On May 3, 2019, join World Press Freedom Day Of Action for Journalists and Whistleblowers to Stand Up For Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning
May 3rd is recognized around the world as a day to defend journalists. The growing attacks on journalists by governments throughout the world is putting them and all whistleblowers under threat. There continue to be not only threats against journalists but torture and murders.
There is need as well for a united front globally to protect journalists and whistleblowers. This is critical in every country of the world and we urge supporters of journalists, journalism and whistleblowers to speak up and stand up wherever they are in a unified voice to support freedom for Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and all journalists and whistleblowers around the world.
The establishment of WikiLeaks by Julian Assange provided an important vehicle for understanding the crimes and corruption of governments and corporations. The information allegedly provided by whistleblower Chelsea Manning to WikiLeaks provided a historic opportunity for people to see how the real criminals operate on a global level. Foremost was exposing the role and crimes of US imperialism and in particular its numerous war crimes in the Middle East including against civilians and journalists in Iraq.
The effort to “kill the messenger” has led to an effort to intimidate, bully and threaten all journalists not to report on documents that expose these war crimes and illegal activities. Whistleblowers are also being intimidated to stay quiet about information that exposes the imperialist governments and corporations that control governments around the world.
There has also been an international effort to censor the internet and block information as Google, Facebook and other social media platforms control the flow of information. This censorship of news and information is being justified as preventing right-wing racist and xenophobic “hate speech” to prevent violence but its real intent is to shut down left-wing media and to silence those exposing the role of governments the world.
In the United States both the Democrats and Republicans have been directly implicated in these war crimes but there has been no investigation and prosecution of the government officials responsible for these acts. Instead both political parties have sought to blame the journalists and whistleblowers for exposing these activities. For example, the only people charged over the crimes of the NSA and the CIA are the whistleblowers such as Thomas Drake and John Chris Kiriakou who exposed them whilst Edward Snowden has been forced into exile. More whistleblowers were prosecuted under the Espionage Act under the Obama President than under all previous presidents combined.
The Trump presidency has seen attacks on the press increase. He called the press ‘scum’ and ‘enemies of the people’. This is the language of fascism and the history of Hitler and the Nazis are replete with these same kind of attacks. In the In the U.S. this has led to a febrile atmosphere that has witnessed journalists being assaulted at Trump’s rallies and pipe bombs sent to media outlets.
We must engage and mobilize the entire labor movement and working class to join the fight to protect press freedom. The right of working people to have information about their governments and governments around the world is vital in their fight to protect the conditions and the lives of working people globally.
The role of labor and unions is critical. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and journalists in many countries around the world have sought to protect the media from these escalating attacks from Turkey, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, China, the U.S., Russia and Colombia.
We support these unions in their efforts to protect journalists and we urge you to get your union organization to support this day of action and also to educate your members about these issues.
However whilst speaking out in defence of journalists globally, in the case of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks, the IFJ internationally and the MEAA in Australia have not made a public statement since 2011. The silence on these matters must be challenged and broken by workers and unionists throughout the world.
(Note – Appendum: since we issued call out, The Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance, the media union in Australia broke its silence after Assange’es arrest and we applaud them on their recent efforts. They have published on their website a letter from the M.E.A.A to the Australian and U.K governments calling on them to publicly oppose the extradition of Assange to the U.S).
The San Francisco Labor Council acted in February to defend Julian Assange and previously it defended Assange and Manning but we need to expand support for these actions globally.
We intend for the May 3rd to be an important part of this mobilisation. We therefore :
Call on all workers and unions to organise where possible events and protests on May 3rd internationally to defended targeted journalists and whistleblowers in their country and globally. Announced events listed here
Call on all workers and unionists to pass a motions in their workplaces and organisations endorsing the 2019 World Press Freedom Day Of Action For Journalists and Whistleblowers: Stand Up For Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning. We can then add your endorsement to promotion of the day.
Bob Carnegie, Queensland M.U.A. Branch Secretary, IDC Joint Coordinator Oceania Region
Queensland Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia (M.U.A.)
Tuwani Gumani, General Secretary, Media Workers Association of South Africa (M.W.A.S.A) Read his solidarity statement here
United Public Workers for Action – San Francisco
Al Rojas, Co-founde of Sacremento Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCAA) and United Farmworkers Indendant Union (UFW)- IBT
Rodger Scott, AFT 2121 past president and delegate to SF Labor Council
Media Organisations and journalists
Peter B. Collins, Journalist
Randy Credico, Political satirist and ex-host of Randy Credico Live on the Fly on WBAI
Carol Harvery, Investigative reporter, San Francisco Bayview Newspaper
Mickey Huff, Director of Project Censored
Martin Jansen, Workers World Media Productions, South Africa
Abby Martin, Independent journalist, Empire Files, Media Roots News
Jeff Sparrow, Guardian columnist; 3RRR Breakfaster; writer
Carole Seligman, Socialist Viewpoint
Kathleen Carroll, Former Education Lawyer at CTC & Whistleblowe
Lisa Ling, Drone Program Whistleblower
Dr. Darrell Whitman, OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program Lawyer, Investigator and Whistle Blower
Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, AMED Studies, San Francisco State University
Bob Mandel, Adult Education Teacher
To either let us know about an endorsement or protest please contact:
In the US: WorkweekRadio firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com