Media

1 June 2022News

Campaign launches UK-wide door-to-door leafleting campaign

On 12 May, peace activist Maria Gallastegui sprayed ‘Priti Patel Save Julian Assange’ on the wall of Belmarsh high-security prison where Assange is being held. She used a drill in a mock break-out attempt as a protest over Assange’s pending extradition.

To prevent any confusion, Maria had a placard saying ‘Jailbreak in progress’. She was taken into custody and held for four hours.

Journalists and free speech groups from around the world have called on the home secretary, Priti…

1 June 2022News

Video collective wins court battle against injunction

Reel News has just shown the power of independent media to help bring about social change.

On 11 May, the high court threw out an injunction that the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association union tried to take out against the London-based activist video collective. Reel News describe this as ‘a huge victory for free speech and press freedom.’

On 7 May, Reel News had uploaded a video interview with a former organiser, Claire Laycock, detailing serious…

1 April 2022Review

Seven Stories, 2021; 256pp; £15.99

Kaufman, a documentary producer who works at the Office of Open Learning at MIT (the top science and technology university in the US), begins by establishing what he calls the ‘Monsterverse’. This is a somewhat vague but playful concept that covers all of the interests (both state and private) engaged in a ‘relentless effort to crush freedom of thought, independent thinking, expertise’ and the general spread of ‘free access to knowledge’.

Kaufman explores a number of historical…

1 February 2022News

Senior CIA officials discussed kidnapping or killing Wikileaks editor

On 24 January, the high court in London decided that Julian Assange can appeal to the supreme court to continue fighting extradition on 18 counts of ‘espionage’.

The US government has asked for Assange’s extradition because of his work at WikiLeaks. In 2010, WikiLeaks publicised documents leaked by Chelsea Manning exposing US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A district judge at Westminster magistrates’ court ruled in January 2021 that the extradition should not go ahead…

1 October 2021Feature

What the media and political establishment are not telling you

‘There is a general policy by the MoD [ministry of defence] to keep the horror of what’s going on in Afghanistan out of the public domain,’ a senior officer told the Telegraph in September 2008. ‘If the real truth were known it would have a huge impact on Army recruiting and the Government would come under severe pressure to withdraw the troops.’

Unsurprisingly then, while there has been a huge amount of media coverage of the US-UK-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, lots of…

4 July 2021News

Wikileaks founder denied bail pending US appeal

On 4 January, district judge Vanessa Baraitser, sitting at the central criminal court in London, refused an application for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited to the US to face charges of espionage.

However, the judge also ruled that Assange would have committed an offence under UK law if the acts complained about by the US had taken place in the UK. Judge Baraitser refused extradition on the grounds that Assange would be a suicide risk if extradited. 

Two days…

10 December 2020News

WikiLeaks exposed ‘grave violations of law’, court told

On 7 September, Julian Assange faced a new extradition hearing in London, set to last four weeks.

The US had been demanding his extradition to face charges of conspiracy to receive, obtain and disclose classified US diplomatic and military documents – because of his work with WikiLeaks.

If found guilty on all charges, Julian could face up to 175 years in jail.

Clive Stafford-Smith, founder of the legal charity Reprieve, told the court that documents published by…

8 December 2020Feature

Censoring the destruction of Iran Air Flight 655

Even after an Iranian air defence unit mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on 8 January, killing 176 passengers and crew, the British press failed to remind readers of a relevant incident involving Iran.

On 5 January, Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, compared the US assassination of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani to the CIA-organised coup of 1953 that overthrew parliamentary democracy in Iran, and to the shooting down of an Iranian…

8 December 2020News

Extradition hearing to take place on 24 February

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s full extradition hearing is scheduled for 24 February at Woolwich crown court in South London.

The investigative journalist was arrested at the Ecuadorean embassy last April, having spent seven years there after claiming asylum to avoid possible extradition to the US via Sweden.

Sexual assault charges Julian was facing in Sweden have since been dropped, but he has been kept in Belmarsh high security prison because of an extradition request…

28 September 2020Feature

Before the US murdered him, it formed an alliance with the Iranian general – twice

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, who developed the Propaganda Model for understanding the western mass media, once explained: ‘That a careful reader looking for a fact can sometimes find it, with diligence and a skeptical eye, tells us nothing about whether that fact received the attention and context it deserved, whether it was intelligible to most readers, or whether it was effectively distorted or suppressed.’

In the case of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, there were a lot of…

1 August 2019Feature

Five academics examine our media's coverage of foreign affairs, in a piece censored (and then rejected) by a leading liberal publication.

Egyptian security forces killed 817 protesters as they cleared the sit-in of Rab'a al-Adawiya Square in Cairo on 14 August 2013. Photo: Amsg07 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

When Noam Chomsky first observed that the United States had attacked South Vietnam, he was upending a particularly tedious case of media…

1 June 2019News

Assange faces 175 years in prison as Manning reimprisoned

Julian Assange, London, 2014. Photo: david G Silvers [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Julian Assange is facing 175 years in prison for his investigative journalism if he is extradited to the US and convicted of the 18 charges filed against him by the US government.

Meanwhile, US whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed on 16 May for refusing (for a second time) to give evidence against the WikiLeaks founder.

Assange is being charged under the US Espionage Act 1917, mainly for obtaining…

1 December 2018Feature

Eric Stoner, co-founder of the US radical nonviolence website Waging Nonviolence, spoke recently to PN staffer Gabriel Carlyle

Eric Stoner

Waging Nonviolence (WNV) has been publishing must-read reporting and analysis on nonviolent action around the world since 2009.

It started out as a blog, the brainchild of three young people: Eric Stoner, Bryan Farrell and Nathan Schneider, who all shared an interest in nonviolence and civil resistance, though each approached the topic from a slightly…

1 December 2018Review

Pluto, 2018; 272 pp; £24.99

This is an essential read for anybody – activists very much included – who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of the 2007–2008 economic crash and its subsequent political after-shocks, from the election of Donald Trump in the US to Brexit and rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

However, first and foremost, the book is a sharp critique of the media’s coverage of the economic crisis.

As well as interviewing journalists, Laura Basu, a researcher at the Institute for…

19 November 2018Blog

The Inaugural Alternative Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture 2018

In a tucked away corner of Rotherhithe, down a little cobbled street oozing with history, stands Sands Film Studios. Well-known amongst lefties and radicals, this unique corner of London was the perfect place to hear from a unique, leftie and often radical character, Kerry-Anne Mendoza.

Mendoza began by talking about the namesake of the lecture,…