Archive by Author | endarken

Smearing Is Easy – Solidarity is Hard

It is a bizarre experience becoming the focus of a complete stranger’s conspiracy theorising, and watching how easily otherwise-intelligent people can be influenced by it, though I’ve increasingly had to build up an immunity to this over the years and I’ve too often seen the same done to other activists, journalists and whistleblowers, like clockwork.

The practice of digital-smearing takes aim at anyone that has ever done anything that was both a) even marginally controversial, and b) of any value to this planet.

This week, I initially took heed of a heads-up from people much smarter and more experienced than myself who warned that yet another smear of me was being circulated and not to waste time on it. But after hearing that it contained falsehoods which I have noticed being seeded across multiple quarters and injected into various communities and forums over the last six months or so, I’ve decided to correct the lies once and for all.

The many factual inaccuracies contained within the latest smear of myself, Unity4J, Kim Dotcom and Internet Party are listed and debunked below.

Smear #1: That there is “no evidence” I was targeted by the NZ government

This fundamental smear relies on the ignorance of the reader and serves to deter them from investigating further by implying that there would be nothing to find were they to do so. In reality, the targeting of me unfolded in real time and I documented it all in real time.

There are official government documents which are tied to my ongoing legal cases and will eventually be made public, the implications of which were discussed in my latest article.

Then there is the fact that the precise same companies and entities that I was publicly naming throughout the period 2012-2018 have now been found by an official State Services Commision (and other) inquiries to indeed have been involved with targeting activists, dissidents, movements and political parties (including those I was involved with), vindicating me. This has culminated in a massive scandal in New Zealand, about which there is myriad mainstream media reporting.

On top of that there are literally volumes of date-and-timestamped tweets, facebook posts, photographs (including of my car engine post-fire, tampered-with mail and more), videos, call logs, witness statements, FOIA requests, interviews and other types of material, dating back to late 2011/early 2012. There are also the accounts of others around me who also experienced targeting, and of unrelated persons who have subsequently reported experiencing exactly the same types of targeting I did, but experienced it years after me or in geographical locations that were completely removed from mine.

This has been comprehensively documented in a significant number of the articles and journalism I have produced across the period – articles which have been repeatedly endorsed, shared and promoted by many high profile figures including those both directly and tangentially involved, as well as by onlookers.

So not only is it factually incorrect that there is “no” evidence I was targeted, there is literally volumes of evidence I was targeted.

The conspiracy theory that I was not targeted is now harder to justify than ever before, desperate as some may be to do so.

Smear #2: That the government forced me to sell my house to stop Occupy Auckland

The more recent smear of me states “in an effort to break up the Occupy movement, the government forced her to sell her New Zealand home”

The above claim is incorrect and appears to have been invented out of whole cloth.

The Occupy Auckland encampments were raided and destroyed in New Zealand on January 23rd and January 26th, 2012. (Kim Dotcom’s home was raided immediately prior on Friday January 20th, 2012.)

I sold my home under my own steam in 2015, more than 3 years later, having been involved in multiple other movements in between times.

Smear #3: That the government poked holes in my ceiling

Smear merchants are never particular about their sourcing and seldom do their homework. They just look to support their dominant narratives.

The most prominent use of the above smear was an infamous pro-National government outlet known as Kiwiblog run by David Farrar. Farrar was a key honcho/personal friend of the notoriously corrupt ex-New Zealand Prime Minister John Key who was in vehement opposition to every movement I ever worked with and frequently scrutinised in my long-form and video-journalism.

So when independent international press began covering my asylum application, highly-connected pro-government media responded with a simple yet effective tactic: taking tiny slivers of something I’d said in one interview, then using it to try to paint me as batshit crazy, while ignoring the mountains of supporting evidence and basis for my actual claims.

A clever person would look at that and think “now why are pro-government blogs smearing Suzie?”

A really clever person would have noticed that the author of the Kiwiblog 2017 hit pieces on me was implicated by name, along with his relationship to the then-Prime Minister, in my 2014 work “The Two Poles of Kiwi Journalism And A New Vanguard”. An article that was circulated by WikiLeaks – a fact that I can assure you did not escape the attention of NZ media, including those named in it.

This particular “holes in the ceiling” smear of me is usually coupled with claiming that I’m a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Early on I fell victim to what I call the 9/11 question quagmire, another favourite of smear merchants. It is a perennial tactic that has also been used on Julian and countless other high profile activists and journalists to discredit them.

They jack up a situation where they can ask the target whether they think 9/11 was an inside job. If the target says “yes”, then that is forever cited to brand them a conspiracy theorist. If they say “no”, then the 9/11 truth movement is told “look – this person believes the official 9/11 story! They are an establishment shill!” and the truth movement is then encouraged to ridicule, attack and shame that person forevermore.

It is a Divine-and-Conquer tactic. No matter which way you answer, it will be used to smear you and to divorce you from a key segment of your peers or potential support base. Much as the attacks on and smears of me now, seek to do.

Smear #4: That I pretend PRISM was used on me

Thanks to his lawsuits against the New Zealand government and the GCSB, as well as subsequent reporting on the Snowden documents, we know that Kim Dotcom did have PRISM used on him, as did other New Zealand targets. This is simply beyond argument.

Thanks to ex-NSA Technical Director William (Bill) Binney we know that spying expands to include two degrees of separation of the target. Not only was I two degrees of separation away from Kim, I was one. I was investigating the FBI’s illegal activities in New Zealand. My media team pieced together that they had been responsible for both the raid of Kim’s mansion and the raids on Occupy Auckland, and threw our full weight behind supporting Kim and exposing our corrupt police agencies and spies. We got footage of ‘police officers’ with fake badges, who may have been FBI, and broke the story. I was also one degree of separation from other known targets of US government investigations as well as the New Zealand arm of them. Just as one example in 2011 I was in DM communications about this targeting with Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, when her communications were under subpoena by the US Department of Justice. I was also one degree of separation from other known targets of US government investigations as well as the New Zealand arm of them.

There is every indication that I am one of the 88 New Zealand citizens proven to have been originally targeted by the GCSB (NZ’s NSA) and referred to the NSA in Hawaii but, even if my name is not on that list, the above targeting-by-proximity would still have come into play.

References to PRISM used in isolation and detrimentally to smear me, ignores the myriad of public reporting and evidence about the targeting of New Zealand citizens by the NSA at the behest of the GCSB.

Smear #5: That I arbitrarily denied being the leader of Internet Party

An erroneous reference to a tweet I sent to a media outlet correcting my status with Internet Party has been used to imply that I “denied” being the Leader of the Internet Party and then to apply nefarious suppositions about my reasons for stepping down.

As usual, the claim is false and based in ignorance. As I have publicly stated, I stepped down from the leadership in 2018 because I self-identified that my time outside of New Zealand had exceeded the three year limit that under NZ Electoral Law applies to candidacy for election, thus making me ineligible for the leadership going forward.

My abdication – which I proffered – was simply a compliance issue.

(I was subsequently elected to Party President which doesn’t require the ability to stand as an electoral candidate.)

Smear #6: That a key WL supporter doesn’t trust/like me

A well known WikiLeaks supporter GreekEmmy is cited in the recent smear piece of me, to reinforce the suggestion that I am not to be trusted. I don’t wish to speak for her so have reached out to ask her what she thinks of what was written. She has supplied the following message for publication:

“I was very surprised to recently read that words I used in a group chat I participated in in 2016 regarding the #JA4Me WikiLeaks support initiative have been used to cast doubt as to the efforts of Suzie Dawson who started the #Unity4J hashtag and movement in 2018. Let me make clear that I view Suzie’s 2018 efforts as a brilliant example of creativity within WikiLeaks support at a time most difficult for Julian Assange. That movement and everyone who participated may have in fact saved him from expulsion. I also commend her for enabling what she started to evolve to continue even after personal circumstances prevented her from continuing to lead it and forced her to step down. I am grateful for her resilience and all that she has offered to the cause and supporters and wish her the very best!” – @GreekEmmy

Smear #7: That I am a “power-hungry, attention-seeking narcissist”

A salient observer looking back at my work over the years will discover:

a) From 2011-2014 I filmed over 50 live action events (and published nearly 100 videos) without ever once putting myself in the frame of the camera
b) I filmed dozens of interviews with prominent activists and politicians where all you can hear is my voice asking the questions, because I was far more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it
c) I was well known on my media team for refusing to be the subject of interviews or media attention – I did something like 2 interviews in 3 years and my media co-ordinator has reminisced about this publicly
d) I performed my activism and journalism from behind a pseudonym for more than 3 years, never revealing my name or any details about me
e) It was 5 years into my activism and journalism before I ever put myself on film and only then to try to educate other activists and targets about what was happening and warn/alert others as to what had occurred. (If you watch ‘Diary of a Person of Interest‘ and pay close attention, you’ll notice that I’m visibly petrified of being on camera and it takes some time into the documentary before I finally relaxed and forgot it was there)
f) Since having a public profile as Internet Party leader, I have released one press photo. Even when standing for election I stayed true to my personal beliefs (hello – I’m a privacy activist) refusing to stage photo-ops, kiss babies, or pimp my family, friends, network or personal life out on the internet
g) There is something like 4 published selfies of me in the last 7 years. 1 with my press pass before the 2014 SwimWithKim event, 1 from the night I finally unmasked myself after the 2014 re-election of the bad guys, 2 from when I was in Kazakhstan in 2016, and I think that’s about it. Anything else is stills captured from video footage
h) I always put updating my personal website last on my to-do list. It is usually 3-6 months out of date, sometimes more. Even my Jimmy Dore appearances weren’t posted there for months. This is standard for me, because pursuing my personal “brand” and promoting myself has always been my last priority. I’ve always put my work above my personal needs, even when there has inevitably been a price to pay for that.

If the above is a Guidebook For Narcissism, by all means call me narcissist.

Smear #8: That I was given access to Julian Assange’s/WikiLeaks/Christine Assange’s Twitter account

The smear article uses poor journalistic practices, conflating the clumsily written headline of an RT article to claim that the Unity4J campaign took over the @JulianAssange Twitter account.

This is completely and utterly false. At no time has that account been run by anyone in Unity4J or Internet Party, myself included.

WikiLeaks made very clear that the legal campaign was running the Julian Assange account.

The smear later suggests I have had access to other prominent accounts. This is equally false.

I do not and have never had access to or in any way utilised the Twitter accounts of:

a) Christine Assange
b) Julian Assange
c) WikiLeaks
d) Any official WikiLeaks-related accounts such as @CommunityWL / @WLTaskForce @WLArtForce etc

Nor have I ever tried to, wanted to, asked to or been offered to. My only accounts are @endarken (dormant) and @Suzi3D. I do not even tweet from @Unity4J – that is and always has been run by the Unity4J social media team.

Anyone suggesting anything to the contrary is a fantasist or worse.

Smear #9: That I “deliberately left out Julian Assange’s name” from Unity4J & JA4Me

More nonsense. I was a live tweeter for movements for years. We learned that catchy hashtags which were as short as possible in order to fit into the original character limit for Twitter without consuming too much space, and were super easy to remember, worked the most effectively. Past examples of my campaign work demonstrate the methodology – #TPPANoWay, #GCSB, #NZ4Gaza, #JA4Me. There was no plot to leave Julian’s name out, to the contrary we were trying to come up with something that people would easily remember and I’m not aware of anyone having any issue remembering “Unity4J”! Simply clicking on the hashtag inundates the viewer with content about Julian and makes it clear the ‘J’ stands for ‘Julian’ so I don’t buy the argument that it was necessary to have his full name in it in order to be effective.

Smear #10: That I both do and don’t “distinguish” who is supporting Julian Assange

The most recent smear claims that JA4Me having a gallery for public supporters of Julian to display photos of themselves is “dodgy as fuck”.

But if you click the smear author’s own source, you’ll discover the words “If you are comfortable to do so” in the material about the gallery. Further examination would have showed we allowed people to use pseudonyms and anonymising images.

After having claimed that me distinguishing WL supporters via the above is deeply problematic, the smear later claims that I don’t do enough to highlight other WL supporters (despite my constant efforts to minimise my own participation and maximise others).

Cake, anyone?

Smear #11: The Unity4J vigils were “averaging approximately 500 views per video”

Unity4J vigils were/are broadcast to:
1. My personal You Tube account (which hosted the initial events) and later to a new Unity4J account that was set up (on which the smear author solely relies for the stats)
2. Internet Party Facebook page and later a new Unity4J Facebook page
3. Unity4J Periscope Account
4. Consortium News accounts and website

I am probably forgetting a few other platforms & places. I think it also went out on Bitchute, possibly DTube and god only knows where else the tech team has set it up to multi-stream. Our attitude has always been the more simulcast platforms, the better. Even if that distributes the viewing numbers rather than condensing them at a single source.

The idea that the vigils were under-watched or utilised is nonsense – no matter what the stats of one newish You Tube account in isolation do or don’t say. The Periscope channel alone clocked more than 250,000 views in a two month window. The total number of live viewers has been increasing month by month. Those wishing to depict a movement that clocked 300 million social media impressions by November as lacking in impact are either incompetent at estimating reach or have an agenda.

Smear #12: That my “background story is nothing but a LIE!”

The above is a direct quote from the most recent smear but it’s something I’ve been hearing for some time now – last year multiple good people had been told that I have no history of activism or journalism in New Zealand, had come out of nowhere and that no one had ever heard of me. This smear was also propagated during Internet Party’s 2017 campaign, despite how ridiculous it was as I had scooped NZ MSM at multiple major political events in 2014 including #SwimWithKim, the 2014 Mana AGM and #MoT (Moment of Truth event). The media knew full well who I was and what I did, even though their jobs depended on them not acknowledging my work.

Between 2011-2015 I interviewed a who’s-who of the NZ political and activism sphere, my Twitter account was the #1 influencer on some of the most famous activism hashtags in NZ history (hashtags I co-founded), and yet people who don’t even know me now claim I did nothing. Even though my entire body of work is online for everyone to see – videos, audio, blogposts, published articles, social media accounts.

Everything I have said is the truth – it’s a hard truth, an uncomfortable and scary truth, and for me a costly truth in countless and deeply personal ways. But it is the truth.

Smear #13: That there is something sketchy about my asylum process and/or I am working for the Russian government

There is a long internet-sleuthing diatribe in the most recent smear of me full of supposition about my asylum process. It is based on the rules and processes around refugee claims in Russia. It tries to suppose that the entire course of my legal cases should have been all neatly done and dusted and tied in a bundle within 3 months of me applying, but it is unsurprisingly based on the completely false premise that I am a refugee and that Russia is subject to the refugee provisions/international laws/UN mandates surrounding asylum for refugees.

This is completely incorrect. As I have stated on public record I am not a refugee and have not got refugee status as I was refused refugee processing by a WikiLeaks-hating very-senior human rights official in Moscow called Svetlana Gannushkina who implicitly stated to my lawyer and I that she doesn’t like Julian Assange because he published details of her meetings with the US Ambassador in CableGate (references to her also appear in other WikiLeaks publications).

Unfortunately for me she is the top dog in refugee processing in Moscow – working for agencies that are very, very pro-US and very very anti-WikiLeaks. (Yes, the idea that being affiliated with WikiLeaks will automatically win you favours in Moscow and friends in high places is in fact a total myth. In my case, I was discriminated against by Gannushkina for my work being associated with WikiLeaks.) I absolutely needed and need to have refugee status (which is why I had dutifully tried to get it) prior to applying for asylum, but because I couldn’t tick that box (there is literally a box on the asylum form which asks if you have been given refugee status) I had to proceed in the absence of it. This and other factors have greatly complicated my situation, and meant that I have had to turn to international lawyers in order to seek that remedy outside of Russia as ultimately we have to petition the UN itself, for any redress.

There are myriad other factors involved in my legal situation that for obvious reasons I won’t be addressing here as they relate to other ongoing legal actions and processes in which I am still currently engaged. As each process is completed I may choose to make public the outcomes. As things stand, I have been completely transparent about what has occurred.

So no, Russia didn’t green light me. Nor do I work for and nor have I had any contact or outreach from the Russian government, or from any others including the NZ government. In my experience the Russian government is equally sticklers for process, law, and paperwork as many of their Western European counterparts. I have had no deals, offers of assistance or approaches from any officials. Everything that has been done to date has been via lawyers I have had to hire and pay, standing in queues at government departments just like everyone else has to, and all of my expenses have been covered by myself, my family, friends and supporters. Any claims to the contrary are abjectly false.

Also misleading, is that the smears post an image of my initial asylum processing certificate dated September 2016 and then posture it as if the discovery of it is a revelation or a scoop. In reality the photo of this certificate has been pinned to the top of the @HelpSuzi3D account timeline for more than two years. I released the photo myself as part of my original 2016 statement about having applied for asylum. I also openly discussed the issue of being denied refugee status and the implications of that here, here, here and here.

Smear #14: That it is shocking for me to “ridiculously claim [I] was forced to hire “full time childcare/domestic help”

I led a political campaign for a registered party in a parliamentary election, then spent four months researching and writing ‘Being Julian Assange‘, then immediately launched into ReconnectJulian/Unity4J.

Needing childcare when working long hours on major projects isn’t abnormal, it’s normal.

Smear #15: That Unity4J is a haven for pro-Trump/alt-right/far-right figures

Claims that Unity4J has been taken over by the alt-right have been resoundingly debunked by the National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia, James Cogan. He writes:

“It is false to claim, as @ClassConscious1 does, that #Unity4J vigils have been a vehicle for far-right demagogy, let alone support for Trump. Many people, of differing political persuasions, have used them to oppose persecution of Assange.” – James Cogan

If you would like to read his full statement, which includes quite apt commentary about those who have been utilising unsolicited bulk emails and mass-tagging campaigns on social media to ensure everyone who has ever been exposed to or involved with the Unity4J campaign gets to see their smears of it, you can read it in full here.

The Unity4J website lists 64 high profile participants. With recent additions to the vigils it’s probably well over 80. The idea that the 4 or 5 names targeted in the recent smear are somehow so nefarious as to subvert the entire movement (clue: they aren’t) is laughably ridiculous. It would be far more viable for Conservatives to claim that the movement had been taken over by rabid socialists than it is for self-identifying socialists to claim it is being taken over by Conservatives.

In the meantime, I am thankful for the majority of supporters who are mature people willing to set politics aside and focus on freeing Julian.

Smear #16: That I am pro-Trump/far-right

This never ceases to amuse me, whether it comes from pro-Trump people who follow me and then have the shock horror discovery that I’m not a Trump supporter or whether it comes from so-called socialists trying to divorce me and my work from the Left.

A basic review of:

a) everything I’ve ever written about Trump
b) all the movements I’ve ever been involved in, tellingly listed on my personal website Suzi3D.com under the menu heading “Solidarity”
c) everything I’ve ever said in interviews or on vigils

…shows this smear up for what it is pretty quickly.

Smear #17: I’m not legit or else why hasn’t “anyone else besides Dawson’s Unity4J sycophants reported on the danger she’s faced for seven years?”

Step one for believing this smear is that you have to ignore all reports about me and my situation prior to 2018. Step two is feigning ignorance of any reason that the mainstream might have for wanting to suppress it.

This may come as a shock (sarcasm) but the fact that a New Zealander is seeking asylum in Russia is not a story the corporate media wanted to promote immediately after the 2016 US election. Nor do Western-backed NGOs want to support me. The only way they would is if media pressure forced them to, which in the current climate is virtually impossible to achieve. In the absence of such pressure, I will be left to carry the can for what has been done to me and to pursue legal remedy under my own wit/steam, as I have been to date.

Of course, if I was a Russian journalist seeking asylum in a Western country, NGOs and media would be scrambling to highlight my case. Such is their hypocrisy. But as a Western dissident the powers that be have been running and will continue to run their containment strategies on my situation and my significance until the last possible moment.

The most recent smear of me claims WikiLeaks should have supported me. In fact Julian and others close to him have done plenty to raise my profile and show solidarity. Beyond that, they have been a little bit busy with being the #1 intelligence agency target on the planet. People really need to stop coming from a perspective of “why hasn’t _____ done something about this?” and if they genuinely give a shit, act to do something about it themselves.

Me included – I’ve been so focused trying to save other people that I haven’t had time or inclination to try to save myself. That will change this year as my legal processes advance and as medical issues mean I am forced to work less and pay more attention to my health and wellbeing. But I don’t begrudge anyone other than the perpetrators – let alone an organisation as noble and under threat as WikiLeaks – for my situation. It is simply reflective of the state of the world and of politics at present, and I am far from being the only target of state power, or the only exile.

Smear #18: That The Scaffolding/Attempted Break-in At The Embassy Was Merely “Dawson’s Hysteria”

The smear piece tries to delegitimise the source of my reporting of an attempted break-in at the embassy and of scaffolding that had been put up around the embassy – a story that was picked up by Consortium News.

In doing so, it makes a convenient material omission: in my reporting, I had published a screenshot of the exact statement I had received from the Assange legal team. I did so to ensure maximum clarity, by enabling readers to absorb the facts word for word.

That statement itself raised concerns about the scaffolding – concerns that were later ratified by other visitors to the embassy.

Reading between the extremely convoluted lines of the smear, this particular falsehood may be contrived from the earlier false assumption that I somehow had access to the legal team account that supplied the statement – I did not.

As for how I got the statement? I asked them what had happened. (That’s what journalists do. This entire post would be unnecessary had the smear authors simply asked me their questions instead of running with false assumptions.)

Other questions and concerns aimed at Julian’s legal team by the smear merchants are outside my purview. Obviously, only JA’s legal team are ultimately best placed to decide what constitutes a risk to him. They are (in my opinion) the best asylum lawyers in the world and will have very good reasons behind anything they choose to put in a statement (or not) or whether they answer particular questions about his living conditions and welfare. It’s the height of arrogance to presume to demand answers from them in Julian’s tenuous and life-threatening circumstances.

Smear #19: That Kim Dotcom should have released his info about Seth Rich/is hurting Seth Rich’s family

Anyone who reads this article of mine (as many people did) will know that it was Seth Rich’s family who asked Kim not to release his evidence.

He agreed and didn’t.

(You will also learn that Seth Rich’s family were massively lied to about Kim to try to stop them having anything to do with him.)

So now Kim gets smeared for not releasing the info, as well as being smeared as “hurting Seth Rich’s family”, when the reason he didn’t release it was out of respect for Seth Rich’s family.

This is the stupidity of smears. They debunk themselves, if you have access to the necessary knowledge.

Those constructing the smears count on you not having that. They play on your ignorance and then turn it to meet their own ends. To deprive their targets of your support.

Smear #20: That Kim Dotcom didn’t pay his workers

This is yet another tactic of the agencies – they inflict a situation upon you, then have media highlight the inevitable byproducts, and blame you for it rather than the blame going to where it belongs: with the architects of it.

Classic example: Kim couldn’t pay his staff because the US Government had all his funds frozen and belongings seized in multiple jurisdictions even though he’d never stepped foot on US soil.

Just one portion of the seized funds was $80 million and the total is much greater. He is currently suing the NZ government for some $8 billion in damages after they destroyed his businesses to boot.

If they gave him access to his own funds, he would have been able to pay people. Instead, they hold his funds and scream: “he’s not paying his workers! What an asshole!”

Victim blaming, pure and simple.

Skepticism vs Solidarity

Routinely, fears are fed with skepticism; pre-existing fissures are exploited.

Skepticism is cheap and not difficult to come by. For some people it’s become more than a life skill – it’s a full-time hobby – even an industry.

While the learned form of skepticism – discernment – is an extremely positive thing (and a honed talent: the net sum of wisdom and experience) unfortunately skepticism can be super nasty when weaponised.

When wielded in the disservice of another human being skepticism alleviates the bearer of any feelings of responsibility to act in a positive way towards them.

It’s simple math – game theory. If you’re a person of conscience and a great injustice has occurred, you naturally feel obliged to help. But if by contrast, you don’t believe an injustice has occurred (or are led to believe that it hasn’t), then voila – you don’t need to be supportive anymore, or invest any other effort. Doing nothing (or acting detrimentally) is, to some, a far more attractive option than extending someone the benefit of the doubt.

For some people, skepticism is all too easy. Solidarity requires both respect and personal investment, and is therefore hard.

Genuine and right-motivated support that is also resilient is the rarest of all to find – people who have some concept of what they don’t know more so than what they think they do know, or who are able to set aside personal judgements and preconceived notions, are invaluable. Foundations of compassion. Empathy. Coming at something from a position of “What more is there to learn?” and “What could this person teach me?” instead of soaking up whatever ready-to-wear tabloid crap is being spewed about them.

The smears are like TV dinners – all too easy to consume but of zero nutritional value. The tonics, the antidotes to implanted or weaponised skepticism: tolerance, patience, commitment to gaining a holistic understanding rather than grasping at just one side of a diametric position. Thoroughly investigating, doing your homework, rather than defaulting to dismay, ridicule or condemnation.

Those willing to do that, to open their mind, find out what they don’t know, make a leap of faith and discover what lays beyond.

To give of their time even if it may be uncomfortable, or a perceived risk. Without asking for or expecting anything back in return.

Who put in the effort. With no strings attached.

Who are prepared to sacrifice for truth, and to do so with loving kindness.

Those people are one in a million. Those people are priceless.

Those people are worth fighting for.

This entry was posted on February 11, 2019.

The Aaron Precedent

Aaron Swartz is a beloved icon of this generation and deservedly so.

In the wake of his death, the ‘inventer of the World Wide Web‘ Sir Tim Berners-Lee famously said:

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At the time the statement was made, weeping was entirely appropriate. Swartz’s death was a huge shock that reverberated around the world.

But nearly four years on, we need to stop weeping and start acting.

Since Aaron’s passing, a series of memes has been in high circulation across the internet, sharing his words.

Aaron’s messages resonate strongly. The general themes are freedom of information, the empowerment of and respect for the rights of the individual, along with calls for unity and action.

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Aaron was very clear about his sense of personal responsibility to act.

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Aaron was also wary of traditional forms of media and corporate journalism. He was a supporter of people having as much access to information as possible and from varied sources.

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There is a lot to learn from Aaron’s life but there is also a lot to learn from his death.

People wax lyrical about how Aaron was their hero and I think it’s fabulous that someone as deserving as Aaron would be revered.

What stays with me however, is that he didn’t get the support he needed before his passing. What scares me even more, is how many other Aarons are out there still alive, and not getting it either.

We take them for granted and don’t feel the impact of their loss until they are gone.

I’m not the only one who worries about this. Chelsea Manning did too:

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The warning signs were there for those who did their homework. Just as the parents of Lauri Love have been warning the world, Swartz’s family also believed his persecution made him a suicide risk.

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We are all guilty of taking for granted not just the people who risk their lives to stand up for us, but also the precious few organisations who facilitate them doing so and attempt to meaningfully support those who do.

The Courage Foundation is a classic example. Courage supports the seven most high-profile millennial whistleblowers in the world and would like to do more, but are limited by resource. Four months ago they announced a critical funding drive to back their core operations. They asked for 100,000 pounds. They got $8,000.

This is completely unacceptable.

How on earth are we ever going to save the lives of whistleblowers if the foremost organisation in the world acting to protect them can barely raise enough to pay for the basics of existence?

What does all our love and admiration for Aaron mean if we sit back and watch the next Aaron die, and the next?

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Aaron was of course, an empath and just as he says above, you can’t force people to change. But you can create systems for change. And that is what we must do.

Systems that support whistleblowers and systems that support the organisations that support whistleblowers.

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We must act on their behalf just as they act on ours.

There is another whistleblower on death’s doorstep and despite us being warned over and over again that he is at mortal risk, there seems to be very little action on his behalf:

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And another whistleblower on death’s doorstep, twice now, and despite a ton of media coverage, legions of supporters and fans, mega thousands of retweets of her content and substantial fundraising efforts, there is still not enough meaningful action on her behalf: Chelsea Manning.

We are falling short over and over again in our obligation to support truth-tellers. But this is unsurprising where we look at where our attention has been.

On the grand spectacle of the U.S. election – the single largest mass-distraction exercise in existence.

Yes, even us, the activists and journalists at the forefront of the new media revolution are guilty of participating in the circus, at the expense of greater things.

There are well established ways to emancipate the caged. The pressure has to come from media generated by the public taking action on the ground.

If we really, really want Chelsea out of prison? Stage an occupation outside the facility and refuse to move. 5,000 people camped outside the prison would do a lot more than 50,000 people signing a petition.

And it is the responsibility of those figures in our movements who have the most sizeable platforms to lead the call. Instead of just endless updates about what stupid thing this or that or the other pundit is saying, or updates on whatever laws are or aren’t being passed that the intelligence agencies all ignore anyway, start campaigning for others and don’t stop. You know you’re good at it when you set your mind to it.

Do it. Implore people to take action. Give them a framework to do it in. Then use your platforms to consistently build the momentum. Don’t give up until the objective is achieved. Be unrelenting.

Save our lives and back the organisations that are trying to. Because there are too few of us to squander.


I am nowhere near the top of the list of people who need help. I am not detained and I am not being tortured and I am not suicidal.

But sitting here in Moscow with two children and $50 to my name, not knowing whether I’ll still have a country to live in in a month’s time, all I can think is, please…

Don’t wait til I’m dead to make a meme out of me.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. Suzie certainly has. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Redaction Theory

 

In light of what Assange and WikiLeaks staff are facing it feels really trite to be arguing the finer points of redaction theory.

Yet even at this late stage it is a constant feature of ongoing debate between organisations and journalists and activists who are and/or were allies of WikiLeaks.

Having worked my way through several hundred Snowden documents hosted by The Intercept recently, there are what appears to me to be inconsistencies in the redactions applied. Except there probably aren’t. Because I haven’t got a clue what the caveats are of The Intercept’s redaction practices and therefore what seems to me to be anomalies on the surface may not be at all. So I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

I don’t think anyone really has a clue what the finer points of WikiLeaks redaction practices are other than WikiLeaks, either. In fact, the more I look at the redaction agendas of various publications, the less consistency there seems to be across the board.

Usually redaction is talked about as preventing loss of life, limb or liberty. WikiLeaks gets a lot of flack for supposed lack of redaction yet the only people losing life, limb or liberty seem to be WikiLeaks staff and/or affiliates and/or supporters and/or sources. Suggesting that the war on journalism presents a far more grave and present danger than redaction standards for leaked documents.

In Glenn Greenwald’s recent interview with author Naomi Klein about this very topic of redaction, The Intercept’s standards were described as including prevention of embarrassment or career impact for private citizens, specifically, targets of the NSA whose private communications form part of the Snowden archive.

There is a very strong chance given what has recently come to light in my own situation, that I am one of the very targets whose personal communications were being harvested by the NSA in Hawaii in 2012.

This gives me a unique perspective on the whole drama: not the perspective of a publisher, or even of a journalist, or of a WikiLeaks supporter or detractor: but that of a victim of the intelligence agencies.

If this is in fact the case, there is no doubt that the contents of the documents pertaining to me would be humiliating or damaging. They would presumably include me discussing extremely personal facets of the struggles I was going through at that time and in the preceding years.

Just as one hideous example, they would detail how a direct conflict with estranged members of my extended family due to malicious, untrue rumours that were being spread about me caused me to lose my breast milk when I was nursing my then-infant son.

(Yup, I just said it. Breast milk. Welcome to real life. It’s ugly, it’s complex, it’s painful and it’s a whole lot better to talk about it yourself than live in fear that someday someone else will.)

And that is probably the least of it.

In principle, the idea that The Intercept would want to protect me by not releasing such intimate details of my life that they righteously see as not being in the public interest to do so, is noble and I should feel grateful to them for that consideration. I do feel grateful that they want to protect innocent people. I do think their intentions are good. But in practice, the withholding of any knowledge of me having been a victim of the agency has not protected me and the idea that the NSA have been targeting the private communications of young middle class white mothers from the suburbs rather than actual terrorists absolutely is in the public interest.

In fact, until the white, middle class public of the West begins to realise that their intelligence agencies have been inappropriately collecting such emotionally-charged, highly invasive materials, that should be completely irrelevant to the government, let alone the military, and doing it to people just like themselves, rather than to people with Arabic-sounding names, or those of minority groups, then the full impact of the Snowden archives will never really hit home for them. They will remain cloaked in their biases and empowered by their otherisation of the problem, until the day they realise it literally is their communications in play and those of their loved ones.

Therefore some of the redactions being made, some of the documents being withheld, may actually be preventing the change that would naturally occur were the public able to understand that the vast majority of the archives likely contain material that should never have been held by the NSA, on targets that they had no real right to ever be violating the privacy of in the first place.

More, there is a lack of understanding among publishers of the holistic nature of the targeting. If the NSA is collecting your personal information, that isn’t all that’s happening to you. Such targets are attacked in tandem by various agencies from the top all the way down to the local level. Who by and by what methods, has been documented in my film ‘Diary of a Person of Interest.

Therefore the idea that our reputations or feelings remain in tact because information about us has been redacted, is fantasy. Targets like me have already been humiliated, violated, attacked, vilified, sabotaged, isolated, harassed and endangered in so many ways that we get to a point were we are almost beyond embarassment. Where we self-expose as a mechanism of self-protection, just as I did above, because we expect to be attacked by every possible vector anyway.

To finally see what it is these agencies have collected about us is in fact the only hope for closure, the only way to begin to obtain any justice and the most meaningful way for people in our lives to really begin to understand the gravity of what has been done to us.

The data is ours. It belongs to us.

It matters little to me whether it is the NSA or the GCSB or Snowden or The Intercept or whoever else, that obtains and pours over it if they continue to withhold my own data from me. What is the difference? It is the same violation regardless of the varying motives of the parties involved. To merely refrain from publishing it is not enough. In my opinion, any data that has been deemed not in the public interest and not fair game for publishing, should be returned to its rightful owner, who should get to call the shots on what happens to it from that point on. But that’s just my two cents worth.

As Julian famously said “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way we can get anywhere.”

The legal considerations are another kettle of fish. More than once, I engaged in debate with Stanley Cohen, about the establishment and conduct of The Intercept. I took a position in its defence. Stanley wanted the Snowden archives to be open for potential use in lawsuits by clients who were potentially affected, and took umbrage at various aspects of the way the archives were handled along with the establishment and financial backing of The Intercept itself.

I had assessed the position Greenwald and co would likely have been in, in possession of the archives and trying to balance how to get the best exposure for the content against the clear and present danger of being associated with the most wanted man in the world at that time.

The truth is, there are pluses and minuses to both The Intercept and WikiLeaks’ redaction practices.

The strength of WikiLeaks is that the document dumps allow affected parties including lawyers to trawl through relevant information and act on it immediately. As both Julian Assange and Sarah Harrison have repeatedly pointed out, there are countless instances of case law, successful prosecutions and even exonerations that have arisen directly from information published by WikiLeaks. The drawback is that the minimalist redaction practices draw criticism of callousness, whether real or imagined. Also, the dumps can be too soon forgotten. Such as the GIFiles, from which the TrapWire revelations came. That release alone is a treasure trove that is yet to ever be fully explored or appreciated. Hot on the heels of Barrett Brown’s incarceration, the files became all but… I want to say, documenta non grata to invent yet another new term. It was like TrapWire burned so many of us so badly that it was simply set aside. I remain convinced that we have barely scratched the surface of what lies within the Stratfor files. If the dumps are too frequent or if there are not enough hands on deck there is a real risk that too much goes unnoticed. But that is where we need to train journalists to better use the archives and encourage them to do so, and where we can hope that in the future decades if not centuries, this monolithic library that WikiLeaks has created will remain accessible and valuable to generations yet to come.

The strength of The Intercept’s approach is that they have prolonged the interest and relevance of the Snowden archive and thus increased its impact. The drip-drip-drip approach is the stuff of nightmares for the US administration. In fact, the dripfeed approach was practised by WikiLeaks to amazing effect during the recent U.S. election. The downside to The Intercept’s approach is that the information simply isn’t available to those who are personally impacted by it. The Intercept have become the gatekeepers of the data, for better or worse.

I still stand by the arguments I made in defence of The Intercept in 2013/2014 and I still respect Stanley’s as well. It is doubly interesting to me to re-read the points I made and realise that back then, I felt that the release of any targeting information on me could have become a mortal danger to me at that time, when I was still in New Zealand and being actively targeted daily. I trust my then-self to have made that call accurately. I was pretty far up shit creek myself and given that I’ve recently become the first New Zealand journalist to seek temporary asylum in Russia, still am. Now, with nearly another three year’s water under the bridge, I’m so sick of the whole thing I just want to know once and for all what happened to me so I can have peace of mind and move on.

For those who are familiar with my work and have seen my documentary it must seem that the things I do know are pretty horrific. But actually it’s the things I still don’t know for sure that really hurt.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. Suzie certainly has. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

No, Julian Is Not Dead

I can tell you absolutely, categorically, without question, that Julian Assange is not dead. So can he, funnily enough. And many others.

But the real question is, what are you doing to keep him alive?

Black Propaganda: The Julian-Is-Dead Hoax

The Julian-Is-Dead conspiracy theory claims to demand empirical evidence but turns a blind eye to it whenever it is provided. They have concocted a bunch of excuses for why every proof offered is insubstantial while refusing to acknowledge the obvious: Julian’s family and friends have been constantly visiting him in person and clearly stating that he is alive and well.

In order to believe Julian is alive, you don’t have to debate the reliability of PGP, nor do you have to argue the theoreticals around integrity of audio recordings or the potential for human voices to be faked.

All you have to do is watch the activity of those who know Julian in person.

None of the people who know him have showed the slightest concern that he is dead.

But they have shown plenty of concern about the suffering he is going through in his actual situation, which does present a mortal threat to Assange.

A threat that is conveniently being completely ignored by the conspiracy theorists.

Rather than acknowledging the very real threat to his life and acting to protect him, they are instead declaring his demise a fait accompli, which conveniently exonerates them from any responsibility to meaningfully address his circumstances and coordinate en masse to resolve it and aid in his emancipation.

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To Whom You Should Be Looking

If something happened to Julian you can be damn sure that Christine Assange would be raising all hell about it.

w3

Christine is the quintessential truth-telling matriarch. I am very proud that she took an early interest in my work and I am among the least consequential of the extended WikiLeaks family. She is wahine toa, living embodiment of the female warrior spirit and it is an understatement to say that she cares about her son deeply.

To suggest she would sit silent were there cause to believe he was captured or dead, is completely ludicrous.

Furthermore, I can tell you from experience (not that it isn’t blatantly obvious already) that Sarah Harrison is not only completely legitimate but likewise, an exemplary human being. She has dedicated her life to WikiLeaks cause and she also has a deep maternal instinct when it comes to protecting the lives of whistleblowers, first and foremost Julian. She has been there for him through thick and thin for countless years and she would also be raising the roof if the Ecuadorian government or any other party, had sat quiet and watched him be incarcerated or killed. Sarah just spent the summer with Julian and is, in my opinion, his guardian angel. If something had happened to him, she would tell us.

Christine and Sarah are the tip of the iceberg. There are many other equally high-profile people who care about Julian and make a point of being there for him, physically, emotionally and publically.

The ridiculous theories being circulated are not only a disservice to logic and a distraction from WikiLeaks extremely important and ongoing work, but they operate on the presumption that everyone who has said they have seen Julian is somehow lying or complicit.

As if Christine visiting Julian wasn’t enough, longtime Assange friend Craig Murray, a fairly frequent visitor at the Ecuadorian Embassy, says that he had dinner with Julian and Yanis Varoufakis this week.

wl2

On the heels of Pamela Anderson’s visit earlier this month, and John Pilger’s interview of Julian, the idea that all of these people are involved in a grand conspiracy becomes ever more ridiculous.

If something did happen, we would hear it from Christine, Sarah, Craig, Yanis. We would hear it from people like Renata Avila. We would hear it from Stephania Maurizi. We would hear it from Angela Richter. We would hear it from Jeremie Zimmerman or Srecko Horvat. From Vivienne Westwood. Not to mention Assange’s long-serving legal team – we would hear it from Jennifer Robinson.

Instead all we hear is a bunch of no-name accounts espousing a bunch of nonsense and picking up the gullible, impressionable, young, or those who simply don’t know any better, with them. Coalescing into a giant snowball of disinformation, at a time that really is the most critical for WikiLeaks.

The Most Important Media Organisation In The World

Empathy for the circumstances of others is a huge driver for Julian and for many who are associated with WikiLeaks. Anyone trying to assess WikiLeaks critically needs to start from a position of empathy with them.

To put yourself in their shoes, start by taking the following into account:

WikiLeaks is now without a doubt, the foremost and most consequential media organisation in the entire world, moreso than ever before.

As if its impact over the last few months wasn’t historic enough, stop for a second and really understand that WikiLeaks was already in enough hot water with the U.S. elites that its Editor-In-Chief was the subject of an international manhunt by the FBI over six years ago.

WikiLeaks has long since been the #1 target of the U.S. administration. Recent events have sent it into stratospheric, unprecedented levels of targethood (for want of a better term. Or did I just invent one? Yet it’s so perfect. Targethood. The state of being targeted by the powers that be.)

Were this a proper article and not me just ranting on my blog, I would be tempted to create a bar graph – a targethood-o-meter – of exactly how far up shit creek WikiLeaks is with the bad guys. It is safe to say that they are now completely off the charts.

They are a modern-day mass-media metamorphosis of The Poison Kitchen from the 1930s that I wrote about in Understanding World War III – the brave journalists who documented the crimes of Hitler’s S.S. in the 20’s and 30’s – exposing the acts of tyrants and earning their way onto the personal shitlists of war criminals.

WikiLeaks is the last stand of truth before certain oblivion, the vanguard that pushes as far out as they can to create a vaccuum – a space – that others can more safely operate in. To protect them is to protect all humanity. To speak in their defense is to speak in our own.

It is impossible to accurately state the breadth of the human and financial resources set against their survival, though there are some metrics that have attempted to depict it. For how does one quantify the entire intelligence apparatuses of the Western World not to mention a fair few of the agencies in the Second and Third World’s, to boot?

The newest metric for measuring the impact on WikiLeaks is the lives of their associates lost. From Kenya onwards. Is in exiles created. Asylum-seeking journalists. Yet we keep throwing our bodies on the pyre of the persecuted. Why?

Because it is the right thing to do. It is the necessary thing to do. There is absolutely no other option left to us, in the catastrophic state of this world.

The answer to repression is not silence. It is screaming your bloody lungs out.

How You Can Join WikiLeaks – TODAY!

If everyone surmising about whether or not Julian Assange is captured/killed instead undertook the following steps, it would be an extremely beautiful thing.

ANYONE can become a WikiLeaks researcher. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Reddit.com and make an account.
  2. Subscribe to the WikiLeaks Community subreddit
  3. Read the instructions at the top of the page.
  4. Follow them and begin researching the listed topics.
  5. Submit your research to WikiLeaks.

Congratulations. If you’ve done the above, you’re now part of the WikiLeaks community and actually doing something useful to help Julian!

Also make sure you follow @CommunityWL & @WLTaskForce on Twitter.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. Suzie certainly has. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Diary Of A Person Of Interest – Transcript

As they say, all good things take time.

A year after my 2015 Chaos Communications Camp lecture ‘Diary of a Person of Interest’ in Germany, I’ve released a new documentary based on the talk. Impressively, considering its only promotion has been a few tweets, it’s already received a couple thousand hits on the Pastebin I posted about it, a thousand plus views on Vimeo, and it can also be viewed on YouTube and on my official website Suzi3D.com.

However, some of us find words have an even greater impact than pictures and my very Kiwi accent might be strange to some also, so I’m posting the full transcript of the documentary below, for those who are interested. 🙂

DIARY OF A PERSON OF INTEREST – TRANSCRIPT

Introduction:

Hi guys. My name is Suzie Dawson. I’m a journalist and an activist from Auckland, New Zealand. I’m a member of the Occupy Auckland and Occupy New Zealand media teams, and I am possibly one of the 88 New Zealanders that was targeted by our domestic and international spy agencies and passed on to the NSA for further targeting.”

[Title Screen & Music]

“I’m going to give a little talk now, it’s called ‘Diary of a Person of Interest’. It’s based on a talk that I gave last year in Germany at the Chaos Communications Camp.”

Part One: OCCUPY

“In 2011 I barely knew what an activist was, but when the Occupy movement started, I couldn’t help but get on board. I could see that people around the world had actually found a way to take a stand for themselves and for their communities and I got on board. My understanding of activism in New Zealand was based on what we were told by human rights lawyers at the very first march on October 15th, 2011. We were told that New Zealanders have the right to dissent, that we have the right to freedom of assembly, to freedom of association, the right to seek redress from out government and that we could not be discriminated against on the basis of political opinion. I naively took all of that at face value. I thought that would protect me and I thought that would protect the other members of my media team. We believed and had been told our whole lives – we had been propagandised – that New Zealand was the safest, most peaceful country in the world. Never in a million years did it occur to us that what would happen to us, would happen. We found out the hard way that everything I just told you about New Zealand is not true. Our entire media team and then later an ever-broadening section of society became aggressively targeted by domestic and international intelligence agencies.”

Our Purpose

“When we started the media team, we had a primary goal of amplifying the voices of everybody in our movement; to cover all of the issues related to Occupy, not just to cherry-pick which ones we personally supported, but to support all of the issues in a non-biased fashion, no matter what they were. All of the issues that were named and discussed, actually, in the first declaration, the founding declaration of Occupy Wall Street.”

[CLIP: KEITH OLBERMANN READING THE FOUNDING DECLARATION OF OCCUPY WALL STREET.]

“Our secondary aim was to bear witness to events that were happening on the ground in Auckland and to share news of that as far and wide as we could with the rest of the movement and the rest of the world. Additionally we contributed our own voices, based on our own experiences of what was going on. We really were eye-witnesses on the ground. For my personal safety I and many other members of my media team remained anonymous to the outside world. Our occupation knew who we were, our fellow media team members and occupiers knew who we were, unfortunately the police agencies and security agencies knew who we were, but we operated under pseudonyms online. That served us well to a certain extent but as the targeting of us became more and more pervasive it became dangerous to remain masked to the world and ultimately in late 2014 I came forward and told everybody ‘hey, this is who I am and this is what is happening to me.’ What drove us, other than commitment to the movement and to representing people on the ground who really needed advocacy and really needed our voices was – our motto was, ‘if not us, then who?’ If we aren’t going to tell the truth, who is going to do it? If we aren’t going to make change, who is going to do it? If we aren’t going to push back against our corrupt media and our corrupt government, who is going to do it? If not us, then who?

Part Two: WHY YOU?

“So, when I’ve had to tell people – hey look, I’m being targeted by these security agencies – the first thing that they ask me is ‘Why? Why you? Why would they care about you?’ Unfortunately I can’t give one easy answer to that because I didn’t just do one thing. There are a lot of reasons ‘why’. There is… Occupy.

Occupy

“Everyone knows now, finally, that the FBI, the DHS were involved in the suppression of Occupy. That through the PERF committee, the mayors across the entire United States were colluding for the destruction of the Occupy movement. What few people realise is that the fusion centres that were bringing all those agencies together were also operating with international agencies and in countries outside of America and unfortunately that’s precisely what happened to us.”

Anonymous

“Another reason I’ve been targeted is because during the Occupy movement we were supported by the Anonymous movement. They did a lot to try to help us and to try to protect us.”

[CLIP: CABINCREW/ANONYMOUS VIDEO FROM YOUTUBE ABOUT ASSAULTS ON AND HOSPITALISATIONS OF OCCUPIERS]

Kim Dotcom

“Additionally, us Occupiers, because of the close proximity in time between the FBI raid of Kim Dotcom’s mansion, which I believe was January 20th 2012, and the raids on Occupy Auckland of January 23rd and January 26th, which was just the other end of the weekend after the Kim Dotcom raid, we realised that some really fishy stuff was going on. That we weren’t just facing local police in Auckland, that the FBI were actually operating on the ground in New Zealand which they had no right to do whatsoever.”

[CLIP: OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM FOOTAGE OF MULTIPLE POLICE WEARING COUNTERFEIT BADGES PRESENT AT THE RAIDS ON OCCUPY AUCKLAND.]

So we supported Kim Dotcom and we support justice for him and we are very much against FBI overreach into our country and we are very much against our government’s collusion with the FBI in targeting and suppressing dissent in New Zealand.”

Internet Party

“When Kim Dotcom started The Internet Party we threw our full weight behind that as well, for the same reason. We need alternative political voices in our country. Both the two conventional, so-called, you know, the New Zealand versions of the Republicans and the Democrats, drastically let us down and we needed change. Internet Party was our best shot at that so we did everything we could to promote it. Unfortunately, as with every other movement, many of those people involved with Internet Party also were targeted.”

GCSB

“The GCSB movement is the movement that we started in 2012-2013 to try to combat the GCSB – they were supposed to target foreign countries but instead they had targeted New Zealand citizens. This led to huge protests all over the country in New Zealand, absolutely massive protests and widespread public support for our movement. Unfortunately the government just passed legislation – retroactive legislation – to make what they had done to us illegally, legal. They just legalised it after the fact.”

FVEY

“I, in the course of my journalism, have written about not just FBI and CIA and agencies like this, and DHS and whatnot, I’ve written pretty extensively too about the ‘Five Eyes’.”

[CLIP: PROTEST FOOTAGE OF A SIGN CALLING FOR NEW ZEALAND TO WITHDRAW FROM THE FIVE EYES INTELLIGENCE NETWORK.]

“I shared some information about the Waihopai spy base with one of my friends who happens to be the drummer of the best rock band in the history of my country. Next thing we know they released a #1 album called ‘FVEY’ which had young people all over New Zealand walking around singing lyrics about Waihopai spy base.”

[CLIP: LIVE FOOTAGE OF SHIHAD CONCERT – THE BAND SINGS THE ACRONYM “G-C-S-B”.]

Moment Of Truth

“Also I was a very early supporter of Edward Snowden and also my favourite journalist in the world is Glenn Greenwald. I’ve written about both of them pretty extensively as well. Yet another reason that I was targeted. Of course in 2014 we had Glenn Greenwald come to New Zealand for an event with Kim Dotcom and Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. The event was called ‘Moment of Truth’ – #MoT. Yet another reason that I was targeted – I was voraciously targeted in the lead-up to that event and also in the election that followed.”

[CLIP: EXCERPT OF 9PR AUSTRALIA RADIO INTERVIEW OF SUZIE PROMOTING THE EVENT]

[CLIP: SUZIE’S FOOTAGE FROM THE MOMENT OF TRUTH PRESS CONFERENCE WHERE KIM DOTCOM RIPS INTO NEW ZEALAND MEDIA FOR THEIR BIASED COVERAGE, THEN SUZIE INTERVIEWING HON. LAILA HARRE, INTERNET PARTY LEADER]

NSA

“We know thanks to The Intercept and Nicky Hager – a WikiLeaks correspondent and an amazing, awesome investigative journalist in New Zealand – that the 88 people targeted by the GCSB were referred by the GCSB to the NSA. What this means is that New Zealand citizens have had their own spy agency not only spy on them, but outsource the spying on them to a foreign government. Not only were they never supposed to spy on us in the first place but they have passed information on their own citizens to a foreign power. That should be treason.”

#TPPANOWAY

“I was also instrumental along with my media team in creating the hashtag #TPPANoWay. This is the New Zealand movement against the TPP. Dr. Jane Kelsey is the spearhead of that movement – she worked on it for years and years and years and years and together a whole bunch of us turned it into something really amazing.

[CLIP: OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM LIVE FOOTAGE OF MASS #TPPANOWAY ACTION]

“If you get on You Tube and look up ‘OccupyNZMedia’ you can watch many videos of the movements that I’m talking about, you can see live footage and action coverage from my media team of these events.”

#NZ4GAZA

“I was, along with some of my other media team members, really instrumental in trying to stop the war in Palestine. We started the hashtag #NZ4Gaza – which became #US4Gaza, #NY4Gaza, #DC4Gaza – all around the world that spread and we got some pretty amazing footage.”

[CLIP: FOOTAGE OF SUZIE ANNOUNCING THAT PALESTINIAN FLAG HAS BEEN RAISED ABOVE U.S. EMBASSY]

#SAVEGI

“SaveGI was the Glen Innes Housing moving where amazing everyday members of the public, ordinary citizens, were trying to prevent the closure of state houses and were getting beaten by police on the street. Covering that – along with other members of my media team – yet another reason why I was targeted. I could sit here and go on all day.”

Exile

“The targeting of me led me to have to leave my country after there was attempts on my life in 2014. It went from me being spied on, to me being entrapped, to them actually trying to physically harm me. In January 2015 I relocated to Berlin in Germany.”

[CLIP: SUZIE’S FOOTAGE OF 250,000 PEOPLE MARCHING AGAINST THE TTIP, IN BERLIN]

WikiLeaks

So the elephant in the room, which I have not named, in my very long list of reasons why I have been targeted, is WikiLeaks. Even before I went to Occupy and before I knew what an activist was, I supported WikiLeaks ideologically. I shared their work, I told people how awesome I thought they were. All of the supporters of WikiLeaks are surveilled or monitored in some way, shape or form. Those who are actually active in advocating for the organisation, obviously more so than just viewers and really at this point don’t get scared about viewing their website either because the ‘Collect It All’ of these governments means that they are spying on you one way or another, whether or not you go look at WikiLeaks! WikiLeaks is an unbelievably valuable resource. It is a historic resource. WikiLeaks is our information vanguard and we must protect it.”

Part Three: WHO DOES IT?

“That’s always the next question. First is, ‘Why? Why are they targeting you?’ The next question is ‘Who exactly is targeting you?’ There is the state agencies and there is the private agencies. So, the state agencies – we’ve got the police, the New Zealand police, the local community police. Within the police there is the ‘Threat Assessment Unit’, there is the ‘Special Investigations Group’. These are specific teams that are set up. They’re supposed to target violent offenders. They’re supposed to target people who are a real, demonstrable risk to society. They’re not actually supposed to target – white chick from the suburbs who becomes an activist! But unfortunately that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. Then we have the spies which is the Security Intelligence Services, known as the SIS. This is like New Zealand’s FBI. Then we have the GCSB which is the Government Communications Security Bureau. They’re supposed to be spying on foreign diplomats, not like, me and my kids going to a General Assembly. Then you have the Americans, right. One of the first times that I really realised I might be in some pretty serious trouble was when an outfit called the NCTC (National Center for Terrorism Control) followed my Twitter account from their official Twitter account. They’re a counterterrorism agency based in America and they were following me on Twitter. I blocked them. Because what do you do when a terrorism agency follows your Twitter account? There’s not much you can do so really out of spite I just blocked them. Not that obviously it would do me any good in terms of preventing them from accessing my information but I just figured if they’re going to outright try to intimidate me by following me from their main account – I’d block them. Then there is the good old Department of Homeland Security and they’re all involved in the fusion centres. Fusion centres are these places that are putting all of these agencies in contact with each other and allowing them to share information in ways that historically they were never meant to be able to do. They’re supposed to perform individual functions – very specific functions – but all their data is being merged and all of their operational purposes are being merged and the end result is that you have this grand mass-scale tyranny across all of the agencies and they can actually set the whole of government against you if they decide that you’re on their target list. And of course you have the CIA – who are really awesome people who drone people with flying killer robots in half a dozen countries around the world. Then you have the private agencies.

Spying = $$$

At the very low level we have private investigators. Like, in New Zealand we have Thompson Clark Investigations Limited. This is a notorious company that has done all kinds of things like GPS tagging activist’s cars and even being caught sleeping with and having relationships with activists in New Zealand over protracted periods of time, which is about as sleazy as you can get to be honest. We have SSI Pacific which is a ‘lawful intercept’ company which basically means they can do everything, well a lot, of what the GCSB or the NSA can do. They can intercept all of your digital communications, they can bug you in a hundred different ways and they consider it to be lawful because they do it to people who are already being targeted by these other agencies and of course because they are a private company they are doing it for money. They are billing, they’re invoicing, they are having shareholders and boards and generating profit. Then we have Cubic Defence, which does asset tracking. If you follow Barrett Brown’s work, or anybody like that, or ProjectPM then you’ll know quite a bit about these companies. Asset tracking should be like ‘There’s a million dollar necklace going to this fashion show and we want to make sure that it gets back on time, or in one piece’. Unfortunately asset tracking has become putting a GPS tracker on an activist’s car and then watching the little blip on the screen as they drop their kid at school in the morning. Their assets are not just material anymore, they have made people the assets that they track and there is a lot of people so if they want to make a lot profit they just have to track more people and of course bill it back to the state so all of this is happening on public money. Then there’s Palantir – Peter Thiel’s Palantir. Palantir are involved in financial systems in the banks. They are involved in creating predictive software but also in flagging financial transactions.. it’s all embedded in the so-called money laundering legislation that has been instituted around the world but which is also being used against activists and against journalists, who are on the target lists.

Part Four: THE TARGETS

“Who do they target? Well, back in the good old days they just targeted radicals. So-called radicals. If you want the world to be a better place and you realise that you have to do something about that in order for it to happen, congratulations you’re a radical. If you think that corporations should not dominate all of the markets and resources on the planet, congratulations you’re a radical. If you think that governments should not bomb civilians in multiple countries for money, congratulations you’re a radical. You’ll probably be targeted if you try to do anything whatsoever about organising to make change for the sake of our planet. They also of course target hacktivists, anybody who supports any kind of hacktivists in any way, you get targeted. They also target NGO’s and the people who work for them. So these are the people who are in legitimate organisations, some of them quite historic organisations, just by working for those organisations can be targeted. There are so many examples of this that I’m not even going to get into it. Obviously Greenpeace, obviously many of the NGO’s operating in… even the children’s funds! The Christian children’s funds… all targeted. Then there’s the issue-based dissenters. People who are climate change activists, or people who are anti-GMO’s. Because the thing about the privatisation of spying is that profit requires growth and growth in this industry means more targets. So it was never going to be a finite thing. It was never going to be ‘we will just target the activists’. Because if you just target the activists – first of all, they try to diminish the total number of activists and that would mean less profit. So in order to have more profit they have to constantly expand the sectors of society that they spy on. So we’ve seen this in New Zealand. Surveillance cameras used to be for safety in a dark, dingy area – now they are absolutely everywhere at all times. They have to have ever-increasing saturation of spying in order to make money from it.”

Part Five: HOW?

“How? How do they target us? What do they do to us? Obviously there’s surveillance. The surveillance leads to harassment. State-sanctioned, state-funded harassment. That leads to isolation of the targets as they’re more and more harassed. That includes sabotage. Sabotage of our personal effects and of our lives – of the paths of our lives, our relationships and our careers. Then it becomes entrapment – because if we’re not doing something illegal then that’s a big problem for them because they want us to be doing something illegal so that they can justify what they are doing to us. So if we’re not doing something illegal they invent illegal things for us to do and try to suck us into them. Eventually, it leads to some form of institutionalisation and if they cannot be successful at any of the aforementioned, if they cannot institutionalise you, in select cases there are assassination attempts. So, let’s break that down a bit.”

Surveillance

There’s physical surveillance. There is the blacked-out white van parked outside your house 24 hours a day. There is the dodgy guys in the baseball caps and the hoodies who follow you absolutely everywhere you go at all times – I call them the ‘shadows’. There is your mail that looks like rats have been biting the corner of it when it arrives in your letterbox, it’s so blatantly obvious that it has been tampered with. In New Zealand, it is now legal for a whole slew of state agencies to covertly place cameras inside your domestic dwelling without a warrant.. for is it 24 or 48 hours? I think it was initially supposed to be 48 hours but they cut it down to 24. They can watch you without a warrant inside your own house. This is Orwell. This isn’t Orwell is coming, Orwell might happen. This is Orwell.  They have cameras in your house. It’s legal. They have legalised Orwell in New Zealand. They impersonate power companies. Power company staff members specifically. They tamper with your smart meter and use it for surveillance. They work in conjunction with the phone companies, with all of the utilities. They will supply you with pre-installed hardware if you order a new cellphone from your phone company it will arrive with remote access technology already installed on the device. This has been proved by WikiLeaks’ Hacking Team releases and many other places. They use GPS trackers on your car to have you tracked by someone like Cubic Defence and they even use infrared on your houses to see who is in your house, where they are, what you’re doing at any given time. They also used this on the occupations to see how many people were in the tents at the Occupys.”

Signals Surveillance

“Signals surveillance is them surveilling your web services, your applications. All of your devices. It is them compromising your router. Your Internet Service Provider. Under the TICS legislation in New Zealand they have actually deputised the workers at Internet Service Providers and involved them in the process of spying on their consumers. They can surveill en masse through a Stingray device and collect all mobile phone information, SSN’s, for any given area.

Private Surveillance

Then there’s private surveillance. This is them targeting your social media accounts. This is them targeting your financial data and your banking. This is your medical data. This is what a really cool, awesome friend of mine from Berlin calls ‘glass masks’, which are your Big Data data profiles. So, what you bought, where you bought it from, how often you bought it, where you went, everywhere that you are tagged online, all of the information that your insurance company or that any other online company that you use collects about you and then shares with Big Data companies because they have some fine print in their Terms of Service which they think allows them to do that. All of that data is used to form a picture of you and of your spending habits and of your life. Of where you go and who you know and what you do and what you buy.”

Public Surveillance

Then there is public surveillance. This is surveillance by the local authorities, by the Councils. This is your rubbish being separated because you’re on the target list, by the rubbish company, so that someone can trawl through and see whether or not you did your recycling. This is public surveillance at events, this is facial recognition software being used at a sports stadium to collect facial profiles of people who go to watch a football game. This is public safety. In New Zealand, specifically at Occupy Auckland, we had the head of the Public Safety Board, who is also a City Councillor, a guy called George Wood, relentlessly trolling our Facebook page, telling us that we should have Alsatians set on us and water cannons – that they should bring out the water cannons to use against us. He’s Chairman of the Public Safety Board! The Public Safety Board are the people who have access to and control and say over a lot of these surveillance systems. They are also the people who are voraciously targeting activists and they are also the point of contact between a lot of the security agencies and the civic infrastructure, as are also the transport agencies. Because the transport systems are where the biggest flow of people are moving through. It’s usually where the surveillance enters the civic infrastructure first. For example in Berlin there is a big pushback against surveillance and there are not pervasive security cameras everywhere like there are in New Zealand and like there are in many other countries – most other countries. But where you do see them in Berlin is in the train stations, in the metro, in the subway system, in the transport systems and so the spy agencies tend to integrate with the transport systems and then to integrate with the Public Safety Boards. Which would be great if they were using it for rapists and murderers but unfortunately they’re using it to see where Joe Bloggs activist goes, before or after writing a blogpost that the government does not like. Then there’s TrapWire. So, TrapWire… TrapWire isn’t just facial recognition. TrapWire is networked surveillance. So, it’s where the security cameras are not just, like, owned by the shop that they’re mounted in, where the shop owner can look if there’s a robbery… they’re networked across countries. So now when there’s an action at Auckland University in Auckland and there’s 2,000 university students protesting, they can sit in Washington D.C. at a data center and watch that event live through the security cameras so these networked surveillance systems like TrapWire are bridging borders. It’s like a borderless world, a borderless surveillance world… and this is where the law is not really caught up with the Orwellian, dystopian infrastructure that has been built, because we’re not supposed to be surveilled – legally surveilled – by foreign countries. That is completely a no-no. Yet that is precisely what is happening. You’ll find that dozens if not the majority of countries on this earth can be surveilled by a data center in Washington D.C. and that is not by the consent of those citizens of those countries, at all.”

Harassment

Now that we’ve dealt with how they surveill you, how do they harass you? What do they actually do to journalists and activists to try and stop them from being activists, and journalists to try to stop them from writing things that they don’t like? They do what I call surprise visits. Surprise visits are the ones you either know about or the ones you don’t know about. There is the obvious – there is the break-ins. In December 2011, early December, for the first time ever my house was broken into. The bathroom window was smashed from the inside of the house. So nobody broke in noticeably from the outside. But they broke a window from the inside to make it look as if they had broken in from the outside. That break-in was the first in a long series of disturbances inside my home. It was the most overt and it was the first, that I’m aware of, but there were many, many others that followed. Then there is the private investigators. These wonderful private investigators would show up at my house and be like ‘oh, we’ve heard that you have had some harassment as a result of your journalism and we’re investigating those people. We’re not investigating you but we happen to be investigating the people who you are at odds with so please give us all of this information about these totally unrelated things that we’d like to know about’. They covertly film you. You’ll notice they will hold folders and inside those folders they have little cameras that are actually filming you as you talk to them on your doorstep. So definitely don’t talk to them if you’re an activist or a journalist and strange ‘investigators’ show up wanting to talk to you. Then there is what’s known online as gang stalking. I personally don’t see it as gang stalking. I see it as people who are involved with these agencies who work in a coordinated fashion to harass you. They harass you in and with vehicles, they harass you in teams on the street, they will just do whatever they can to get in your face and to push you off balance and to make you have a really shitty day. Then there is the random photographers – you get these photographers with these great big telephoto lens taking photos of you when you walk out of your driveway, taking photos of you when you go to a concert at your kids school, taking photos of you in a parking lot in the middle of the city when you’re minding your own business. They seem to do it for harassment, I guess they also do it for, so that they’ve got something to put in their little files about you but most of all, I think the reason that they actually visibly do it to you is just to try to do it is just to keep you on guard and keep you off-balance and never knowing what is going to happen next. Then there’s actual interference in your life. It’s harassment around you, in your social groups that is to harm you but not directly – you don’t necessarily always know that it’s happening. So they’ll go to every neighbour in your street and they’ll say ‘your neighbour is under investigation. If you see anything strange you call us. You tell us what you know about them and they’ll try and pump the neighbours for information. You tend to have some – if you’re lucky, like me, you’ll have some really good neighbours that say ‘Who are you? What grounds do you have for this? Get out’ and send them packing. Then you will probably have some really gullible neighbours who will go ‘oh my God! Oh my God, they’re under investigation? Of course I will help you!’ Even though there’s no grounds for that investigation whatsoever and those are the people that these guys really rely on. There are other cases – and I can’t prove this in mine – but there are many other cases where people, neighbours, friends have been told that the person is under investigation for child molestation, for drug trafficking… and these are activists and journalists! It’s got nothing to do with child molestation or drug trafficking, but these investigators and even the police agencies have to find some way to scare the people in your social circle into a) silence, so that they don’t tell you that they’ve had this interaction and b) submission – so that they will participate, so they will do what these agencies want, specifically so that the agency can put the pressure on you in a way that is palatable to that member of the public. Because I mean, who likes child molesters, right? Of course you would want to help catch child molesters but unfortunately that’s not what its actually about, its just being used as an excuse. They will interfere in your romantic relationships. They will literally hit on you in bars. I cannot even count how many guys in polo neck t-shirts, just absolutely screaming off-duty cop I had hitting on me in bars and it’s not just because they think I’m pretty. It’s because of my work and it’s because of my activism. They will do this to your partners. They will sow disinformation with your partners, they will set up entrapment efforts with your partners. If they do not like your relationship they will do whatever they can to destroy it. If they can, they will institute undercover investigators if its a private agency or even police – look at the cases in the U.K. where women – activists – have ended up having children with undercover agents who were sleeping with them to get information from them about their movements. So I promise you I’m not making this up. This is well documented. They will interfere in your romantic relationships and if they decide that they want to have one with you they will try very hard to do that as well. They will harass you at events. So they would know that I was going to cover some really big action, I would be on the ground doing my job and they would just come and push me over. Even one time I even had, on camera, on film you can actually see me flying sideways through a crowd because a cop has come and just shoved me as hard as he can, when I’m filming, to try to stop me filming. But they’ll do this through the investigative agencies, they use their agents as well to try to disrupt your footage, to try to throw you off balance at critical moments. Or they’ll go to a major event that you’re at covering and they will run around telling everyone that will listen that you, you are the police, that you are the undercover agent, that you are there to sabotage the event when you are there just trying to tell the truth and to spread the truth to the public of what is really going on. Then there is digital harassment. Harassment on social media can be death threats, it can be rape threats. But it can also be targeted messages. Targeted messages that are based off intimate knowledge about your life that has been gained through surveillance. So if they know who was in your bedroom last night, or that they know that someone was in your bedroom last night, or if they know that you popped a pimple in the bathroom mirror this morning, because they have covert cameras in your bathroom, they will actually send you messages from sock puppet accounts to let you know that they know these silly little things about your life, which no one should care about because its not their business, but they do it so that you are aware that you’re being watched because they want you off-balance, they want you to make mistakes, they want you to act out and this is how they do it, this is how they put that pressure on you. By letting you know that they know everything, even what you did in the bathroom mirror. They will harass you through other forms of communication. They will make crank calls to your house over and over again, or at different times, or asking for different people, or just hang up on you and not actually talk at all. They will harass you via email. If you’re really in a bad position in terms of how far up the list you are, they will harass you electronically. We have seen in many instances at activism events things like the LRAD. The sound cannons. There is versions of those weapons that they use in residential settings. Especially the audio weapons. So they will do that, just to harm and to scare you in your own space. Even though it is completely and utterly immoral.”

Isolation

Then there is the things that they do to isolate you. They will intercept your communications especially if they’re not encrypted specifically, or most easily, so that things you send, you never know if they actually make it to the person that you’re sending it to. Then you think that you’ve had conversations that you haven’t actually had and you end up never really knowing where you stand with people or what has or hasn’t been said or what has or hasn’t been received. There is gaslighting. Gaslighting is the best way to isolate someone. It’s really horrible and brutal and it is something that happened to me a lot when I was in New Zealand. So, I would get home and I would walk into my lounge and sitting open on my coffee table would be a newspaper that I did not buy and that no one else bought because there was no one else to buy it at that time – and it would be open to a specific article that I would understand the significance of. So it would relate to something I’d been writing about or something that had happened in my life. They would do this expressly to let me know two things. One: they had been inside my home, in my personal space. So, if they’d left that newspaper on the table, what else had they done? It would be up to my imagination to work out what else they had done in that time. But also because it’s something that I could not prove. It’s something that I could not explain to people, that this is happening. I could not go to a police station and say ‘somebody left a newspaper on my coffee table. I want you to do something about that.’ There’s absolutely no way that I could prove that. I had another incident where I had bought a 3-pack of brand new white sport socks and I left them on top of my dresser in my bedroom. As you do. You buy some new socks, you stick them on your dresser. You go out of your house. You come home and, not only are they gone, this isn’t just a case of missing socks, but a dirty filthy sweaty pair of men’s socks – and there was no man in my house at this time – men’s socks, is sitting on my dresser in the exact position where the unopened package of brand new white sport’s socks was. So someone has been in my house, they have stolen my socks, my unused sport socks and they have left a disgusting dirty pair of men’s socks in its place. Purely to let me know, they have been there. They have been in my house, they have been in my bedroom. They’ve been in my dresser. They have stolen $5 worth of socks from me. What can I do about it? Can I go to the cops and say ‘hey – $5 worth of socks has been stolen from me and somebody’s left some dirty socks on my dresser’, no I can’t. So these are the ways that they terrorise you. Ways that you can’t do anything about. There’s no redress for them and this is precisely why they do it and this is why they get away with it as well. They do things to you that you would sound completely nuts trying to tell anyone about and they know that when they do it. It’s deliberate. Then there’s misinformation. This happened to my media team over and over again. We would be sent like, Nazi propaganda that would be dressed up as left-wing rhetoric of social movements. You see it in what happened with the WikiLeaks Party actually, same thing. You see it with the Anonymous movement being told that they’re a Neo-Nazi movement when they have been doing anti-KKK actions for years. This accusation of Neo-Nazism is a common thread across all of the activist movements that have been targeted. They try to associate us with Neo-Nazis even though its completely baseless and there is no founding for it.”

Sabotage

“Sabotage is really horrible. You really can’t get around this. So, either you own your own home like I did, or you rent a home. If you rent a home they will come at you through your landlords. It’s back to the telling people you’re a child molester thing. They will go to your landlords and they will say ‘this person is under investigation. You need to cooperate with us. You need to let us put cameras in their home. You need to tell us everything about them. You need to do whatever we say. Because they’re terrible child molesters or drug traffickers or something. Please cooperate.’ But if you own your own home and it makes it a little bit more difficult for them, not much, but a little bit more difficult for them to surveill you, they will actively destroy your home piece by piece. They will destroy your belongings as well. It is repetitive damage that they do. So they’ll do it over and over and over again. They will steal things and they will break things. So a really good example of this is, in my home, I would have a leak spring out of nowhere in my roof. I would get someone in to patch my roof and it would cost me a couple of hundred bucks or whatever, and they would patch the roof and then two weeks later the roof would leak again. I would call the roof guy back and he would get up on the roof and he would say ‘why did you remove the patch?’ and I’d say ‘of course I didn’t remove the patch. I haven’t been on my roof. Why would I remove the patch?’ and he’d put another patch on and I’d pay another couple of hundred dollars. Then two weeks later the roof would leak again and he’d come back and say ‘why is the patch removed again?’ This is the perfect example of what they do. They will smash water pipes. They will put holes in your roof. They will just do things that, again, you can’t prove it. You can’t go to the cops and say ‘my patch came off my roof.’ But when your patch comes off your roof three or four times back to back and its not you who’s doing it, somebody is and that somebody is probably associated with all the other weird things that have been happening to you that I’ve just been discussing. Especially in the context of you being an activist or you being a journalist and covering controversial topics that the governments don’t like you doing. They will take things that they know are precious to you and destroy them, just to do the emotional damage. Like a precious antique watch that my grandmother got me, that I used to wear. I left it inside my jewelery box, I come home, I open my jewelery box, everything is still there, everything is fine, except the precise item has had its face smashed with a hammer. They will sabotage your employment. They will do the same thing with your boss or with your co-workers that they will do with your landlord. They will sabotage your relationships and your opportunities. So, it’s really like The Matrix. In The Matrix they think there’s a window and they try to go out it and they open the curtains and there’s a brick wall. That is exactly what these guys do with the information that they gather from the surveillance. They create a brick wall wherever there is an opportunity.”

Entrapment

“Moving along, there is entrapment. They will try to entrap you, especially if you’re an activist, at public events through trying to coerce you into doing illegal acts. They will entrap you by speech. They will get you to have conversations, they will record those conversations, then they will go and play them to affected parties to try to turn those parties against you. There is digital entrapment which is one I experienced early on when – I’m not a hacker, at all – but someone tried to convince me to hack something. Then there’s the most horrible of the horrible types of entrapment. This happened to me in 2013 in the wake of the Snowden disclosures, between June, July and end of August I was entrapped into having an online relationship with Hector (Sabu) Monsegur. Mario Fernandes, he called himself. He pretended to be a friend that I had had online for about seven years or eight years. I’ve actually published the full story of everything that happened, back in 2015. You can go and read the whole story if you’re really that interested, but he actually committed identity fraud so that he could convince me that he was someone that I’d always known so that he could convince me to get into a relationship with him so that he could pump me for information about my writing, what blogposts I had done… its this really insipid flavour of social engineering. Again, it comes back to these police informants that have relationships with activists and even have children with activists. This is like a digital version of the same thing. It’s these disgusting creeps that will use sex to try and get information out of you about your activism and your journalism. It’s the JTRIG program, right? They call it honeypots. They set up honeypots. What they’re actually doing is committing identity fraud to coerce unsuspecting people into having completely false relationships with them – relationships based on false premises. It is a form of rape because it is sexual activity procured or obtained by deception. The deception of you is how they obtain the sexual activity and they do this for a whole variety of reasons, primarily for information gathering, also for control, also so that they can handle you and get you to do things that they want you to do and also so that they can collect this material and so that they can have it to use against you, or to wield against you. In which case I highly recommend just telling the truth like I did, that this has happened to you, because it’s the only way that you can combat it. Don’t sit around feeling bad about what they’ve done – it’s on them. They are the disgusting people doing this, they are the ones who should feel the shame. Not the people who have been good-hearted enough to believe them. So if this has happened to you, speak out and tell people about it. The shame is on the perpetrator not on you.”

Institutionalisation

“What’s the end game? The end game is to institutionalise you one way or another. It can take many forms. It can just be reformist instituionalisation which means they push you into the conventional political process because they know that that’s a have – they know that game is rigged and they’re gonna win, whether the red candidate or the blue candidate gets in they’re gonna get their way. So they’ll try and push you into the political system, they’ll try and play on your ego, they want you to speak at events and get a profile so that you start worrying about your image and your reputation more than you do about, actually, the message that you’re putting out there and the action that you’re taking on behalf of people. They want you to feel that you have something to lose and they’ll play on that. If you have something to lose in your reputation, so they’ll use that to tailor your behaviour and your decision-making. They will try to reform you via institutionalisation with some complicit NGO’s. They would rather have you working for an NGO where they’re surveilling that whole NGO anyway and where you’re working on set projects and where its budgeted and where there’s a structure where you receive promotions or demotions and again… they’re trying to attack your ideology and your motivation. They can control your motivation through employment. They would rather have you working at a call centre for $10 an hour, than changing the world. They would much rather have that. So if they can get you to do that, they will get you to do that. In the most severe cases where none of their efforts have paid off, they haven’t been able to stop you doing what you’re doing, especially if you’re sufficiently isolated and you don’t have good support, they can actually attack you to the point where you start to lose the plot. Not of your own volition, or not of natural causes, but purely because of what they’re doing to you. There have been cases where activists are in fact sectioned under the Mental Health Act and are forced into mental hospitals and they’re drugged – once they’re in the mental hospitals they are drugged against their will and they are discredited by those means. They are prevented from continuing their activism or their journalism and they are discredited by their mental health record. Not to mention the horrendous effects on their bodies of the drugs that they’re given and the experiences that they undergo. The other form of institutionalisation is imprisonment. So you see that with Barrett Brown, you see that with Jeremy Hammond, you see that with Chelsea Manning, you see that with many of our most beautiful and amazing whistle-blowers and journalists and activists. They will find a way to put you in prison. Look at the guy that – was it the guy that filmed Eric Garner’s death? Many of those guys actually, the citizen journalists who filmed various people being hurt by the police – they’re targeted and they’re put in jail. Purely because they recorded the truth of what was happening.”

Assassination Attempts

“Big deep sigh because now we come to the most depressing part of all ad that is the assassination attempts. So, if you’re an exceptional circumstance where they cannot institutionalise you, where they’ve tried every other thing on you and none of it has worked, then it is possible that they will actually try to just kill you or to really hurt you or injure you. In my case, on Mother’s Day no less, they tried to drive me off a cliff. They had a car pull out in front of me, at a township in a rural area, and a car pull out behind me, and then those two cars were used to box us in and to control our speed so that we couldn’t drop back and we couldn’t go forward and we couldn’t get around, because we were in this windy clifftop area in this rural part of Northland in New Zealand. Then once they controlled our movement and our speed they started using what I later found out are called ‘Dazzlers’. They’re these really high-powered lights, coloured lights, and they shine them into the rear-view mirrors – from the vehicle behind – to dazzle the driver, so that the driver loses their vision. In a situation when you’re on a one-lane-each-way windy cliff-top road at night, losing your vision is really not a good thing. There were other incidents where the oil cap on our car was removed, again in a rural area, where it’s a high-speed zone and as soon as the vehicle is traveling at speed when the oil cap has been removed the oil splashes all over the engine and then catches on fire. So next thing you know you’re driving at speed in a car that is on fire. It’s a particularly awesome experience. Then there’s medical assassination attempts as well. So there’s situations where they can give you the wrong drugs, or an overdose of drugs, or… I received  a really horrible, nasty message in 2011… it was a threat. It said, ‘if you mess with us, we will kill you and no one will know that it was murder/nobody will know that we have done this to you’. So they’re basically bragging that they have methods of getting rid of people that are untraceable.”

Part Six: WHAT DO THEY WANT?

“They want you to give up. They want you to run. They want you to run because if you run from them… for example, one guy, who was really severely targeted, his house was repeatedly broken into, his pets were stolen, his belongings were destroyed, he was prevented from getting a job, they just ruined his life. He ran out of the city, just took off, because what else do you do when you’re being stalked 24 hours a day? He thought that was a good idea, to try to get out of town. They picked him up, booked him into a mental hospital, incarcerated him, drugged him and the works. So they want you to run, because if you run they can pass it off as unstable behaviour. They want you to lash out, they want you to freak out, they want you to hurt people. As sick as it sounds, that’s what they want you to do because that gives them the perfect excuse to pick you up and the perfect excuse to put you away. So do not hurt people. Do not run, do not lash out. Hold your ground. They want you to break down. They want you to fall to pieces. They want you to not be able to cope with what is happening to you, in a way that is visible to others that you can’t cope. For exactly that same reason. Do not do that. Find some community. There are people out there who can help you but step one is getting in touch with people who understand that this is happening to you, because it’s happening to thousands of people all over the world.”

What You Learn To Do

“What you learn to do is to use their surveillance systems against them. Get in public if they’re hurting you. Go on their surveillance systems, their public surveillance systems. At least then there is a record of what is happening to you. You’re better getting in amongst a lot of people than you are going into an isolated situation. Be visible. Do what you do visibly. Let people know – ‘Hey. This is me, this is my name, this is what I do, check out what I do, see that I’m legit and please keep an eye on me because this is risky. Document what you do. Make sure that you have documentation to show ‘this is what I do and this is what has been happening to me.’ Document that responsibly; don’t go running off after the attackers trying to track them down and end up in more trouble. Just document what they’re doing to you, hold onto those records, keep them in a safe place and distribute them amongst people that you trust.”

Conclusion

“There is a lot more to my story than what I’ve just been able to tell you about in this video. But for now, this is a really good start on what it means to be a Person of Interest – what you face, who does it to you and how they do it – and how you should respond. I hope that this is helpful to you and if I do get confirmation that I am one of the 88 New Zealanders that was targeted by the NSA on behalf of the New Zealand government – you can be sure that you’ll be hearing more from me.”

WATCH THE FULL DOCUMENTARY: vimeo.com/181517859

*** Please note: there is a number of screenshots, photographs and other supporting evidence shown in the documentary that is not referenced in this transcript.

Flawed is Beautiful; The Intrigue Inherent In The Incomplete

It is absolutely remarkable how easily some intelligent and revolutionary people are inclined to or convinced to regurgitate or reproduce ‘approved’ social conditionings and norms. Or who, in marketing themselves, truly feel an obligation to present a Polaroid picture: wife, children, picket fence, dog. As if to become such represents completion, success, or something to aspire to.

As if a Hollywood ending is winning.

When it is profoundly unfulfilling.

Just how humanity got into this hypocritical mess.

A cheap thrill. A fast-food meal. A TV special. Then over.

And it has been done before. Too many times to count.

So secretly, they look for more. Yearn for more. And when they find it, hide it, desperately. For the pressures of their perceived societal expectation make them forget what they were fighting for. And as the iconography of their existence eclipses their resistance, ever so slowly, they inch closer, to becoming what they profess to strive against.

Peeling back that external layer, that veneer, you find them desperately plotting a second life. A hidden balance, where true emotional satisfaction can be hoarded, and enjoyed, part-time.

And in living that double life, they have forgotten how to connect with the real. Or the power of doing so. And that the real is what attracted them to activism in the first place. That the real is how they got where they are.

That the truth doesn’t need to be proven. Because it has its own frequency. It’s own primal recognition. That beautiful, crystal clear resonating ring of truth, is everything.

No lies can stand in the face of it. Not even those with established “proof”.

People Are Not Motivated By A Veneer Of Perfection

A puzzle isn’t fun if it’s already done.

People are motivated, inspired and intrigued by the incomplete. By the imperfect and flawed.

That is what injustice is. The absence of justice. So people feel an innate desire to find and fit justice into its rightful space. They are motivated by what is missing. What is lacking.

The very nature of the existence of the incomplete is a call to action. People want to engage. To respond. To help. To get involved.

Life is not Hollywood. It is far more complex, multi-dimensional and stunning in its ironies and mathematical improbabilities than any movie ever has been.

And a fake or manufactured existence is not really living.

Real life is THE greatest story you could ever tell.

It is the story that people can truly, innately, deeply recognise and connect to.

It creates a space where readers always want to see the next chapter of the story, and that next chapter writes itself.

Life is serialised by its very nature.

The wise stop trying to manufacture it, open their eyes and hearts to what is, and embrace it.

The reaction of others is a reflection of the conviction of self. Nothing that you relentlessly stand by, that you hold up as beautiful in all its glorious imperfection, can ever be desecrated by someone else.

Because every insult or dispersion they cast just becomes a platform for you to reaffirm and promote your love.

Each nasty sentiment or stone cast becomes a wonderful opportunity, a priceless chance for you to use logic and transparency, to smack them down. And to annunciate and emboss your love.

And embolden yourself.

In doing so, not only do you emerge victorious, but your messages of love and righteousness then self-propagate, and your critics, burned, soon learn to grumble in private.

Super-Heroes

Super heroes are not normal. Super heroes don’t fit in.

Super heroes give of themselves beyond what could ever be expected.

To extremes.

And the reason they are revered is not because they do what everybody else does but because they don’t.

They love beyond the capacity of normal people to love. They have empathy beyond the ability of an average person to empathise. They make the hard choices and the self-sacrifices. They show their vulnerabilities. They do not act in self-preservation. They do not justify their shortcomings, or taking easy ways out, as being self-protection. They do not flinch from being different. They don’t just mouth words of support for the marginalised – they proudly take them in their arms.

Then teach people – by example – to redefine their concept of love in accordance with the depths of their generosity, compassion and tenderness.

They do not merely mirror what is without – they live and lead by what is within.

And in showing that, in allowing the real to come through, they move others to follow suit.

No fan wants to see a super hero do what they’d do. They want to see a super hero do what they only wish they had the strength to do, but fear they don’t. Something they fervently admire in another but couldn’t achieve themselves.

And that is the power of super heroes – to influence others to look outside of their own boxes. To be brave. To step beyond the borders of conventionally supposed civility and recognise that there is something deeper than the matrix. Something realer.

Real super heroes speak truth. They don’t bury it. They risk all, and in doing so gain even more. Real super heroes have weaknesses and flaws. And are proud of them. That is how others connect with them.

Real super heroes convert their most feared perceived weaknesses into their most universally revered and celebrated strengths.

Let Your Critics Make A Meal Of Your Flaws

No news is bad news and there’s no such thing as bad press.

Your critics can be conditioned and constrained or they can condition and constrain you. It is about what you let them do.

Not about what they think of you. Or about what they say of you.

Let’s look at some famous examples. And how they are loved regardless, or even enhanced by what society would say are dirty little secrets fit only to be hidden in a closet and jealously guarded…

David Carr:

Here is an extremely mild reference to the famed NYT reporter, from his Wikipedia page:

“In his 2008 memoir, The Night of the Gun, Carr detailed his experiences with cocaine addiction and included interviews with people from his past, tackling his memoir as if he were reporting on himself.[10] The memoir was excerpted in The New York Times Magazine.[11]

Specifically, he talked about how he abandoned his baby in his vehicle while he scored and got high on crack cocaine.

But he talked about it truthfully. He bared his soul and his life in all its mixed hues, victories, conflagrations, even the shame and degradation. And was loved and revered, if not even more infamous and widely followed, for it.

Daniel Ellsberg

Dan Ellsberg was described (disturbingly) by past colleagues at the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam as “a great cocksmith”. In a thinly-veiled effort to discredit him, they regaled reporters with lurid tales of sexual conquest, decadence and extra-marital affairs.

Back to Wikipedia:

“Ellsberg has been married twice. His first marriage was to Carol Cummings, daughter of a Marine Corps brigadier general. It lasted 13 years before ending in divorce (at her request, as he stated in his memoirs Secrets)…

…In 1970, he married Patricia Marx,”

Married to his wife for 46 years, no one, least of all me, could give a flying toss what Ellsberg did or didn’t get up to in Vietnam, or who with. The overarching point is that no such dispersions cast by those on the fringes of his past life, can touch the man or his accomplishments.

By his work he is known. His unflinching acknowledgements of his own struggles and his unwavering beliefs vastly eclipse any attempts made to smear him. He is impervious to them.

Madonna:

When, a decade after the fact, an unscrupulous photographer dug up and sold photos of Madonna posing as a topless model in the early 80s, industry insiders salaciously declared it a massive scandal and speculated that it would end her career.

When confronted with the images, her response to the ensuing media frenzy was extremely simple, eloquent, and timeless.

“So?”

It instantly took the wind out of the mass media’s sails – as it put the onus back on them. Rather than be able to report on an emotional reaction to the scandal, they were forced to try to self-justify why it should be a scandal at all. The furore soon collapsed and Madonna went on to become the biggest selling female recording artist of all time.

It’s All What You Make Of It

Life gives you lemons, make lemonade, they say.

You don’t have to be perfect to be an icon. You just have to be honest.

Honesty about your mistakes, your weaknesses, your struggles, your most humiliating moments, your disappointments, your shame, only guarantees it can never be held against you. People will love and adore the more human side of you. They will see themselves reflected in you. You will win over those who reject the images of perfection. Because they already know deep down that it’s not a real projection.

And courage is contagious.

EVERYTHING that is said about you is an opportunity for you to get your own points across. Everything.

So love who you LOVE. And do it proudly. Admit your fuck-ups, and allow others to see you as more than some painting to hang on a wall. Become real. Become mortal again. Discover who you are.

Then live it proudly.

Carpe Diem.

Daily Wisdom:

Signs of Change:

As we develop faith in our teacher, we develop faith in ourselves. This invigorated confidence strengthens our practice.

Pride, arrogance, anger, begin to diminish and shrink as our mind becomes less pre-occupied with self-cherishing.

The commitment to succeed does not just come from the student, but also from the guides and gurus. Their commitment is equally strong, if not stronger, to see students discover their own buddhahood.

A good coach or mentor believes in the student and recognises the student’s potential and best qualities. Their recognition helps the student recognise themselves. The guru introduces them to the best of themselves.”

– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

 


 

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

This entry was posted on March 17, 2016.

Fame or Flame

“No one likes a show-off”, as they say. Or in New Zealand, we’d say “No one likes a skite.”

When I first arrived in Berlin and began to meet the activist crowd, I’d say “Hi, I’m Suzie from New Zealand” and people’s eyes would not reflect any recognition.

“You might know me as @endarken online…” I’d then say, and often their eyes would light up – many of them knew of my online handle.

This is because for more than 3 years I had stuck to that moniker on Twitter, avoiding ever posting photos of myself or tying myself to my “real person” identity. Few people even realised I was female, let alone knew my real name.

My critics would frequently deride me for being ‘anonymous’ and tell me I was hiding behind an icon, a fake persona. My supporters knew I was just trying to protect myself and others, and my media team knew it was out of respect for them, and for the founding understanding (in New Zealand Maori – the kaupapa) of our occupation.

In 2011, I was repeatedly asked to accept interviews, or speak for the occupation. I constantly deferred to our media team co-ordinator, as we had all agreed upon, and he would then delegate speaking opportunities amongst the team. When he would urge me to be interviewed, I would also decline. It was important to me to respect the horizontal nature of the movement and I did not want to be seen to be taking on any form of leadership role, or to be promoting myself as an individual.

When a newspaper picked up a piece I’d written on Facebook and wanted me to write a version for them, I said no. When a local radio station wanted to interview me, I said no. When one of my friends did a series of video interviews to commemorate the founding of our 4th physical occupation, Occupy Albert Park, and wanted to interview me, I said no. I had zero desire to appear on camera (as it turns out I adore that particular video, which features three of my fellow media team members speaking from their hearts about the occupation, and I periodically view it just for the pleasure and enjoyment of reminiscing about that day, which was a very special day for all involved.)

A good friend and fellow Occupier lectured me repeatedly about my refusal to speak up outside of the sanctuary of the occupation. “People need to hear what you have to say. We need your voice!” he told me. I demurred, repeatedly. I had zero interest in joining the lists of speakers at actions and events. Zero political aspirations whatsoever. No desire to see myself on camera or hear the sound of my own voice.

Occupy was never a career opportunity for me. I was there only because I wanted to give, to share, to amplify the voices of others and to protect them. But my compulsion for telling the truth about what was happening to us and to others around the world, kept me vocal online, as an “anonymous” voice.

In 2012, in what I was yet to realise was the lead-up to the evictions, I relented and agreed to be interviewed by Kiwi truther Vinny Eastwood.

At the end of the segment, I was quietly mortified when he said:

Host: “By the way, we have just received word from [person] who runs this monthly broadcast on UnitedWeStrike.com that goes out internationally, that they’d like you to be popping in on a monthly basis just to give a quick little report and updates as you’ve done here if you’re willing.

Me: “Oh, excellent, thank you. Someone from the media team certainly will. We run a non-hierarchical structure and we rotate through the positions. But there are plenty of awesome people that have awesome things to say on our media team, and definitely one of us would love to speak to you when you are able.”

I was pleased at having successfully avoided any commitment to personally undertake future interviews. But a week after it took place, private security and police would physically dismantle our occupations, arrest nearly our entire media team (and dozens of other protesters), and begin to dramatically accelerate our persecution.

Enraged at seeing what was happening to selfless, conscientious people whose hearts were in the right place, and with the backing of our media team co-ordinator, I agreed to do my second ever interview, on the same show, some ten weeks later.

The host wanted a picture of me to use in the video. I insisted he use an image of thousands of protesters filling a motorway overpass on their way to the November 2011 Port of Oakland shutdown/General Strike.

We discussed the persecution of Occupy at length, and other related issues. Towards the end of the video, we had the following exchange.

Host: “We all self-censor a little bit. So if you think there’s anything that’s a little bit risqué, or that you try to steer clear of or anything of that nature, because of its very scary implications or because of what people might think of you if you said it, this is the place to say it.”

Me: “To be honest, I’m not scared. I just tell the truth. And that for me has been my mantra right through Occupy because I just say what I saw and what I know to be true and if people don’t like that, I can’t really do anything about their reactions, but I do feel that it is really important that there is a testament to the truth that remains on record because the MSM version of the truth is inherently flawed…”

On July 14th, 2012, the same filmmaker behind the Occupy Albert Park video, who had been repeatedly asking to interview me, literally ambushed me on live video at an “Aotearoa Is Not For Sale” anti-asset sales protest. Hair in a bun with zero makeup, I was not even vaguely expecting to find myself put on the spot like that. But I cared deeply about the issues and when he asked me what I wanted to see happen as a result of the march, I gave my two cents.

Me: “I want people to feel empowered. I want people to not feel scared to talk out, to speak out about these issues. I want, really, Aotearoa to know that they can’t sell us what we already own. We already own these assets so I don’t believe the line that it will be sold to New Zealanders – we already own it.”

Interviewer: “So are we heading up to the Town Hall, is it, then we’re going to have an event there?”

Me: “Yeah. Well Aotea Square is pretty much shut down – the Council has paid another $18,000 of ratepayers money to fence it off from us. If the public don’t have access to public space then that just leaves us the streets. I think you’re going to see a lot of people on the streets this afternoon!

Interviewer: “The beautiful thing is, is also that this is synchronistic around the whole nation.”

Me: “And around the whole world. 380 cities protested, it’s huge, May Day, #M12, #M15 in Europe – they’re just massive. Austerity doesn’t really exist, it’s something that is just imposed upon us by people – politicians – who don’t want to make the effort to find real alternatives and in many cases, who have a vested interest in pursuing the policies of privatisation and colonisation of New Zealand and more and more now we’re going to see public assets and public infrastructure being passed into corporate hands. It’s already happened with our Council, that’s probably why our Council has reacted the way they have. They’ve already partially-privatised many of their assets. That’s why they’re now pushing that onto the rest of our country. We don’t want to see that. We want to keep our education, we want to keep our infrastructure, we want to keep our public assets.”

It was the last interview I would agree to do for more than another two years. It is fitting that in the wake of my words, New Zealand music artist King Kapisi is shown singing “Stand on your own two feet – stand, don’t be afraid to speak. Stand for what you believe…”

In the meantime, I was authoring hundreds of blogposts without ever putting my name in the by-line, and supporting the actions and events of a slew of movements; Aotearoa Is Not For Sale, Idle No More, anti-rape actions, anti-GCSB actions, It’s Our Future NZ (against the TPPA), Internet Party events, Greenpeace events, the list goes on and on. Whoever was taking action for humanitarian reasons, we supported unconditionally. I had also accidentally become an interviewer myself… both in print, with our first ever web series “Women Warriors of the Global Revolution” for Occupy Savvy, and in video – sheerly because I was increasingly finding I had access and serendipitous opportunities to ask questions of amazing people and felt obliged not to squander those opportunities, but still kept myself out of the frame in a semi-cinéma vérité style, and credited everything to our media team.

This had an upside and a downside. The upside was that I felt I was staying true to the original commitments made by our media team, even though the occupations themselves were long gone and the working groups dissolved (with the exception of ours, which in an incredible display of extra-human commitment and loyalty stayed together to this day, regardless of whatever was thrown at us. The more we were attacked, the more staunch, determined and closer we became.)

The downside was that while it wasn’t apparent to our friends and supporters exactly what I was doing or involved in, our lack of encrypted communications and the pervasive surveillance of us meant that the government and security agencies knew full well the gravity and significance of my involvement, my level of productivity and what I was responsible for.

This led to ever-increasing pressure being applied to me by them, and intrusions inflicted upon every single area of my life imaginable. They were out to get me with a vengeance, and my lack of visibility as a “real person” began to protect them, and endanger me.

This accelerated as I began to campaign directly against the state intelligence agencies later on in 2012 & 2013, and as I was imploring major media and political personalities behind the scenes to build and co-ordinate a national movement against them.

In the wake of the June 2013 Snowden revelations, my unconditional support of him and constant circulation of related information and advocacy for whistle-blowers, exacerbated that.

Likewise with the Kim Dotcom situation. I don’t need to go into the ways in which I supported the formation of the Internet Party and its various members here, but the state is well aware of every single thing I did, as in my ignorance of ‘opsec‘ none of those communications were protected.

By 2014, in the months leading up to the ‘Moment of Truth‘ Snowden/Greenwald/Dotcom/Assange event, as Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics‘ revelations were shocking the nation, and as I and other media team members were throwing our efforts into developing #NZ4Gaza in protest of Israel’s war on Gaza, the constant state sabotage of, intrusions upon and wanton destruction of every aspect of my being, snowballed into several direct and undeniable attempts upon my life.

Particularly in the week leading up to the MoT event, it got so bad that I honestly didn’t expect I would live through it. The attacks on me were physical, 24/7 and relentless and it seemed clear that I was toast – it was just a matter of time before I would be taken out of the equation.

I was told outright by more seasoned activists than me that if I didn’t make myself more visible, I was as good as dead. So the day before the event I went on Aussie radio with an old friend, who interviewed me about it.

The mainstream media did a humongous snow-job on the Moment of Truth event, which culminated in a tumultuous press conference where I filmed Kim Dotcom rightly telling the media (politely) where to shove it, and then scored another interview with legendary Kiwi politician and then-Internet Party Leader Laila Harré.

No one’s fool, she understood exactly what our significance had been and stated so eloquently, when for the first time ever, I asked a question about the role of citizen media in what had been going on in New Zealand.

Me: “What could you tell me about the role of citizen media in exposing the GCSB [NZ equivalent of the CIA] activities over the last few years?”

Laila: “Well, without citizen media, and without the humble investigative reporting of citizen journalists and supportive academics and senior journalists around the world, we would not even begin to understand what it is that’s being presented to us today by Glenn Greenwald. What you people do is provide the base of understanding that then allows this level of information to penetrate and be shared.”

Less than two months later, I was sitting having lunch with another media team member with whom I had co-created #TPPANoWay, and with Dr. Jane Kelsey, the University of Auckland Law professor who spearheads the movement against the TPPA in New Zealand, explaining to her that our hashtag had just trended number 2 worldwide at the most recent action and discussing the ramifications.

We were jubilant, and I told Dr. Kelsey how throwing ourselves into circulating the information online was our way of both circumventing and getting back at the mainstream media who frequently blacked out or subverted activism messages.

Jane intimated that the agencies who oppose us would be looking to find a way of dealing to that. She was right. The death threats had been coming in thick and fast in the wake of the re-election of the sitting pro-US government. My social media platform logins were being piggy-backed by accounts featuring serial killers for profile pictures, sending me sickening messages and images suggesting my impending demise.

They would alternately suggest I should flee the country, and then send me photos and videos of plane crashes in an attempt to further terrify me.

On the night they had won re-election, I unmasked myself online. It was raining, and rather than sit at home and feel sorry for myself, I’d been walking around the central city, filming video interviews with homeless people to see how they felt about the election. I got a menacing Twitter message from a fake account that said “just you wait until tomorrow. Then the real fun will begin.” In defiance, and inspired by a friend, I took a photo of myself, and for the first time ever, posted it to my Twitter. It was September 20, 2014. Three years after I started tweeting.

At that time, I was being tailed and harassed 24/7. My house was being constantly broken into… the perpetrators would leave unpleasant little surprises around my home to ensure I knew they had visited. Some kind of LRAD-style aural weapon that made me feel like my eardrums were bursting was being used against me in the late nights as I would attempt to work in my lounge.

It became impossible to live with. Other more high-profile international activists who had experienced the same things told me to sell up, pack my bags and move to Berlin, where there was more support for people like me.

When I would try to explain what was happening to regular people, their reaction was “but why would they be doing that to you?” It became abundantly clear that my commitment to anonymity had been aiding my persecutors, and hurting me. So I built the website Suzi3d.com, and started the Twitter account @Suzi3d. I started to by-line my articles, using my real name. Up to that point my by-lines had all been assigned as either Occupy NZ, Occupy Auckland or endarken.

My media team members supported me outing myself unconditionally. While I wasn’t comfortable with it at first, and in some ways still am not, I understand why it was a necessity.

I have also begun to accept that what I have to say is an important contribution to the debate. Arriving in Berlin, I felt a genuine responsibility to warn everyone what was happening to dissidents in New Zealand. I became hyper-aware of the fact that while I had ostensibly got out in one piece, others were still back there facing all the same problems, being subjected to the same criminal behaviour by agents of their own government, and of the Five Eyes at large.

To someone who doesn’t know me, and doesn’t know better, my portfolio and solidarity pages on Suzi3d.com appear to contain exhaustive lists of me taking credit for magnanimous things. To them, the sheer quantity is overwhelming and therefore they assume it must be fantasy. But in reality, it isn’t the half of it. Those who know me and have worked with me behind the scenes know my true significance, and how much I have done that I still take no credit for.

A particularly toxic pastebin was brought to my attention recently, that a) accuses me of being a fantasist, based on what work I have alluded to on my website; b) quotes slander about me by a relentless persecutor of our media team, who has a 20-year history of fracturing and subverting New Zealand activist groups and attacking and endangering key protesters; c) claims that I have questions to answer about my “sources of income” and how I’ve financed my activism; d) attempts to smear me by association because someone who hasn’t been in my life for years was once in the army reserves five years before I ever met them and e) claims it is suspicious that I have ‘computer skills’, despite the fact that nearly the entire millennial generation does too.

I can find no trace of the pastebin having been circulated on social media or on the web. Yet it has 100 hits. Which suggests that it has been supplied to individuals privately, on a targeted basis, in order to damage specific relationships.

While asserting that I have “questions to answer”, the unnamed author has never directed me to the pastebin, nor even alluded to its existence at all. Which suggests that they knew I could easily debunk it, but that it could have impact with others more removed from my personal situation.

My response when shown the pastebin was “pffft.” While in the beginning of my activism I would have been shocked and mortified that lies were being circulated about me, after so many years of being targeted, such attempts to smear me hold little weight now, and bother me less than ever.

But I am a truth-teller, and have staked my life in order to do so. And the truth is, in 2013-2014 while campaigning against the GCSB, the TPPA, Israel and other facets of the military-industrial complex, I was working a day job as a Software Development Manager, eventually earning up to NZD$120 per hour building print portals for New Zealand universities.

As it became clear to me that there was likely political interference in my career by the very same players exposed in Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics“, I turned down an offer to extend my employment contract, resigning against the wishes of my employer when my contract expired and walking away from a massive paycheck to become an unemployed full-time writer. I then sold my house and everything I owned, and moved to Berlin.

In the 15 months since, we have had to live off those funds as I have continued to write, speak out and advocate for multiple movements and issues, unpaid. My net worth has plunged to nearly zero and I have absolutely no regrets. Despite the stress, danger and degradation, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

I may not have money or assets or safety or an untarnished reputation, but I am at peace with my own conscience and decisions.

I have never earned a single dollar for any of the activism work I have done. Since quitting I.T., my only source of income, if it can even be called that considering how paltry it is, has been child support payments. The last payment I received was NZD$5.45c. I have never even heard of someone receiving such a pathetic amount of child support as I do, but it is not even worth my time to pursue as the government agencies and banks are so obstructive towards me that there is clearly an agenda by them to limit my access to resources and income in every way possible.

This is not a new phenomenon – over the last two years, my cash cards have been repeatedly frozen without notice, my internet banking access revoked for months on end, and all manner of other injustices inflicted upon me. At one point my bank tried to close my cash-positive accounts entirely with the bizarre excuse that I wouldn’t be able to secure debt services. Debt services that I had neither requested or needed. When I involved lawyers and pushed back, they backed down, as they later did with the revocation of my internet banking, and they even had to refund me ATM fees that had resulted from their undue restrictions on my accounts, but the message was clear. I was on their shit-list and they were going to make life as hard for me as possible.

When I tried to move money from New Zealand to Europe to pay my landlord in Berlin, the transiting authority, the American bank Citibank, froze the funds and refused to complete the transfer, holding the money for two weeks then shipping it back to New Zealand.

When I tried to transfer funds between European banks, an anomalous “administrative error” resulted in those funds also being frozen, leaving me without access to finances.

The role of police agencies in working with the banks behind the scenes was outed by David Fisher in the New Zealand Herald. It turns out that police made thousands of warrant-less requests for information from banks, utilities and other services, without any legal basis, and without any push-back from those institutions. Under the same ‘Fraud and Money-laundering” anti-terrorism legislation that is being used to persecute Kim Dotcom (and likely anyone within two degrees of separation from him is also a target) the accounts of persons of interest are handled in a completely different way to those of the general public. The banks have their own corresponding ‘Fraud and Money-laundering teams’ responsible for administrating those accounts, who according to their own assertions to me, run Palantir risk-management software and liaise with the police teams.

At no point in the last four years has it ever been admitted to me that I am under any type of investigation. Yet having had my house first broken into in December 2011, experiencing years worth of harassment and attacks since, including being directly targeted by the FBI-informant ‘Sabu’ in 2013, and the attempts on my life in 2014, it would be extremely naive of me to think that I have not been caught up in the net of myriad investigations – whether it be the sealed indictment into WikiLeaks in some way, shape or form (I have been a WikiLeaks supporter since 2010), the investigation into Snowden, the investigation into Kim Dotcom by the FBI (which would go some way to explaining why I was targeted by Sabu), the investigation into Kiwi journalist Nicky Hager, and/or other investigations into the activist group Occupy or Anonymous, or my involvement in the movement against the TPPA, which has just been deemed a ‘threat to national security’ by the New Zealand government.

So why the hell did I do it?

This is the question asked me by an NGO employee not two weeks ago. “You have children!” she said. “Why did you do it?

Her question sparked a flame in my very soul. I answered vehemently “because I am just one person. They can kill me, and I am just one life. But the issues I have been working on effect everyone. There are 4.5 million people in my country, and the GCSB spying on New Zealanders affected them all. How can I weigh the importance of my one life against the importance of everyone in my country? I cannot. The issues are far more important than me.” I also told her that my children would not have been able to escape the ramifications regardless. They would grow up in a country whose sovereignty had been forfeited to the United States with less resistance, whose resources were mercilessly plundered and whose citizenry was subjugated by the surveillance systems of the Five Eyes.

I remember, and will never forget, the first of thousands of tweets I sent and amplified on the hashtag #GCSB. Yes, I did momentarily hesitate before making a conscious decision. Me, or everyone? And I chose everyone. That was precisely the decision I made. Do I act to try to preserve myself? Or do I act to try to preserve my country?

I chose the latter. And I know that if I don’t survive this, others have been and will be inspired by the choice that I, and countless other people around the world, have made and make every day, and speak and act in my stead.

Every day I have, I am conscious that I am a dead woman walking. Because it is only by chance that they weren’t able to kill me in 2014. It is only by chance that I am alive to write this now. To that end, I have and will continue to commit my life to shining light on injustice, no matter what they do to me. Every day for me is borrowed time, and I am determined to make full use of it.

I remember every ‘Thank You’

This entire post has come about because an amazing person who I have a great deal of respect for, simply said “Thank you, Suzie” to me. It made me remember each and every time someone had said thank you to me, and why.

Family friends who sent me private messages, gushing over how my posts had inspired them. Movement organisers, who did the on-the-ground work and saw the benefit of our online efforts, who took the time to make contact and personally thank us for what we were doing and had done. In some cases, thanking us on behalf of people who had bombs dropping on their heads, whose babies were being killed, whose countries were being devastated. People who had no voice other than the voices others raised in empathy, in solidarity.

Followers and supporters online, who have sent me wonderful messages sharing how they’d been inspired to speak up in unison with us.

Their acknowledgments mean the world to me. I remember every thank you. Those simple words mean more than any payment. That is the real profit of our efforts.

And to them I say back now – thank you. Thank you for caring, thank you for following, thank you for sharing, thank you for supporting, thank you for acknowledging, thank you for reaching out, thank you for your love and your authenticity and your integrity. We are all we really have and that is as it should be.

In respect of you all, I will continue to speak out. I will step into the role I was so uncomfortable in and that I resisted for so long. I will be seen, I will be vocal, and I will remain committed to truth and social justice.

I hope you will continue to support me in this journey. I have your backs, all of you, and I appreciate every one of you that has mine.

Love,

Suzie


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Malaysia

Last night I was telling my kids a bedtime story – about how, as an 8-10 year old fledgling horse-rider, I was so proud that I had never fallen off a horse. I was convinced not doing so made me great. Imagine my bruised ego when, from the age of 11 onwards, I began show-jumping and cross-country and soon suffered constant falls and minor injuries! Surely I was no longer the exemplary rider I thought I was! To the contrary – I soon realised that each fall taught me a valuable lesson and made me a much stronger, more seasoned, experienced and confident rider.

As a self-publisher, I never had to suffer a literary rejection. Imagine my dejection then, when I eventually became a contributor to the extremely excellent Public Address who then resoundingly rejected the second piece I ever submitted to them for publishing. Once I got over the initial shock I realised that rejection as a writer is less about the efficacy of what you have written, of your personal testimony, and is much more about the suitability of the work for the audience of the publisher involved. Now, many months later, I re-read the rejected piece and still love and cherish it, and stand by every word. There is no less value in it for having been rejected; and I feel I am a stronger, more seasoned, experienced and confident writer for the experience.

I am now publishing the piece for posterity, as a keepsake; for its grains of wisdom that some others may find their own truth in; and most of all, because all writing that comes from the heart is taonga – a beautiful, sacred gift.

Malaysia

Venturing into the Muslim world for the first time opened my eyes not only to the differences but also to the similarities between our nations.

Similarities that it seems are inconvenient to the Western subtext of Muslim societies as being largely comprised of backwards-looking stuck-in-the-mud civilisations desperately in need of our modernising influence.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Aside from the obvious – that many women in Malaysia wear headscarves, some a full hijab, and just as many women don’t wear either and no one bats an eyelid – I struggled to ascertain exactly where the differences that Western society stresses exist were.

Most profound to me as a woman was that men averted their eyes as I passed, didn’t once ogle me, catcall me or make inappropriate comments about me within earshot, as so often happens in New Zealand and other countries. It was a welcome relief from a common pressure of daily life that many women experience.

In truth all societies have strengths and weaknesses and the more mature and enlightened among us are able to recognise this.

Searching the architectural landscape with my eyes – the modern city sky-rises, the sweeping valleys filled with all of the trappings of modern commerce and civic facilities on a scale not found on Kiwi shores – the most immediately noticable difference was actually the banks and petrol stations.

The brand names were different. The logos were different. I can only assume that the shareholders are different. And it seems that difference in brands and shareholders, may be a big part of why our own governments, despite their facade of diplomacy, are so quick to divorce our peoples politically and culturally.

As with every Western nation, the tallest and most ostentatious buildings still housed the headquarters of banks and oil companies – but these had different brands and logos too. It seems the war on the wider Muslim world (both metaphorical and physical) is one of political pretexts masking the true struggle; that between the financiers and energy profiteers that hand in fist rule this planet.

However, Malaysia isn’t some sordid slum-laden backwards pit from which its citizens should be grateful to one day escape via emigration to Western shores. The city centres are well developed metropolitan zones with modern amenities catering to a melting pot of races, cultures, religions and lifestyles.

Many of the activities are very child-centric and “family-friendly” as big-name travel apps would describe it. The shopping malls have to be seen to believed. One has a roller-coaster inside it (literally). An ice skating rink inside another. While they still have the ubiquitous McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, they have entire floors of proper restaurants, with real tables, wait staff, cuisine, rather than merely featuring cardboard-cutout food courts where every single mall patron is restricted to choosing from one of the same six prefab meal outlets.

It is difficult to imagine the bastardisation that is Western commerce until you witness the overseas alternatives. As one Malaysian friend put it, “in New Zealand if you park for two minutes too long, they’ll punish you with fines or tow your car and charge you hundreds of dollars. Overseas they hire parking attendants to pop extra coins into your meter in case you accidentally run overtime, and help carry your shopping bags to your car for you.”

Why? Because they want to encourage commerce not discourage it. The relaxed attitude of the civic structure towards its locals was evident everywhere. Outside of the spotless commercial zones, there was a huge variation in standard of renovation and upkeep from building to building.

Why? Because there was no one slapping residents with ten thousand regulations and penalties, probing their lives, assets and resources with fervour, wielding compliance documents and imposing ridiculous costs. There was simply no tolerance for such civic micro-management, and no apparent dire consequences resulting from its absence that bureaucrats often warn of to conveniently justify their own existence.

Did the relaxed attitude always extend to English-speaking foreigners? Understandably, no. We had a running joke with our friends that “you need your passport to buy an ice-cream“. While this was a clear exaggeration, life for tourists is a vast departure from that of residents. The upsides? Getting to stay in amazing condominium towers with every mod-con known to mankind. NZD$100 per night bought us the lap of luxury, 120m2 two bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom apartment with full kitchen and laundry, marble floors, balcony and big-screen TV, on a secure site with triple-tiered, tropical swimming facilities replete with mini-KL Tower-shaped fountains, that are the stuff dreams are made of.

Yet with low wage earners on less than NZD$3 an hour this was a housing option largely restricted to foreigners. Some locals opportunistically partially subsidised their income with their own well-honed forms of corruption. At Zoo Negara for example, staff generously tried to sell us our 20MYR (Malaysian Ringgit) tour for 30MYR. Fifty metres into the tour, the driver told us to get out and take photos, then drove off into the sunshine.

Several sweaty hours of walking later, we found him at the back of the park, smoking a pipe behind the Panda enclosure, socialising with other tour drivers who had presumably pulled the same stunt on their unsuspecting passengers.

Taxis, which were plentiful and a very cheap and reliable form of transport, featured drivers who were evenly split between dutifully accepting their metered fare, or demanding upfront that tourists agree to pay two or three times what the metered fare would be worth. With children in tow and sometimes caught in the warm tropical rainstorms of monsoon season, I often couldn’t afford to be picky, so instituted my own merit system for dealing with these drivers. If they demanded up front that I pay them 20MYR for a 7MYR fare, I paid it. If they didn’t, and just charged the metered fare, I gave them 30-40MYR. This resulted in many surprised and delighted faces of drivers who couldn’t believe their good fortune – their honesty was being rewarded.

We caught countless taxis during our six weeks in Malaysia but there is one trip that I will never forget. While most drivers treated us like minor celebrities just for our heritage, leaping from their cars to help with our bags and hold doors open for us, one driver was very toxic and I was initially confused as to why he sat in his car unmoving, leaving me alone to load numerous heavy shopping bags and two children, in the pouring rain. He was the embodiment of stone cold silence all the way to our apartment building, then accepted payment with no acknowledgement of us and again no assistance. I was really surprised by his malevolence and complained aloud to our building security, who had treated the children and I like royalty throughout our visit. I was shocked when they later explained to me that they had spoken to the driver and found out why he was so terse. “He is Iraqi, Miss, and he thinks you are American.”

I was dumbfounded. Having advocated for victims of war, covered anti-war actions, and gone out on a limb to make my opposition to the deaths of innocents around the world known, many times, it had not once occurred to me that all this man saw was a middle class white woman shopping with her family in safety while his countrymen had died (and still do) on the streets of their own shopping districts while their homes were mortared, raided and ravaged around them.

By-in-large by white people.

To him, -I- was the war profiteer by racial association and thus he would be damned if he would open a door for me or carry my shopping bags.

This realisation was extremely humbling to me.

It taught me to think extra hard when attempting to view something through the eyes of another because you never know what it is they are seeing. But it also taught me that even we, the peoples of war-mongering Western governments, are victims too. For in their thirst for oil, power and blood, our own reputations die alongside the indigenous peoples who fall victim to colonial conquest and “democracy”, regardless of our individual dissent against the antagonistic political policies that manifest the devastation.

There is so much I will never forget about Malaysia. The cute little chameleon-like house lizards that scramble across the walls and take refuge behind the drapes. The mosquitoes which if you have repellant with at least 40% Deet content aren’t an issue, but if you don’t, are hell on earth. The bright red sun that hangs serenely amongst the fading sky of the late afternoons. The calls to prayer, echoing out across the valleys.

The New York Steakhouse opposite the traditional Malaysian bakery. The popcorn shop that has 50 different flavours. The intimidating chaos of the Batu Caves at Chinese New Year, which we had been warned against visiting at that time due to the throngs of stunningly traditionally-dressed Hindu pilgrims in such a tightly packed and purposeful press that meandering little Kiwis like ourselves who didn’t heed the good advice promptly forgot we were flightless birds and flew straight out of there before we got crushed underfoot. The extravagance of the malls and the humble neighbourhood seafood restaurants. The KL Tower, and the Petronas Towers – magnificent, regal structures that dramatically outshine Auckland’s Sky Tower. The Sunway Lagoon which was a personal favourite – an incredible place featuring theme park rides, water slides and a full-size wildlife park sprawled around a sculptured lagoon packed full of fish, where you are given endless punnets of food to feed to them for free. You can pet giant turtles and stand one pane of glass away from white lions and walk through lush bush packed full of seemingly every exotic bird known to mankind; open air aviaries.

But what I miss the most is Thean Hou Temple – described by a family member as a “kind of Chinese Buddhist Disneyland“, where larger than life sculptures of all the animals of the Chinese zodiac tower above plaques proclaiming their associated characteristics.

The basement level of the temple features a selection of tasty vegetarian restaurants that provide cheap, yummy and hot food and little shops and stalls offer ceramic and jade sculptures of various deities and other ornaments. My favourite shop sold black sesame and honey treats that I am dizzy with delight just thinking about.

On the top level of the temple itself, we had our first experience of a traditional Chinese dragon dance, and while the children were momentarily taken aback by the loud, rhythmic drumming, once it dawned on them that those who poked their heads into the dragon’s mouths got showered in candy, they were grateful participants.

I’d like to close with an amusing anecdote of my own ignorance that also serves as a brilliant example of the perils of assumption when traveling, why my articles only speak to my own direct experiences and interpretations, and should not be taken as gospel or infallible.

With temperatures regularly hovering over 40 degrees celsius, I wasn’t as surprised as I should have been when I discovered the showers in our luxury apartment all ran cold. I continued to shower (and bath!) in cold water for the duration of our trip, often musing to friends and family about the apparent Malaysian preference for bathing in cold water. On check-out, I finally mentioned to the hotel staff that the cold baths and showers had been a bit of a surprise but that I had gotten used to it. They looked at me quizzically and then in horror as the awareness that I had just taken cold showers and baths for six weeks dawned on them, and they stuttered:

“Oh no Miss! We are so sorry you didn’t know! There is a separate switch for the water heater and if you want hot water you have to turn it on.”

Since joining the Occupy Auckland media team in 2011, Suzie Dawson has been a driving force behind many social justice and political movement media campaigns and events, including #GCSB, #NZ4Gaza and #TPPANoWay. Her work has been shared internationally including by RT.com, WikiLeaks and Business Insider. She is currently traveling the world and writing about her experiences. Previous post: ‘Hong Kong and The Matrix

 


 

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

 


 

2015: The Year Activism Got More Retweets Than Justin Bieber

I had long said, of hacktivism: “we need Justin Bieber-level retweets”. 2015 is the year we got them.

Can You Hear Me Now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, Snowden.

Edward Snowden’s Twitter debut was definitely a turning point. He soon showed where his true loyalties lay by amplifying grassroots activists to his large, global audience. Faces familiar to those of us struggling on the ground, but previously unknown to the mainstream, make appearances on his timeline.

With claims of websites being knocked offline just by Ed sharing a link to them, it is clear that a plug from him on social media has a major butterfly effect for the subjects he profiles.

Citizen Four‘ continues a great heritage of surveillance-by-a-tyrannical government-themed features and has achieved global exposure. Not since ‘Wag the Dog‘ has there been such saturation of a film so political in nature – both films depict farcical Western policy agendas and lead their audiences into some pretty deep introspection.

This year has seen an increasing number of very mainstream public figures speaking out about social issues – not just as spokespeople for NGO’s, but as individuals and seemingly of their own conscience.

So are celebrities waking up?

Regardless of their motives, the effect of pop culture lending access to its substantial audiences remains to be fully appreciated. The impact of the same legions of fans that spend their days pouring over Justin Bieber’s timeline, being exposed to hashtags like #SandraBland by Nicki Minaj, or #BlackLivesMatter by Jay-Z or Charleston by Solange Knowles, will evolve and be lasting.

For critical mass, all corners of all societies must be reached. Messages of social conscience penetrating the mainstream definitely accelerates that.

Utopia

In utopia we’ll all live to see a day where TMZ only covers celebrities doing positive, role-model worthy things and the paparazzi and Hollywood culture self-reform. Where music television, entertainment and news media corps stop manufacturing reality and start addressing it.

A flow of raw information to people is what empowers them to act most effectively. Those who still live blindly by their television sets, quite literally need to be woken up.

It sure would be something to have the people on those very screens telling them that.

 

 

The Truth Is ‘Terrifying’

[UPDATE: September 2016: roughly a year after the below post, the presentation I gave has become a documentary of the same name: “Diary of a Person of Interest” which is available for free on Vimeo.com and also on You Tube. Please watch it and share it! Documentary release notes are here at this pastebin link. Thank you!]

Today I gave a 75 minute workshop on what it’s like to be a Person of Interest in a FVEY country (specifically, New Zealand).

The feedback was that the talk was brilliant; amazing; terrifying.

I must admit that I hadn’t anticipated that people would feel sheer terror when having the experiences of our media team (and countless other PoI’s) recounted to them in a matter-of-fact fashion, within an analytical framework. Having been immersed in these issues in the first person for so long I didn’t realise how outright scary what we have been through really is.

I am really pleased with how it went though. Everyone sat in rapt attention for the duration of the talk and a nice group stayed behind to chat afterwards.

However the impromptu storm warning that caused our tent flaps to be locked down at the beginning of my talk, leaving us with insufficient lighting to stream or film (!!) means unfortunately that only those who were present were able to get the full benefit of all the information that was imparted.

To ensure that information remains in the public realm, I am publishing my presentation notes below and will re-film another delivery of the full speech upon my return to Berlin.

Much love to everyone who has looked after us through this time, your solidarity is GREATLY appreciated.

<3 <3 <3 @endarken

DIARY OF A PERSON OF INTEREST: What/Who/How/When

The Kaupapa (Understanding)

* New Zealand is supposedly the “safest”, “most peaceful” country in the world

* Day 1 at Occupy Auckland human rights lawyers told us that we have the right to dissent; to freedom of expression; to freedom of association; the right to seek redress and to not be discriminated against on the basis of political opinion

* Soon found out the hard way that: ALL OF THE ABOVE IS NOT TRUE

* Entire media team (& later ever-broadening sectors of society) were/are aggressively targeted by domestic & international agencies
My Motivations:  Amplification > All

Primary Aims
– to amplify the voices of others
– to cover all issues related to Occupy
– to share access to the platforms

Secondary Aim:
– to bear witness
– to contribute own voice

* Masked for 3 years
* Unmasked by necessity when personal safety at risk

* If not us then who?

Part 1. “Why”

Occupy
Anonymous
Kim Dotcom
Internet Party
Shihad (FVEY)
Palestine
Snowden/Greenwald

Movements/Tags
#SaveGI
#ANFS
#TPPANoWay
#GCSB / #TCIL
#NZ4Gaza
#MoT

The Elephant In The Room

Wikileaks:
– support for WL predated my activism/journalism
– all supporters of WL surveilled/monitored
– active/advocates more so then viewers

Solution:
– Like Tor: more nodes = greater protection
– Valuable search engine/resource
– Use like Wikipedia

Part 2. Who does this to us?

State Agencies: (domestic)
Police (TAU/SIG)
SIS
GCSB

International:
NCTC / DHS
FBI / CIA?

Private Agencies:
(govt contractors)
TCIL (Private Investigators)
SSI Pacific (Lawful Interception)
Cubic Defense (Asset Tracking)
Palantir (Software & Financial Systems/Social)
Hardware Corps

Who do they target?

Privatisation changes everything
For-profit = requires perpetual growth
Growth requires more targets
– Radicals
– Hacktivists
– NGOs
– Other dissenters (issue-based dissenters)
– Disobedient academics / media
– Eventually everyone, incl their own pillars of support

Part 3: How
Methods of Targeted Oppression

Surveillance
Harrassment
Isolation
Sabotage
Entrapment
Institutionalisation
Assassination Attempts

3A: Surveillance

Physical

– Shadows/Vans
– Mail
– Hardware
– Cams
– Power Company
– Smart Meter
– Phone Company
– Pre-installs
– GPS Trackers
– Infra-Red

Signals

– Services/Apps
– Devices (Remote)
– Router
– ISP (TICS)
– Stingray

Private
– Social Media
– Financial Data
– Medical
– Glass Masks
– Big Data
– Digital Profiles

Public
– Council
– Refuse
– Events
– “Public Safety”

– Transit Systems
– TrapWire

3B: Harassment

Physical:
* Surprise Visits
– Break-ins
– Police
– Private Investigators
– “Gang Stalking”
* Photographers
* Interference
– Neighbours
– Acquaintances
– Romantic
– Key Relationships
– Events

Digital:
* Social Media
– Death Threats
– Targeted Msgs

* Communications

– Crank Calls
– Emails
– Personal
* Electronic
– Audio

3C: Isolation

* Interception

* Gas-lighting

* Misinformation

* The Absurd
(Unexplainable & Ridiculous)

3D: Sabotage

Physical
– Destruction (if own home)
– Repetitive
– Personal Belongings
– Theft
Employment
Relationships & Opportunities

3E: Entrapment

Public:
– Events
– Illegal Acts
– Speech
Digital
– Hacks/DDOS
Targeted:
– Barrett Brown
– “Leaks”
– Personalised Incitement
– Sabu
– Social Engineering

3F: Institutionalisation

Can take many forms
– Reformist Institutionalisation
– Political System
– Complicit NGO’s
– Conventional Employment
In severe cases:
– Hospitalisation
– Imprisonment

3G: Assassination Attempts

Dog Whistles: Dates/Numbers of significance
‘Highway Games’ – Mother’s Day
– Boxing in
– Dazzlers
– Hone Harawira
‘Accidents’
– Oil cap / vehicle fire
– Medical

What They Want You To Do

Run
– Don’t!
Lash out
– Don’t!
Breakdown
– Don’t!

What You Learn To Do

Use their surveillance systems against them
Plan!
Get in public
– TrapWire
Be visible
– MoT
Document
– Responsibly