Mike & Friends Blog
Tangerine Bolen is a consultant and free-lance writer specializing in health policy and US health system reform
January 28th, 2011 10:23 PM
Hello World-Wide Wiki Citizens!
The following is a brief description of this project with instructions on how to participate and submit your video clips. Julian Assange’s extradition hearing date is set to occur on either Feb 7th or 8th, 2011. Our goal is to release this video is the day of his hearing. With your help it will be a very powerful message that will be heard by many people around the world. Due to our very tight deadline we ask that you submit video clips back to us by February 1st.
This is a simple and direct open letter to the US government about Wikileaks and Julian Assange spoken on video by people from around the world. We presently have approximately 25 countries and 60-70 people on board. The video will include your voices as part of a collective message as well as other relevant imagery and quotes that provide a full picture to help us meet our objective. The goal is for this video to be powerful, intelligent, moving and straightforward.
The objective of this project is two-fold. First, it is to interrupt the US government’s attempts to villainize and prosecute Julian Assange and bring down Wikileaks. Second, it is to assist in shifting public opinion in the US by strategically highlighting the potential loss of key freedoms including free speech and a free press and the implications this could have on open societies everywhere. The end of our video will direct viewers to sign on to this letter. The goal is to collect as many signatures as possible.
Revised Video Clip Participation Instructions
1. Each participant is asked to read one paragraph of this letter that we have selected for you. So, if your last name begins with:
A-C: Read paragraph 1
D-G: Read paragraph 2
H-K: Read paragraph 3
L-O: Read paragraph 4
P-S: Read paragraph 5
T-V: Read paragraph 6
X-Z: Read paragraph 7
First state your name and the country in which you reside, then “speak” your portion of the letter.
Tips for being on video:
• Make sure you are looking directly at the camera. You can put the words behind the camera to make this easier.
• Try to speak (not read) the letter. You can break it down into sentence by sentence. Remember, we can edit, so pauses are fine! Take your time!
• Put your heart into this! This is OUR message about OUR rights and freedoms.
• Just be you. You are great just the way you are. You are so brave!!!!
2. You are also welcome to submit a brief general message to our potential audiences (US government, US media, US public, global public). Or, you may wish to cite a specific fact that you think is relevant to this open letter and our overall objective. For example, you may wish to offer facts about the Iraq or Afghanistan war, powerful quotes about freedom, democracy, truth, or government, a personal statement about protecting our rights, about misuse of information to set policy agendas, or about our need as citizens to have access to accurate information. If you or someone you know has been personally affected by these two wars, you may wish to say something brief about this. As long as your message is respectful, factual, relevant, and brief, it may be included in this video project.
The goal here is to function as a powerful reminder of the critical need for governments to do the RIGHT thing. While we realize we will all have our own thoughts, feelings and ideas on this complex situation, we have come together over a common understanding: citizens need access to accurate, truthful information.
Video Clip Format: Quicktime.mov
Deadline for Submission: Feb 1, 2011 (sooner if possible)
1. Name your video file first name, last name, country (ie, Tangerine Bolen USA)
2. Go to www.dropbox.com and download the free drop box software for uploading your video clips. Dropbox.com will send you an email with instructions guiding you on how to share a folder with others.
3. Follow the instructions for uploading your video clips and then for sharing your new folder. Upon doing so, please add Cliff Sargent and Tangerine Bolen to the shared folder using the email addresses below:
Note: Upon uploading your video clips into Dropbox, you are agreeing to release your clips into the public domain.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me (Tangerine) at my email address.
I can’t thank you all enough for your support, your participation, and your willingness to come together to do this. We all know how critical it is we get this message across. So…let’s do it! Let’s change our world!
* * * * *
Open Letter to the United States Government Regarding WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and the Fundamental Tenets of Democracy and Open Societies
To President Obama, US Senators and Congressmen and women, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice, and all of those involved in the attempt to prosecute Julian Assange, founder of the nonprofit news organization WikiLeaks.org:
We are a diverse group of people from around the world who have come together for a common purpose: to defend WikiLeaks, to ask the United States to cease its attempts to manufacture a case against Julian Assange, and to defend democratic principles and our fundamental rights guaranteed therein. We are professionals, homemakers, activists, students, and others who believe that government derives its power from the consent of the governed, as stipulated in the Declaration of Independence, but that citizens can only give meaningful consent if they are fully informed about their government’s actions. Nothing more violates American principles, which inspire both those of us who are and are not American citizens, than the idea that "government knows best" and has the right to deceive its own people.
The Wikileaks documents have revealed that the U.S. government has been keeping enormously important information secret from the American people, such as the fact that the U.S. government knew of the mass murder of civilians in Iraq even though it claimed it did not; that the U.S. government failed its legal responsibility as an occupying power by handing civilians over to Iraqi police units knowing they would be tortured and killed, even though it claimed it did not; that U.S. officials believe the Afghan government is corrupt and unpopular, even as they falsely claim to be fighting for democracy in Afghanistan; and that U.S. officials are extremely worried about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear stockpile, a potential matter of life and death that they have kept from the people of the world.
When the N.Y. Times released the Wikileaks “Afghan Logs” on July 25, its headline read: "View Is Bleaker than Official Portrayal of War in Afghanistan." This revealed, according to America’s “newspaper of record,” that the U.S. Government was hiding the truth from its own people. Is it really right that the proud citizens of America should need Wikileaks to discover vital truths denied them by their own government?
U.S. officials claim they have a right to deceive the American people, and prosecute WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, on the grounds of “national security”. But this information is clearly known to America’s enemies. It is the American people who have been denied it, information critical to their ability to make an informed decision as to whether or not to support their government's war-making, including putting their sons and daughters at grave risk of death or crippling injuries.
The U.S. Government claim that Wikileaks has endangered national security has been invalidated by its own Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, who has stated "is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest." The German Interior Minister has stated that "WikiLeaks is annoying, but not a threat”, and the Guardian has reported that “Wikileaks: US allies unruffled by embassy cable leaks.”
The result of any U.S. government prosecution of Wikileaks and Julian Assange will be to restrict the truthful information American citizens receive about their government's foreign policy. But the U.S. cannot promote democracy abroad by limiting it at home.
We urge you to halt your undemocratic prosecution of Wikileaks; and to instead learn from it by providing the public with the honest and truthful information upon which democracy depends.
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Join a New Video Project in Defense of WikiLeaks | MichaelMoore.com