Wiki Rebels : A Screening on the Eastside

Yesterday (1/7/11), a screening of “Wiki Rebels” took place at the Eastside Café. A collaboration between both the organizers of the Eastside Café and Freedom Schools LA.

The Eastside Café is:

“a cultural and educational space founded by El Sereno residents for the evolvement of sustainable self-reliance through education, cultural awareness, health and the arts.”¹

Freedom Schools LA is:

“an autonomous, grassroots movement organized by community members, students, and educators to address the educational needs of our community.”²

Wikileaks is:

“a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public…[that publishes] material of ethical, political and historical significance while keeping the identity of our sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices.”³

“Wiki Rebels” is the first documentary that I’ve seen on the rather timely events surrounding Wikileaks and their actions. It was produced by the Swedish Television Network SVT (Sveriges Television), and is an hour long. The film covers the organization, from its inception, its development, and its recent leaks of documents into the media. I would highly recommend the film if you have not been following the relatively short history of the organization.

Its coverage runs up to where the allegations of rape/sexual misconduct had been hoisted on Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief and media-savvy spokesperson for the organization. It also does highlight that the dissent within the very organization, caused by Assange’s heavy-handed control of the group, resulting with the formation of OpenLeaks. This new group hopes to be “serving only as a safe conduit for whistleblowers to leak information, which would then be passed on to the press, instead of acting as a publisher itself. The organization also intends to be democratically governed, rather than being run by one person or a small group.”⁴ A contrast as to how Wikileaks is currently run.

When the film showed, in its entirety, the leaked video “depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff,”⁵ I could feel the visceral import of an organization such as WikiLeaks. Irregardless on how you feel about the legality of  what Wikileaks has done, is doing, and will do what happened on that day is a wrong that the world needs to know of. And there were probably many more that we may never know of.

The film also highlights the good that the organization can already lay claim to, like bringing to light the cronyism by Icelandic bankers that brought down that country’s economy, the illegal dumping of toxic waste by Trafigura in the Côte d’Ivoire in 2006, as well as the fact that “Pope Benedict impeded an investigation into alleged child sex abuse within the Catholic Church.”⁶ CBS News, before the new year, actually posted a whole list of what Wikileaks has brought to light here.

Below are YouTube embedded links that will allow you to watch the documentary in its entirety, for all to see: as anyone who desires a free, and open internet would want it.

I was not able to stay for the post-film discussion, but if you did it would be great if you would share with us what was said.



2 thoughts on “Wiki Rebels : A Screening on the Eastside

  1. The US government are spineless. All these other governments have managed to handle these leaks, but the US embassies get all up in a tizzy over embarrasing revelations.

    I’ve only started reading the Cablegate leaks, but they are pretty good. McDonalds went to the government to ask for help in screwing a franchisee in El Salvador out of his McD shacks. Visa and Mastercard asked the government to help bribe Russian politicians to stop the introduction of a competing Russian state bank credit card. Arab League bigwigs don’t like Stephen Spielberg. Kazakh bigwigs like Elton John and Nelly Furtado. Mercenaries at Xe (nee Blackwater) are working in Djibouti.

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