From Gangsta Rap to Julian Assange: the criminalization of art and journalism

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As Julian Assange rots in a British prison – without charge or bail – on October 27, Biden’s Justice Department returns to a London court to appeal the lower court’s decision. deny the US government’s request to extradite Assange to the United States, where a CIA plot to kill him was recently exposed.

“The ultimate form of censorship is to kill the messenger or lock him up. The prosecution, incarceration and torture of Julian Assange is the worst example of an attempt to suppress press freedom in this country in modern times. Why is Biden perpetuating Trump’s pursuit of Assange (which the Obama administration has rejected)? Unless the US government does the right thing by dropping the appeal, this will be one of the most serious wounds to the US Constitution and international law in our lifetime. “- Stephen Rohde, retired civil rights lawyer, writer and political activist,

If Julian Assange is ALLOWED to be extradited, prosecuted, imprisoned and forgotten, freedom of speech, art and expression will join him as a victim of a system of repression that does not tolerate anyone who questions the authority and tell the truth to power.

This point cannot be clearer. Julian Assange, Australian national and founder of Wikileaks, represents the power granted by the United States Constitution to “We the People” to control power brokers and expose government wrongdoing, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, such as those disclosed by Assange.

It represents the capacity of a population to denounce those in power and to reveal unflattering and shameful truths that they want to keep hidden. Assange joins all in journalism, the arts, music and across culture who have been silenced by a system that suppresses the voices of writers, artists, musicians and other marginalized who have the courage to resist suffocation conformism and express hard truths.

This issue requires more attention than the government and corporate media are prepared to allow. We give it the attention it deserves.

Jody armor

With this in mind, Jody Armor, professor of law at USC, as well as oral and musical artists, come together to express their art, their voice and their freedom threatened by the powerful who will have even more freedom for them. shut up if Assange were to go to jail.

Connect to learn what is at stake and to support our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

Host

Jody David armor is 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, examines the American criminal justice system – among the deadliest and most racist in the world – through deeply interdisciplinary lenses. Armor is a senior member of Soros Justice at the Center on Crime, Communities and Culture at the Open Society Institute, and he sits on the board of directors of LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership), an international nonprofit 501 (c) (3) police, prosecutors, judges, prison officers and other law enforcement officials advocating for criminal justice reform.

Artists and activists

BALi-kiD

BALi-Kid is a multi-faceted performance artist from Durham, North Carolina to New York. His major interest is in the reform of society with a focus on the teaching of health and behavioral sciences. During his initiation into a mysterious spiritual system, he lost the use of his age, height and weight. “We are the most colorful and beautiful puzzle. We cannot afford to lose a single coin.

Riley Boots

Riley Boots is an American director, producer, screenwriter, rapper and communist activist. He is the lead singer of the Coup and the Street Sweeper Social Club. He made his feature film directorial debut with Sorry to Bother You (2018), which he also wrote.

Carina Dorthy Krehl

Carina Dorthy Krehl is a Renaissance neo-surrealist artist cemented in her creative practice. His work encompasses mediums that span illustrative book writing, traditional painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, as well as the performance and art of NFT virtual reality.

Chris ER

Chris ER is an artist based in Los Angeles. Chris is a proud Angeleno and seeks to illuminate 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 words to change the world. Chris believes that “the future is brighter when we build it together”.

Jaehoon Cho

Jaehoon Cho is a producer, rapper and content creator. He is part of the mic sessions, a group of artists who meet every week and write together on the subject. He is also a member of the nonprofit aim4theheart, whose goal is to help people learn emotional literacy through the arts. This non-profit organization goes to schools and prisons to create a space where people share their arts on a specific topic. These two organizations are headed by Leila Steinberg. He holds an Associates of Arts Degree and a Diploma in Music Technology from Los Angeles City College, where he was awarded the prestigious Herb Alpert Fellowship.

Louis king

Louis king is an internationally touring hip-hop artist, music / film producer and educator. In the summer of 2021, Louis shot in over 30 of the poorest US cities / territories as the director of the feature film “End Poverty Make Trillions.”

Ravina Wadhwani

Ravina Wadhwani is a spoken word poet, mental health therapist and educator based in Los Angeles who has traveled to the West Coast to the East Coast. Ravina was born and raised in the US Virgin Islands and embraces her South Asian roots and multicultural upbringing. YELLOW is her first collection of poetry and prose published by World Stage Press in 2021.

SK Winter-Yat

SK Winter-Yat is a New York-born hip-hop artist. After his time in the realms of gonzo-style alternative journalism with local and underground publications such as Alt. Variety Magazine, CannabisNow Magazine and New York Natives, he started making music again. Adding radically original lyrics to his often turbulent speech, guided by a calm voice, SK manages to blend the traditions of New York hip hop style of the 80s and 90s with a dystopian New-Age twist.

Whistleblowers

Jeffrey Sterling

Jeffrey Sterling is a lawyer and former CIA employee who was convicted of breaking espionage law for revealing details of a covert operation to provide Iran with faulty nuclear warhead blueprints to journalist James Risen. In 2015, you were sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. His fight against the government had started more than 15 years earlier, while he was still in the CIA. After filing a racial discrimination complaint, he was fired by the agency and filed two federal lawsuits against her, one for retaliation and discrimination, another for obstructing the publication of her autobiography. You also spoke as a whistleblower in Congress. This experience left him almost homeless, until he could return to your hometown near St. Louis and rebuild his life, meet his wife and land a good job, only to be arrested and jailed for years more. late.

John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou You were a CIA analyst and case manager for 14 years, including leading the team that captured Abu Zubaydah from al-Qaeda in Pakistan in 2002. In 2007, three years after his resignation, he became the first CIA officer to publicly acknowledge that the CIA used torture, and that its use was official policy under the administration of George W. Bush. Five years later, in 2012, the Barack Obama administration filed espionage charges against him. He ultimately pleaded guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by confirming the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s infamous rendition program. Sentenced to 30 months in prison, he was released in 2015 after serving nearly two years.

Nick schou

Nick schou is an award-winning investigative journalist with over 25 years of print media experience. 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 Black alliance series on the CIA-crack cocaine connection created a storm of controversy and led to her resignation from the newspaper amid mounting attacks on her work by the mainstream media and ultimately led to her suicide in December 2004. Her latest book, Spooked: How the CIA manipulates the media and deceives Hollywood, explains how far our government will go to suppress what it wants to hide and spread the lies it wants us to believe.

Gary Webb

Gary WebbThe Dark Alliance report revealed how tons of cocaine were shipped to San Francisco by CIA-backed Contras supporters, then distributed in Los Angeles to a Nicaraguan named Danilo Blandon, who sold it to a merchant. of South Central Street. , Rick Ross Highway.

This event is in partnership with The Assange Defense Committee.

The Assange Defense Committee is an American coalition fighting to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange


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