I post here copy of the letter I have just sent to Mr Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, UK regarding their Spokesperson’s public comment about Julian Assange. It is self explanatory. I used the electronic submission system here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/contact.aspx and I am posting a papercopy to his address in Great George street today.
I am also posting a copy of my complaint with a cover letter to my local MP.
From: Mrs Emmy ****
Mr Nick Clegg
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
8-10 Great George Street
Dear Mr Clegg 10th June 2012
On the 9th of June 2012, I attended the “Anti ACTA and Digital Economy Act March – and the new menace CISPA (LONDON)” outside Europe House, 32 Smith Square, SW1P 2EU.
I have a complaint to make about the conduct of a Liberal Democrat representative- Ms Bridget Fox- and a comment she made during this public demonstration.
More than 100 people attended the event both members of the public, campaigners, journalists, politicians and activists. Ms Bridget Fox had given an eloquent speech on the topic and I approached her afterwards with a flyer that I was distributing in support of Julian Assange, the editor in chief of WikiLeaks. As Ms Fox took the flyer she stated: “I will read it but I have no time for sex offenders”.
I was shocked at this statement. The facts of the case are that Sweden has issued a European Arrest Warrant and an Interpol Red Notice in order to further investigate four allegations of sexual offences. No charges have been filed against Julian Assange. Her statement was both inaccurate and prejudicial.
At the end of the speeches I approached Ms Fox again and she acknowledged she had made a flippant remark. I pointed out the inaccuracies of the statement, offering again my leaflet where there are sources for more information on his case. At this point Ms Fox said that what she had said was her opinion, that she was entitled to her own opinion and that we should agree to disagree. Then I explained that in her position of authority as Lib Dem representative, her remarks can influence people, I said “How about if I were a journalist and reported your words”. I was obviously concerned about the impact that her remarks would make on creating prejudice on the case. But her reply was “Thank you for your interest in my concern but this is my opinion and you can quote me on that”. She stated “you can quote me on that” several times.
This is an alarming indication of a blatant disregard of judicial due process and it is exactly statements like this made by public persons in positions of authority that can prejudice legal cases as well as smear the reputation of people involved.
Upon my return home I looked up Ms Fox’s name on the internet. I understand that she “has been trusted by the party as a spokesperson on national TV and radio and in national newspapers… As well as representing the Liberal Democrats in meetings across London,” (http://www.bridgetfox.org.uk/)
Ms Fox is an official spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats and an experienced politician; it is alarming that she should feel it appropriate to make litigious statements such as this in a public setting which she has been invited to because of her political capacity.
Importantly, Ms Fox was not attending the event as a lay person, she was clearly there representing the Liberal Democrats and she should acknowledge that any statement she made in this public forum would assume a position of authority beyond that of personal opinion. Labelling someone who has not been charged with any offense a ‘sex offender’ has clear slanderous implications and is highly inappropriate for Ms Fox to feel she should be entitled to make such a reference at a public event.
Furthermore, this experience highlights to me a blatant hypocrisy practiced by some politicians who with a microphone on their hands addressing a crowd and with the cameras fixed upon them declare themselves champions of the rights of the individual but 2 minutes later off air but still within the hearing of many of their audience are ready to tramp upon the rights of an individual, such as Mr Assange’s right to a fair trial.
I would therefore like to ask you if you would be so kind as to address my concerns regarding Ms Fox’s statement about Julian Assange:
1. I strongly feel that Ms Fox was wrong in making this statement in a public forum where she was attending on behalf of your party. I request that she publicly acknowledges this mistake and publicly retracts her comment in terms of its factual inaccuracy and slanderous implications.
2. I would like you to clarify the Liberal Democrats position in relation to Julian Assange and the related controversy surrounding UK extradition legislation by issuing an official statement.
3. Finally I request that you offer re-assurances that the Liberal Democrat Party will stand firm in protecting any person’s (including Mr Assange’s) fundamental human right to a fair trial and that this right will not be hampered by prejudicial statements made by people representing your party.
I attach the flyer “Statement of Support for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks” produced by “Friends of WikiLeaks” that I passed on to Mrs Fox for your information. I thank you for your time.
* personal details have been blanked out for privacy reasons but the complaint has been done eponymously.
Yes, it was.
In the 1960s, Sweden made headlines around the world with its daring movies and quite as daring sexual politics. The Northern nation pioneered sex education in schools, pursued sexual freedom for women, did away with laws regulating pornography and sex clubs, and even suggested state-run brothels for the less fortunate. “Make Love, Not War” has never rung truer than in 1960s Sweden.
But just a few years later, the long decline of “Swedish Sin” began. Free feminists fighting for women’s right to enjoy sex were replaced by radical feminists, who instead declared war on both Sex and Men.
Is Sweden the “Saudi Arabia of Feminism” as Julian Assange claimed? Judge for yourself.
Sweden in 2012 is a nation where it is illegal to pay for sex, and where sex-detectives from the police regularly break into hotel rooms to arrest those men they believe have paid – or will.
Sweden in 2012 is a nation that has redefined its gravest sex-crime, rape, so many times that it now sports most rapes per capita in the world after the African nation of Lesotho.
Sweden in 2012 is a nation where a former Deputy Prime Minister expresses herself like this: “Sometimes I wonder why not more women really hate men!”
A Brief History of Swedish Sex traces Sweden’s change from a nation of free love to a leader in sexual repression. Through extensive research the author has constructed a captivating timeline of news stories, government reports, political speeches, pamphlets and court protocols of the last 60 years.
The text is rich in quotes that will make you laugh, doubt your eyes and mumble: “They must be kidding” – except that they are not! Everyday sexual incidents can turn into legal nightmares, which is shown through vivid examples from courts.
In addition, the timeline reveals previously unknown political dimensions of the Assange arrest, making the book a must-read for anyone with a critical mind.
A Brief History of Swedish Sex gives you the necessary background.
The New Statesman editor reflects on the other-worldly WikiLeaks frontman and Jemima Khan’s extraordinary guest edit. Also, how technology is changing the way I think.
To Kensington Town Hall in west London on Saturday 9 April for the New Statesman/ Frontline Club debate. The motion was: “This house believes that whistleblowers make the world a safer place.” Proposing were Clayton Swisher, head of al-Jazeera’s transparency unit and the man who brought us the Palestine Papers in January; Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks; and our own Mehdi Hasan. Opposing were David Richmond, a former director of defence and intelligence at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Bob Ayers, who worked for the US government and who, from 1990-92, “was responsible for the security of more than 40,000 classified intelligence-processing systems at 55 locations across the world” (is he sure it was only 55, not 56?); and the superbly articulate Douglas Murray, who until recently was director of the Centre for Social (In)Cohesion. I was the chair.
Tickets for the event sold out within a matter of hours of its being announced on our website. It was apparent from the beginning – long queues had delayed the start, tension inside the hall was considerable – that most of those present had come to see the notorious WikiLeaks frontman; that it would be, if not exactly a Rally for Assange, then a setting in which he would feel comfortable, even adored. It didn’t help that the debate felt rigged against the opposition: two invited whistleblowers intervened midway through to offer their sad stories of persecution and struggle from the floor.
I encountered Assange for the first time in the basement lavatories of the building. He was looking for somewhere to apply styling wax to his flaxen locks – his hair has grown longer since Christmas. Then, pale, thin and spectral, he was photographed as he ghosted around the snow-silent grounds of Vaughan Smith’s mansion in Norfolk, where he has been living as he waits to discover if he will be extradited to Sweden over allegations of rape.
In person, Assange is reserved, watchful and unhurried. With his white-blond hair and fine features, he resembles both a younger Christopher Walken and David Bowie as he appeared, blanched and other-worldly, in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth. As with many computer hackers and web geeks, there is something distinctly alien about Assange, manifested in his impatience with conventional structures and contempt for the morality of the masses.
As a platform speaker, he is measured without being forceful or inspiring. He laid out his case knowing that he was unlikely to be challenged from the audience. When a challenge did come, from Murray, it was bold and ad hominem. Knowing that he was operating in a hostile environment, with most of those present indicating in a vote before the debate began that they were in support of the motion, Murray chose to play the man rather than the ball. Who funds WikiLeaks? he asked. What is the relationship between Assange and the Holocaust denier Israel Shamir? Who ensures that WikiLeaks operates transparently? Who, in other words, guards the guardians? Do take a look at the recording of the event on our website (tinyurl.com/WikiLeaksDebate).
In the middle of Hollywood, a striking political billboard has been erected. An internet campaign collected enough money to put up a billboard in support of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. The billboard contains a picture of Assange, in a thoughtful, finger-to-temple pose, next to text that reads: “WikiLeaks: Giving us the truth when everyone else refuses to.”
The campaign to put up the billboard was started by Nick Johnson at a website called Epic Step. The website lets activists collect money to put up billboards about issues they want to educate the public about.
Johnson’s campaign has collected $4,576 from 200 supporters since March 9.
“I want the world to know that I support WikiLeaks,” Johnson says in a video he posted to explain the campaign. “[Assange] has literally put his life on the line to give people what they want: the truth.”
Assange has become a polarizing figure. Last December, reports The Guardian, organizers planned worldwide protests in defense of the controversial and enigmatic WikiLeaks founder. Some, like former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, have called for him to be “hunted down,” while others like filmmaker Michael Moore, have posted $200,000 in bail for him and said we should “be thankful” for Assange.
Johnson and Epic Step have now started collecting money for a billboard in Chicago. Since March 16, they’ve collected $1,598
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This is a very interesting and informative rundown on Manning’s possible conditions, from warisacrime.org – it has most of what we know from the various sources which have any useful information….
By David Swanson
There are conflicting accounts of exactly how Bradley Manning, the alleged whistleblower on countless U.S. government crimes, has been illegally punished for 8 months so far, pre-trial. There’s no denying that this young man who allegedly sought to make his government’s actions known for the public good and did not seek to profit thereby has been denied a speedy trial. The question is to what extent he has already been punished, and even cruelly and unusually punished, without having been convicted of any crime. But the accounts differ less than it at first appears. And there is one sure way to find out the facts.
Let’s look first at what Glenn Greenwald reported on December 15th. Greenwald wrote that he had interviewed “several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed.” In Greenwald’s account, Manning had been a model detainee and had never been on suicide watch, but had been declared from the start a “Maximum Custody Detainee,” and had been held from the start in “intensive solitary confinement . . . for 23 out of 24 hours every day . . . he sits completely alone in his cell.” Read the rest of this entry »
The best of USA objective reporting: The worse thing about this list is………….it exists in a country that like to preach freedom of speech and democracy
RUSH LIMBAUGH – (Right-wing radio talk show host)
“Back in the old days when men were men and countries were countries, this guy would die of lead poisoning from a bullet in the brain.”
“This guy Assange could have been stopped, come on, folks. People have been shot for far less than this.”
“(laughing) Ah, folks, even Greg Palkot of Fox News interviewed Assange, which means that Roger Ailes knows where he is. Ailes knows where Assange is. Give Ailes the order and there is no Assange, I’ll guarantee you, and there will be no fingerprints on it.”
WILLIAM KRISTOL – (Editor of the Weekly Standard)
“Why can’t we act forcefully against WikiLeaks? Why can’t we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are?”
“This fellow Anwar al-Awlaki – a joint U.S. citizen hiding out in Yemen – is on a ‘kill list’ [for inciting terrorism against the U.S.]. Mr. Assange should be put on the same list.”
************ Read the rest of this entry »
Expecting to hear from Assange and Mark Stephens his lawyer.
Police telling us 30mins til Assange comes out.
Assange extradition hearing confirmed for feb 6 and 7. Julian now in conference room next to court canteen
RT @breakingnews: U.K. court changes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s bail conditions 2 allow him 2 stay in London before next hearing NBC
All sides happy with dates and evidence
He can stay at frontline Club paddington on 6th Feb.
Case to be heard here on 7th feb
assange hearing started. Julian confirms address etc.
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Jamie aka ThaBoas