Whatever you think of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the unprecedented campaign by the U.S. government and corporate America to silence the site is a chilling assault on free speech and a free media.
WikiLeaks has not been charged with a crime related to the release of documents, yet the site's access to the Internet has been disrupted and major efforts are underway to block credit card processing of donations to keep the site running.
Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have called WikiLeaks a terrorist organization. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a leading Democrat, has proposed that Julian Assange be prosecuted under the Espionage Act -- potentially setting a precedent that could expose any journalist working on national security to a credible threat of imprisonment.
And it's not just in the U.S. A top Canadian official has called for the extra-judicial assassination of Assange and other governments are being heavily pressured to join the crackdown.
It's not surprising that the U.S. government and some of our nation's largest corporations would want to take down a site that provides a powerful new way to expose official lies and pierce their veil of secrecy. But if we don't stand up and beat back this powerful assault on WikiLeaks, we will put our democratic institutions at risk and deliver a blow to human rights work around the world.
CREDO is joining Avaaz.org in organizing hundreds of thousands of activists to take a stand and ask the U.S. government and corporate America to protect our democracy and the rule of law by ending the crackdown on WikiLeaks.
We call on you to stop the crackdown on WikiLeaks and its partners immediately. We urge you to respect democratic principles and laws of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. If WikiLeaks and the journalists it works with have violated any laws they should be pursued in the courts with due process. They should not be subjected to an extra-judicial campaign of intimidation.
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