Wikileaks and the right to know

Submitted by martin on 8 December, 2010 - 11:08 Author: Daniel Rawnsley
Wikileaks

In 1917, after the October revolution, the Bolsheviks immediately published all the secret treaties of both the Tsarist government and the unelected provisional government of the February revolution.

In the 1972-4 the Watergate scandal, exposing US government dirty tricks against political opponents, led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon and hugely and permanently increased popular mistrust of government in the USA.

Contemporary journalist and malcontent Hunter S. Thompson summarised Nixon as a man who was 'criminally insane, and also President of the United States'. It's anyone's guess how rational world leaders are these days.

The recent torrent of US embassy cables released by online whistleblower Wikileaks has once again revealed the manipulating and lying ways of bourgeois governments across the world. There has been a great outcry from many governments, claiming that the leaks put government agents in danger and sabotage diplomacy, but in fact the major effect has been to embarrass the governments. The leaks are set to continue well in to the new year.

The governments have responded by trying to trip up Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange walked in to a police station in London on 7 December to be arrested on charges of rape and sexual molestation brought by the Swedish authorities, and is currently fighting extradition.

Is there substance to the charges? We don't know. Assange may well be a deeply unpleasant person. He is reported as saying to a co-worker on the Wikileaks project: "I am the heart and soul of this organisation, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, orignal coder, organiser, financier and all the rest... If you have a problem with me piss off." (Guardian, 8 December 2010).

It is reasonable that Assange face trial for the accusations brought against him in as fair a court as bourgeois justice will allow.

However, the details surrounding the Assange man-hunt are pretty odd. Sweden issued an international arrest warrant via Interpol, and an EU arrest warrant was also issued. There were 3,159 acts of rape in London alone in the past 12 months, none of have prompted a response of equal magnitude.

The charges look like, not the Swedish government spearheading a crack-down on rape in Europe, but an opportunist attack on someone who has annoyed all established governments.

Both Visa and Mastercard have prevented their cards from being used to donate money to Wikileaks via Paypal - though people can still use Visa cards to donate money to the BNP or the Ku Klux Klan. The finance arm of the Swiss postal service and Paypal have cut off Wikileaks accounts. Amazon and EveryDNS have removed Wikileaks from their servers. (Amazon has claimed this was not in response to government pressure).

Mike Huckabee, former candidate for the Republican nomination for the US presidency, is rousing the American right to a flury of 'my-country-'tis-of-thee' rage, declaring that 'whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.'

In response, a surge of hacktivism, largely by a loose network calling themselves 'Anonymous', has partially paralyzed Mastercard's website, through a series of DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks under the banner 'Operation: Payback'.

There are also street demonstrations this weekend (10-12 December) in Australia, under the slogan 'Defend Wikileaks'.

The story highlights the rise of internet activism. Twitter is said to have played a role in the demonstrations against Ahmadinejad's government last year after the rigged Iranian elections (and the rigging of has been verified by the recently leaked embassy cables.)

Some enthusiasts of an 'online revolution' forget that electronic activism in Iran shook the regime not 'by itself' but only by helping organise people to be out on the streets in great numbers.

As socialists, we have to learn to adapt to new technology and find the best possible ways to use the technology to help build real (and not just 'virtual') action.

Comments

Submitted by martin on Wed, 08/12/2010 - 23:29

Submitted by Peter burton on Thu, 09/12/2010 - 15:00

How , on the issue of using technology is progress going on a categorised
internal discussion Forum for the AWL ? Also -other groups have videos on Youtube
with summer school sessions being posted as well as other public meeting debates,
but if you type AWL etc in a search on Youtube or the names of leading figures
nothing comes up. We need to get better ?

Pete

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 13/12/2010 - 14:03

The site of the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) has posted only two short references to WikiLeaks. Its article dated December 10, three days after Assange had been jailed, makes no mention of this and no call for his defence. It simply notes that WikiLeaks’ activities “have provoked violent polemics and intimidation at the highest level, causing big technical and financial problems for Julian Assange and his collaborators.”

The one other article on the issue, dated December 2, seeks to minimise the significance of WikiLeaks’ work: “For the moment little of the information published by WikiLeaks is basically a surprise.” The article goes on to question the motivations of Assange: “the personalities, the functioning and above all the motivations of the founders of WikiLeaks are obscure, and the love of truth alone based on hacking or stealing cannot suffice to make a progressive political programme.”

This position is false and reactionary. WikiLeaks has not “stolen” the documents that were leaked to it, it merely published them as a public service. As for Assange’s motivations, he has succeeded in giving the public a detailed look at the corrupt plans and war crimes of capitalist governments around the world.

Submitted by danrawnsley on Mon, 13/12/2010 - 22:36

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, has been held in prison for several days now, awaiting a hearing which will determine whether he is to be extradited to Sweden. If extradited Assange will face charges of sexuellt ofredande (sexual molestation).

Many have come to Assange's defence for a range of reasons. It appears likely that the extradition attempt is a politically motivated attack in response to Wikileaks' continued leaking of embassy documents that have seen wide coverage in the press. It is right to defend Wikileaks and Assange from this right-wing attack, it is right because attacks against government secrets form a part of our fight for working class democracy.

Some defences of Assange have ranged from the problematic to the abhorrent however. Without adequate facts to support themselves some have rushed to attack the two women bringing the charges against Assange. Naomi Wolf, an American bourgeois feminist has accused 'the alleged victims' of 'using feminist-inspired rhetoric and law to assuage what appears to be personal injured feelings.' This is merely the thin end of the wedge. Two blogs, Raw Story and Counterpunch, have speculated that one of Assange's accusers is a CIA agent or has links with the CIA.

There are two clear and separate issues at play in the trial of Julian Assange. On the one hand is the political attack against Wikileaks and on the other is the allegations of sexual molestation against Julian Assange. The muddling of these two issues has led Naomi Wolf to trivialise sexual violence against women and caused Raw Story and Counterpunch to pursue a tangent of wild conspiracy theory. Those who wish to defend Assange would be better served by campaigning for his trial to focus on the facts of the charges brought against him rather than on his political activities and not muddle things counter-productively by mixing up the issues.

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 14/12/2010 - 12:35

if the last statement above is the position of an awl-member, then its unbelievable, if an rev. socialist cant realise anymore , what pretexts are constructed to catch political activists.
a few days ago, 1 of the 2 woman already took back her claim 2 be raped by julian assange. she was angry about an defect condom.
that was reported in the german press the last days.
FULL SOLIDARITY WITH WIKILEAKS should be self-evident 4 all revolutionarees, who dont wanna go over 2 the side of the bourgeoisie!

Submitted by danrawnsley on Tue, 14/12/2010 - 14:19

I am an AWL member guenter. My apologies for missing some of the facts, Anna Ardin, one of the accusers seems to have disappeared, but I've only found information here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/anna-ardin-julian-assange_n_79… Could you post links to the articles you mention? I can't find anything that confirms she has withdrawn her accusations.

You're right, that there is a serious likelihood that what we are witnessing is a clear, politically motivated attack against Assange and Wikileaks. I made that quite clear in the first article I posted.

You suggest that we need to make full solidarity with wikileaks. Let me be clear, we do need to offer solidarity against a right wing attack and call things by their proper name. The arrest of Assange is almost certainly a stitch-up and we need to clearly say that. We also need to criticise wikileaks, an organisation that may well centre around the ego of Assange and operate without any form of democratic accountability.

However, attacking the two accusers and claiming that one of them is a CIA agent does nothing to help build solidarity. We have to base our solidarity on what is known to be true; that Assange is reviled by bourgeois governments and that criticism of Wikileaks has surrounded his arrest. However, he has also been accused of sexual molestation, these accusations should see the full light of day and not be brushed aside just because Assange is causing trouble for the enemies of the working class.

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 14/12/2010 - 23:38

@dan
it was reported in the german tv, that 1 of the women took back her accusation. i cud have a look in the net if i see any similar article, but it wudnt help 2 post it here than, as its not in ur language.

@tomu
"disturbing" are not those, who see the plot behind assange, but those who dont see it.
let me remind u, that hanged sacco &vanzetti had wrongly been blamed 4 murder, and that the rosenbegs , ending on the electric chair, had wrongly been blamed 2 be spys 4 the russians. angela davis was wrongly blamed 4 murder, and so is mumia-jamal.(still imprisoned, years after another person confessed the murder, mumia was blamed for!) how many more plot cases i must remind you on? shame, shame, shame....

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 15/12/2010 - 12:57

sure. they would never construct such a thing, cause USA are a wonderful democratic country; there soldiers didnt even rape around as this russian barbarians did in WW2. (all stuff we can read on this website).

u never heard, how often people got blamed wrong for sexual abuses, didnt you?
that happens all the time. its an easy thing to do, cause nobody else was there who saw it.
when i was a political activist of 15 and they looked 4 a pretext 2 throw me out of school, suddenly a girl blamed me 4 sexual harrasment. her bad luck: iam gay. but if i wudnt had had the courage 4 a coming out by that tender age (almost 40y ago) in a village, then how cud i have prooved my innocence?
i know an ethiopian who wanted to hide his gayness 4 any price and ended up in jail after he was wrongly blamed 2 have raped a woman.
reality is tough, no?

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 15/12/2010 - 23:58

ur last sentence is true, but if a political activist who posted a lot of secret documents, suddenly gets blamed 4 whatever crime, than its most probably a plot. that dont make it 100% impossible, what he is blamed for. but if 1 woman already took back her blame -and u just ignore that-, than how big is the possibillity, that the other one says the truth?
iam resting my case.
anyway, the main tusk 4 rev.socialists is, to call 4 solidarity with wikileaks now!

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 16/12/2010 - 12:49

congrats.
by labelling "solidarity with wikileaks" as an "simplistic" slogan, u finally showed that u have no socialist position.
solidarity with the victims of the state is an "simplistic" position? thats great news for all rev. socialists, cause no one else than you has discovered that yet.
cud u pls change then the name of ur mag ("solidarity") ?

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 16/12/2010 - 19:49

i read u very well, while u remained ignorant of many valid arguments and was unable to answer, how high the possibiity is, that the blame is true, if 1 woman already stepped back from it.
when i wrote, the main task is "solidarity with wikileaks", u replied that "simplistic slogans" are not the main task 4 rev. socialists. thats here 4 any1 2 see. bad luck.

Submitted by guenter on Fri, 17/12/2010 - 14:18

once again, tomu had no answers for what i really said. dont wanna continue with his fruitless stubbornness.

any1 here rather should discuss the new documents of wikileaks, who showed plans for an secret nato-war against russia under leadership of USA. why dont this have an article here?

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 21/12/2010 - 13:20

Imperialist diplomacy exposed: Behind the witch-hunt of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange
The ongoing publication of US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks has provided an invaluable insight into the real state of international relations, the undercover criminal activities of the United States and other governments, and the mounting tensions between the US and its “allies” and rivals alike—tensions that threaten to spark new military conflicts in flashpoints around the world.

The revelations published so far are the most significant exposure of the real character of “imperialist diplomacy” since Leon Trotsky published the diplomatic cables of the Tsarist government after the October Revolution of 1917.

Like that event, the WikiLeaks exposures have sent shock waves throughout the globe. Their significance can be gauged by the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been subject to a series of death threats from members of the US ruling elites as well as calls for his trial and execution.

In Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has joined this international lynch mob declaring, without any foundation, that the activities of Assange and WikiLeaks are “illegal.”

The international witch-hunt against Assange reveals the extent to which any commitment to upholding basic democratic rights has been discarded in ruling circles. How could it be otherwise.... (continued)

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 22/12/2010 - 13:53

Germany’s Left Party has been remarkably restrained in its comments about the revelations on the WikiLeaks web site and the persecution of its founder Julian Assange.

Although the parliamentary party did issue a press release dated December 15 in which it condemned “attempts to censor information from WikiLeaks and put pressure on the platform”, at the same time it clearly distanced the party from WikiLeaks.

The same press release calls for “a broad debate around issues of confidentiality” and states: “Political documents should not be published if this endangers the life, health or freedom of people.” It accuses WikiLeaks of becoming “a political player, for example, when it decides which documents are published, at what time, and which mainstream media are given exclusive access to the documents in advance.”

It has now become clear that there are also very specific personal reasons for the Left Party’s ambiguous attitude. The chair of its parliamentary group, Gregor Gysi, is one of the politicians sought out by the US Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy to acquire “gossip” about the internal politics of his party. This was reported by Spiegel Online from a secret telegram published by WikiLeaks.

Gysi is in good company. Before the revelations about him, Helmut Metzner, chief of staff to Free Democratic Party (FDP) leader Guido Westerwelle, was also revealed as a secret informant for the US ambassador. Unlike Gysi, however, Metzner had to clear his desk.

Apparently, Gysi reassured the official representative of the US government that he should not worry about the attitude of the Left Party towards NATO. The party’s draft programme currently under discussion calls for “the dismantling of NATO and its replacement by a collective security system involving Russia”.

Gysi told the US ambassador how the official party position calling for the dissolution of the Atlantic military alliance should really be understood as a commitment for Germany to remain in NATO!

According to Der Spiegel, Gysi explained the dialectic of this discrepancy to the ambassador as follows: The demand was a tactical manoeuvre to keep the left wing of the party quiet. Otherwise, they would demand Germany quit NATO, which was much more dangerous. In contrast to German withdrawal, the dissolution of NATO was unrealistic because it would mean gaining the consent of France, Britain and the US. As long as NATO exists, however, it follows from Gysi’s argument that the Left Party would support German membership.

Challenged by Der Spiegel, Gysi did not deny he had met with the US ambassador. He claimed that he could no longer remember the exact wording of the conversation, and suggested a translation error, because the conversation had been conducted in German. But this certainly does not amount to a denial.

Representatives of the so-called party left have expressed indignation. If the conversation in November had happened as reported, “it would be adventurism and an affront to the party left,” parliamentary deputy Ulla Jelpke told Spiegel Online. In the daily Junge Welt, commentator Werner Pirker expressed outrage that Gysi had entrusted the US ambassador with information about the “dirty tricks used against the party rank and file”.

What a farce! Three and a half years after the official founding of the party, it should now be clear to every member how the Left Party works. It is not merely in the sphere of foreign policy that the Left Party does the very opposite of what it officially proclaims in its programme and election campaigns. It does the same in every other policy area, whether the dismantling of public sector jobs, the privatisation of housing and public facilities, or the local implementation of the attacks on the unemployed and welfare recipients embodied in the “Hartz” laws.

The party “left” tries to cover up these right-wing policies with leftist-sounding phrases. The WikiLeaks revelations have exposed the nakedness of their attempts to cover for Gysi’s reactionary politics.

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 23/12/2010 - 19:28

German newspapers publish appeal opposing censorship of WikiLeaks

A number of German newspapers, including the national daily Frankfurter Rundschau, have published a joint appeal rejecting any censorship or persecution of the WikiLeaks web site by either governments or commercial interests, or both.

The appeal, published last Thursday, is supported by three other Berlin-based daily newspapers: Tageszeitung, Berliner Zeitung and Taggespiegel. Additional signatories are the widely read news and culture web site, Perlentaucher, the weekly news and culture paper, Der Freitag, and the European Center For Constitutional and Human Rights.

The joint appeal begins by citing the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19, which proclaims: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

The German media statement declares that the WikiLeaks web site, and the Internet as a whole, is a medium that enjoys precisely the same right to disseminate information as any other form of journalism.

The appeal goes on to declare that while the publication of documents by WikiLeaks can be criticised, “we are against any form of censorship by government or private agencies. If Internet companies can use their market power to prevent a news organization from publishing, this would mean democracy is defeated through economic means. These attacks show a disturbing idea of democracy, where freedom of information exists only for as long as it hurts no one”.

In another significant passage, the statement declares that genuinely independent journalism has an important role to play in uncovering the secret machinations of the state. The appeal states: “The criminalization and prosecution of WikiLeaks goes beyond this individual case. There are calls for preventing the publication of confidential information in such quantities. Indeed, the volume of documents revealed to the public [by WikiLeaks] provide a much deeper insight into state action than former publications in top media. Journalism has not only the right, but the duty, to control the state and to elucidate the mechanisms of governance. It creates transparency. Without transparency, there is no democracy. The state is not an end in itself, and must withstand a confrontation with its own secrets”.

The main demand raised in the appeal is a call “for the persecution of WikiLeaks to stop, as this is in contravention of international law”. The statement concludes with an appeal for support.

Since the appeal’s publication, over 13,300 individuals have signed on to express their support, many providing short texts expressing their anger over the attempts to persecute WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

HM, for example, writes that he finds it “incredible what is taking place in front of our eyes and what the US is presuming to do. J. Assange is arrested as a rapist and given an electronic tether. This is unprecedented. The persecution of WikiLeaks has begun.”

Another supporter of the appeal, IP, declares that since WikiLeaks began its work he sleeps more securely because he knows there is an agency at work revealing the secrets of the state. He is uneasy when state officials can sleep securely knowing they have their secrets safely hidden away.

MC writes that the so-called leading democracies are “showing their true colours, and not just the US. The so-called role-model democracies EU & Co (Scandinavia, etc.) are showing their real conception of freedom and human rights. How is it possible then to demand that other countries uphold such rights. Hypocrisy and lies, as far as the eye can see!”

The appeal in defense of WikiLeaks is a significant initiative by leading German newspapers and reflects the opposition amongst a layer of journalists to the attempt by the political and media establishment in Germany to justify the censorship of WikiLeaks.

At the same time, it should be noted that the vast majority of the German press, including the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and many other leading newspapers, have failed to support this appeal defending the elementary right to free speech. It is also noteworthy that Der Spiegel magazine—up to now the main conduit in Germany for the WikiLeaks reports—is also not on the list of supporters.

Indeed many established papers in Germany have printed scurrilous commentaries attacking WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange in recent days. Typical in this respect is the weekly journal Die Zeit, which has longstanding links to German social democracy. Writing in its latest edition, one of the paper’s leading columnists, Josef Joffe, pens a scathing commentary in which he accuses Julian Assange of being a “one-man agency for regime change”. Joffe then goes onto denounce WikiLeaks, which does not merely “aim at more transparency, but seeks to bring about a more just and equitable society”.

Such a political agenda is entirely unacceptable, according to Joffe.

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 05/01/2011 - 14:24

Why 'drop the charges' is wrong
zetkin.net/assange-drop-the-charges-is-wrong
We post this link to further discussion.

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 05/01/2011 - 20:12

instead of arguing with all the material i presented, after weeks there is a link to a small article which does, of course, same as AWL NOT inform since weeks, that 1 of the women since weeks took back her accusings, saying that she slept with him freely and that she was angry that a condom did break.
some postings ago i gave examples of persons, who wrongly had been blamed for rape. that has to be taken same as serious, as any accusation of rape.

i think its a shame for AWL not to join the solidarity events for wikileaks and not to post documents from wikileaks here.
well, in 1 document of W., the position of AWL towards the UCLA from kosovo is well blamaged: the documents show, how even the USA considered them as fascists, but gave them instructions, to cover up their mafia-structures by posing as an liberation army against serbic chauvinism. congrats!

-solidarity with julian assange, the victim of an imperialist plot!

Submitted by Sofie Buckland on Thu, 06/01/2011 - 16:32

Guenter, you misrepresent the accuser's stories in the same way a large chunk of the supposedly socialist left has done. For an English translation of an interview with one of the accusers see here and the Guardian published info from police documents here. To take these allegations anything less than very seriously is to downplay the seriousness of rape and sexual assault in general. If it's true, for example, that Assange refused to stop after the condom broke, in a sexual encounter consented to only on the basis that it was protected sex, it might be hard to gain a conviction. But for socialists that HAS to be considered rape.

You say false accusations have to be taken as seriously as rape allegations. But where has anyone, here or elsewhere, said Assnage is definitely guilty? You'll struggle for an example. On the other hand, you seem to be arguing that he's definitely not, that the women in question are just lying, for political cause perhaps. It's you who isn't getting the balance right here.

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 08/01/2011 - 14:05

sofie,
telling me what socialists shud consider as rape,and that i(!) wud downplay the seriousness of rape, u cudnt know of course, that u say this 2 some1 who was raped and wounded badly long ago, did end up in hospital 4 an operation, and still suffer from it physically and mental till today.
i think, if the woman freely had sex with him, it was not rape. what word we shall use for continuing after the condom broke- i dont know. we also dont know if this is true. i think, not taking serious a rape of woman is rather a thing of the past (raped man still have much more difficulties to find believe); nowadays i watched rather increasing cases of false accusings for rape, cause those who do so, know, its an easy thing to do, and difficult 4 the other, 2 proof the opposite.

i think, instead of discussing the person assange mainly, its much more important 4 socialists to study the flood of wikileaks-documents and post them here. except my postings, there wasnt any effort here to do so. 1 of the examples i gave was wikileaks documents about UCLA&USA>; documents which does ridicoule the friendly position, AWL had towards the kosovarian UCLA. thats why none of those who attack me here, always "overlook" the more important part of my argumentation.

and @the last poster here: wikileaks, who looks leftwing, is surely not driven by the false "anti-imperialism" of rightwingers and neonazis.so, since when are socialists concerned about "anti-americanism"? wasnt that word always a rightwing blame against leftwingers?

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 08/01/2011 - 14:10

i didnt mean 2 say, that none of my critics overlook the more important parts of my argumentation (the wikileaks documents about .....(various examples i gave in b4-postings), but that none of them argued with that, and act, as if they wud have simply overlooked that, what is probably not the case.

Submitted by guenter on Sun, 09/01/2011 - 19:55

WikiLeaks
Police trained Bangladeshi death squads

Cables released by WikiLeaks reveal how the British government provides training to a Bangladeshi government paramilitary force specialising in executing political opponents.

----------------------------------------------

why iam the only one who does find such things and put them here? shame, shame.....

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 10/01/2011 - 19:55

a) after all what i posted here, u have the nerve to ask whats my point and call me a looser?
LOL, some persons here get worser any day.

b) the mainstream press in my country didnt post any wikileaks-documents in detail, and it wud wonder me, if that was totally different in UK.
nobody here was able yet 2 argue with what i posted about UCLA&USA more than once. so i consider what u say as lame excuses 4 not posting some documents here: one or the other position of AWL might also be ridicouled by such documents.

Submitted by AWL on Tue, 11/01/2011 - 12:15

Actually Tom, I disagree: of course we should comment on such things. I've been meaning to write something for about a week. Now I have, for this week's Solidarity:

www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/01/11/britain-trains-bangladeshi-death-squad

Sacha

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 11/01/2011 - 14:15

the only person here interested now to explore the wikileaks-documents bout bangladesh (see article on frontpage) was some1 .... of bangladesh origin. but any1 in an socialist org. should see this necessarity.

Submitted by Sofie Buckland on Wed, 12/01/2011 - 17:34

Guenter, I'm sorry such a terrible thing happened to you. Rape is a crime that affects many people personally, on the left and beyond, which is why we have to take care when discussing it. The politics of the question remain.

It makes me extremely uncomfortable, particularly coming from socialists, to see the issue of false accusations brought up so strongly in discussions of rape. The line that they're 'increasing' and that 'not taking serious a rape of woman is rather a thing of the past' is pretty much identical to the right-wing press attacks on women who have been raped, and on rape as an issue in general. If it seems like false accusations are increasing, perhaps you're reading too many Murdoch papers, which seem to be on a mission to under-report rape convictions and over-report the few cases of false accusation. It's also still very hard to gain a conviction for rape, contrary to what you've stated. So why say it is, unless it's motivated by an underlying reluctance to take rape accusations seriously in this case, because you support dropping or minimising the charges against Assange?

Further, the issues of male rape and female rape aren't mutually exclusive - we're not in a sex war here - so it's possible, necessary in fact, to raise them together, as two problems that can *both exist at the same time*. Juxtaposing the two, as if men can only be losing if women are winning and vice versa, is a classic tactic of anti-feminists, so I'd avoid it if I were you.

As for the question of what constitutes rape, if either partner says stop for any reason (including the failure of contraception), to carry on is rape. If you can't see that, I don't know where you're coming from politically, but it's about a million miles from me.

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 12/01/2011 - 20:18

sofie,
i think u didnt read my postings from the beginning. otherwise it shud have been clear to you, that i took my impression from increasing wrong abuses for rape from my personal widespread experiences, knowing thousands of people, and not from reading the murdoch-press, which i dont know, cause iam not british and dont live in UK, as u already shud know either.
if some1 speak about his own experiences -i listed examples in my earlier postings about men, being blamed wrog 4 raping women, including gay men- than u cant simply claim, this wud be the same what the rightwing press says, except if u have ur head fullof nasty clichees and do wrong comparism 2 quickly.

btw,abut also blaming me 4 "a classic tactic of anti-feminists": i dont know ur age, but i might have been a feminist long b4 u was. i really have nose full of such silly missunderstandings; my english might not be perfect, but i dont speak chinese here. if u prefer quick and wrong comparisions with head full of clichees, than we may be indeed million miles away. did u ever think 4 a minute, that not i might be insensitive about rape (mad enough, 2 say that 2 some1 who WAS badly raped himself!), but that YOU (yes, you) might be insensitive about new developments in society (as increasing false accusings)and that i might have simply quicker realised them? you seem 2 think, that woman are in general more sensitive than men, what is indeed a clichee from the conservatives. and i saw many insensitive people here now, whether men or women. the bad interpretations some make out of my words (usually thoughts, i never intended) does say more about them than about me.
cause even if my subjective impression about increasing wrong accuses cant be generalised,even if we assume, that might has happened nowhere else than in my personal surroundings only, than informing about this here does still not make me a rightwinger or some1 who listens to them. so, once, again: WHO is insensitive here?

Submitted by Sofie Buckland on Thu, 13/01/2011 - 15:31

Again, like I said, I'm sorry for what happened to you, although I suggest you refrain from assuming you're the only one who has personal experience of these issues.

I suggest that, as a socialist, you go and do some research into rape statistics & false accusations (you know, the material conditions on the ground), rather than generalising from your thousands of acquaintances. The amount of time you've been a feminist (or think you have) has bugger all to do with it. It's about politics.

The tone of your postings suggest you're not particularly receptive to actually having a discussion about this, so I'll be leaving it now.

Submitted by guenter on Fri, 14/01/2011 - 14:49

sofie,
it seems to be widespread here, that anytime when some1 is running out of arguments, he/she simply does piss off. my tone to u wasnt abusive or so at all. u may know british statistics only, i live in reality; u better dont underrate 2 know thousands of people. that can be better than statistics, esp. cause many wrong accuses will not end up before a court and so not become part of the statistics. here in germany we had some cases in the past few years, where prominet figures from TV had wrongly been accused 4 rape. even after their innocence was proofed, they got no more job and their career was ruined. and if i think about this gay friend of mine from ethiopia, who sits in jail 4the wrong blame from a woman (and he wanted 2 hide his gayness 4 any price) , then wrong accusings are no unimportant subject. and thats it. its u, who is unable 2 discuss that sober.

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