Author Topic: Sarah Harrison acceptance speech for the Willy Brandt Prize for political courag  (Read 3583 times)

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Offline Signhilde

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Sarah Harrison acceptance speech for the Willy Brandt Prize for political courage
 
Ladies and Gentlemen. It is a honour to be here today to accept the Willy Brant Award for Political Courage for my work with WikiLeaks, in getting Edward Snowden asylum, and for my political statements - many of which have called for Germany’s protection of Edward Snowden and my Editor Julian Assange.
 
I do not do this work alone however - there are of course others that I work with behind the scenes - our researchers, art and design team, journalist and legal teams, and our dedicated technical team. The successes you honour me with today would not be possible alone and I share this award with them.
 
I apologise that I am speaking to you in English today. After the welcome and protection I have received here in Berlin it is embarrassing that my German is still too wildly poor to give this speech in your great language. But I thank this city, and particularly the many individuals who have personally assisted me in settling here, for your kindness and support. As I do my parents, who join me here today. Without the unwavering support of my family I wouldn’t have been able to build the strength needed to do this work.
 
Like me, Willy Brandt worked as a journalist, unable to go home, for a number of years. Escaping the Nazis, Brandt worked as a journalist in exile before finally returning to Germany and entering politics here. Whilst I have no plans to enter politics, I am a journalist at WikiLeaks who, due to legal advice regarding the UK’s misuse of the terrorism act, has been advised not to go home.
 
My country, the UK, like others around the world at the moment, is using the term "national security" incorrectly as fearmongering in an attempt to justify their stripping us of our rights. Despite the proof that it does nothing to the real, or the more prevalent imagined, threat of terrorism, the UK and other states around the world are spying on their own citizens, violating numerous human rights.
 
It’s under the guise of national security that the UK started a terrorism investigation in the wake of the Snowden revelations that puts into question my legal safety and protections as a journalist.
It’s under the guise of national security that the UK stopped David Miranda as he undertook journalistic work via the UK, denying him his right to silence and journalistic freedoms and protections.
It’s under the guise of national security that the UK introduced law that has permitted them to detain Julian Assange for over five years without charge.

It’s under the guise of national security that the UK government bullied the Guardian newspaper into destroying journalistic material, violating media protections.
It’s under the guise of national security that the UK is planning to scrap the Human Rights Act.
It’s under the guise of national security that the UK, and other states, including Germany, work with a foreign government to spy on their own citizens.
 
Of course, as the Snowden revelations and WikiLeaks publications made in collaboration with Der Spiegel and Suddeutsche Zeitung confirm, the surveillance system of the United States is the most abusive and pervasive. They spy not only on their own citizens, but the whole world, including almost every member of the German public, pretty much every member of the SPD, and the German government all the way up to Chancellor Merkel. Specific proof of this intense targeting, including evidence of the spying on Chancellor Merkel, Gerhard Schröder and William Kohl, was published just a few months ago by WikiLeaks.
 
I was heartened when I first arrived in Germany, and not just as I was finally able to eat more than Burger King - I tell you, Bavarian white sausage never looked so good! But, the weekend I arrived Der Spiegel carried the headline "Asylum for Snowden". I saw, and still see everywhere, stickers, posters and demonstrations with this same call. The first parliamentary inquiry into mass surveillance was begun in the wake of Snowden’s revelations.
 
However, there is still much lacking. The government, including many SPD members of parliament, have appeared to do all they can to block the possibility for Snowden to testify safely here, protected in Germany.
 
I have followed laws being pushed through, voted for almost unanimously by the SPD, that are a direct blow to the work of WikiLeaks and Snowden; an attempt to illegalise WikiLeaks’ work for transparency and democracy through the publication of official secrets, and to legalise the storing of telecommunication metadata.
 
Though the inquiry proceeds, it is still surrounded by secrecy. In fact, ithas predominantly been because of Netzpolitik and WikiLeaks that the German public have had much ability to access documents and many details of this supposedly transparent and democratic oversight process.
 
Despite WikiLeaks’ more recent NSA publications of US selectors to spy on Germans, the BND is still being allowed by the German government to work more for the NSA than their own people by denying the inquiry committee access to its selector list.
 
Obama’s overtures to Merkel seem to have worked.
 
Today, 54 years later, I suggest it is time for the SPD to repeat Brandt’swords from 1961, when he said to President Kennedy, in another serious challenge to democracy: "Berlin expects more than words. It expects political action."
 
And I have certainly heard that sentiment echoed around me while I havebeen living here for the last two years.
 
I have repeatedly seen people’s calls for Julian Assange and Edward Snowden to be given protection to come to Germany safely, testify and claim asylum. Their work to expose mass surveillance and promote transparent and democratic governments should be rewarded.
 
  • Political action to protect Assange.
  • Political action to protect Snowden.
  • Political action to protect Germany from US spying.

Yet currently Julian Assange, the editor who has fought so hard for many years for our right to know, allowing many around the world to start to get justice, providing us all with greater transparency of governments and corporations by bravely publishing, has been trapped by the UK in one embassy, detained without charge for 5 years, under constant overt and covert surveillance, denied the right to claim his asylum, denied the right to medical treatment, while he faces lack of due process and the largest investigation into a publisher ever, abandoned by his country, unsupported by Europe.
 
Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who revealed to us all how we are being spied on by the US and UK, is protected only by Russia, where he has asylum after assistance by WikiLeaks, from what history shows us will clearly be an unfair trial by the US government.
 
These men should be protected and freed. For the country willing to do so,it will mean having to stand up to the US to defend human rights and the rule of law. I ask that that country be Germany. As Brandt said: "Wir wollen mehr Demokratie wagen" - "Let’s dare more democracy".
 
I am very pleased that today by awarding me for my work with WikiLeaks, for Julian Assange and in getting Edward Snowden asylum, the SPD is showing a good step in once more following the path of Brandt in promoting and standing for our rights, democracy, security and the right to asylum.
 
Willy Brandt spent a number of years as a political refugee, even forced to change his name for his security.
 
This award is for those that have been forced into becoming refugees because of their political actions on behalf of us all, and their work for our right to know. And for all those brave whistleblowers and activists that have yet to come forward - but we have seen they will - courage is contagious.
 
And this is especially for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange who, unlike Willy Brandt, has his right to asylum being denied - being blocked by a police siege for the last three years. I hope this award is the first step in more proactive and decisive moves to protect and fight for those truth tellers that are honoured via me today.
 
Thank you.
 
https://www.wikileaks.org/Sarah-Harrison-acceptance-speech.html

Offline J.C

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  • la plume est plus puissante que l'épée
    • Snowden
blah blah blah blah. Assange blah blah. Snowden blah blah.

best part is this one here;

They spy not only on their own citizens, but the whole world...!



Assange fears the Pigeon.

https://goo.gl/QjIHja

Offline jujyjuji

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May be WL should mention the names of their researchers and give them the relevance they deserve instead of leaving them all behind the scenes with the excuse of the privacy, because nobody gives a damn if you are a WL supporter and because WL has been working thank to the work of many volunteers that have Never had a public thank you whole Assange and Harrison are getting all the fame, and smearing them as someone dares to criticize them after having given support.

Offline Riney

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I do not agree that Sarah Harrison can not return to the UK. David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald did get detained in the UK while flying through it on his way to Brazil.... but that was because he was carrying a couple devices that could have had Snowden leaks on them, he had come from Berlin where he had met up with Laura Poitras. All of the factors contributed to him being detained by the UK authorities who wanted to look through his devices. 

 Harrison would probably get questioned by authorities upon re entry to the UK, or maybe not. As long as she did not follow the same path that Miranda took... she probably could avoid any mishaps. They let Miranda go after the interrogation, they would let her go too if she was clean. 

  The problem is, she wants to be treated like a hero and can not come to terms with the fact that she has blatantly done things that are considered illegal. She thinks the laws need to change to suit her needs. She will say it is for everyone's benefit, but that is not for her to decide. There are plenty of people that disagree with what she, Assange, and Snowden have done.

   From what I can tell, the talent that these three have involve stealing material to leak so that they expose corruption in governments they want to incriminate. But on the other hand, none of them have any idea what it truly takes to protect a country and its citizens from harm. 

  @jujyjuji , I agree, WikiLeaks was at its strongest and best at its purpose when it had tons of volunteer support. Even Assange has whined and whined about how people ignore his material, all the while treating people like crap for not fulfilling his personal agenda. There have been many that have explored WikiLeaks material and found valuable material. But Assange hugely overestimated his materials value and its ability to cause true impact in the world.   

   Snowden's impact was actually somewhat significant. Today in the news there is an announcement that the six month grace period given to the NSA to continue mass surveillance unheeded has expired. From here on, until the legislation changes, the mass surveillance material can not be explored without a court order.   

   Assange and Harrison love to play the victim card... it is their gimmick.
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear

Offline Signhilde

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It is of interest that SPD did chose to give the prize to Sarah Harrison working for Wikileaks. May be she just like Berlin and does not lmiss London?

Offline J.C

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  • la plume est plus puissante que l'épée
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If you´re reading this she mentions Julian Assange 7 times. what a witching number for Julsey Pulsey.

So is this now a good sign for Assange? Is she still some kinda in love with him? or does she just give him what he wants? attention. sometimes really thought she is a Swallow.
somehow there has been a lot strange stuff surrounding the "Snowden stranded in Moscow" asylum story. and this spy-game we see is not at all, NSA only.

What I am also seeing is she mentions Russia 1 time and no single word about surveillance from china.

I recommend every one this post here: "going Cuba".

what you now know is what NSA is doing. what you don´t know is what those others are doing. and dear folks, this is much more creepy.

oh - they have wonderful cars in Cuba some say. and if you watch at the pictures of those cars. they look very beautiful.
from the outside.
Assange fears the Pigeon.

https://goo.gl/QjIHja

Offline jujyjuji

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I don't know Sarah Harrison at all a part from the fact she was very cold in chats with the forum and I wouldn't be surprised if herself had been acting like one of those hard core Assange fans... May be not... I'm just thinking.

That she got a prize for the courage... Good for her but there are many other activists that would deserve that prize more than herself and I think she's making things bigger than how they are: if UK wanted to get her all they needed to do was using an EAW, and they didn't. There are agreements between European countries for police and legal matters.

I don't want to throw mud on Harrison. May be she belives in what she does.
On the other hand there are a lot^^ of wikileaks volunteers and ex volunteers that worked like journalists, bloggers, hosted sites and they did it for free and without reciving any thank you.

Harrison helped Snowden to go to Russia.

... And that disaster of Siggi instead risked his life in Honduras for Assange...

But back to Harrison Congrats to her. But also I'd say to avoid telling she is in some sort of "exile" because she is not. Germany has agreements with UK in police matter and so has whatever other EU country. She helped one asking for asylum to Russia and the EU isn't in war with Russia so she will be max questioned and surveilled. Nothing more.

Offline Riney

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@The Dr Joker I assume she is still mentioning Assange in a good way because she knows probably more so than anyone that to speak against him even in the slightest way in the media is only going to bring on the most vile and swift public vilification possible from him as backlash. Funny that the foundation she runs has the word "Courage" in its title, when I am pretty sure she is deathly afraid of Assange.

 @jujyjuji I would be more willing to tip my hat to her receiving such an award, except that I have seen behavior from her against this forum that I would call hypocritical. I have a strong belief that she is very much into a fame game like Assange and definitely shows signs of following his anti Western government agenda. She can complain all day about the UK/US and its oppression of whistle blowers. If she had been a citizen of Russia or China and done all the things she has done to those governments... she would be dead.

 @Signhilde Thanks for posting. It is an interesting discussion. I am sure she probably does like Berlin... it is also a safe haven for other famous whistle blowers... Laura Poitras and Jacob Appelbaum. She is probably living it up with all of her fellow "heros". Especially with a real paying job as the acting director of a foundation that brings in funds for world wide whistle blowers ... instead of scrounging on the funds that where drying up from WikiLeaks donations, of which Assange was taking the lions share with his constant legal battles to avoid rape charges.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 01:43:06 AM by Riney »
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear