JULIAN ASSANGE (2017)
“You can either be informed and your own rulers, or you can be ignorant and have someone else, who is not ignorant, rule over you.”
Controversial figure and internet activist, Julian Assange returned to Oz in 2017 via video link to expose the men (and women) behind the curtain.
With No More Secrets, No More Lies: Julian Assange, Think Inc. has presented a rare opportunity for a real time interview and Q&A. From the Embassy of Ecuador in London, Assange was transported back to Australia via video link, with shows scheduled for Melbourne and Sydney, and a live screening from these shows to venues in Brisbane and Auckland.
Champion for truth and transparency or dangerous terrorist? Martyr to political conspiracy or traitor? Courageous exile or “fugitive from justice”? Hero or villain? Whatever he is, Julian Assange is certainly a divisive subject.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Assange has been riling up global governments since founding WikiLeaks in 2006, squirreling out secret dossiers and classified information. This reached a crescendo with the 2010 release of the Iraq War Logs. Charged with serious crimes by Swedish authorities, Assange applied to Ecuador for political asylum and had been living in its London embassy since 2012, despite the United Nation’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finding that he has been “arbitrarily detained”. And he wasn’t easing off—during the 2016 US presidential election, Assange took aim at Hillary Clinton (who he has called a “liberal war hawk”) with the release of thousands of documents leaked from the Democratic National Committee, garnering him a pro-Trump stigma in social and political circles.
Assange has said of his polemical approach that, “It is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abusers, and when powerful abusers are taken on, there’s always a bad reaction. So we see that controversy, and we believe that is a good thing to engage in.”
Audiences had the opportunity to join Assange in an evening of intrigue and shocking revelations as he challenged audiences from all political leanings to take serious consideration of journalistic freedoms and the implications of a silenced media.