Today’s rally in Sydney was a good event, attracting around 1000 people, all of whom wanted to show solidarity with what Wikileaks stands for; transparency and real free speech.
My speech addressed the often complicity of the mainstream media in keeping government secrets away from the public. They want to be gate-keepers, close to power. I reject this; independence is vital to not be seduced by official romancing.
Here are the notes from my speech:
Wikileaks rally, Sydney Town Hall, 15 January 2011
– Welcome to country.
– War on whistleblowers.
– Rudd Labor government pursued leakers more than double the rate of Howard government.
– Obama administration also pursued whistle-blowers more than Bush years.
– Bradley Manning, torture-like conditions in US, virtual solitary confinement, UN investigating his treatment. This is how our key ally behaves.
– Key revelations from Wikileaks aren’t about Assange or his personal life but that our governments lie to us every day and now we have the evidence to prove it. In the Middle East, Africa, Australia, wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen.
– Journalists reacting with anger towards Wikileaks. Jealously, frustration and outrage. Why aren’t they doing their job better?
– Insider journalism is the enemy of an open democracy.
– General silence of journalists in speaking out in defence of Wikileaks and what it represents, especially in the US and Australia.
– Secrecy is the problem not leakers. Who keeps the secrets? Governments and their media courtiers.
– In 2011, we demand greater transparency, an independent Australian government to support Wikileaks and a press that doesn’t take its cues and leaks from government advisors.