FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Protest is a Right, Repression is Crime

by

“Protest is a right, repression is a crime.”

Written on a wall at the Escuela Normal Rural Raùl Isidro Burgos, Guerrero State, Mexico, where 43 students were kidnapped following clashes with police on 26 September 2014.

Three people who recently expanded our knowledge of how repression works and gave ammunition for protest paid with the loss of their freedom. Chelsea, then Bradley, Manning was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison for passing documents on America’s wars to Wikileaks. Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, has been under legal confinement for four years, first restricted on bail to a farm in Norfolk and subsequently under political asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London, without a single charge lodged against him. Edward Snowden, who exposed the National Security Agency’s policy of universal electronic surveillance in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, found refuge in a Russia and is unable to travel.

As Willy Loman’s wife, Linda, says in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, “So attention must be paid.” My colleagues and I are asking you to pay attention to Manning, Assange and Snowden with a public homage. The Italian sculptor Davide Dormino has created a life-size statue of the three in tribute to their courage. Each stands on a chair. Beside them is a fourth, empty chair for those of us brave enough to stand with them. We are asking you to take your stand on that fourth chair by making a donation to cover the cost of turning the mold into bronze. We have opened a fundraising drive on Kickstarter to raise £100,000.

The “Anything to say?” project has received the full support of the head of the Committee of Human Rights of the Italian parliament and of Reporters Sans Frontières. So far, more than one hundred people have made donations to the fund.

On Wednesday, 26 November, at seven in the evening London time, there will be a gathering of supporters in London at the Frontline Club and in Paris at Shakespeare and Company Bookshop. All are welcome. The speakers include:

David Dormino, sculptor and visual artist, who works in Rome and teaches sculpture at Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA).

William Bourdon, Edward Snowden’s lawyer and distinguished human rights advocate.

Vaughan Smith, the Frontline Club founder and board member of the Frontline Freelance Register (FFR).who welcomed Assange into his house while on bail.

Norman Solomon, the coordinator of ExposeFacts.org, a new organization for whistleblowing and independent journalism and author of many books on media, war and public policy.

Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism and visiting professor at City University London.

Jean Michel Boissier, member of the Administrative Board of Reporters sans Frontières and editor-in-chief of Le Blogeur on Arté television.

We are seeking a public venue in Paris to site the first casting of the bronze sculpture, and we plan to place further castings in other cities. This is a departure from the normal practice of erecting monuments to those who achieved fame by killing people in large numbers. It does not pay homage to generals like George Armstrong Custer and Arthur “Bomber” Harris, whose statues celebrate bloodshed and death. This statue honors all people who demand open and constitutional government; the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution (“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”) and fair treatment of those who struggle for liberty and justice. This is their monument, as it is yours.

Charles Glass is an American author, journalist, and broadcaster specializing in the Middle East.

 

More articles by:
January 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Democrats and the End(s) of Politics
Paul Tritschler
Killing Floor: the Business of Animal Slaughter
Mike Garrity
In Targeting the Lynx, the Trump Administration Defies Facts, Law, and Science Once Again
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Hong Kong Politics: a Never-Ending Farce
Uri Avnery
Bibi’s Son (Or Three Men in a Car)
Dave Lindorff
Yesterday’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Can Become Classy Places Donald, and Vice Versa
Jeff Mackler
Lesser Evil Politics in Alabama
Jonah Raskin
Typewriters Still Smoking? An Interview with Underground Press Maven John Campbell McMillan
Jose-Antonio Orosco
Trump’s Comments Recall a Racist Past in Immigration Policy
David Macaray
Everything Seems to Be Going South
Kathy Kelly
41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo
Weekend Edition
January 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
George Burchett
Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett
Roberto J. González
Starting Them Young: Is Facebook Hooking Children on Social Media?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Between the Null and the Void
Andrew Levine
Trump After Bannon: What Next?
John Davis
Mud-Slide
Ajamu Baraka
The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Stirs the Methane Monster
Paul Street
Lazy Liberals and “the Trump Effect”
Carmen Rodriguez
Trump’s Attack on Salvadoran Migrants
Mike Whitney
Oprah for President, Really?
Francisco Cabanillas
The Hurricane After Maria
Luciana Bohne
World War I: Crime and Punishment
Steve Martinot
The Ideology of Pepper Spray: Force and Violence in a Can
Martin Billheimer
Beyond the 120 Days of the Silicon Valley Dolls
Patrick T. Hiller
An Olympic Glimmer on the Horizon – North Korea and South Korea Stepping Down the Escalation Ladder
Ron Jacobs
The Vietnamese War: a Different Take
Binoy Kampmark
Fuming in the White House: the Bannon-Trump Implosion
Joseph Natoli
What to Worry About and What Not to Worry About
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto, Bayer and Neoliberalism: A Case of Hobson’s Choice
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Bullying of Cuba
Kenneth Surin
Bigger in Texas
Arturo Desimone
The Untouchable Leader Who Stood Up to Gandhi
Peter Crowley
To Cheerleaders of Iran Protests: Iran is Not Our Enemy, a Sponsor of Terror or a Tyranny
Michael McKinley
Australia and the Wars of the Alliance: History and Politics
Jim Goodman
Free Trade Should Benefit the People Not Corporations
David Mattson
The Sad Case of Grizzly Bear Recovery and Distinct Population Segments
Clark T. Scott
Confidentially and Corporately Conning
Amir Khafagy
How Liberals Depoliticized White Supremacy
John V. Walsh
Why Progressives Should Support the Trump-Putin Efforts at Rapprochement
Missy Comley Beattie
Election 2020 Foresight
Rev. John Dear
The Year of “Nonviolence or Non-Existence”
Graham Peebles
A Moment of Significance and Opportunity for Ethiopia
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Shadows of War Over Mafeking and the Making of Winston Churchill
Pauline Murphy
The Irish At Teruel
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail