200 turn out for Canberra Wikileaks protest

By 16 December, 2010 24

News.com.au reports that around 200 people (big for a protest in Canberra) have turned out to protest in support of the Wikileaks supremo Julian Assange.

The speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly, Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, told protesters Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have severely embarrassed governments around the world.

“Simply being embarrassed is not a good reason to undermine fundamental rights,” he said.

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24 Responses to 200 turn out for Canberra Wikileaks protest
#1
XO_VSOP8:54 pm, 16 Dec 10

Did Micheal Moore make a cameo this is big news ?

#2
Grail10:12 pm, 16 Dec 10

Michael Moore the American mockumentary film maker, or Michael Moore the anti-everything ex-MLA from Canberra?

Not that either turned up, but these questions do arise from time to time :)

#3
cegee10:35 pm, 16 Dec 10

sigh.

#4
Holden Caulfield12:56 am, 17 Dec 10

Did anyone order a Code Red?

#5
Waiting For Godot4:51 am, 17 Dec 10

Gee, 200 Canberrans protested on behalf of Assange. Meanwhile 350,000 people stayed away and did not support him. Says it all, really.

#6
Thumper8:40 am, 17 Dec 10

He, Assange, appears to be taking on some sort of messianic complex if one is to go by his odd statement recently regarding imprisonment and solitary confinement.

#7
Buzz26008:55 am, 17 Dec 10

Waiting For Godot said :

Gee, 200 Canberrans protested on behalf of Assange. Meanwhile 350,000 people stayed away and did not support him. Says it all, really.

It says more about Canberrans, and their fear of offending their masters, than Assange.

#8
Jim Jones9:09 am, 17 Dec 10

Waiting For Godot said :

Gee, 200 Canberrans protested on behalf of Assange. Meanwhile 350,000 people stayed away and did not support him. Says it all, really.

By this logic, everyone who failed to turn up to the ‘reclaim the night’ march is in favour of rape and violence against women.

#9
troll-sniffer9:34 am, 17 Dec 10

Had I heard of the event I would have attended social priorities allowing of course, but I didn’t hear so much as a whisper… perhaps a goodly percentage of the 350,000 other Canberrans missing from the march were also similarly handicapped?

#10
p19:39 am, 17 Dec 10

p1 said :

By this logic, everyone who failed to turn up to the ‘reclaim the night’ march is in favour of rape and violence against women.

Oh My God! We are all doomed…. Noooo……

Really though, I think this whole thing is a combination of a massive beat up, and the first major (public) battle between “old media” and “teh intawebz”.

If all those cables had been stolen and given to the New York Times, they would have gone through them all in great detail, then made their own decision about what they should publish and what they shouldn’t. Which is exactly what wikileaks has done. Only the “old media” seem to be happy to publish what is being leaked to them, but are somehow distainful of what wikileaks has done, though it isn’t any different to what themselves have done through most of last century.

Sure, there may be some underlying political motives at play in the way this is done (is this an attack on US foreign policy and behaviour – or is it that any sane person shown the way the US work would be horrified?) but what media outlet can you name that is able to claim not a shred of bias? (personally I think the ABC is pretty centralist, but not many people would agree with me).

I have no idea about the actually charges Assange is facing, although the way the whole thing came up, was dropped, then reappeared, did have very suspicious timing.

#11
Steve D10:15 am, 17 Dec 10

I suggest everyone take a look at WikiRebels: The Documentary | WikiLeaks & Julian Assange >>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPglX8Bl3Dc Swedish Television’s Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist exclusive rough-cut of first in-depth documentary on WikiLeaks and the people behind it.

Wikileaks and Julian Assange have exposed, to varying degrees, a dark cultural underbelly. That is why so many politicians and their representatives are so shrill and venal at the moment.

In a lot of what Julian Assange has to say there is a strong element of democracies having lost their way due to the practices of their governments. Specifically, the withholding of information from their citizens to cover up wrong doing, shocking decision making and even murder. Personally, I could not agree more with what Julian Assange is saying.

#12
Steve D10:16 am, 17 Dec 10

And if some parts of the documentary don’t bring a tear to ones eye I don’t know what will.

#13
Swaggie10:59 am, 17 Dec 10

and if you said “Bradley manning” to all 200 I’d suggest a good percentage would have had no idea what you were talking about…bandwaqon…jump on….

Can Mr Rattenbury reveal how much he’s contributed to Mr Manning’s defence fund? It’ll be zilch I suspect.

#14
Jim Jones11:47 am, 17 Dec 10

p1 said :

Really though, I think this whole thing is a combination of a massive beat up, and the first major (public) battle between “old media” and “teh intawebz”.

It’s not the first.

Napster and the music industry – the Murdoch dummy-spit about the evil internets and erecting paywalls around News Ltd (and the ongoing demise of the printed newspaper) – the publishing industry and online retailers (and now ebooks) – etc.

The significance really comes because, despite the fact that what Wikileaks is revealing is nothing new (or even particularly interesting most of the time), the autocratic response of governments towards Assange has been very telling. Wikileaks itself is almost unimportant, what we’ve learnt from this issue is that, despite the fact that most of the intelligent free-world is already living in a new paradigm regarding the flow of information, governments still believe that they can control the flow of information, and are prepared to shove people in jail on trumped up charges if they do anything that embarrasses the government.

Despite all the happy ‘freedom’ facade, western democracies are, at heart, quite autocratic.

It’s the nasty governmental response to wikileaks that is making Assange a martyr. If they had done the reasonable thing instead of desperately trying to shut him up (and casting him as some sort of evil anarchist), then almost no-one would care about him.

#15
Buzz260011:48 am, 17 Dec 10

Buzz2600 said :

and if you said “Bradley manning” to all 200 I’d suggest a good percentage would have had no idea what you were talking about…bandwaqon…jump on….quote]

Swaggie, you might be surprised to know that Bradley Manning’s plight was mentioned a number of times during the protest. Speakers highlighting the fact that he too has been held without charge to date (and is unlikely to see the light of day again for a very long time if the US get their way).

#16
Kerryhemsley12:00 pm, 17 Dec 10

Assange is being positioned as some sort of world saviour.

I love the video news release that accompanies nearly every story on him.

Looks like some sad rock clip from the 80s.

#17
Steve D1:47 pm, 17 Dec 10

By and large democratic governments have been walking all over their citizens for some time. Try over the last ten years. And it is not just at the Federal level. It’s also at the State and Territory level.

Now I bet none of them will admit this is what they do >>>http://reut.rs/bcvkzW

A certain lack of transparency. Funny that.

If anything what Assange has exposed is the tip of a very large iceberg.

#18
D21:50 pm, 17 Dec 10

Jim Jones said :

Waiting For Godot said :

Gee, 200 Canberrans protested on behalf of Assange. Meanwhile 350,000 people stayed away and did not support him. Says it all, really.

By this logic, everyone who failed to turn up to the ‘reclaim the night’ march is in favour of rape and violence against women.

+1

#19
p11:55 pm, 17 Dec 10

Jim Jones said :

Napster and the music industry – the Murdoch dummy-spit about the evil internets and erecting paywalls around News Ltd (and the ongoing demise of the printed newspaper) – the publishing industry and online retailers (and now ebooks) – etc.

First might have been an exaggeration, but those things are not exactly the same.

I’m talking not of creating content and them profiting from it, but rather the feeling of a moral right to be the one who decides what the public is told and what it isn’t.

#20
astrojax2:42 pm, 17 Dec 10

Waiting For Godot said :

Gee, 200 Canberrans protested on behalf of Assange. Meanwhile 350,000 people stayed away and did not support him. Says it all, really.

well, apart from this being a fallacious argument, the canberra protest seems to have worked – he’s been freed. says it all, really…

#21
Jim Jones3:57 pm, 17 Dec 10

p1 said :

Jim Jones said :

Napster and the music industry – the Murdoch dummy-spit about the evil internets and erecting paywalls around News Ltd (and the ongoing demise of the printed newspaper) – the publishing industry and online retailers (and now ebooks) – etc.

First might have been an exaggeration, but those things are not exactly the same.

I’m talking not of creating content and them profiting from it, but rather the feeling of a moral right to be the one who decides what the public is told and what it isn’t.

A minute ago you were talking about competing media modes, which is what I was addressing. Now it’s onto ‘Assange is arrogant’ because he’s releasing previously unknown information – which seems to me to be a very silly argument.

You do realise that Assange is not exactly the first person to leak government information, right?

Famously, there are such examples as The Pentagon Papers and Nixon’s tapes. Would you level the same accusation of ‘arrogance’ against the people who leaked this information?

I get the impression that you don’t really have an argument – you just don’t like Assange. Which is pretty irrelevant really, he’s not the person who leaked the information, he’s just releasing it.

Regardless, no man is a god or devil – we’re all just men.

… except for women, who are not.

#22
p14:47 pm, 17 Dec 10

p1 said :

A minute ago you were talking about competing media modes, which is what I was addressing. Now it’s onto ‘Assange is arrogant’ because he’s releasing previously unknown information – which seems to me to be a very silly argument.

Wow, either I’ve communicated even less clearly then normal, or you are miss reading my intent totally. Maybe both.

What I am saying is that the media keeps talking about Assange as being “a leaker”, while I see him (his organisation) as being exactly the same as all the other media organisations. He had the documents first, and got to go through them, picking the interesting bits, editing things he didn’t want released for whatever reason and then choosing how the information goes out. This is exactly what the newspapers would have done had the cables been sent to them, yet he is being painted not as a journalist but something else.

At no point did I mean to suggest he is arrogant (although some of his statements make me think he sometimes is), and at no point did I intend to suggest I don’t like him or that others shouldn’t. I think he deserves quite a lot of respect for doing what he has done.

Jim Jones said :

You do realise that Assange is not exactly the first person to leak government information, right?

Actually, he isn’t leaking government information at all, he is simply publishing it.

#23
Jim Jones5:49 pm, 17 Dec 10

Yeah, sorry, P1 – I was mixing your comments up with another posters. My bad. I agree with you completely.

#24
Gerry-Built8:09 pm, 18 Dec 10

Kerryhemsley said :

Assange is being positioned as some sort of world saviour

Saviour? Hardly… but can you seriously believe that the world’s Governments are all getting pissy because some of the secrets about how they operate behind the scenes have come out? They should all be ashamed rather than trump up charges to try and get him locked up, or worse still, assassinated as several US pollies have suggested. He’s no hero, but he is (or should be) getting some governments to seriously think about how they conduct themselves…

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