Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thank you Chelsea for changing the world

Today is the birthday of Chelsea Manning, she has a special place in my heart. She got a 35 years in prison for blowing the whistle on war crimes all over the world. She has already served 4 years in a military prison. She was tortured while waiting for trial. Despite all the wrongdoings that have been imposed on her, she is so strong and so incredibly compassionate in her clarity and wisdom for the reasons why she felt she had to blow the whistle. Please urge Obama to pardon her. No one has been held accountable for the crimes she exposed, the murders and the tortures but her, the whirlwind in the coalmine.

I will show this video tonight to honor her courage at a local theater:

If you want to support her, here is what she wishes for her birthday:

and here is small token of gratitude from me to her, a letter i sent via the Amnesty International website, they promise to deliver the letters so go ahead, send her a little message of love and support:

Dear Chelsea, there has not been a single day that has passed since I heard of your arrest that you have not been in my mind and heart. When i chose to co-produce the video that changed the world forever that you leaked to WikiLeaks, i knew my life would never be the same, but i did it, because people needed to see the true horror of war, and because i knew whomever the source was, (later I found out that it was you, you brave soul) that person put her live in great danger in order to tell the world about the crimes done in our names. I know you are strong, I will never forget you, and i hope someday that i will get permission to visit you in the prison. You are a beacon of hope in these times of changes, your courage has inspired so many, and you are a catalyst of transformation.

with rebellious joy
Birgitta Jonsdottir - poetician

here is a poem i wrote for you about you for you

Internal external crisis
cause deep earthquakes
pangs of awareness
as for one perfect moment
the looking glass is clear

Sounds of screaming silence
when perspectives change
rushing in stillness
to change

Blinding light
awful truth
everything is changing

Hiding is over
only option left
to share

No glory is requested
humble justice

Power is naked
for one moment in time
echoes through history
people saw
everything has changed

Her voice is everywhere
in the truth she exposed
perverted justice
to lock her in a cell
in a body
for exposing
what's in plain sight

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dear IPU lets not become some sort of Geopolitical Eurovision

My speech from the #IPU131 general assembly

Dear fellow members of IPU

I am proud to report that Iceland is still among the top nations in regard to gender equality according to various global indexes and reports. Iceland continues to be at the top of the overall rankings in The Global Gender Gap Index for the fifth consecutive year.

Iceland has made an effort to share its trials and errors in how to reach such an achievement for it has of course not always been the reality for women to be at equal footing with their male fellows in my country.

There is still un-equality in some areas and not so equal opportunities for high level responsibilities and it is still hard to juggle a career and family and of course there is always space for improvement.

Our world is becoming more complex and out of control every day. At times like these strong and healthy communities based on the values and structures of democracies are perhaps the best antidote to the slide towards totalitarianism and corpocracies. There is a growing distrust in representatives and the systems we have built around the people we serve, locally and globally. I was reading a thought provoking article titled “What's gone wrong with Democracy in the Economist recently, it analyzes why democracy as a form of running states is on the decline and I feel it is of uttermost importance that we here at the IPU address this without delay and find solutions we can all agree on and start of the course of implementing them. In this regard it's also important to acknowledge that there is not a formula of one size fits all for democracy. We need however to have a close look at the architecture of our political systems. Some of democracy’s most cherished institutions look outdated.

The main conclusions in the Economist are as follows:
More transparency,
More accountability,
No more promises to voters we know we can't keep.
More efficiency in how we run our establishments, specially our parliaments.
No more large corporate donors in the shadows
No more revolving doors
More distribution of power and space for experimentation for example use technology to implement a modern version of town-hall meetings to promote civic involvement and innovation.
Implement ways for technocracy and direct democracy to balance each other so democracy won't end up again in the hand of special-interest groups.

We all know that Democracy simply means the rule of the people. We are at cross roads in how to upgrade our systems for they have become too complex and inflexible. Too many people feel that they are no longer served by it despite taking part by paying their due through taxes and other forms of participation. Let us not forget that everyone of us here today are here because people from our communities pay taxes and have chosen us to look after their interests.

Dear esteemed colleges I want to urge you to make sure that we put to rest the persistent rumours that the IPU is useless and that we are not achieving anything by making real effort to show real results. Lets go beyond being an assembly of resolutions that never get implemented. And please lets not become some sort of Eurovision where geopolitics overshadow the common good we can do together no matter where we come from.

Finally I want to urge the IPU to accept as observers all the stateless states, from Somalialand, to Kurdistan, to the Tibetan government in Exile, to the Republic of West Papua and Azawad and all the rest. What is the harm in allowing us to learn from each other directly about the state of the state and the statelessness?

Monday, February 03, 2014

Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Manning & Snowden 2014

Dear Nomination Committee of the Nobel Peace Prize,
We wish to nominate two outstanding candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2014. It is our firm belief that Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden have achieved and exceeded all the qualifications required to be worthy laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The nominees are both whistleblowers who have inspired change and encouraged public debate and policy changes that contributed to a more stable and peaceful world.
Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning, December 17, 1987) is a soldier in the United States army who was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison in 2013 for releasing hundreds of thousands of documents to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. The leaked documents pointed to a long history of corruption, serious war crimes, and a lack of respect for the sovereignty of other democratic nations by the United States government in international dealings.
These revelations have fueled democratic uprisings around the world, including a democratic revolution in Tunisia. According to journalistic, academic, and intellectual scrutiny her actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on foreign and domestic policies of European nations, and, also contributed to the Obama Administration's agreement to withdraw all U.S.troops from occupied Iraq.
The profound information that was revealed by this courageous whistleblower helped to foster public dialogue on the legitimacy, suitability, and relevancy of the military interventions carried out by US troops both Iraq and Afghanistan. The release of these documents led directly to calls demanding the full withdrawal of the military forces from these countries, as well as investigating committees on the treatment of detainees in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
The documents and information should never have been kept from public scrutiny, and the very fact that embedded journalists minimized or omitted facts in the field exacerbated the corruption of the information flow. The revelations - including video documentation of an incident in which American soldiers gunned down Reuters journalists in Iraq - have fueled a worldwide discussion about the overseas military engagements of the United States, civilian casualties of war and the rules of engagement. Citizens worldwide owe a great debt to the WikiLeaks whistleblower for shedding light on these issues.

Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is an American computer specialist, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who disclosed top secret NSA documents to several media outlets, initiating the NSA leaks, which reveal operational details of a global surveillance apparatus run by the NSA and other members of the Five Eyes alliance, along with numerous corporate and international partners.
He has, with great risk to his personal well-being and future, revealed the horrific scope of the global espionage network of the Anglo-American spy agencies. By releasing documents regarding the activities of clandestine agencies he has not only unveiled the global scale of  mass surveillance which endanger a wide array of civil liberties (cornerstones of our liberties such as free speech and the right to privacy) but, he has also given the people of the world the necessary tools to counter the ever invasive path towards mass surveillance. Blatant violations to even the very basic human rights have been institutionalized by US government agencies while privacy has been classified in ALL the major international human rights charters and declarations.
The debate on mass surveillance cannot take place without the disclosure of the basic structures and methods of the corresponding secret spy programs. Citizens, researchers and politicians need insight into these methods to be able to weigh the social consequences and the possible resulting damage to the global society. Mass surveillance erodes the fundamentals of modern democracies; making local laws to protect privacy meaningless within it's global scope. Snowden has shown us that journalists can no longer protect their sources, lawyers can't protect their clients and doctors can't protect their patients information. The concept of privacy has been redefined to complete exposure into no privacy. His actions have shown the rest of the world and its policy makers that joint global action needs to take place in order to reinstate constitutional rights of privacy for citizens which is completely essential to healthy democracies. 
By leaking the documents to investigative journalists from independent media, Snowden has managed to carefully consider the balance between public interest and national security. By revising the source documents, he and his supporters avoided leaking highly sensitive information that might have put currently running operations and the people involved into danger.
Some might argue that Snowden acted against the law, however, mass secret surveillance is illegitimate as it undermines the sovereignty of the people over the state apparatus. It is very well known that at times of universal deceit just telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. When the state is acting outside the rule of law it is up to the citizens to report on such unlawfulness for the greater good of its peoples and principles for sustainability of the future. Snowden and Manning courageously acted and as a result we have a more stable and peaceful world and far more of a possibility to develop/enact true democratic models.

We are nominating Manning and Snowden together because the courage of Manning inspired Snowden and both of them have inspired thousands of people all over the world to speak truth to power and demand transparency and accountability in their own societies.  

Amelia Andersdotter, Pirate Party Sweden, Member of European Parliament 
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Party Chairperson for the Pirate Party Iceland, Member of Icelandic Parliament
Christian Engström, Pirate Party Sweden, Member of European Parliament
Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Pirate Party Iceland, Member of Icelandic Parliament
Jón Þór Ólafsson, Pirate Party Iceland, Member of Icelandic Parliament