the 2006 Stanford Law School National Public Service Award and the 2006 National Lawyers Guild Ernie Goodman award. He has also been an active volunteer lawyer with School of the Americas Watch and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Bill is the author of Ending Poverty As We Know It: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job At A Living Wage (2003) and Storms Still Raging: Katrina, New Orleans and Social Justice (2008). In 2003, he was named the Pope Paul VI National Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA and is the recipient of the 2004 SALT Teaching Award presented by the Society of American Law Teachers.
Vagabond Beaumont is a writer, artist and filmmaker. He’s worked in the Puerto Rican independence movement since 1997 and has organized rallies, protests and marches and created murals, pamphlets and agitprop in support of thatcause with the artist collective RICANSTRUCTION Netwerk. His work has been featured in Blu Magazine, AWOL, SALVO and Left Turn. His first feature film, MACHETERO, covers the ongoing struggle for Puerto Rican independence and has screened at festivals around the world, winning awards in South Africa, Wales, England, Thailand, Ireland and New York.
Sebastian Gillen is a 21-year-old graduate of Tufts University. When he was eight years old, he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer, and given two weeks to live. More than ten years later, he is still cancer-free and an active advocate for childhood cancer research. He has spoken at rallies on Capitol Hill and Greg Norman’s Shark Shootout, among other places. He thinks science is totally awesome and runs a blog at Weareinthefuture.com and administrates Project PM’s Science Journalism Program.
Faith Laugier is a musician, artist, activist, and New York native who’s worked with many of the city’s human rights organizations, art & cultural non-profits and homeless centers in an effort to advance the inherent right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. She believes in government that is for the people and by the people.
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