WikiLeaks – the rise, the backlash, the perilous fate of its Australian founder, Julian Assange – is one of the biggest news stories of the new millennium.
WikiLeaks’ revelations have exposed government and corporate collusion on a global scale and revealed major fault lines in the relationship between the press, the political system and the public.
The conversations about WikiLeaks and Assange are about so much more than the organisation and the individual behind it: they encompass freedom of speech (and the press), whistleblower protection, government transparency, the right of political dissent, privacy and public access to information within Western Democracies in the age of the internet.
Wikileaks and the pursuit of Julian Assange also raise fundamental questions about the underlying tenets of our democracy, citizenry rights and civil rights. After almost 500 days under house arrest, Julian Assange is about to discover whether the UK Supreme Court will allow his extradition to Sweden.
We now know through recent leaked materials that the US Government have secured a sealed indictment and are poised to apprehend Assange in a context where the US and Australian Governments are already passing of legislation which include the removal of mechanisms of due process in their extradition agreements, in Australia the increase of ASIO's powers and most stunningly in the case of the US Government; the NDAA Act, allowing the US government to hold any persons indefinitely, without charge or trial.
These emerging conditions signal an imminent face off between the Australian population and its own government, with dramatic potential to impact US/Australian relations.
Join our panel in discussion on Thursday the 19th April 2012, as we look at the role of the media and our government in the unfolding narrative of Julian Assange and explore what the war on Wikileaks reveals about the state of our democracy.
It's time to examine the facts and stop listening to the spin.
Julian’ mother, Christine Assange, says, ‘When it comes to silencing WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange, it’s not conspiracy theory, it’s conspiracy fact.’
Christine Assange (Julian's mum)
Senator Scott Ludlam (Australian Greens)
Greg Barns (President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance and author)
Bernard Keane (Crikey’s correspondent in Canberra and author)
Moderator: Elizabeth O'shea (social justice lawyer)
Title: Wikileaks, Assange Defending Democracy Date: Thursday, 19 April 2012 Time: 6.30pm - 8.00pm Venue: BMW Edge Federation Square
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