They say a good magician never gives away their tricks, but I’m breaking that rule today. Because my hard-learned tricks (derived from practical experience gained in the course of my activism career) have the potential to save other activists a huge amount of grief, pain, confusion and disgrace, or even strengthen and empower them in ways that could be the difference between the make or break of their social movements. So it’s imperative that they are shared, savoured, bookmarked, and shared again.
Information Cuts Both Ways
To our governments, information is the most powerful weapon. They steal it, they hoard it for themselves, they jealously guard it, they limit access to it, they taint it, they monopolise it, they misuse it, they commercialise it and they censor it.
To WikiLeaks, information is a tool of emancipation. They verify it, then they gift it to the public.
In authentic, meticulously executed journalism such as theirs, information is gleaned from deep research and careful study – unearthed clues, puzzle pieces, accumulated over extended periods of time that when compiled, cross-referenced and verified add up to something previously unimaginable, yet undeniable once that ring of truth resonates and then reverberates.
Without any doubt, this is the fundament of what any true journalist engages in, a form of information activism. The returning of information to those to whom it ultimately belongs, and who benefit most from it – you, me and all of humanity. Real journalists deliver us the truth on a platter and then staunchly defend our right to it.
When those true journalists are under threat or attack, it is then our obligation to staunchly defend them in turn.
Passing The Baton
The movement to free Julian has already been a long battle but is likely to continue for many years to come. The movement to free Nelson Mandela was eight years to fruition, but some thirteen years of prior groundwork before that. Mandela was in prison for over a quarter century before being celebrated as a Nobel laureate or ascending to the Presidency of South Africa. These emancipation struggles are intergenerational. Nor are they guaranteed victories. There are no easy wins – they are hard. They are meaningful. And that’s why each win is so precious.
Sometimes the same battle has to be won over and over again.
At every stage, we individually and collectively have been, are and will be opposed by monied, institutional powers vastly greater than ourselves. To outmanoeuvre them takes great savvy. It takes staunch, unmoving, determined activists willing to sacrifice the comforts of a conventional existence in service to greater principles.
To be an activist like that, takes 50% natural talent and personal efficacy and 50% skill learned through experience, modelling and nurturing by other activists.
I’m very lucky to have had both, and in this article I will attempt to pass on as much as I can of what I have learned, just as others did for me.
In my nearly eight years of activism, I have traversed a rocky road fraught with peril and packed full of hard-learned lessons. I’ve gone from green, idealistic and largely oblivious, to jaded, seasoned and discerning. To varying extents, every other activist is somewhere along that path as well. Some are far, far more advanced than myself. (Julian would be a great example of this.) Others are at a similar point to me. Many more are further back. And as the movement to free Julian grows, there are more every day who are starting out at the very beginning.
At key points in my journey, when I was thoroughly bewildered, disturbed or even mortified by what I was witnessing occur around me or what I was being subjected to, advice shared with me by more seasoned activists helped to make sense of what was happening to me and thus helped me to cope with it. I wish now to do this for others, preferably preemptively. Demystifying the targeting of activists greatly empowers us to better deal with it. Dispelling the illusions constantly planted by those who target us, shifts the power balance from the hunter to the hunted.
This article will contain only things that I have not already discussed in my 2016 documentary Diary of a Person of Interest. I highly suggest you watch that if you are interested in a narrative retelling of what it is like to be subjected to targeted state-sponsored and private surveillance, and as a complementary work to this article. Likewise, if you are interested in the emotional impacts of being targeted by the state, my original 2014 article that my documentary was named after, can be found here. It lays out hour by hour across a single calendar day, what it is like to be a targeted activist.
What this article will instead do, is:
a) share advice and information that greatly benefited me in my activism
b) discuss tactical responses and strategies that will assist in your activism, and
c) further analyse the methods of those who will oppose your activism, so that you can better identify and respond to their attempts to limit the impact of your work, and ultimately to control you
ACTIVISM AND ORGANISING: SUZIE’S SURVIVAL GUIDE
1. Know your enemy
You shouldn’t obsess over the opposition but you should study them so that you can be one step ahead of their methods, well in advance. No matter how good their cover, the bad guys are easily identifiable and ultimately can be countered because:
1A) They all get the same training
You know how Agent Smith and the other agents in the Matrix all look the same? They have the same tools, the same training, the same methods, the same abilities. This is exactly how it is with saboteurs, infiltrators, state and private agents. It doesn’t matter whether their name is Tom, Dick or Harry, Sally or Jessica. You will know your enemy because they operate exactly the same way as all the others do. The sum total of their involvement is the same: shit, shit and more shit.
1B) They will use the language of your movement against you
Their attacks are the most effective if they appear to come from your side. Expect to be primarily attacked by those who appear on the surface as if they would be natural allies.
They will use language like ‘democracy’, ‘transparency’, ‘equality’, ‘tolerance’ or ‘inclusiveness’ as a cover to divert you from your activism goals, consume your attention and destabilise your organisation. We saw this time and again at Occupy, where these words were used by saboteurs as a smoke screen to mask insane propositions and diversionary endeavours.
They invoke language that they have assessed will ideologically resonate with the intended audience, while their footprints run completely counter to the principles they are espousing.
1C) They work in teams
It may seem like you have a lone saboteur working in isolation but this is never the case. They always have a support network, both visible and invisible. Pairs of visible saboteurs may work in tandem, sometimes playing good-cop bad-cop, sometimes one drawing attention in order to mask what another is doing. They consider themselves ‘surveillance role players’ because they devise and play roles, as if it is some kind of theatre production. They invent characters and then attempt to flesh them out. They also devise scripts – they plot and plan their interactions with key figures, sometimes well in advance.
If they know you are naturally wary of strangers or new people because you are aware you are a target, they may invest weeks or months befriending third parties who you trust, just so they can engineer an introduction to you or to get you into a situation where you will have your guard down, or be more likely to be receptive to their approach.
1D) They will fight with each other to create disturbances
Drama is their lifeblood. Often saboteurs will give the appearance of being at odds with each other, or having personal beef, just to draw and capture the attention of the group. It is a time-wasting exercise. Every minute that your attention or the group’s attention is on the drama of the saboteurs, is a minute that you aren’t producing work to advance your cause or achieving your goals. Time is the most precious commodity to an activist and that must remain forefront in your mind. A saboteur measures their success by their ability to command your attention, and waste your time and resources.
1E) They will seek to centralise all channels
Agents and their proxies have their resources stretched thin when movements and organisations are architecturally disparate. Therefore saboteurs always seek to centralise control. They will attempt to go after the following channels one by one and then merge or centralise control of them at singular chokepoints (staffed by them): a) finances, b) communications, c) media presence or representation, d) legal, e) political representation or negotiation teams, f) group facilitation or any other key wings or assets of your movement or group.
Whenever I see a previously large group or organisation where all channels have fallen under the control of a singular faction, it is a flashing red sign for me that the targeting of that organisation has advanced significantly in the favour of those seeking to destabilise it.
Once they have centralised the channels, they usually systematically shut them down, or allow them to fall dormant, as they push out, marginalise or exclude the original champions of the roles.
1F) They will institute policy, then claim violations – movement policing
“Safer Spaces” policies, or any type of internal group rules and regulations, are the dream tool of saboteurs. They will seek to institute and expand these policies infinitely then use perceived or proclaimed violations of those policies as an excuse to internalise the group’s focus inwards towards each other instead of outwards towards the goals of the movement or organisation.
“Conflict Resolution” is another time-sink that they love to trick people into. At Occupy, months of ‘Conflict Resolution’ meetings sucked air out of the movement, buying time for police and state agencies to advance their destabilisation efforts, while we sat in endless meetings debating whose feelings were hurt by whatever petty social infraction and what we should do about it.
Refuse to police your movement. Refuse to emulate the state by assuming state functions like criminal justice and punishment.Keep your rules up front and really, really simple, stick to them like glue, and avoid fine-grained internal policies or policy discussion like the plague.
1G) Wolves in sheep’s clothing
Part of saboteur’s cover, or ‘clothing’, is their claims to membership of perceived vulnerable groups or marginalised factions. Agents are completely immoral and have no compunction whatsoever about imitating LGBTQ activists, claiming racial or religious affiliations which they don’t have, or making outlandish and insane claims about their personal lives and relationships.
At Occupy we had a saboteur that claimed to be transitioning – he used to make a huge show of taking pre-op trans medication, assembling an audience to watch him swallow the pills, which turned out to be placebos. Years later he was still very much a man and showing zero signs of transitioning, but pulling the very same tricks with new activist groups. These provocateurs love to do outlandish things to captivate attention while systematically attacking key pillars of the movement and leaving a trail of dysfunction in their wake.
1H) They hide behind stooges
Agents will frequently have off-siders, friends (who are well-meaning but gullible activists) or other bystanders who they will suck in to fronting activities which produce disturbances or damage the movement/group. You see this both IRL and in the online format. Agents far prefer to have someone else attack you than to do it themselves. They manipulate and provoke other human beings into doing things, to create an insulation layer for themselves.
In the vast majority of instances where you are being overtly attacked or smeared by someone, it isn’t actually them that is the provocateur, but someone behind them pushing the buttons. Agents then sell the stooges down the river in five minutes flat if there is any danger of them being exposed. They have no loyalty to those whom they push around like pawns, though they may feign it when it suits.
We saw this repeatedly at Occupy, where saboteurs would devise damaging motions and resolutions, but then push forward others to actually table and pass them, while the saboteur maintained a pretence of disinterest or ambivalence.
1I) They prioritise preventing you networking with legit people
They will go to great, even shocking lengths, to keep you away from those you should most be working with. I once had a saboteur bodily throw themselves between Kim Dotcom and I, screaming like a banshee at the top of their lungs, to prevent us from meeting and talking to each other at a public event. I likewise had saboteurs approaching key figures in the New Zealand activism community, including the then-Head of the NZ Law Society at a GCSB action meeting, to point me out and implore him not to ever talk or work with me.
Agents consider it a failure to allow you to form relationships with those with whom you are likely to work well, achieve gains, or whom you would have a natural affinity with. They will go to great pains to identify who those potential allies are, and poison the connections in many cases before they even occur, or to derail a productive relationship when it is in its fledgling or even advanced stages. They will do everything they can to break the connections.
From inside it, and at a micro level, there will always seem to be logical “reasons” for the breakdowns of these connections or relationships. But when you stand back and look from a distance, across the span of your activism, the pattern is clear.
In my experience, it is only top-tier fellow targets who are impervious to these tactics. They’ve seen it happen to themselves so many times before that they spot the engineering of these situations a mile off. However, the vast majority of normal people are entirely susceptible to this, as to them, it just comes across as if someone is trying to warn them off someone else in their own best interests, or from goodwill, rather than in a deliberate attempt to prevent them forming or advancing a relationship.
1J) They constantly distract you with bullshit if you let them
Trivial nonsense, drama, back-stabbing, he-said-she-said, rumour-mongering and gossip, politics and group dynamics, character assassination and diversions are the staple diet an agent wants to feed you.
They will try to work out what your pet peeves are then capitalise on them by drip feeding you related content. They will work out what presses your buttons then press them over and over again. They’ll work out who you don’t like, then try to keep your focus on that person. They’ll waste your time, exploit and play to the least admirable aspects of your personality/psychological profile, at every opportunity. They also love to send people on wild goose chases – which is yet another manifestation of their broader time-wasting agenda.
1K) They try to turn your outward focus inwards
They need you looking everywhere else except at the goals that you, your movement or organisation is trying to achieve. They’ll play to your ego and get you to talk about yourself, or about other people. But their eyes will never be on achieving the goal for which you were drawn into activism in the first place. They might pay the goals lip service, but they’ll never empower you or advance sane, tangible steps to achieve them.
1L) They fall on the wrong side of every issue
Devil’s advocacy is another best friend of the saboteur. They’ll always advance an opposing idea or agenda to each suggestion you make. They’ll try to lobby or convince you or your group to look at things a different way than you do, a way which conveniently aligns with the best interests of those you oppose or that would suit them to a T.
They’ll also rally to the defence of the indefensible. For example, on the internet, you see the same “activist” personalities rallying to the defence of, or attempting to publicly legitimise, FBI informant Hector ‘Sabu’ Monsegur as you do New Zealand Police informant Ben Rachinger, or the FBI informant Siggi Thordarsen.
They’re the type that’ll proclaim allegiance to Anonymous, while praising US intervention in Syria, smearing CIA targets like WikiLeaks and writing tweets defending James Comey. Total frauds.
1M) They manufacture history
They will engineer outcomes then launder them into the historical record. Then they’ll cite that historical record to reinforce the fiction they created.
Almost the entire mainstream history of the Internet Party of New Zealand is a manufactured history engineered by spooks. I can tell you this for certain because I have experienced it firsthand in real time since its inception. What is said about it by agents of the state (and by this I’m absolutely including corporate media) bears no resemblance to what was actually going on. This is the same for countless targeted organisations including WikiLeaks.
The real history gets censored, ignored, or algorithmically buried, while the manufactured falsehoods are in the first paragraphs of Wikipedia pages and at the top of Google searches.
To this day, an obscure astro-turf blog packed full of deranged defamatory rants about me by an ex-Police Prosecutor in New Zealand turned Private Investigator, who stalked myself and my family, appear on the first page of Google results for my name. This is not an accident.
Think infamous Wikipedia mass-defamatory editor Philip Cross. These tactics are applied globally, because these tactics aren’t the doings of random actors. They’re the doings of state agencies.
1N) They are fair-weather friends
They will establish themselves as a supporter to make their inevitable attacks on you more effective. They will promote you incessantly from low-follower sock puppet accounts/personalities, or write ostensibly favourable blogposts about you, only to then turn on you while saying “I supported [x] BUT THEN I REALISED [insert smear]…”
This has happened to me, but it’s happened to Julian Assange so many times I can’t count. In fact, almost everything I describe in this article that I’ve personally experienced, Julian has experienced the on-steroids version. He is the ultimate target, and therefore cops it exponentially worse than everyone else.
The degree to which you as an activist experience what I’m describing on this page, will be in proportion with your effectiveness and thus your perceived threat level to the state.
Julian was the most effective of our generation, so he is the most targeted.
1O) They give themselves away through their language
Agents do their best to impersonate us but they suck at it. They’ll try to use our language, posture themselves as true believers, adopting our ideology, but because they don’t actually believe it they inevitably say stupid, “off” things that give themselves away.
I never forgot one of the saboteurs at Occupy trying to convince a group of activists to move one of the marches we were planning, from the beautiful green spaces outside the Council buildings (which the Council absolutely hated us holding events at) to a concrete square that is literally the most surveilled area in Auckland City – right outside the main transport hub downtown, where nests of surveillance cameras are located.
His argument for us moving our march there was hilarious. He kept saying “I can feel the energy down there is just so great. The concrete there has such great energy.”
Concrete doesn’t have any energy. It’s an inert, engineered, man-made substance, that literally paves an energy dead-zone over the earth buried beneath it. But in the minds of agents, we activists are all airy fairy new age spiritualistsand therefore using the concept of ‘positive energy’ to try to get us to take an action that served the purposes of the state, seemed a sound bet.
Similarly, beware of agents using team-building exercises, or icebreaker exercises, to profile your group. “Let’s all say our names, our ages, where we are from and something about ourselves so we can get to know each other better” is a classic line I’ve seen used many times. Likewise, agents (or gullible activists imitating others they’ve seen do it) will try to get people at actions to declare in advance whether or not they are willing to get arrested. They’ll claim to be doing so to protect those who are unable to be arrested, but in reality it is yet again a profiling exercise in order to profile participants and aid in assigning threat levels to them.
1P) Negative synergy
Agents love nothing more than to create as many beefs for you as possible then connect all the hostile parties together with you being their perceived common ground, and unite them against you. Anyone who has any beef with you whatsoever will be miraculously connected with each other, with their assorted or purported grievances against you being the common denominator. While your focus is on taking down vast, corrupt power structures and exposing mass injustice, their petty focus will be solely on you, you, you.
1Q) Fake ‘official’ websites, communications, social media accounts
I’ve managed to dig out a pastebin file I wrote in 2012 about some of the nefarious activities of one of the saboteurs. He would take the official Occupy Auckland logo, and create astro-turf social media accounts, business cards, and flyers with content damaging to the movement, and substitute his own personal contact details for the official Occupy comms channels. Interestingly, the file has been removed by Pastebin for unknown reasons. However, the Archive.org version remains available to this day and can be viewed here.
1R) They clean up their tracks – or their tracks get cleaned up for them
When the ex-Police Prosecutor I mentioned earlier doxed myself and my children and published all of our personal details on the internet, it remained online for years. Even when I complained to Police that it endangered myself and my children, no action was taken and it was still not removed. Yet somehow, any evidence that you publish of nefarious police or covert agent activity, will be scrubbed from internet history. Case in point: my 2012 article “COINTELPRO & Occupy: The War Within” contained umpteen source links including to photos of armed DHS agents, and DHS vehicles on site at Occupies in the US, as well as FBI and other agencies (something that for the longest time officials tried to deny was occurring, and people like Naomi Wolf who were calling it out were voraciously attacked for doing so).
Yet nearly every source link in my article is now broken. Link after link after link, the evidence has all been sanitised out of existence. This is no accident. Just as I proved in ‘Being Julian Assange‘ and again in ‘Freeing Julian Assange: Part One‘ – the true history of WikiLeaks, of Julian, of the original campaign to free Chelsea Manning, of Occupy… is systematically eradicated.
All the historical record is left with is manufactured Wikipedia pages and the perennial and ever-present smear blogs, media psy-ops and false narratives.
Only those of us who remember what really happened, or who can show the empty shells of what was once there but no longer is, have any hope at countering the lies with truth.
1S) Fake revelations
Generally speaking, it’s useless expending months of your time trying to expose known saboteurs or agents because even if you do finally get rid of the leeches, they are just replaced with another one and you have to begin the whole process again.
However, on occasion, when their goose is well and truly overcooked, and they are either exposed or self-identify as an agent (which happens more frequently than one may think), they tend to put out an official statement about how and why they became agents of the state. Except this too is usually false. They simply lie about when and how they were turned, to cover their tracks.
In the cases I have looked into (and I’ve written on this topic before) there is no doubt that the self-professed agents in question became agents, infiltrated movements and targeted activists, years before they claimed they did.
2. How to beat them
2A) Always pick the timing of your response
The agent’s timing is never incidental – it is always intended to cause maximum disruption – so always pick the timing of your response. Like clockwork, smears against Unity4J would be published and circulated immediately prior to major events. Ditto with smears on me personally – they have always manifested at precise times of significance in my journalism or activism. Ditto with smears against the Occupy Auckland media team. They would manifest precisely as we were executing some major piece of work (for example, when we were supporting the critically important Occupy Sandy). This isn’t coincidental – it’s because the smears are a form of sabotage – a sleight of hand produced as a direct result of intelligence gathered via surveillance.
The bad guys will know what you’re up to from spying on you – and attempt to intervene to stall or derail you. Never fall for it. Always, always, always – respond at a time and in a manner of your choosing. (Once you get really good at this, you’ll learn to turn the tables by picking response times that are the least convenient for them!)
Saboteurs are all about provocation. Do not be provoked.
2B) Deny them what they want
Whenever you’re feeling miserable, ask yourself, how does your FBI handler want you to feel today?
This is the single most important question you can ask yourself. The FBI expends countless resources and man-hours analysing its targets and then attempting to manipulate them, their surroundings, and their emotions. So put yourself in their shoes. Then look at yourself.
How do they want you to feel? They want you to feel isolated. Disheartened. Weak. Impotent. Like you don’t matter, your work doesn’t matter, and you’ll never achieve anything. They want you to be terrified. They want you to give up.
Once you’ve looked at things from their perspective: deny them that victory. Feel the opposite to how they want you to feel. Do the opposite of what they want you to do. That is resistance.
2C) Be agile and unpredictable
The Matrix moves slowly. Because it’s owners and operators function under a traditional hierarchical structure.
Which means every time the shit hits the fan for The Empire, such as the spontaneous manifestation of over 2,000 cities participating in the Occupy movement within a very short timeframe – they can’t simply act. They have to wait for orders. This creates a vacuum.
Agents on the ground have to get orders from their managers. Who have to in turn wait for the say-so of middle managers. Who have to wait for the say-so of senior managers. Who have to wait for the say-so of Assistant Directors. Who have to wait for the say-so of Directors. Who have to wait for the say-so of the Executive. And then the instructions have to pass back down the chain again, before the chumps on the ground can act on any significant strategic or tactical directions.
By constantly innovating and moving faster than they do; by always engaging in actions which they could not have foreseen, had no forewarning of and don’t have the mandate to immediately or easily respond to – we can (and many times do) catch them in their reporting-and-awaiting-orders cycle, and run circles around them.
They are slow. We can be fast. Use it to our advantage.
2D) Lie to the Matrix
One of the best pieces of advice I got in New Zealand was to fill your (spied on) mobile phone with bad people’s numbers. Saboteurs giving you trouble? Causing your movement grief? Into the digital contact list they go.
Good people? Trustworthy people? Record their details with pen and paper.
In New Zealand, my media team members and I would constantly make and break plans, change plans. It’s part of being agile – fill the Matrix with junk, and it’s a lot harder for the Matrix to have the sense of security of knowing you’ll do what you say you’ll do and them being able to react accordingly.
Keep them on their toes. Maximise the resource requirement for monitoring you effectively.
2E) Play Whack-a-Mole
Know when to pop your head up and when to put it down – whack-a-mole can work. Especially in a large group or movement. It’s preferable for one person to front something for a while, build a profile… then step back while others rise in their place. You can trade off with key trusted people, and whenever one is taking too much heat, tag out and trade spots with the next person. This forces the opposition to constantly refocus their attacks, and ultimately shows up their malicious intentions, when they’re forced to smear one person and then the next and then the next.
2F) Decentralisation is key
Keep key areas and responsibilities really narrow and disparate. Give people something they’re really good at doing, let them be in charge of that and nothing else. Have as many mini-leaders on board as possible. Doing this makes it virtually impossible for agents to forcefully centralise your movement channels. The more you spread the areas of responsibility, the harder it is to sabotage and control them.
2G) Don’t become a useful idiot
Agents love to trade on fears, doubts and most of all, activists natural inclination towards skepticism. Don’t fall for the “but x hasn’t said anything about y” ploy, so often employed to break trust. “[X] is great on [Y] topic but never talks about [Z] so I don’t trust them” is something you’ll hear over and over again. But you know what? It’s actually OK for people to have areas of expertise that they stick to because that’s what they know. It’s OK for X to be amazing at Y and nothing else. Never judge someone by what they haven’t done or haven’t said – just them by what they do do and what they do say, only.
2H) When in doubt, do it yourself
Similarly, don’t place expectation on others or rely on them above and beyond what you yourself are prepared to do. If you want something done fast, you want it done right, you want it prioritised – only you can do that. Only you can satisfy what you want. Don’t place the burden of your expectations upon any other person. Be prepared to do it all solo, then be grateful for any work that is taken off your shoulders by other participants.
2I) Know the value of your work
Your work is your calling card. no matter what is said about you. It is what gives you your efficacy as an activist. No matter how many times I am smeared, and I am smeared constantly, both to my face and behind my back, it never really gets traction because my work is legit.
Those who work with me are constantly fed streams of bullshit about me, but no matter what doubts are planted, or what underhanded tactics employed to discredit me, my next article, or activism campaign, or interview, is so undeniably on point and legit that by comparison, the smears are shown up for being the needless and hollow crap that they are.
In activism, your output is what defines you and nothing else. It doesn’t matter what you are called or what anyone says about you.The quality of your work will be the ultimate arbiter of your reputation. Smart activists will always judge you by that and that alone. Your work is what they will remember. Not what hateful people say about you.
Learn from everything you do and make the next thing bigger and better because of it. Be really conscious and really honest with yourself about what worked and what didn’t, in any endeavour you undertake. Then employ those lessons in the next one.
Each movement I have participated in or built, has informed the next movement I have participated in or built. Each effort gets better, more potent, more poignant and stronger than the last, because each is the sum total of my experiences and the lessons I have learned.
Never look at anything as the be-all or end-all. Know that this year you’re working on something amazing, next year you’ll be doing something even more amazing, and the next year you’ll be doing something even greater.
Activism brings massive hardships and massive rewards. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. And no I’m not talking money. You’ll be broke. Expect to have your resources sapped in every way imaginable. But you’ll be happy. Happier than you ever have been. More tired and harried than you’ve ever felt, but more deeply and intrinsically satisfied as well.
One of my best friends, a very very old-school Kiwi activist from the anti-Apartheid, anti-nuclear and Free Mandela movements of the 80s quotes Alice Walker: “Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet.”
2K) Understand how you have been categorised
All targets of the state are sorted into categories, and those categories determine how you are dealt with, how seriously you are targeted and by what means.
They divide us into:
If they judge you to be an idealist, they will go to great lengths to disillusion you. If they feel your ideology and belief system is your point of weakness, that’s how you’ll be attacked and turned away from the movement. Professional feminists who supported Assange being convinced that he is a serial rapist and therefore not to support him? Classic example. They’ll use ideologically-based attacks to divorce you from the Idealists in your target audience, or to make you want to quit activism yourself.
Realists are inundated with negativity until they become convinced there is no hope of success or achievement and step back. They are led to believe that the situation is unsalvageable, that their efforts won’t make any difference, or that their fellow activists are too naive, incompetent, compromised to ever be successful.
Opportunists are precisely what the agents themselves are – people willing to abandon morals, ideology, ethics, responsibilities or promises in order to achieve personal reputational or financial gain. These are the activists taught that if they conform or alter their positions or actions, that they will be rewarded for doing so. Whether it’s tenure, whether it’s PhD candidacy, whether it’s working for an NGO, or having nice things written about them in the media, or any other of a hundred material benefits in return for personal compromises – they’re up for it. Goodbye humanity, hello ka-ching!
Radicals are Julian Assange. They are Edward Snowden. They are Lauri Love. They are Chelsea Manning. Even if they wouldn’t describe themselves as radicals, the system does. I too have been called a radical more times than I can count. All it really means is that we can’t be manipulated by any of the aforementioned tactics. We’re immovable. We’re what ioerror would call the cast iron club. We’ve seen too much to ever go back, we’ve had goddamn near everything thrown at us and we still stubbornly refuse to budge. We’re crapped on time and again and we stand here shaking our fists at the Empire and saying “go on, crap on me again, I dare you!” Many people think radicalism is something to fear, or something extreme. Personally I think it is the only choice with which you can truly look yourself in the mirror and feel proud, no matter what the price of that ultimately is.
As a radical, you’re the master of your own ideology so can’t be ideologically vulnerable. You’re a realist because you know full well what will happen to you, that the odds are stacked against you, but you do it anyway, so that isn’t a viable attack vector either. And you understand that no radical will ever be allowed to prosper, not truly prosper, so exploitation or institutionalisation via opportunism is out the window too.
The radicals are what deep, deep down, the agents wish they had the guts to be. We model a hope and a vision and a determination for a better world, while the agents contribute to the devastation of it. We achieve great things with very little, while they achieve disgusting things with a lot.
And that’s why our faces and quotes are on memes and posters, and not theirs. That’s why we are remembered, and they are forgotten.
That’s why we are loved by the people, and they are loathed.
3. How to know who to trust
3A. People who are actively and concertedly undertaking ACTIONS, and imploring others to
These are the people I listen to. Everything else is just noise.
The agencies grade us into tiers:
a) who is accessing inconvenient or forbidden information
b) who is sharing that information
c) who is taking action as a result of that information
d) who is imploring or instructing others to take action
The state apportions it’s interest in you based on the above, as well as the aforementioned categorisations. If you are an a) you’re going to get put on a list. If you are a b) you’re going to get put on a different list. If you are a c) you’re going to have someone assigned to you IRL one way or another. And if you are a d) that targeting will be further pronounced/a higher priority.
Agents will only implore people to take actions if they are actions that undermine the good, or reinforce the state, or are illegal actions and therefore entrapment efforts.
Whenever you deal with anyone in the activism realm, keep in mind for yourself – is this person an a), b), c) or d)?
3B) Accept the rarity of true allies
Know that very few people will be able to grasp your reality let alone to share it and particularly for long periods of time. Everyone has their own limit for how much crap they’re prepared to put up with for continuing to know you, and as a target, the better they know you, the more likely they are to be put to that test.
People have blinders on about other’s situations – particularly the situation of severe targets – they tend to judge everything by what they see as possible or doable for themselves and then superimpose that expectation on you. Its a rational imposition on their part – be okay with that and seek out those few who can see beyond their own reality and into yours, or better yet, those who share it.
It’s fine to be friends with and interact with all different types of people be they targets or not – just tailor your interactions accordingly and don’t expect more from them psychologically, than they can give.
3C) Understand your own and other’s limitations
Some people are perfectly trustworthy, but will just never be mentally capable of taking the risks you can or paying the price you do. Everyone has their breaking point. Sometimes that breaking point changes, with time and experience. It can lengthen or retract.
When you’re an activist it’s easy to feel like you have superpowers. You do superhero things. You throw yourself into impossible situations and achieve profound and amazing feats, even if no one ever really knows that you do or have. (Many including myself, go long periods of time without disclosing to anyone the full extent of their work or involvement, be that to retain anonymity, or out of respect for third parties in our lives.)
But ultimately, everything we do takes a toll on ourselves, targeting or no targeting. Respect the boundaries of your body and your mind. Self-care is a must. Self-care is the key to sustaining long-term activism. Burnout happens to everyone. Be sensitive and kind to others experiencing it, and also to yourself. Take breaks, whenever you need to. Ask for help, whenever you need to. Solidarity is the lifeblood of an activist. It is out there. We give and take. This is what “mutual aid” is all about. Give whenever you can, to those who need it. Take, when you need it. Each according to their own needs.
3D) Emulate your heroes
It’s so easy to tell who is legit. They get smeared the crap out of, they get jailed, killed or exiled. It’s not rocket science. Love them? Love what they do? Be them. Even if you can only do that in small ways, in small ponds, that no one ever knows about. Make those choices that you otherwise wouldn’t.
Every person who steps up to that plate, lessens the danger and increases the survival chances of all of us.
3E) Be someone that you yourself can trust
I don’t know if I can trust myself to do Pilates today. I don’t know if I can trust myself to clean my room. I don’t know if I can trust myself not to sit here writing this article until my ankles swell and I realise the sun has been up for 3 hours.
But you know what? I know if a good person is at risk, I can trust myself to intervene. To intervene fiercely, and definitively. I know if someone risks their lives to get documents out, that I’m going to study those documents obsessively, and report on them for the sake of everyone. I know I’m going to tell the truth even if it costs me my life.
Trust yourself on the big stuff. Respect and love yourself for being trustworthy on the big stuff. Then work on the little stuff.
4. Understanding Mainstream Media
4A) Containment strategy
When it comes to covering any contentious or politically consequential events, mainstream media exist for the following reasons:
a) to silence you
b) to smear you
c) to co-opt you
d) to incentivise you
e) to steal from you
f) to keep a lid on you, a ceiling over you
Never ever trust them. They can be made to do your bidding and serve your purpose but the only way that can happen is by them being existentially frightened into it. In my experience it takes about 8 months of constant campaigning to get from ignored-by-MSM to covered-by-MSM. You have to build from the ground up. They will only, only, only cover a movement that threatens the establishment interests, when they no longer have any choice. Then once they cover it, they will attempt to corral the conversation. Or they’ll attempt to say “look, we’ve already covered that! Conversation over!”
At the end of the day, they’ll try to get away with whatever you let them get away with. It is they that have to be contained. They hate being named and shamed for their corruption – so it is often a useful tool to call them out openly.
4B) Smears are scaled against saturation
Never allow yourself to become seduced by mainstream media or their coverage. They are like sirens calling you to the rocks. They raise you up so they can smack you down.
Do you think Julian Assange got put on the cover of Time Magazine so he could be loved? Do you think Kim Dotcom had positive press splashed about him all over the NZ press when he first came to New Zealand, just because they really liked him? No. Both were built up in the public mind so that when they were ripped to shreds, the smears would have maximum effectiveness.
Positive press is like a foghorn as a cruise ship nears an iceberg. Unless you are engaged in something either completely non-threatening or beneficial to the status quo, there is always, always an ulterior motive for positive press about a target. Sometimes a paper will assign one reporter to consistently cover you or your issue with an 80% track record of accuracy/competency just so that it can have three others periodically write opinion pieces smashing it/you to shit.
The editorial control mechanisms of major state broadcasters and corporate media are agents of the state. There is simply no difference whatsoever in their conduct, their priorities, their methods or their execution.
4C) Rival Their Platforms
Your job is not to build effective media relationships. By all means, try, but never forget the rise and decline of WikiLeaks’ professional media relationships as case in point. Expect betrayal.
Your job is not to covet mass platforms but to build your own platforms which will rival theirs. Clocking 400 million social media impressions (likely more actually) in 2018, Unity4J just as one example, had a pull and a reach that eclipsed mass media.
Both the GCSB and #TPPANoWay campaigns in New Zealand, similarly eclipsed mass media.
If you can build saturation of messaging with the public, corporate media can’t stop you. Whether they ignore or smear or betray you, you will make mincemeat out of them with your numbers.
Always focus on and build your base. To hell with the gatekeepers.
4C) Narrative control
The question in any narrative battle is this: who is being proactive and who is being responsive?
Never, ever allow your movement narratives to be responsive. They must be proactive. If your narratives are proactive, your opposition will be chasing your narratives, trying to counter them. They will always be on the back foot. Never ever take the back foot yourself. Don’t allow them that victory or that satisfaction. Front-foot absolutely everything.
Classic example: today for the umpteenth time, CNN is reporting that they have slam dunk evidence of WikiLeaks collusion with Russia. As usual, it’s total bullshit pseudo-science junk. But the response shouldn’t be simply “You’re wrong!” There’s no point getting into a “No we’re not!” “Yes you are!” “No we’re not!” exchange. Instead, dig out the nuggets between the lines of their article: in the course of falsely accusing WikiLeaks of colluding with a state, they let slip that they have been in contact with Ecuadorean, Spanish and US intelligence services. So the correct counter narrative is “CNN is working with the intelligence services of 3 countries to smear a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.”
To hell with defensive posture. Hold their feet to the fire.
4D) Media will always aim to exonerate the public of any responsibility to do anything
It is so easy to convince people to believe something that results in them not having to do anything about it. So difficult to get people to believe something that will result in hardship for themselves in order to seek meaningful redress for. Which is why we must always convince people not only of the facts – but to act on them.
Don’t just school people – inspire them.
4E) Media trade in simple terms, repetitive terms
When I stood for Prime Minister of New Zealand from exile in 2017, media delegitimised the situation of a Kiwi journalist being harassed into leaving the country by simply describing me in the first sentence of every article about me as a “self-imposed exile”. In doing so, they immediately took the focus off those who had persecuted me, and placed the onus onto me, the persecuted.
This type of victim blaming is a key strategy of media. If they can exonerate themselves of any responsibility to discomfort themselves by holding great power to account, they will do so.
When I web searched the term “self-imposed exile” I discovered that the precise same term had been used to describe both Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, in countless articles.
It wasn’t an accident that that tactic was used on me. It was a playbook.
Therefore, in combatting media narratives, we need to devise similarly simple, repetitive terms in order for them to be effective. “Fake news” is a great example of a term that was originally weaponised against one sector of society, but then turned around upon the originators. (No, Trump didn’t invent it. It was actually first asserted by Hillary Clinton, but spectacularly backfired on her nearly immediately.)
The #TPPANoWay campaign went viral internationally as soon as we invented that hashtag. Prior to that, despite years of campaigning under various other hashtags that didn’t in any way describe what the TPPA actually was or why it was problematic, there had been little to no traction. But whenever anyone heard #TPPANoWay they instantly understood – hey! We don’t like this TPPA! It’s a problem! We don’t want the TPPA, no way!
These are the types of rallying cries we must create. Things that are easily understood by anyone, with very little explanation. Things that create indelible imprints on the brain, that are virtually impossible to forget once heard. Ditto with Unity4J. The name explained exactly what it was. Who was J? Click on the hashtag and Julian’s face was all over it. Simple concept, simple words, highly effective messaging.
4F) Broken agreements
Media will lie to you about things being off the record or on the record. They will lie to you about what they are going to write, when they are going to write it, who is going to write it or why they are writing it.
They do not stand by sources. WikiLeaks stands by sources. WikiLeaks saves source’s lives. Media will not.
Always understand when dealing with media that not only will they consistently violate professional and ethical standards, but that even if you complain to Press Councils or Ethics Committees, those boards are stacked with the very same industry “professionals” that you’re complaining about. Complaining about press ethics is about as useful as complaining to the NZ Police about the NZ Police. They’ll say they’re going to investigate, and then either do absolutely nothing, or declare themselves exonerated.
The only real way to hold media to account is to outperform them and thus put their very business models and viability at risk.
4G) Pincer Movements
When smears are laundered, they will be planted in both left and right publications. This is something I consistently witnessed being done in New Zealand. Smears against Internet Party would be laundered through both Kiwiblog and Public Address, even though they are ostensibly at opposite ends of the political spectrum. When intelligence agencies or state actors want to inflict maximum damage, they will not limit themselves to a specific ideology. They’ll utilise the entire spectrum.
This is yet another reason Unity4J was so powerful of a platform. Because for the first time in recent memory, activists were able to talk and plant key messages across the entire spectrum. That was a province and ability only of the state until that point. Unity scares the shit out of our opposition. Unity is an inoculating force to their Divide and Conquer agenda. Unity may ultimately be the thing they fear the most.
Therefore whether you openly state that you are doing so or not – seek access across the spectrum. It is the easiest way to maximise the effectiveness of your messaging.
4H) Exceptions to the above rules:
There are a few – very few – exceptions to the comments above. They are usually individual journalists, or sometimes platforms, that have effectively gone rogue. They are journalists or platforms who have themselves been targeted, or seriously threatened by the state, and are therefore indignant about it. In that rare – very, very rare – circumstance, it may be possible to find allies.
However, be aware that those formerly of the establishment that find themselves pushed to the outside, often want nothing more to be allowed back into the comforts of the fold again. So use your discernment to assess accordingly.
5. Understanding Movements
5A) The movements come in waves
Maturing movements are fluid and have motion. At the beginning, you have to form that first snowball then roll it and roll it and roll it, and lovingly guide and sculpt it as it begins to grow. At times you will wonder if it is ever going to graduate into anything bigger than its current form. The hardest work is always at the inception and in its earliest days. But eventually its course will be set, inertia will kick in and it will take on its own life. Then you get to sit back and watch the beauty unfold before you.
But every movement has a shelf life, and there will always be the next thing, and the next, and the next. And you’ll learn to love that pattern, because with each wave, more people wake up, and less pressure is on you to drive and maintain it. After Occupy, we had Idle No More. Then we have the anti-privatisation/anti-asset sales movement. Then we had the GCSB movement. Then the NZ4Gaza movement. And so on and so forth.
Each movement was ultimately set against the same control structure, the same concentrated forces. Even though each movement had its own identity and specific aims. Never getting fixated on a particular undertaking, comes back to adaptability and agility. Your movement is not a be-all or end-all: it is a vehicle to the next, better, more well-oiled attempt to tackle the same powers, albeit in whatever form the movement takes.
5B) Always keep your field of vision bigger than a single movement
Always, always keep an eye on the bigger picture – see the natural lifespan and multiple waves of multiple movements, across years.
Never fight for – or fear the loss of – control over your own creations; just create and create again. If you are the architect, no one can take this from you. While the vultures are left scrabbling over the scraps you’ve left in your dust, you are already moving forward and building the next thing.
Leave the haters and the fakers in your wake, while you ford new streams.
5C) How to build a viral hashtag
If you are particularly interested in how to do this, I once wrote a whole guide to building a campaign/movement media team from scratch and creating and viralling an associated hashtag. Any activists particularly interested in obtaining a copy of that are welcome to DM me and I’ll dig it out of archive for you.
6) Make peace with the danger
6A) Understand the time-linear targeting process
First they will come after your reputation, then your relationships, then your assets, then eventually, your body.
Each step in that process can take years to fully manifest, as they test your responses and decide whether to escalate the targeting of you. Much in how this progresses, is dependent upon how you react to it.
Being consciously aware of the pathway can allow you to plan and make decisions in advance, as to how you wish to react.
6B) Surveillance is not passive
It is acted upon even if you can’t see it. They aren’t just listening, or just watching, or just recording. They absolutely intend to, and do, act on every scrap of meaningful information they can obtain about your intentions, your activities, your communications and relationships, your fears, your hopes and your dreams. They psychoanalyse you and then they act to your detriment. The surveillance is what facilitates the cycle of state-citizen abuse.
7) Take heart
7A) Darkest before the dawn
Time and again, when there’s periodically been some blow so absolutely devastating, that everything looked doomed, and I didn’t think we could collectively sink any lower or be in any worse a position, something fantastic and unforeseen has occurred which has broken the trend, and reset us on a path to a better place.
It really is true that it is darkest before the dawn, and you will experience this time and again in activism. Have faith in it. Nothing remains stagnant, either the good or the bad – everything is constantly in flux.
7B) Serendipity wins
Despite their resource advantage, the best and most intricately laid plans of the bad guys often go awry at the last minute. They can spend months or even years planning for an outcome, only to be robbed of the win at the 11th hour.
Some people call this divine intervention, some call it karma, some call it serendipity, some call it blowback. Whatever it is, I have seen it happen time and time again, and it is always both a welcome relief and a wonder to behold. The irony is rich, watching those with malevolent intentions fall flat on their face despite having every material advantage.
Trust in this, it is great.
An example: at Occupy Auckland, saboteurs spent months engineering the demise of the occupation. They wanted it shut down by Christmas Day, so all the agents could go on Christmas and New Year’s holidays with job done.
So by Christmas Eve, they had forcefully and secretly decamped the media team tent without telling any of us, hauled all our equipment off to a storage unit they controlled, held a fake General Assembly with just them and their cohorts. to formally ‘agree’ to the dissolution of the occupation, and held a psy-op mainstream media conference without telling us, to announce the end of the occupation. But we were having none of it, and instead went and created two more occupations, in other locations, as well as maintaining the original one regardless of their sabotage.
So by the dawn of Boxing Day the saboteurs had to relay to their bosses that not only was the occupation they’d spent months planning to destroy still up and running – but there was now three occupations, in three separate locations throughout the city. Not only had we survived their subterfuge, but we had expanded.
7C) Time tells all truths
This is beyond just a lesson that applies to activism – it is a life lesson, and one of the best I have ever learned.
Whenever a person or a group of people has been convinced by malignant parties that YOU are the problem – and you know that you are not – simply accept it and withdraw.
Inevitably, the problems persist and often even worsen in your absence, at which point those good people involved realise for themselves, that with you gone, and the problems remaining – you were never the problem in the first place.
People coming to realisations for themselves is far more powerful an object lesson than you fighting to convince them of it. Take the path of least resistance, and trust that the day will come where they put two and two together, and realise they were duped or misled.
I’ve seen this happen so many times in my life, and it’s always a beautiful outcome. Far better that you demonstrate a truth in a profound and unmissable way through your absence, than try to fruitlessly fight against the scapegoating with your presence, thus getting tarred with the brush of a combatant or participant in the drama.
7D) Apply game theory
Always assess outcomes, both for yourselves and others, via “if, then” theorising. Don’t just look at what’s in front of you – look three, four, ten steps down the road and then act accordingly.
Build your house – your movement – your campaign – on rock and not on sand. The foundation stones are always the most important to get right. The culture and parameters you establish from the outset, will determine the outcomes.
Steer clear of taking diametric positions. There is always a third or fourth option, the out-of-the-box options, and these are always the best to take. Your opposition will always try to trap you in damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t scenarios. Escape these by electing to pick options that run contrary to those on offer.
Someone offering you steak or potatoes and telling you there is no other choice? Say no thanks to both, and go catch yourself a fish.
2018 was the year that changed everything, in terms of building cohesive public support for WikiLeaks and its arbitrarily detained founder Julian Assange.
The launch of the #Unity4J movement in solidarity with Julian – and the formation of a groundbreaking ‘online non-violent digital army’ working collaboratively to free him – was a key turning point. Clocking over 400 million social media impressions in 2018 alone, the movement is one of the largest of its kind in the digital era.
#Unity4J brought together thousands of supporters from across geographic and political divides. Their collective efforts have produced dozens of online vigil events, hundreds of images of graphic art, videos and short films, musical soundtracks, podcasts, pamphlets and research materials, a Pinterest digital archive of some 2,000 pieces of WikiLeaks-related material, and a series of real-world protest actions across four continents including marches, overpass banner drops, chalk actions, candlelight actions, poster, sticker and flyer distribution, car decal actions and bookmark distribution in public libraries.
The movement attracted the support and participation of a who’s-who of our most treasured whistleblower, journalistic and academic heroes – Ellsberg, Hedges, Galloway, McGovern, Binney, McKinney, Johnstone, Kiriakou, Swanson, Kubrick, Žižek – more than 80 public figures joined the participants list of this movement in support of Julian.
Most importantly, the movement was endorsed by the Assange family, and the content we produced was routinely shared by the WikiLeaks and Julian Assange accounts. And to my mind, the greatest achievement of the movement was that it has spawned a number of spin-off campaigns and splinter groups, building their own actions and networks to pursue freedom and liberty for Julian Assange. Long may that trend continue.
Having enjoyed such a bumper year, some people were shocked by my December 2018 on-stream announcement that I was stepping back from #Unity4J which I had spear-headed to that point. My departure may have seemed sudden, but in fact I had been planning it for some time.
As far back as August of 2018, I was foreshadowing my abdication and pledging to pass on all that I’d learned from my involvement in various mass movements over the last eight years, to those willing to take the reins and progress the campaign to free Julian.
I promised my swan song would be the authoring of a new article called “Freeing Julian Assange”, sequel to my seminal 2018 work “Being Julian Assange”.
“Being Julian Assange” was a definitive people’s history of WikiLeaks – the result of my many years of keen observation of their evolution, activities and reception in the public arena. Edited by Elizabeth Lea Vos, Editor in Chief of Disobedient Media, and promoted by Julian’s friend, internet entrepreneur and Internet Party of New Zealand founder Kim Dotcom, as well as by Julian himself, the finished product presented many unique revelations, dissected common narratives and separated fact from fiction. It shone new light upon WikiLeaks’ history and relationships with key figures and organisations in internet activism such as Aaron Swartz, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and many more.
I promised that “Freeing Julian Assange” would be “a narrative collection of wisdoms and hard lessons I learned covering mass actions on the ground & promoting them online, and a road map and a blueprint for #Unity4J.”
On Twitter, I explained:
“I don’t want this movement to be dependent on me; I accept that it somewhat is in the short term but I have already been taking steps to ensure that it is not in the medium term or long term. Very positive seeds have been sown, but it is only by thousands and then millions adopting this cause of their own volition that can deliver humanity this win, and we really can win this.”
One of the steps I took to solidify the future of the movement (and emancipate myself from it) was my recruitment of Consortium News Editor in Chief Joe Lauria to run the online vigils throughout 2019. If I was to pat myself on the back for anything related to #Unity4J, it would be that decision. Joe’s experience, professionalism and authority brought much to the table, and I have total faith in the longevity of his and Consortium’s staunch solidarity with Julian. I likewise deeply respect Consortium as an organisation for consistently taking principled and public stands for press freedom and human rights.
The backbone of the organising side of Unity4J has been a very talented team of moderators doing a fantastic job of keeping all the moving parts in motion, via our public server. The accessibility of that digital space is part of what attracted such large numbers to the movement.
I credit our founding commitment that anyone could join #Unity4J regardless of their personal politics to be one of the reasons the movement has been so appealing, to so many. Rule number one on our organising platform reads: “This server exists to fight for and/or help preserve the life, liberty, human rights and press freedoms of Julian Assange, and to support WikiLeaks… All personal politics are to be left at the door. Participants in this movement are from across the entire political spectrum and it’s frankly none of our business what you believe or who you voted for. The only thing that counts is that you support the aforementioned core aims of this project.”
This protocol had several profoundly positive impacts. Firstly, it completely rendered impotent Western intelligence agencies doctrine of splintering groups along ideological lines. While there has been some ideological fussing in the public arena by external parties attempting to proclaim political ownership of Julian’s struggle, there has never been any ideological issues within our platform or movement itself.
Even when high-profile movement supporters were directly targeted with unsolicited ideologically-based complaints about #Unity4J, to their credit they did not allow themselves to be swayed by such pressures, instead responding by doubling down their participation and openly endorsing the need for diverse groups to work together to achieve important aims.
Secondly, the creation of a judgement-free space where the rights of all to their own private opinions and political positions were paramount and avidly defended, gave our supporters a sense of freedom, cohesion and belonging that is difficult to find elsewhere in real world environments.
Unity itself is an innoculating force, and since we broke that ground in 2018 the unity narrative is manifesting elsewhere in mainstream political narrative, as it is wont to do. (Wherever powerful messaging emanates from the grassroots it is co-opted and then warped by the establishment to their own ends.)
Leaving aside Nancy Pelosi’s November 2018 campaign for partisan Unity, as recently as this year we have seen Jeremy Corbyn releasing campaign videos seeking to bridge the highly contentious divide between those who voted for and against the UK leaving the European Union – acknowledging the core similarities of their struggles and making clear that his Labour movement is accessible to both camps.
This is how far our voices have carried. We have told the world that it is okay to operate outside of the silos created for us by our puppet masters and now others are following suit.
The movement to free Julian is in reality, now a slew of movements to free Julian, and this fact pleases me greatly. The more vast and complex our networks, the greater burden for the state in trying to oppose us, and the more dramatically our chances of success increase.
One of the most significant developments in recent months has been the least talked about: in Britain, in the United States and in Australia, protesters have been performing acts of civil disobedience in support of Julian; there have been arrests in Washington DC and in Melbourne as a result.
This natural escalation reflects the seriousness of Julian’s persecutors ignoring the voices of the public they claim to represent. The more they refuse to accede to public demands that Julian be freed, the more the public will continue to engage in ever-increasing acts of civil disobedience.
I have no doubt that just as I’ve said since 2015: Julian’s fight is this generation’s Free Mandela movement. The trajectory will be the same. He will be freed. Get out there and do it people. We’ve got this.
The system isolates its targets, that is counterinsurgency 101 but since 2016 in particular, and more broadly throughout history, we have too-often participated in isolating each other.
Nothing feels better or is more inviting than acceptance and empathy, and that is a beautiful foundation for any undertaking. The foundation of Unity4J is empathy for Julian and his plight. Acceptance of each other, and our differences, has been a powerful vehicle to collectively express our empathy for Julian.
Tools and knowledge like those I’ve shared in this article, will help others to now pick up where I have left off. As foreshadowed in Part Two of this series, I am now moving on to another major campaign that I can no longer keep on the back-burner, and will be handing over my social media accounts to that campaign team.
This means I get to take a much-needed, and I think many will agree thoroughly-earned break from activism and journalism, while I advance a personal promise to prioritise my loved ones, our future and my health, so that I can rejoin the fight at a later date, stronger than ever before.
I recorded my last public appearance for the foreseeable future this week, for AntiWar.com, being interviewed by Scott Horton. That 77-minute interview, about Julian, WikiLeaks, Kim Dotcom, Chelsea Manning, press freedom, sexual assault advocacy and many other issues, is titled “Suzie Dawson on Julian Assange’s Heroism On Behalf Of Journalists” and can be found here.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all my readers. The hits on my recent articles, posted on this humble website with no advertising or marketing, and no mainstream pick-up, have performed at a level befitting the biggest blogsites in my home country of New Zealand.
I am so proud to have built such an authentic audience, and to have earned your attention and your support.
I might be gone for a little while but I won’t be far away, and it certainly won’t be the last you see or hear of me.
My love to you all.
Written by Suzie Dawson
Official Website: Suzi3d.com
Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via donation. To support the incredible work that WikiLeaks does please donate to WikiLeaks here. To contribute to Julian Assange’s legal defence fund click here. Or donate to help the Courage Foundation save the lives of whistleblowers. Thank you!