While Julian Assange rots in a British prison—without charge or bail—on October 27, the Biden Department of Justice is going back to a London court to appeal the lower court decision denying the US government's request to extradite Assange to the United States, where a CIA plot to kill him recently came to light.
“The ultimate form of censorship is to kill the messenger or lock them up. The prosecution, incarceration and torture of Julian Assange is the worst example of an attempt to repress freedom of the press in this country in modern times. Why is Biden perpetuating Trump's prosecution of Assange (which the Obama administration rejected)? Unless the US government does the right thing by dropping the appeal, this will be one of the gravest injuries to the US Constitution and to international law in our lifetimes.” — Stephen Rohde, retired civil rights lawyer, writer, and political activist,
If Julian Assange is ALLOWED to be extradited, prosecuted, jailed and forgotten, freedom of speech, art, and expression will join him as victims of a repression system which does not tolerate anyone who questions authority and speaks truth to power.
This point cannot be clearer. Julian Assange, an Australian national and founder of Wikileaks, represents the power granted by the United States Constitution to “We the People” to keep power brokers in check and to expose government wrongdoing, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, like the ones revealed by Assange.
He represents the ability of a populace to speak out against those in power and reveal unflattering and shameful truths they want to keep hidden. Assange joins all those in journalism, the arts, music, and throughout the culture who have been silenced by a system that suppresses the voices of marginalized writers, artists, musicians, and others who have the courage to resist the suffocation of conformity and to express hard truths.
This issue needs more attention than the government and corporate media are willing to allow. We are giving it the attention it deserves.
In this spirit, USC Law Professor Jody Armour, along with spoken-word and musical artists, come together to express their art, voice and liberty threatened by power brokers who will have even more freedom to silence them should Assange go to prison.
Tune in to learnwhat is at stake and to support our Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of speech.
Jody David Armour is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. A widely published scholar and popular lecturer, he studies the intersection of race, law, morality, psychology, politics, ordinary language philosophy, and the performing arts. His latest book, N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law, looks at America’s criminal justice system – among the deadliest and most racist in the world – through deeply interdisciplinary lenses. Armour is a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities & Culture, and he is on the Board of Directors for LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership), an international 501(c)(3) non-profit of police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials, and other law enforcement officials advocating for criminal justice reform.
Artists and Activists
BALi-KiD is a multifaceted performance artist from Durham, North Carolina by way of New York City. His major interest involves societal reformation by focusing on the education of health and behavioral sciences. Upon his initiation into a mysterious spiritual system, he lost the use of his numerical age height and weight. “We are the most colorful, beautiful puzzle. We cannot afford to loose a single piece.”
Boots Riley is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, rapper, and communist activist. He is the lead vocalist of The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club. He made his feature-film directorial debut with Sorry to Bother You (2018), which he also wrote.
Carina Dorthy Krehl is Renaissance Neo-Surrealist Artist cemented in her creative practice. Her work subsumes mediums that span across illustrative book writing, traditional painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, as well as performance, and Virtual Reality NFT Art.
Chris ER is an artist based in Los Angeles. Chris is a proud Angeleno and seeks to bring light to the stories of his community. Chris is an educator and hopes to inspire his students to strive for excellence. Chris believes in the power of music and lyrics to change the world. Chris holds true that “The future is brighter when we build it together”.
Jaehoon Cho is a producer, rapper, and content creator. He is a part of the mic sessions, which is a group of artists who meet every week and write together on topic. He is also a part of the nonproﬁt, aim4theheart, whose goal is to help people learn about emotional literacy through the arts. This nonproﬁt organization goes to schools and prisons to facilitate a space where people share their arts on a speciﬁc topic. Both of these organizations are led by Leila Steinberg. He has an Associates of Arts Degree and a Music Technology Degree at Los Angeles City College where he was given the prestigious Herb Alpert Scholarship.
Louis King is an International Touring Hip-Hop Artist, Music/Film Producer & Educator. In Summer of 2021, Louis toured in 30+ of the poorest US cities/territories as Director of the Feature Film “End Poverty Make Trillions”.
Ravina Wadhwani is a Los Angeles based spoken word poet, mental health therapist, and educator who made her way to the West Coast by way of the East Coast. Ravina was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands and embraces her South Asian roots and multicultural upbringing. YELLOW is her first collection of published poetry and prose published by World Stage Press in 2021.
S.K. Winter-Yat is a New York-bred Hip Hop artist. After his sojourn into the realms of alternative, gonzo-style journalism with local and underground publications such as Alt. Variety Magazine, CannabisNow Magazine, and New York Natives, he resumed making music. Adding radically original lyrics to his oft-turbulent delivery, which is guided by a calm voice, S.K. manages to blend the traditions of New York’s 80’s and 90’s Hip Hop style with a new-age, dystopian twist.
Jeffrey Sterling is a lawyer and former CIA employee who was convicted of violating the Espionage Act for revealing details about a covert operation to supply Iran with flawed nuclear warhead blueprints to journalist James Risen. In 2015, you were sentenced to 3½ years in prison. His battle against the government had begun more than 15 years earlier, when he was still at the CIA. After he lodged a racial discrimination complaint, he was fired by the agency and filed two federal lawsuits against it, one for retaliation and discrimination, another for obstructing the publication of his autobiography. You also spoke as a whistleblower to Congress. That experience left him almost homeless, until he could return to your hometown near St. Louis and rebuild his life, meeting his wife and landing a good job, only to be arrested and imprisoned years later.
John Kiriakou You served as a CIA analyst and case officer for 14 years, which included leading the team that captured al-Qaeda’s Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002. In 2007, three years after he resigned, he became the first CIA officer to publicly acknowledge that the CIA used torture, and that its use was official policy under the George W. Bush administration. Five years later, in 2012, the Barack Obama administration filed espionage charges against him. He eventually pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by confirming the name of an officer involved in the infamous CIA rendition program. Sentenced to 30 months in prison, he were released in 2015 after serving almost two years.
Nick Schou is an award-winning investigative journalist with over 25 years of experience in print media. His 2006 book Kill the Messenger tells the story of the tragic death of Gary Webb, who was the former San Jose Mercury News reporter whose 1996 Dark Alliance series on the CIA-crack cocaine connection created a firestorm of controversy and led to his resignation from the paper amid escalating attacks on his work by the mainstream media and ultimately led to his suicide in December 2004. His latest book, Spooked: How The CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood, Addresses the lengths our government will go to suppress what it wishes to hide and to propagate the lies it wishes us to believe.
Gary Webb's reporting in Dark Alliance uncovered the story of how tons of cocaine were shipped into San Francisco by supporters of the CIA-backed Contras and then distributed down to LA to a Nicaraguan named Danilo Blandon, who sold it to a street dealer from South Central, Freeway Rick Ross.
This event is in partnership with The Assange Defense Committee.
The Assange Defense Committee is a U.S. coalition fighting to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange