Idea: White House of Silence

President Biden preaches the importance of press freedom and therefore the First Amendment in his speeches (*1), but at the same times ignores or keeps silent about the Assange-Case.

Over the years, the White House usually refers (*2) to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and I personally think that’s not okay and contradicts with his mentioned values. He could easily drop the charges if he really would be serious about his words.

The First Amendment protects not only free speech but the right to assemble and express views through protest (*3) Let’s use this right.

I don’t know how many people we got here from Washington, but I think consistent and repetitive protests, would be more than approbriate in order to break the silence. What about a consistent day in a week? #SaturdaysForAssange #Saturdays4Assange?

#EndTheSilence #DropTheCharges #WhiteHouseOfSilence

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*1: Biden: 'A free press is essential to the health of a democracy' - CNN Video (Biden: “We believe a free press isn’t an adversary; rather, it’s essential,” President Biden said in a recent address to diplomats. Brian Stelter says Biden is “stating the obvious” but that it’s important to do so in the wake of Trump’s four years of attacks against the media.)

*2: White House Questioned On Julian Assange Charges - YouTube

*3: Know Your Rights | Protesters’ Rights

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It is a very strong idea. I also believe the DAO should be funding lobbyists at the highest level to be in his ear day and night re the first amendment ramifications and danger to press freedom. The Greta Thunberg Fridays protests around the world are very constant with strong messaging.

Thanks. Yes. I also think that consistent, focused and powerful action could lead to miracles. Merging movements could be even more powerful, with the right approach.

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#FridaysForAssange in Sydney

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Since it has nothing to do with your original White House of Silence idea, the Sydney Town Hall notice is misplaced on this thread. It merits a new standalone topic so as not to be overlooked.

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It has. They do exactly what I wished somebody would do.

Yes it is not in Washington, but in Sydney. So what?
The more conistency we achieve around the globe, the better. Possible that people would read this thread and join somewhere else too.

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Yes, I suppose you’re right. Considering the consistent and repetitive #Saturdays4Assange protests staged outside the White House on the 15 Saturdays (including today) since you suggested the idea, it stands to reason that Friday protests in Sydney belong on this thread as well. As Bob Dylan observed in 1965, “There’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all.”

I found this on twitter, protest for Assange in Washington at the DOJ 12th of October:

The DAO should be a part of this.

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Thank you very much. The link refers to the 8th of October though. 12-2pm.

I saw some people share some events, for the 8th of October around the world, like the human chain around the parliament in London and other buildings in different countries.

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I agree with you that it also could be a good opportunity for the DAO too, but that only could work properly if we deal with the actual problems now and also get more real, enthusiastic supporters on board that really have Julian as a number 1 priority.

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First time I heard about the human chain in Canberra - I think that will be difficult to achieve - Canberra is a tiny populace and 3 hours either way from Sydney or Melbourne. It is quite an undertaking therefore to get people there.

Maybe that should be rethought and have it moved elsewhere. Melbourne for instance is BIG Assange territory.

Also the actual Government House in Canberra is a 54 hectare property and the house of our Governor General .

The house and grounds are not open to the public, other than Open Days???*

In actuality, the picture ABOVE is Old Parliament House!!!* Id estimate at least 500 people minimum is required to form a good visual chain. Better would be 600. I assume drone footage is required for news coverage???

I’ve notified the organisers on their twitter feed that they’re naming the building incorrectly. Its confusing at the moment.

Edit A few more issues re the Canberra event

  1. Is this event in Australia officially endorsed by the Australian Assange Campaign
    @AssangeCampaign which has received DAO funds.

  2. If so, is WauHolland going to ensure this is a success - by increasing its funds - as logicstically such an event in a low populous/distanced place like Canberra would require transport and accommodation logistics and/or other arrangements for participants to attend from Melbourne or Sydney and be prepared with banners etc.

  3. Note the recent talks outside Parliament House with Mary Kostakidis, and the Cross Party MPs of Assange supporters was not very well attended to be frank. So Canberra success is HARD to achieve, for all of the reasons Ive touched upon.

  4. Good opportunity for the DAO - only if the DAO can apply for funds for merchandise or advertising material. I don’t believe the Wikileaks Shop sells any item featuring the AssangeDAO brand, mentioning the millions its raised by international crypto enthusiasts.

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@Rick_Velvet please help me understand who is coordinating these demonstrations. The poster’s URL redirects to candles4assange.com, apparently based in New Zealand, which describes #HugParliament as a “worldwide solidarity chain” to “peacefully surround” landmark government buildings in the Five Eyes English-speaking countries. Their terse write-up does not explain why the date of 8th Oct was chosen or identify any groups supporting the action.

In reading this thread, I was reminded of our June 9 discussion here at DAO Forum, where you wrote:

Matt’s Belmarsh idea was endorsed on Twitter by Stella Assange but never materialized.

On that same Forum thread, Matt wrote, “#HugBelmarsh would be great though there are hurdles.” These included, he indicated: “Prepare a safe management plan, request police assistance and get permission from prison. … Another idea is to hug parliament.”

Rick, are you aware how the organizers of the far-flung 8 Oct #HugParliament activities plan to address these concerns? Two months’ preparation seems sufficient but only if the authorities at each venue are amenable to such protests, and if enough money can be raised to pay for practical necessities such as portable toilets, adequately stocked first-aid stations, and recruitment/training of crowd control personnel (not police, who tend to be unsympathetic).

On a related matter, I note uncertainty online as to how many bodies will be needed to surround Parliament in London. On August 3, Bloomberg reported, “1,000 People to form Chain Round Parliament in Support of Julian Assange.” While it’s true that by then >1K had signed up, the headline was misleading. According to a source cited by WikiLeaks on Twitter, it will take 5,000 links in the solidarity chain stretching from the front of Parliament over Westminster Bridge, along the south bank of the Thames and back over Lambeth Bridge. At this hour, nearly 1,500 have registered, but if turnout fails to reach 5K in the city where Julian has spent the last quarter of his life, it could backfire into an embarrassment. And given the present anemic state of AssangeDAO, I fear we can do nothing to help.

Rave & Tom. Good question\s.

I took it from A4A, to help spreading the word somehow, to improve chances that people take action. Because not all people around the world will be able to come to the parliament in London, I thought it’s a cool idea.

I can imagine @Matt_O_Branain-A4A knows more details about it.

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canberra 2

It’s hard to comprehend why the organizers would include Canberra’s “Government House” (actually picturing Old Parliament House, as @rave notes in her post above, explaining why this location is ill-advised), after the July 28 debacle of Converge on Canberra, which attracted only ≈100 people, including 12 speakers—7 being MPs already on site.

Canberra - the place where our Australian Parliament sits is such a weird location - it always has been since its conception began in the early 1900s.Basically it was chosen as the capital of Australia - as a a compromise to the people of NSW and Victoria - who wanted the capital to be in either Sydney or Melbourne (parochial rivals).

I asked whether the Australian Assange Campaign will be involved as there will be legal and security issues, transport and probably accommodation expenses for participants.

The building operates as a museum and is open to the public on Saturdays. Ive just notified the organisers on twitter about the security arrangements they will need to apply for beforehand. Organisers also have to undertake risk assessments etc. So far I don’t think they’ve liked my input - Im just trying to be practical - being helpful in a prudent way. Im just tired of the way efforts can be spun negatively.

Re a Climate Rally for Sydney on the weekend - I donate to THREE of the organisations listed as being involved - wasn’t notified of the event by any of them beforehand - only discovered it to be on the day before by a fluke chance of looking on Facebook (which I barely ever use these days) and then I discovered my train line was closed down for maintenance for the day!!!

Events should be tightly run.

(Actually scrap my drone footage comment above- as that will definitely not be allowed over that precinct). Ive just checked - and the obvious answer is NO.

Ottowa

@rave since you’re in contact with the organizers, you might want to inform them that the capital of Canada is Ottawa—not “OTTOWA” as misspelled on their poster.

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Oh dear!!! Well intentioned but people should always do a spell check or DELEGATE first to locals… .

Ill do that too they probably think Im a naysayer by now!!!

EDIT - notified them. I hope they haven’t paid money so far for any printed posters.

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@rave I was surprised to see someone on Twitter arguing with you about getting approval beforehand. “Asking permission to protest and getting approval to do so means it is absolutely pointless,” she insisted. “You don’t need to ask permission to protest outside anywhere…an approved protest is pointless.” It hadn’t occurred to me that #HugParliament might conduct large demonstrations at important government landmarks around the world without permission. If indeed that is the case, AssangeDAO—the organization that raised >$55 million for Julian’s legal defense fund—should not be involved in planning, promoting, or staging such illegal events.

Everybody is different. I like bel - she’s a marvellous support for Assange. She really is 100% dedicated.

Its only going to be deemed illegal if the turnout is huge, blocks public access to the museum and the organisers do not heed the protocols and concern about policing- as annoying as they are.

TBH I wish the official Assange Campaign in Australia was there to help out with logistics.

Hi all. Rick said you had some questions. I can answer some though not all.

Yes I promoted Hug Belmarsh and John Rees investigated and found most land around prison was private. So needed permission. It has evolved into HugParliament from there.

There are different groups organising each location. First it was the UK by DEA. Don’t know why that date was chosen.

Then Melbourne 4 Assange people said they were doing Canberra. Yes they admitted they were anxious about getting numbers at the location. But that’s where Parliament is ay?

Then I thought NZ should do the same. Since I am still hoping to go to the UK I suggested Candles 4 Assange run it as Alex is based in Wellington. We are collaborating on it. Alex does amazing work promoting international Assange events. She made those posts with multiple Locations.

She connected with the people in Canada and the US too. Misty is her US organiser. Not sure about Canada atm.

Re typo, DM Candles 4 Assange.

Re permission yes I’m pretty sure they are all legal and above board. But don’t actually know details of Canada or US.

Re numbers in UK. I don’t think it’s an issue. They have more than enough to surround the three sides of parliament anyway even if they can’t cross the Thames. That’s just icing on the cake if they can.

Cheers guys

Matt Ó Branáin
Aotearoa 4 Assange
www.A4A.nz

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Has the official Australian Assange Campaign been in touch I feel they could do some promotion beforehand. https://www.assangecampaign.org.au/

London should be easy - I think Ive read they have over 1100 which should be more than enough to do a hug.