What is it about the new year that inspires us to commit to new resolutions like working out, losing that extra weight, spending more time with family, being more organized, and showing kindness to strangers? Well, first of all there’s nothing wrong with wanting a fresh start to improve ourselves and the world around us and second, sometimes nothing says “thank God,” like having last year’s failures and frustrations behind us and new possibilities on the horizon.
Last year was spent riddled with anger and disappointment over Julian Assange’s situation as well as the disconcerting turn that the WikiLeaks activist community took; legitimizing dubious characters, bolstering Trump and his alt-right loyalists, suppression of speech, attempts to humiliate activists and fellow supporters, and, often times, silent complicity in all of it. Looking back, it seems almost obvious that these tactics hindered the effectiveness of the “Free Assange” movement and its capacity to grow and provide significant public pressure to ensure his safe passage and freedom.
There are a myriad of possibilities why this happened including, perhaps, a paralyzing fear over losing supporters, a quantity over quality attitude, desperate attempts to stay non-partisan, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and an increasing reluctance to surrender perceived (and coveted) hierarchal footing in the movement by long-time supporters.
How much any of these issues affected the campaign to build a legitimate and unified support base for Assange remains to be seen but shortcomings in the community have given rise to a number of opportunists and trolls. Furthermore, supporters have simply tossed their morals aside and common sense left the building a long time ago.
QUESTIONABLE CHARACTERS, SKETCHY CAMPAIGNS
Suzie Dawson came onto the activism scene during Occupy Auckland, part of the Occupy Wall Street movement against corporate greed and inequality that started in New York on September 17, 2011. According to a member of Occupy Auckland, Dawson became an asset to the group after she showed up one day at the campaign’s media headquarters with “computer paraphernalia” in hand. It was during this time period that she started to actively claim she was being targeted and illegally surveilled by the government.
According to a November 13, 2016 interview, she was “aggressively targeted” for her work and several attempts were made to kill her and her children. Additionally, in an effort to break up the Occupy movement, the government forced her to sell her New Zealand home but not before they poked holes in her ceilings, sewed “things” into the seams of her clothes, stole her cellphones, and set up cameras throughout the house.
She’s received death threats over the course of the last seven years, faced banking blockades, and was targeted by former hacker-turned-FBI snitch Sabu after he pursued a sexual relationship with her online. At one point, Dawson concluded that the New Zealand government must have used PRISM, an NSA program first exposed by Edward Snowden, to illegally spy on her.
However, without any evidence to support any of these claims, Dawson’s stories sound more like the fantastical chicanery of a fraudster or the delusional ramblings of someone who desperately needs to take a break from activism. According to one online user,
“It is like drug-addled science fiction writer Philip Dick who was paranoid that the FBI were out to get him. He applied for his file. The only thing in it were letters he’d sent to the FBI offering to spy on other writers for them.”
Dawson eventually fled New Zealand with her two children to Berlin, Germany and then sought temporary asylum in Russia on September 29, 2016. During the November 2016 interview, she noted her uncertainty about whether or not Russia would approve her asylum request, “I’m sitting here now not knowing if I’m going to have a country in six week’s time to live in.”
In mid-2017, Dawson was appointed the leader of Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party, a New Zealand political party founded in 2014. However, she denied the role three months ago and according to elections.org.nz, the New Zealand Electoral Commission deregistered the party on June 12, 2018, because membership “had dropped below the 500 required for registration.” Perhaps that was the reason behind Dawson’s denial.
She was also introduced on the Jimmy Dore Show as the “former leader” but “current president of the Internet Party,” fifteen days later although no one else is mentioned on the party’s website except Dawson and there doesn’t appear to be an official statement announcing that she stepped down from the position.
As for Dotcom, I wrote about his criminal background previously including the fact that he’s been convicted multiple times for essentially stealing money from innocent people and that at one point he became a paid snitch for a copyright lawyer. And yes, you read that correctly. A paid snitch for a copyright lawyer. And despite what Dotcom professes, it doesn’t appear that this leopard has changed his spots.
For example, in 2014, this multi-millionaire tweeted, “One of my former staff couldn’t have kids. I gifted 25K for IVF & gave them a child. Now they are suing me for 130K coz I’m a bad employer,” in reference to Dotcom’s failure to pay his staff their wages after financing a fertility procedure (how do you feed or diaper said financed baby without a paycheck?). He’s also called his staff “minions,” for, again, wanting to get paid, and in a video posted on Youtube via whaleoil.com (which may or may not be a sketchy source), he can be overheard threatening another staff member over employees suing him.
But more recently, you probably remember him for his very public 2017 announcement that he has evidence proving Seth Rich was WikiLeaks’ DNC source. Dotcom’s promise to release said evidence was broken as fast as he made it but that hasn’t stopped the MAGA…er, Mega crowd from eating this stuff up and regurgitating it, much to the detriment of Seth Rich’s grieving parents.
And yes, I get it. Dotcom has been a victim of illegal government surveillance and is facing extradition to the United States but that is in no way synonymous with him being one of the good guys. Ted Bundy once told the judge that his constitutional rights were being violated in prison and the judge agreed but that doesn’t mean he should have been the poster child for human rights. And with an extradition case hanging over his head perhaps he’s doing exactly what he’s always done—looking out for Dotcom.
It took Dotcom almost a year after Seth Rich’s murder to mention him and maybe he thought he could use the story as leverage in his case, to promote his projects and the failing Internet Party, or to speak to the U.S. government without suspicion. Or maybe he just enjoys pushing the government’s narrative that, “WikiLeaks gets people killed,” and WikiLeaks into a corner about their sources. And maybe someone should ask him about his whereabouts when James Comey landed in New Zealand on April 23, 2017. After all, he is a Hillary Clinton fan.
And yes, it’s possible that he only said he liked Hillary in order to help his case which is exactly the point: What else has Dotcom been willing to do to stop his extradition to the U.S.? And if that’s not what happened in the video above then it’s concerning that he sounds like a school boy who lost his two best friends over a court case.
Two years before Dawson, Dotcom, and Elizabeth Lea Vos started #Unity4J, Dawson tried to start another grassroots movement called “JA4ME.” In an article published on March 25, 2016, Dawson, using her online handle, “Endarken,” wrote about how she felt compelled to start a global movement that would help end Julian Assange’s arbitrary detention and so she (and others?) started a website and pushed the hashtag #JA4ME.
The movement was legitimized for a short period of time by the more prominent Assange support accounts on Twitter despite the fact that no one seemed to be terribly familiar with Dawson or her background. Leaked Twitter DMs from early March 2016 clearly show that WikiLeaks was overly cautious about her.
WikiLeaks: “We need to avoid a repeat of AKAWACA with JA4ME
WikiLeaks: “There are certain similarities in the psychological profiles of the women behind both.”
WikiLeaks: “https://twitter.com/JA_4_Me/status/714787442885267456 For example”
Emmy B: “Re ja4me it is simply too early to say, WL is right to be cautious, strongly motivated people are so creative, and this has sprang out of nowhere and going 100 miles an hour.”
WikiLeaks: “We love the campaign, but if there is no overt structure there is a covert structure. A lot of ‘leaderless’ rhetoric is psycological [sic] cover for people who are very concerned about power gradients. This sensitivity to power can come from a desire not to be bossed around, but it can also come from another place. The first step to power is to stop others having power over you. The second step is to have power over others. In this case there are key assets such as twitter and the domain registration. Someone has these credentials and whoever does can exercise their person [sic] whims….Twitter, DNS, bank accounts etc, in this way create power problems, turning ‘leaderless’ movements into FBI movements, e.g Sabu.”
Emmy B: “Bad vibes coming my way from my lady Saviour, may I be wrong may I be wrong!”
Emmy B: “*Sigh* Suzie Dawson just sent me the most bizarre message.”
Emmy B: “never mind”
Emmy B: “I asked her to link up with a friend and she started questioning who my friend follows and is followed by, not the friendliest!”
It’s unclear what happened to this “global movement,” but it is clear that when Assange’s communications were cut two years later, Dawson became the community’s rising star because apparently no one, at any point in time, has ever dealt with what appears to be a power-hungry, attention-seeking narcissist before or cared that she might be.
On March 27, 2018, Ecuador cut off Julian Assange’s communications including phone calls, visitors, and access to the internet. The government accused him of failing to comply with a 2017 written agreement not to interfere in Ecuador’s relations with other States, more specifically Spain and Catalonia, but in reality this agreement never existed.
The following day, @BellaMagnani tweeted this out at 8:35 am EST using the hashtags #FreeAssange and #ReconnectJulian:
“I’d suggest whichever ones [hashtags] you decide to use you include #Ecuador. Help them to counter external pressure to isolate #Assange. #FreeAssange #ReconnectJulian
Ten minutes later Dawson tweeted,
“Kim Dotcom and I are about to launch an online vigil for supporters of Julian Assange from around the world to congregate and advocate for the immediate restoration of Julian’s human right to communication.
We will be using the hashtag #ReconnectJulian
Stay tuned for details”
Dawson, Dotcom, and Vos then held an emergency online vigil protesting Ecuador President Lenin Moreno’s decision. All in all, the event raised quite a bit of awareness and if you check out the #ReconnectJulian hashtag from March 28, 2018, it received a large response.
Less than a month later, on April 23, 2018, it was reported that the “ReconnectJulian” campaign took over Assange’s Twitter account and if there’s any confusion as to what role Dawson and her associates played in the campaign, there shouldn’t be.
Besides Dawson’s obvious enthusiasm to let people know she was behind #ReconnectJulian, her “one-off” event comment clearly demonstrates she doesn’t have a firm grasp on how to run a campaign. Using a hashtag that defines exactly what you’re trying to do—and is successful—only to replace it shortly thereafter is not only ineffective, it confuses and loses supporters. Advocates for Assange should keep things simple, consistent, and stop trying to fix something that’s not broken.
But the more obvious concern here is if Dawson, Dotcom, or Vos were given access to Julian Assange’s Twitter account and for those that don’t remember, there was no “legal campaign” expressly running the account at the time. Concerns were posted on Twitter but they went unanswered. As of today, exactly how many people and who were given access to Assange’s account and personal DMs since his communications were cut remains unknown.
As mentioned previously, rather than sticking with a popular hashtag, Dawson decided to dis-unify the community with a new one a mere four days after #ReconnectJulian was created. The new hashtag, #Unity4J, is identical to Dawson’s earlier #JA4ME in that she deliberately left out Julian Assange’s name.
There are other similarities, as well. The use of a purple, white or black/grey color scheme that was used for both JA4ME and her political party, Internet Party, has been used for some of Unity4J’s promotional material. And like JA4ME, Unity4J encourages the same fruitless tactics (although the effort by well-meaning individuals should always be applauded) to save Assange like using chalk on sidewalks, lighting candles, and having JA4ME/Unity4J days while presumably carrying signs or chalking sidewalks with a hashtag that in no way distinguishes who anyone is supporting.
Unity4J also encourages their followers to sign up on their Discord channel using their name and email address but that’s not as bad as how far Dawson’s JA4ME took it which encouraged supporters to send in a 300 x 300 picture of themselves along with their name, title, and occupation. Sketchy? AF.
The movement has also organized countless vigils on Youtube, averaging approximately 500 views per video. And yes, they have interviewed some good guests, even some great guests, but based on the 321 videos that are on the #Unity4J Youtube channel, 258 of them (80%) have even lower viewship. This is what some might describe as an “echo chamber,” or a glaring indication that a large number of individuals don’t want anything to do with this movement.
Despite what appears to be a less than enthusiastic response to joining #Unity4J, prominent Twitter accounts including WikiLeaks and whoever controls Assange’s account promoted (exhaustingly) Dawson, Dotcom, and Vos’ movement over the course of the last ten months—except Anonymous Scandinavia who may have more common sense than everyone else combined. But low viewership is the least of Unity4J’s problems.
On November 20, 2018, Anonymous Scandinavia posted a video with the following message:
“What will happen, when people at some point in the future, will find out, that they were indeed misinformed by the very individual who asked them to BELIEVE? A #PONI with a background story being nothing but a LIE!”
The video included two QR codes one of which revealed the date “September 29, 2016,” the other, a screenshot:
The screenshot was taken from a document via the Law Library of Congress entitled, “Refugee Law and Policy: Russian Federation,” and it explicitly states that if you file for temporary asylum in Russia, your application will be decided within 3 months. Don’t like congressional libraries? The UN Refugee Agency has its own documents online for those seeking asylum in Russia which also state that “a decision on Temporary Aslyum” will be made within three months of an application.
Suzie Dawson applied for temporary asylum on September 29, 2016, so she should have received a decision by the end of December 2016 (approximately). And don’t forget that during her November 2016 interview, she stated that she didn’t know if she was going to “have a country in six weeks” because she knew at the time of the interview there were only six weeks remaining for Russia to make their decision about her application. The interview took place approximately six weeks after she applied leaving six weeks left until Russia was required to make their decision bringing the total to three months.
As most of you know, it would be shocking if Dawson had been given temporary asylum in Russia at the end of 2016 – early 2017, because she’s spent over two years telling people that she can’t get a job in the country due to the long asylum process. She’s used Russia’s slow-processing time, her own children, legal fees, and Julian Assange via the Unity4J movement to solicit funds from the general public. She’s even gone so far as to ridiculously claim she was forced to hire “full time childcare/domestic help” in order to keep working her long Unity4J hours. She then demanded that donors only use Bitcoin because of a government/Deep State-ordered banking blockage against her.
Two weeks ago this information was posted on Twitter with virtually no response. When Anonymous Scandinavia posted their video back in November, eleven people liked it while only nine retweeted it. This is a grossly pathetic commentary on an activist community that preaches about truth and transparency night and day. Of course there’s always the possibility that things are not as they seem and Dawson is always welcome to address what appears to be an enormous exception made in her asylum case by the Russian government.
GRIFTERS AND TROLLS
Suzie Dawson, unfortunately, isn’t the only person who appears to have used Julian Assange’s political imprisonment for personal gain. Take @AngelFox71, a Twitter user who has gone by a myriad of online handles over the years and who recently managed to pull off a weeks-long publicly-funded trip to London this past December under the guise of going to the Ecuadorian embassy to “protect Julian.” Once she arrived, she spent the entire trip begging her followers to send more money because she couldn’t afford her medication, amongst half a dozen other things.
As a safety tip, if you can’t afford a trip to London, let alone a trip to London without your medication, don’t go. As a personal side note to this story, I had to eat a plane ticket to London this past fall because a shitty management company raised my rent 60% after I protested their initial 30% hike. Sure, I could sue them for retaliation if I could afford an attorney but I can’t. Any saved funds I had went to finding a new place and moving costs. Life happens. Do the best you can and stop expecting everyone to pay your way especially under the guise of helping a political prisoner. It’s gross. Do better.
As for Angel, she’s also spent time privately bad-mouthing the very person she said she was going to London to protect along with one of Assange’s closest associates, animal-rights activist Pamela Anderson. Anonymous Scandinavia not only called her out for trying to smear Ms. Anderson but also for making deliberate statements to suit an agenda, prodding close associates of WikiLeaks for information, and using bots and sock accounts on Twitter.
And yes, Anonymous Scandinavia (@AnonScan) has been on top of all of this and yet even they can’t escape my frustration despite that fact and that they’ve been my favorite, their videos make this crappy world a better place, and their Twitter feed is a wealth of information. They recently tweeted this below but my guess is that @FrancisJeffrey7 is not on their list despite the fact that he used to troll supporters for donations and once told a generous benefactor who was no longer able to donate that his wife was going to die and it was entirely the benefactor’s fault.
@AnonScan continues to promote @FrancisJeffrey7’s campaign via a video they made asking people to assist him which, in this case, means through donations. The video is still on their Youtube channel. Because of this endorsement I donated to Jeffrey twice and then was hounded by him to donate more money as were others. I felt guilty and agreed to donate for a third time but bowed out at the last minute after being instructed by Jeffrey to call a random hotel, lie to the manager, and then send my banking information to one of the hotel’s employees. Sketchy? Again, AF. He was incensed that I had changed my mind.
Shortly thereafter, evidence seems to show that the Twitter account @Pizzaital, which is an account that @AnonScan retweets and only one of seven that they still follow, was either given access to @AnonScan’s Protonmail or they hacked my Protonmail account, lifted screenshots I had sent, and posted them online (which isn’t terribly surprising since one of @Pizzaital’s sock accounts told me they run the @AnonScan Twitter account). One of the screenshots contained personal information and the tweets that @Pizzaital sent out with them were “liked” by Jeffrey which, again, isn’t terribly surprising since the two of them have been publicly communicating via Twitter since before the @AnonScan account even existed.
@Pizzaital, who spent months reminding me that they were also @AnonScan’s girlfriend, likely didn’t make their troll list either despite the lifted screenshots and doxing, their attacks on supporters, the fact that they inexplicably trolled me for over year with a multitude of sock accounts (see “Trolls“), their continued support of Laura Poitras who screwed Assange over in “Risk,” the fact that they think the Freedom of the Press Foundation is still the cat’s meow after they pulled donations for WikiLeaks last year, and their attack on long-time activist and Assange associate Randy Credico whom @AnonScan has supported from the get-go. I mean, if we’re going to get all judgey and stuff.
UPDATE: It should be noted that two weeks ago and likely in response to my post, “Being Honest: Considerations of a Julian Assange Supporter,” @Pizzaital publicly stated that she “can’t hack or crack,” meaning she didn’t hack my protonmail account. That, of course, in no way answers if/how she got a hold of my emails, if it was her that publicly posted them, or even if she’s telling the truth. Regardless, her recent clarification should be noted.
And no, I have no idea why after all of this time, after all of the unprovoked insults, and after reporting me to Twitter, she suddenly thinks it’s “very nice” that I’m a fan of the @AnonScan account. But at least she stated that “the whole truth will eventually come to light!” and regardless if that’s her way of taking a jab at me, I’m hoping she’s right when it comes to a multitude of current, on-going events. — END UPDATE —
So, despite the fact that @AnonScan has been one of the few accounts with enough nosser to call people out for using Julian Assange for their own benefit, even they’ve legitimized and promoted what appears to be a swindler along with a woman (maybe) who seems more like Alex Forrest in a “Poitras for Prez” t-shirt than anything else. And while there’s this guy in London that we’re all supposedly trying to save, unhinged supporters are lifting my emails, so-called activists like Angel, Dawson, and the one in the video below are grifting people out of money, we’re using a hashtag that literally doesn’t have Assange’s name in it, and nobody bats an eye. Totally normal stuff.
TRUMP AND THE ALT-RIGHT
When Dawson and her cohorts went live on Youtube with their first Unity4J vigil, the co-founders applauded themselves for their “non-partisan, non-political” approach despite the fact that Assange’s situation is anything but non-political and that his arrest, extradition, and prosecution by Trump’s administration would be a direct threat to the U.S. Constitution, free speech, free press, and journalists everywhere. And despite Unity4J’s claims, the movement is not nor has it ever been non-partisan. On the contrary, Trump supporters have been given a free platform without any pushback whatsoever.
Not only that, Dotcom, one of the co-founders of Unity4J, has repeatedly tried to reinforce the idea that Julian Assange is responsible for getting Trump elected to office—a statement that plays directly into the hands of Assange’s enemies and members of the general public who want someone to blame.
You might remember Class Conscious’ article, “The Dead End of ‘Uniting’ With Fascists to Defend Julian Assange,” which was published on August 7, 2018, and was the first of its kind to call out Unity4J for what it really is: “A campaign built on unity with fascists…”
When the article first came out people lost it and it’s quite possible that Dawson’s head exploded. She demonized it along with its author Davey Heller and then encouraged others to do the same. She also used the same tactics that most alleged supporters use when confronted on issues they desperately want to ignore like, “You’re dividing the community,” and “They obviously work for the government.”
This approach to delegitimize Davey’s article along with Dawson’s stunning lack of respect for free speech and a free press are best illustrated by the tweets below where she tried to smear Class Conscious and its members as intelligence agents.
She then tried to humiliate Davey into behaving himself by dragging Assange’s mother into the mix, “Julian’s mother has repeatedly stated that she wants politics left at the door and people to unite.” That wasn’t the first time nor was it the last that Dawson weaponized Ms. Assange to keep people in line, as if none of us are allowed our own opinions. Many have also speculated that Dawson had access to her Twitter account and was writing her own tweets from it and blocking people.
Dawson went on to say that all of the guests who participate in Unity4J online vigils “set aside ideology for this one event and cause,” and that’s simply not the case no matter how many times she repeats the lie.
On October 20, 2018, Class Conscious ran another article stating that they “rejected the perspective that ‘unity is the ultimate act of resistance,’ when it means standing with those helping to cultivate a deadly, fascist base within the U.S. and globally.” Individuals mentioned as “hired, fascist demagogues” have all been guests, if not hosts, during Unity4J vigils: Cassandra Fairbanks, Lee Stranahan, Ross Cameron, H.A. Goodman, and Jack Posobiec.
The article argues that the “ruling-class…needs a movement to prevent socialist revolution,” and that there is a “paucity of revolutionary left-wing leadership around the world” leading to what we’ve all seen happening around the globe: The rise of fascism.
Stranahan was a lead reporter for the far-right website, Brietbart News, Jack Posobiec is the embodiment of the far-right, Fairbanks works for the far-right website Gateway Pundit, and all of them including H.A. Goodman are staunch Trump supporters despite the fact that his administration is slowly trying to murder Assange. This is surely the very definition of insanity, yes?
Class Conscious also pointed out that Fairbanks endorses the German fascist party “Alternative fur Deutschland,” and her social media account shows that she inexplicably finds it amusing and quite the revolutionary act to support the government nowadays. She’s a fan of Brownshirts sympathizer Roger Stone who has done nothing but lie about WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and long-time activist and supporter, Randy Credico. She’s also one of the main figures behind #Unity4J.
The question at this point is if this is the hill WikiLeaks and its prominent supporters want us all to die on, the fascist, alt-right hill? Because once you fill your base with Nazis and fascists there’s no going back. No one says, “Hey, let’s join that great cause and, oh, don’t mind the Nazis and fascists,” except Nazis and fascists.
WikiLeaks, as well as prominent WikiLeaks-associated Twitter accounts, have been pushing Trump supporters and alt-right sympathizers for the last ten months (again, except @AnonScan) because maybe they believe at this point that any support is good support (it’s not) and that they’re immune to certain public scrutiny (they’re not). And maybe they think that if they push out pro-Assange messages from a range of political camps, it keeps their overall message non-partisan (it doesn’t). I mean, maybe we should all try that and when the fascists come for Assange and take over the country, don’t blame us. We were just trying to be supportive and “non-partisan.”
It’s come to the point where one has to seriously consider who is actually looking out for Assange. When prominent accounts don’t care that they’re pushing Unity4J members’ far-right agenda, it’s deeply disconcerting. And if Dawson is legit, if her movement is legit, then why haven’t these Twitter accounts or CourageFound or anyone else besides Dawson’s Unity4J sycophants reported on the danger she’s faced for seven years? She claims that the government tried to kill her and her children multiple times and she’s a journalist. Isn’t this right up everyone’s alley? Why is WikiLeaks ignoring this while retweeting Unity4J—a movement which gives Trump’s agenda a platform that includes shutting down free press and locking up journalists? Better yet, as an alleged targeted journalist, why would Dawson allow a pro-Trump agenda in her movement?
Almost two weeks ago, long-time supporter @BellaMagnani posted this tweet:
What’s stunning about this is that the WikiLeaks community is so utterly blind to the very people they themselves have propped up, pushed, and promoted that they don’t even realize that the “quality” of some of the people they’ve legitimized are barely a grade, if any, above Siggi Thordarson.
If Assange, god forbid, is ever extradited to the U.S., is the plan to continue pushing Trump and Roger Stone supporters, racists, fascists, grifters, trolls, and a mega-millionaire who has been convicted several times for stealing money from innocent people and has a history of snitching, as leading advocates for Assange? It’s a serious question.
Long-time supporters have to put their fear of losing supporters aside. If the alt-right wants to support Assange, you can’t stop them. But you can stop promoting them in order to grow a more healthy, sustainable, and democratic movement that goes beyond Julian Assange to fight a corrupt oligarchy that oppresses the masses by suppressing speech, terrorizing the press, supporting monetary and racial inequality, capitalism, paramilitary forces, and even dictatorship.
As Class Conscious wrote, “It is extremely disorienting that figures such as Lee Stranahan are platformed and given equal respect as the likes of Chris Hedges and Daniel Ellsberg within #Unity4J. The working-class cannot effectively fight fascists if these wolves are allowed to dress up in sheep’s clothing of defending Assange and ‘fighting the establishment’ – hiding amongst real progressive voices.”
AND WHAT’S WITH THE ATTITUDE AND ANOMALIES?
When it comes to Unity4J, there are probably dozens of supporters, if not more, who have been targeted privately or online for simply asking questions or voicing their concerns. Members have also called for the doxing of anyone they think is trolling Unity4J and threatened and shamed those who dare to question Dawson’s background while Dawson, herself, has assailed talented and ballsy journalists like Abby Martin, Whitney Webb, and radio host Randy Credico. She once went so far as to accuse @AnonScan of “grooming” Credico. Like, what kind of activist universe am I living in?
And it’s not just Unity4J. Take for instance when I asked uncomfortable questions about Dawson and Kim Dotcom’s backgrounds on Twitter. @GreekEmmy’s response was essentially that I shouldn’t challenge other supporters’ opinions (whether or not someone has been convicted of a crime or was granted asylum is not an opinion) and then demanded that I untag her from a Twitter thread she herself joined.
Then there was the question of whether or not Ecuador had removed Assange’s bed and turned off the heat at the embassy. While trying to get clarification, @GreekEmmy responded to my confusion with, “Over the years I have heard many supporters demanding minute details about JA’s life at the embassy, particularly as I stood outside the buildings during our vigils,” because apparently her horse is high enough to accuse me of “demanding minute details” like an Assange-obsessed fan girl (I don’t know, should we call the gas or electric company and have them shut off your heat, Emmy? Is that minute enough for you?) because of her close association with WikiLeaks and her activism outside of the embassy.
And let’s not forget the “break-in at the embassy” story that was published by Consortium News, an indie news outlet that is currently partnering with Unity4J. On November 3, 2018, they published “Break-in Attempted at Assange’s Residence in Ecuador Embassy,” but not before Dawson hinted about it on October 31, 2018, and released a press release the day before. She’s quoted four times and appears to be the main source for the story
“Lawyers for Assange confirmed to activist and journalist Suzie Dawson that Assange was awoken in the early morning hours by the break-in attempt.”
“They confirmed to Dawson that the attempt was to enter a front window of the embassy.”
Dawson also mentioned scaffolding that had been erected in front of the embassy,
“The combination of the obscuring of the street-facing surveillance cameras and the installation of surveillance equipment pointed into instead of away from the Embassy, is alarming.”
“The Ecuadorian government had to have given permission for the devices to be installed as they are flush up against the embassy walls on government sovereign territory.”
First, about that scaffolding in front of the embassy that Dawson described as essentially a death trap for Assange. It was erected at least three weeks prior to Dawson’s hysteria.
And just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that scaffolding shouldn’t be a concern. Of course it should be. The issue is why didn’t supporters who are at the embassy every week say anything about the scaffolding prior to Dawson’s Unity4J announcement? Better yet, why didn’t WikiLeaks or his attorneys make a statement or send out a tweet about the scaffolding and break-in? Did everyone sit on a story so Dawson could report it?
After tweeting once again about my confusion, @GreekEmmy stated that “JA mentioned the attempted Embassy break in on Monday 29 October during his testimony at protective legal action court hearing. Native Spanish speakers read this in Spanish language press.” She then sent me a link to one article that reported Assange had said, “at 04:00 in London, unknown persons would have tried to enter the Ecuadorian embassy.” However, the translated article also reported that Assange had confirmed his source for Vault 7, which obviously never happened. After some back and forth, another Twitter user told me,
“@jimmysllama hi! Your DM’s aren’t open, but Bella [@BellaMagnani] asked me to fwd: JA did NOT out a source in his Quito testimony. The article is not transcribing properly – he said the US was *seeking to prosecute* an ALLEGED source and sentence them to 135 years.”
There’s so much going on with all of this. First, who are these lawyers that confirmed this to Dawson? Second, besides relying on second-hand confirmed information from unnamed legal sources, it appears we now have to rely on native Spanish speakers who hopefully follow the news. Third, if one translated source is all we have available and part of that translation is wrong, why are we assuming the rest is correct? Again, a simple statement from WikiLeaks or Assange’s attorneys would clear this up.
And why was Bella trying to DM me the information that Assange never confirmed his source? How is this a secret and wouldn’t that be something you would want the general public to be crystal clear about? Furthermore, she knows my DMs are open to her and yet that wasn’t the first time she’s dragged third parties into the drama in order to get my attention. This level of ridiculousness is frustrating and unnecessary.
My other point of frustration is why wouldn’t WikiLeaks want to clarify and amplify what Ecuador is doing to Assange i.e. turning off the heat, removing his bed? @BellaMagnani pointed out that Assange nor his lawyers can speak out without risking his asylum because A.7 of Ecuador’s special protocols that Assange is now forced to live under, states that visitors (which would include attorneys) must follow the “requirements established in section 2 of this Special Protocol.”
However, I pointed out that section 2 of the Special Protocol is about the rules visitors must follow in order to visit Assange and that it doesn’t mention anything about anyone speaking out about his conditions or otherwise.
Bella disagreed and thought that “section 2” referred to “B. Communications” in the document. Section “B. Communications” contains ten subsections and is exactly what it sounds like. It dictates Assange’s restrictions with regards to electronics, devices, and communications including Ecuador’s demand that he “comply scrupulously with the conventional and customary norms of diplomatic asylum…especially, the prohibition to carry out activities that could be considered as political interference in the internal affairs of other States,” or he risks losing his asylum.
So essentially what Bella was pointing out is that Assange has to “comply scrupulously” with the section “B. Communications,” requirements as do his lawyers (and any other visitors). That would mean that both Angela Richter and Cassandra Fairbanks both broke Ecuador’s Special Protocol by visiting Assange and then writing articles about the conditions Ecuador is forcing him to live under.
However, if you read through the document and insert all ten subsections of “B. Communication” into every place is says “section 2,” it doesn’t sense. For instance, 3. under part A. reads,
“After the second visit…he must only present the Identification Card indicated below, along with the information contained in the letters (f), at the entrance to the Embassy, (g) and (h) of section 2 of this Special Protocol.
If you look at the document, “B. Communications” doesn’t even have a (g) and (h) because (g) and (h) are a reference to “A. Visits” under which (g) is “Suggested date and time for the visit to Mr. Assange” and (h) is “Approximate duration of the visit.”
Another example is 8. under part A. which reads,
“The person in question will only be able to enter the Embassy after filling out the form that will be delivered to him at the entrance door, with the information included in section 2 of this Special Protocol…”
If I’m missing something here, I’m all ears because it doesn’t make sense that a visitor has to fill out a form at the embassy’s front door “with the information included” in B. Communications. What does make sense is Ecuador making visitors fill out a form with information that includes their name, cellphone and social media information, etc. that’s found in 2. under “A. Visits.”
Thus, it doesn’t appear that Ecuador has tried to restrict what Assange’s attorneys or WikiLeaks can communicate, say, on Twitter about his conditions. That’s not to say that wouldn’t be pushing the envelope because it might since a U.S. boot-licking dictator is now running the country. But what’s really the difference between WikiLeaks making a statement to clarify what’s going on with Assange’s conditions vs. retweeting articles that are derogatory about Ecuador?
At the end of the day, I still don’t know if the embassy was broken into, if the heat was turned off, or if they took Assange’s bed.
SILENCE IS COMPLICITY
For the last ten months (or longer) some of you stood silent even though you knew that @AngelFox71 was a two-faced grifter and a liability to the movement. Many of you knew fellow supporters were being trolled, harassed, and lied to but you didn’t speak up. When legitimate activists and journalists like Abby Martin and Randy Credico were attacked, you did nothing to support them. When reasonable concerns were raised about Julian Assange’s conditions, they were met with scorn and belittlement. And when Dawson’s background and the recruitment of Trump supporters and alt-right sympathizers became a concern, you not only remained silent, you promoted them.
Silence is complicity and regardless of whether or not some of this stuff is some sort of socially engineered game to sniff out enemies, aren’t we better than this? For the sake of Julian Assange’s safety and freedom, journalists around the world, whistleblowers, free press, free speech, truth, transparency, and even ourselves, can’t we do better?
SCREW YOU, LLAMA
Anyone who made it this far is probably plotting my demise or at the very least is in the process of writing a scathing rebuttal. In the meantime, there are two important things to remember: One, the views expressed here are my own. I didn’t consult with anyone before publishing and I certainly welcome comments, suggestions, questions, evidence to the contrary, corrections, and rebuttals.
Second, some will probably question why I’m writing on this subject instead of focusing on other things and the answer is simple: Like so many other people, I’m part of the community that supports Julian Assange and for lack of a better quote, “I just want my high school to be a nicer place.” And if history has taught us anything it’s that there has always been someone who wanted to use Assange for their own benefit, or worse, betray him to the very people and governments that want to hurt him. It pays to be vigilant.
As for some of the supporters I’ve mentioned in this article whom I’ve voiced my frustrations, my apologies but I’ve tried to address most of the issues in this article, if not all of them, in tweets, posts, or even in private, all to no avail. However, my frustration with how the community has operated in the last ten months or so is not meant to be a reflection on @GreekEmmy’s tireless efforts outside of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If you ever visit London, you’ll always have an Assange supporter to stand with and that’s a testament to her dedication to the cause. It’s just, can we take the attitude and suppression of speech down a notch? And that goes for everyone, including myself. More open dialogue and less stifling of speech will only make the community stronger, I promise.
And despite the two lunatics that @AnonScan has promoted, they have done nothing but support Assange while keeping the masses interested, educated, and entertained with their videos and timeline. In fact, they’ve put an enormous amount of time and energy into it. But sweet Jesus, take down that video on your Youtube channel that promotes the J9 campaign. It’s unseemly. And yes, I realize my opinion doesn’t account for much (but it should).
As for @BellaMagnani, there’s virtually nothing she’s not familiar with when it comes to Assange’s history and I can’t remember ever seeing her publicly attack or smear legitimate supporters. In fact, there’s no other supporter on Twitter that goes more out their way to educate people than her. But sometimes that’s hard to remember when I’m forced to choose between retweeting really good information or refraining from doing so so that I’m not promoting an alt-right, fascist hashtag that was started by someone who possibly and pathologically lied about her past and current situation.
The same can be said about WikiLeaks and maybe concerns in the community can be taken more seriously in the future. Or not. I mean, I wouldn’t write this ridiculously long-winded post if I wasn’t looking at the big picture or didn’t care about Julian Assange’s well being, the community, and long-time supporters who have been a bridge between the general public and Assange, so yeah. You’re kinda killing me, WikiLeaks.
As for Unity4J, Dawson, Dotcom, Angel, Fairbanks, the alt-right, Pizzaital, and Jeffrey, well… I have nothing more to say.
IT’S A NEW YEAR, LET’S DO BETTER
No seriously, it’s a new year so let’s do better. Last month I promised to work out more, lose that extra weight, spend more time with my family, be more organized, and show more kindness to strangers. I want a fresh start to improve myself and the world around me because I spent way too much time last year angry and frustrated instead of positive and productive. I’ve also resolved to be more active publicly when it comes to Assange because there’s only two words you should remember this year if you want to help him: “Go outside.”
This year we should be spending our time planning non-violent protests outside embassies, consulates, and media outlets at least once a month. I know that Class Conscious has been very active in planning events and perhaps they would be willing to throw their hat in the ring to help. The U.K. deserves the most pressure because Assange’s inability to receive safe passage rests solely on their shoulders. Personally, I’m willing to drive from D.C. to Chicago or anywhere in between to protest and that’s a promise. Maybe I’ll write some more articles about Assange’s plight but I would prefer to write some more articles about the protest I just attended.
I mean it. Let’s put a little octane in this puppy and move this thing into offensive high-gear this year instead of always waiting on the bench. Remember how amazing Vault 7’s pre-publication campaign was and how many people it drew in? That’s exactly what we need: More offense, less defense. There’s nothing positive about regurgitating a lie over and over again on Twitter in order to debunk it when it’s much more entertaining to stand in front of a media outlet with a microphone and a camera in hand when the editor walks out.
I have no doubt that we can garner enough support to pressure governments into freeing Assange with hitting the streets, using the monumental, trailblazing things Assange and WikiLeaks have accomplished, a hashtag that makes sense, and the drive to fight an oppressive establishment and every bit of corruption and power it stands for. And no, that doesn’t include Nazis, WikiLeaks, so drop that Unity4J shiz you’re selling in your shop. It’s a new year, let’s do better.