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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/20/21

Home Run for Julian, Philadelphia: Bases Loaded

Message Domp Filanowski


(Image by Dominic Filanowski)   Details   DMCA

From left to right: Gabriel Shipton (Assange's brother, holding mic), John Shipton (Assange's Father), Yanai Indigo (Black Alliance for Peace), Pam Africa (MOVE)

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Think you're radical enough to support the First Amendment? The Home Run for Julian tour is traveling across the US to garner support for Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks [01]. John and Gabriel Shipton, Julian's father and brother, respectively, would like to create a grass roots movement calling on the United States to drop all charges against Julian. The Justice Department under the Obama administration, which ironically invoked the Espionage Act against James Risen for refusing to disclose the source for his book, State of War, concluded that charging Assange would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to issues with so-called "traditional" media outlets [02]. Last Friday (6-11-21), the tour stopped in front of the Free Speech Monument, at 5th and Market, near the Liberty Bell. The Shipton's joined Yanai Indigo (Black Alliance for Peace) and Pam Africa (MOVE) to discuss the atrocity of political prisoners, along with the importance of free speech, whistleblowers, and journalists.

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Why did I attend this event? First and foremost, I support government transparency, and I value the free press. Secondly, the cultural climate of the United States has changed dramatically since the Obama administration concluded not to charge Julian. People think differently than they used to, particularly after the events of 2016. Admittedly, it is a very confusing time to say the least. That is to say, it is very difficult to decipher the truth by cross referencing information. Some would point to DJT's gaslighting and attacks against the media, but this would minimize the impact of the media's actual deception that helped to legitimize Trump's claims to some extent (misleading soundbites like "good people on both sides" escalated our polarization). I believe Trump's personality itself was actually part of an elaborate ruse to make anti-war and pro-labor economic policies less favorable or less pertinent to a large swath of populists, namely the moderate-progressives (USMCA=NAFTA2.0).

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Progressives may be a minority by themselves, but combined with the populist right, we are a majority, a noteworthy distinction. When the people are adamantly opposed to trusting an institution such as the United States legislature, the only way that institution can gain their trust [in order to manipulate them] is by attacking itself. This is the role Trump played and continues to play, along with the charade of an investigation. Many of Trump's supporters don't actually support him or his policies other than his apparent opposition to the establishment. Conversely, the opposition to Trump makes some people more malleable to authoritarianism, and Assange was/is viewed in a negative light as a result of this malleability.

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It is my belief that Trump was, is and always will be chummy with the Clintons et al (behind closed doors), and that he played a strategic role that was effective for social engineering (pied piper candidate). In addition to the military spending and elitist economic strategy, I believe much of the confusion has been a smokescreen of misdirection created by the upper echelon of a hierarchy frantically trying to maintain control, both domestically and abroad. And I believe that the facts revealed by Wikileaks over the years are paramount to the desire for such a smokescreen in the first place. The duopoly is dependent on partisanship, an effective tool of manipulation that makes people settle for their team because of a perception of a worse team. Therefore, the DemExit movement, which was the direct result of Wikileaks' publications, is perceived as a threat to the hierarchy [03].

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My apologies to "you-all" (a joke you will get after watching the video). I am not a professional documentarian or camera operator. I missed the introduction, thinking my phone was recording when it was not, and I accidentally gonzo'ed myself into the footage when I dropped my phone at one point. As the crowd gathered, I had to sit on the wet sidewalk to get a spot up front, and you can barely see Gabriel's face, even when I extended my arm (causing the phone drop). Also, the video is broken up into five parts because my phone rang at one point, and I thought, prematurely, that they were wrapping things up (Seth who? ,,,well would you look at the time.).

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To the best of my ability, I transcribed what I believe to be the highlights of their conversation below. Scroll down to footnotes (06-10) for video links.

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Video HR4J_1 [06]

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John Shipton:

Behind me here is one of the most profound civilizational artifacts in the world, the First Amendment. This is a treasure of the United States that's been slowly eroded by WASHINGTON, and Washington no longer wants this GOLDEN ARTIFACT to dominate the correspon- ,,,the conversation in the United States. It's a really important matter. Now, Julian Assange, his publications, is becoming a victim, the first victim of the destruction of the First Amendment.

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So, you-all support will assist us and assist yourselves and all the other people in the United States who treasure and utilize the First Amendment,,,shall express themselves with their friends to publish their thoughts and have conversations wherein they can get,,,or put together a point of view and understand that the government ought not to do this or ought to do something. This is SO important. So, thank you very much, and uh,,,the fight goes on.

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Gabriel Shipton:

We're sort of communicating all this back to Julian that people are coming out all over the,,,you know, we've been to,,,uh we started off in Miami. Then we went to Boston. We did New York, yesterday. Philadelphia today, and we'll be in DC tomorrow. And you know we're just letting Julian know that everyone's coming out and there's a lot of support here on the ground. And that keeps him going, in prison.

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So, Julian won his extradition case on the third of January, but the US DOJ appealed, you know, instantly basically. And a few days later, he was refused bail. And it's been six months since that day, and he still doesn't know whether there,,,when there will be an appeal hearing. So, he's just been sitting in a maximum-security prison ON REMAND that,,,he's not sentenced. So, you know, he's surrounded by people who are serving life sentences, sixteen-year sentences. But for Julian, there's no finality. There's no,,,no sentence. So, there's no,,,you know, we can't even plan a party or anything for him, you know, when he gets out. So, this is a sort of technique that's been used against Julian to sort of wear him down,,,you know it's one of the,,,you have also the [UN] Special Rapporteur on torture has uh,,,from the UN,,,has called it psychological tor- ,,,or no-touch torture, which Julian has been suffering under for almost, I think it's twelve years,,,in the twelfth year now.

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Why is this happening to Julian? Uh,,,Julian, he really flipped the lens of surveillance,,,and so when the surveillers became the surveilled,,,so that the people who do bad things in our name now have to think twice before they sort of commit their corruption or their crimes because they know that there are people like Julian out there who will expose them.

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Video HR4J_2 [07]

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Gabriel Shipton:

,,,Actually, with Julian's case where it feels like we're up against such a, such a um,,,you know the national security state is so powerful. So, I think what's been successful in Australiar is just keeping things local. So, you,,,petition your local Congress person (presumably, the two US Senators of your home state and the US Representative of your local congressional district, given the context). Set up a local petition among your local constituents, and target your Congress person (other forms of activism would be beneficial as well). Get your friends, your family and neighbors all to express what they want to their Congress person through a petition, and then submit that to your Congress person. And then, you know,,,they represent YOU, so they have to do what you want.

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And then, once you've got that group formed through the petition, you just keep working it. Keep getting together. Keep talking, emailing. And then just keep attacking your Congress person (figuratively speaking). And getting them, you know, to do something. So, talk to Merrick Garland, get him to drop the charges, or abdicate to Biden. But I think that's the best, you know, what we can do, on a local level,,,is, is things like that, AND THEY WORK. They work in Australiar, and they work all around the world, so,,,I don't see why it wouldn't work here.

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Alright,,,um,,,thanks, everyone.

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John Shipton:

Just one more thing, you know, we're all brothers and sisters in this battle. There's no separation at all. And as my companion here, on my left,,,it is all joined together (unclear, possible alternative "let us all join together"), for inst- ,,,pushing on this circumstance to get Julian Assange free, also to prevent the erosion of the First Amendment, is the beginning of unity and solidarity for us.

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And Gabriel mentioning, THE SECRET IS,,,IN LOCAL. Don't expect Biden to do anything. Just expect your local Congressman to take notice of the four hundred and fifty or five hundred signatures on a local petition. Say 'look, these are your people here, and this is our concern.'

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That's sufficient. It builds. And it starts,,,well in Australia now, about,,,

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Video HR4J_3 [08]

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[I believe John Shipton may have transitioned from speaking about Australia in the video HR4J_2, to speaking about the UK in the video HR4J_3 while I was fumbling with my phone. I believe this because of an article [04] where his son Gabriel is speaking about roughly 30 Julian supporters in the UK Parliament]

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John Shipton:

,,,about thirty of them are actively sympathetic, and it's only come about through that technique, a Facebook page with your friends, talking things over. Get yourself in the information stream. And a simple petition to your local congressman and say 'Look, we've got this concern. What are you going to do, old chap?' ,,,very simple. Build from the ground, up.

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Not,,,don't expect them to be rainmakers, you know, Biden's got so much on his plate that he couldn't fix anything. And he's a, he's a year older than me, ha ha, I tell ya. He's got a load of trouble concentrating. Ha ha. Oh, I know. Thank, thank you very much, and uh,,,see you, see you at the,,,how's it go? ,,,SEE YOU AT THE BARRICADES.

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Video HR4J_4 [09]

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Yanai Indigo:

I'm just going to read over a timeline,,,so in 2010 Wikileaks released the video, Collateral Murder, which was leaked to them by Chelsea Manning. The video showed the killing of Iraqis, including a journalist. 2010 Afghan War Logs and Iraq War Logs were released.

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In 2010, Assange was accused of rape in Sweden. He was never charged there. He returned to Sweden for questioning, but he fought extradition. He feared that he would be turned over to the US.

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2012, Assange seeks asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy, in London.

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In 2013, Swedish prosecutors attempted to close the case, but they were dissuaded by the British.

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In 2016, Wikileaks releases DNC emails, which they say were leaked, and forensic computer evidence confirms a leak and not a hack (Bill Binney).

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Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship in 2017, but in 2018, a new government in Ecuador cut off his communication and removed his citizenship after receiving four billion dollars in an IMF loan.

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In 2019, Chelsea Manning was jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury.

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Also in 2019, the UK removed Assange from the embassy after Ecuador revoked his citizenship.

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US indictment charging him under the Espionage Act is unsealed.

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He was sent to Belmarsh Prison, where he remains today.

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Eastern Court District of Virginia is a hanging court where acquittals are rare.

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In 2019, UN Rapporteur,,,Nils Melzer [05] described his treatment in the embassy and in jail as meeting the definition of torture, as just described.

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In 2019, Sweden officially drops the sexual assault charges.

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In 2021, British judge declares against sending him to the US, citing his poor health, but also refuses to release him on bail.

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So that is just a quick timeline, so people can understand, you know, a little more about this case. And I just was wondering if you-all wanted to share anything about Julian,,,like did you have a hint that he would be this kind of person that would take this kind of risk and stand out in this way and be able to make this kind of impact while he was growing up?

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Gabriel Shipton:

Yeah, I think,,,whenever I've known Julian, he was always trying to use his skills to stop injustice basically in the world. And one way he used to do that was he made, in the early 2000's, he worked on a,,,some encryption software called "rubber hose" which was developed for journalists who would say travel over a border and be pulled over by police. They would be tortured. And it was a multi-layered encryption program. So, say if they had a USB stick, and the state was torturing them, they could give one password, and that would open one layer. And the second layer would remain undetectable. And so, the torturers would be like 'Oh, we found it. We found everything.' But the second layer would hide the information.

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So, the actual leakers or people who, you know, were giving information to journalists would remain protected. So, from a very early time, he's always been interested in 'How do we hold states to account? How do we prevent injustice around the world? And how do we expose injustice?' And that sort of developed from there. And in 2006 he started Wikileaks. And that sort of eventually grew and grew to what it is today. So, he's definitely had this keen sense of what is right, and how the TRUTH will really just DESTROY INJUSTICE around the world.

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John Shipton:

,,,There's just no need to go and bomb Iraq and MURDER, in the process, a million people. Or have people like Madam Albright say, on television, when asked about five hundred thou- ,,,Can you imagine the GRIEF? Five hundred thousand children,,,destroyed their lives,,,the GRIEF that their moms and dads felt. FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND, and she said, 'Oh, well. We think it's worth it.' Well, these people are just monsters. And so, we fight against them. Thank you.

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Video HR4J_5 [10]

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John Shipton:

Edward [Snowden] ended up in Hong Kong, abandoned by The Intercept,,,on his own. Julian used the tools of,,,secrecy, encryption, deceit, duplicity,,,to confuse the CIA pursuing,,,when I say duplicity, having a false trail, laying a false trail so that the CIA followed the wrong trail,,,and managed to get Edward to safety. Edward reached out to Julian for assistance, stranded in Hong Kong. So that's the communication. He saved his life.

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Gabriel Shipton:

All these organizations, the Department of Defense or the State Department, or the CIA, you know, they're all just made up of people. There's people in there like you and I, you know, there's good people. There's bad people. So, within all these institutions there exists the Edward Snowden's, the Daniel Hale's, these whistleblowers. They're in there. They know,,,they have a sense of, you know, they have principles. And they have a sense of right and wrong. And when they come across these war crimes or mass spying, they feel a need to release these things. And I think what's happened now is that with this prosecution against Julian, there's no longer an outlet for these whistleblowers because this is the first time the Espionage Act has been used against a publisher. So now, say the New York Times or the Washington Post or any other media outlet,,,if they receive some national security leak, they now have to consider whether they will come under an Espionage Act prosecution. So, if you're a good person in one of these institutions,,,if you're a principled person who sees injustice, and you say, 'I need to leak this. I need to put this out.' But then you turn around and it can't be printed anywhere because these publishers can now be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. That's why it's so important that this prosecution is stopped because there's all this stuff that's being done behind closed doors needs to come out,,,that needs to be talked about,,,that we need to know what's being done, you know, in our names.

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Man from audience:

Does he receive mail?

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John Shipton:

Yes, there's even a website. It's called 'write Julian dot com.'

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Footnotes:

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01. erun4julian.org/

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angedefense.org/tour/

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02. click here

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03. I would like to discuss this matter further, possibly in another opinion piece, but for now I'll just present some evidence which supports the likelihood that Donald Trump is in cahoots with the establishment and vice versa.

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Shortly after being sworn in, Trump signed an executive order that gave the FBI access to NSA mass surveillance data (unconstitutional spying on US citizens). The USMCA (NAFTA2.0) is weak but pacified the rightwing working class because it's associated with Trump, while it also pacified the leftwing working class because the Democrats modified the deal with Trumka's slightly less weak demands. The 2016 Alfred E. Smith Dinner hot-mic-moment vanished quickly into obscurity. Trump and Clinton were caught praising each other and planning on working together after the election, in private, after sparring more harshly than a typical presidential race, in front of the camera (e.g., "Now, you notice there is no teleprompter here tonight, which is probably smart, because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day," Clinton said, "And I get that. They're hard to keep up with, and I'm sure it's even harder when you're translating from the original Russian," an implication of treason [11]). Trump was actually booed several times for his comments that evening. Generally speaking, moderate progressives are now less supportive of tariffs, trustbusting, peaceful relations with nuclear powers, whistleblowers, and the publication of leaked information after the events of 2016. The National Guard, which is under direct control of the commander in chief, according to their own statement, was eventually called in, and we had a relatively peaceful transition of power. Unfortunately, the United States government has demonstrated its support for ends justifying the means, and the lives of five individuals would no doubt be considered expendable to the state. Additionally, the insurrection will likely be used to justify the fortification of the capital to prevent a populist uprising, which weakens the power of the Second Amendment.

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On a side note, the MSM coverage of the Helsinki Summit demonstrates a coordinated effort to spread deceptive information as damage control after Putin called the DOJ's bluff on the indictment of twelve Russian intelligence officers, citing an old US-Russia treaty (we're not going to extradite, and we're not going to deescalate tensions with Russia -the MSM). Even FoxNews, which was generally supportive of Trump and discredited the allegations of Trump-Russia collusion at the time of the Summit, parroted the same straw man argument. Putin specifically requested reciprocal interrogations of the accused citizen/resident to be held on their home soil, and there was no mention of extradition. Before this indictment, the US heavily relied on innuendo like "tactics, techniques and procedures" to imply allegations without actually making definitive statements. This doesn't mean that Russia is innocent, but it is apparent from the indictment that there is no direct evidence, only speculation based on Intel rumors. It also supports the plausible existence of Operation Mockingbird, a conspiracy theory that claims the intelligence community influences the media. Or perhaps the same puppet master(s) are controlling both the IC and the media, presumably wealthy individuals.

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04. .democracynow.org/2021/6/11/julian_assange_extradition

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05. click here

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06. .youtube.com/watch?v=epUToSSszf8

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07. .youtube.com/watch?v=-xB_G2BwD-c

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08. .youtube.com/watch?v=9QegI5Mi80Y

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09. .youtube.com/watch?v=gcnsyxkfqaQ

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10. .youtube.com/watch?v=qOok4vgDjrY

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11. click here


(Image by Dominic Filanowski)   Details   DMCA

Free Speech Monument, 5th & Market

(Article changed on Jun 22, 2021 at 9:10 AM EDT)

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Dominic M Filanowski, II is a self-described writer-artist-activist and a cultivator of thought. He's a Philly-boy that truly knows the meaning of brotherly love. Educated in the field of graphic design, Dominic has a working knowledge of (more...)
 

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