Weekend Roundup: SOPA, Harper, Hipsters, Canuckistan, and Wikileaks

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Sez Welcome to Canada's beautiful tar sands

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Sez Welcome to Canada's beautiful tar sands

And how was YOUR weekend? Canuckistan’s Glorious Ruler posed for a picture with some cuddly Alberta wildlife, while his obedient servants created a website apologizing to the world for the mortifying homunculus who sits, slavering, atop Parliament.

We messed up.

We know you look to us as one of the last great strongholds of common sense in a swirling sea of crazy on this big ol’ crazy planet of ours.

Decriminalized marijuana, same-sex marriage, our peace keeping force, universal health care, education, our stance on environment, human rights, and religious freedom made us look pretty darn awesome.

Now we’re realizing that those things that made us awesome are being taken away from us, and it’s not just us Canadians who are paying the price.

Turns out some of us thought it would be a grand idea to put this fucking guy in charge.

Well, actually, it wasn’t so much that we put him in charge as it is we failed not to.

We goofed. We took our stick off the ice. We pulled a real boner. For that we apologize.

But, hey. 2015 is just around the corner. Hopefully, we’ve learned our lesson, and we’ll do better next time.

We’d better, assuming he doesn’t pull a coup and off the Governor-General, and I wouldn’t put it past him or his alien leaders.

In related news, at least now we can live tweet the defeat of democracy as it happens:

The government of America’s hat announced it will repeal a 1938 law that prohibited citizens from publicly posting election results before all polls closed across the country. Since social-media sites feature real-time discussions, it has been nearly impossibly to enforce the rule despiteElections Canada’s hardline stance.

Someone who’s suddenly not having a great weekend is Greyhound bus driver Donald Ainsworth, who kicked 13 OccupySD protesters off his bus just for supporting Occupy. He thought he’d show them.

Then we did this:

Greyhound Driver Donald Ainsworth vs OccupySD

Greyhound Driver Donald Ainsworth vs OccupySD

and this:

and this:

Don walked onto the bus and shouted at everyone, “Shut up, and sit down!”

In shock and disbelief everyone scrambled to take their seats. At the same time, one of the protesters noticed several bags belonging to the group being loaded off the bus. The protester asked the driver why the bags were being removed.

The driver snapped at the protester, “I said, sit down and shut up”.

After the second “sit down and shut up”, several passengers began to voice their concern about the hostility and disrespect coming from the driver. One of those voicing a concern about the luggage was Michael Ponsler. He asked the driver why he was being so rude and disrespectful.

The driver spun around, and shouted, “Who said that?!”

It was me, Michael calmly responded.

“You, off my bus!”, the driver shouted.

Michael explained to the driver that he was part of a group traveling together, that he had done nothing wrong, and was simply inquiring about the bags and customer service. This seemed to outrage the driver even more and he began to shout, “all of you Occupy people, off my bus!”

Several folks from the group tried to explain to the driver again that they were all traveling together, did not want to be split up, and did not want to be prevented from getting to Washington D.C. The driver did not respond, simply walked off the bus and locked the door leaving all the passengers trapped inside for over an hour.

From the windows of the bus everyone could see the driver walk up to the Greyhound ticket counter pick up the phone and have a thirty minute conversation. After the phone call and another thirty minutes or so of standing around and watching the football game on television, two police cars pulled up to the station, and three uniformed officers walked inside to speak with the driver.

After a brief conversation with the driver the officers walked onto the bus and asked him to point out who he wanted removed. The driver began to walk around and ask different passengers whether they were with Occupy. The police stopped the driver and told him that instead of asking people if they are with Occupy, he should instead point out who specifically he wanted off the bus. The driver replied, “all fourteen of them, I want them all of the bus.”

Yeah, the next performance review might just suck for Donald Ainsworth, what’s with the Boycott and all.

Meanwhile, across the pond, Anonymous called for the arrest of UK PM David Cameron. Careful, nonys, he went to Eton and Oxford, he’s connected.

Julian and Christine Assange

Julian and Christine Assange

Meanwhile meanwhile, Julian Assange‘s mother Christine has taken off the gloves (mittens? I’ve no idea what she wears, really, nor even if she has hands actually now that I think about it, and I certainly didn’t mean any disrespect to the unhanded, although come to think of it they surely must represent the last group on the planet whom I have not directly insulted yet, so I guess yay, that’s out of the way) and really gotten down to fisticuffs with those who’d slap her son in jail.

Notes on Wikileaks:

15 Overlooked Facts About the Assange Extradition Case

1) Julian Assange is not charged with anything in Sweden or any other country.

[Source: @wikileaks]

2) Julian Assange did not flee Sweden to avoid questioning. He was given permission to leave the country on the 15th September 2010, after remaining 5 weeks in Sweden for the purpose of answering the allegations made against him.

[Source: Undue delay for Julian Assange’s interrogation]

3) The case against Julian Assange was initially dropped, and deemed so weak it could not warrant investigation. After the intervention of a Swedish politician close to American diplomats, it was revived by a different prosecutor. [Source: Why is Julian Assange in jail?]

4) In all instances, the 2 plaintiffs consented to sexual intercourse, which they did not take the initiative to stop: they never expressed non-consent and afterwards declared to not have felt threatened by Julian Assange. [Sources: Swedish Police Report and The offences described in the EAW are not extradition offences]

5) A condom submitted as evidence by complainant AA, who claimed it had been deliberately torn by Julian Assange during sexual intercourse, contains no chromosomal DNA from either the complainant or Julian. [Source: Overlooked evidence in the Assange trial]

6) Text messages exchanged between complainants and their friends contradict the factual allegations in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued for Julian Assange and cast doubt on the allegations.

[Source: Brief to Canberra Meeting of MPs]

7) After the date of the alleged sexual misconduct: a) Complainant AA created then deleted evidence (tweets) indicating she was enjoying Julian Assange’s company; b) AA went as far as suggesting one of her friends (Witness C) should be intimate with Julian as well.

[Sources: AA: The Twitter Trail, Göran Rudling Witness Statement and Police Statement of Witness C]

8) The law firm hired in the Assange investigation is ran by Claes Borgström (politician and legal representative for both plaintiffs) and by former minister Thomas Bodström. Both are members of the Social Democrat Party in Sweden. Bodström is a friend of police interrogator Irmeli Krans, who interrogated complainant SW. [Source: Irmeli Krans: The Facebook Trail]

9) Police interrogator Irmeli Krans is, in turn, friends with the other plaintiff, complainant AA, with whom she has political ties (Social Democrat Party). Krans also breached protocol by commenting negatively about Julian Assange on social media. [Source: Irmeli Krans: The Facebook Trail]

10) Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, refused to provide Julian Assange or his lawyers with information on the allegations against him in writing. This violates the Swedish Code of Procedure (RB 23:18) and the European Convention of Human Rights (article 5), and the EU Fundamental Charter on Human Rights.

Prosecution also refused all voluntary offers for cooperation that fit under Mutual Legal Assistance protocol, such as making use of alternative methods to interview Julian Assange.

[Sources: Fair Trial for Julian Assange? and Abuse of Process: Disproportionate use of EAW and INTERPOL Red Notice]

11) Both the EAW and the Interpol red notice were issued for Julian by Sweden just before WikiLeaks began to publish Cablegate. [Source: Brief to Canberra Meeting of MPs]

12) The allegations against Julian Assange do not constitute an offense in Australia or in the UK. [Source: The offences described in the EAW are not extradition offences]

13) If extradited to Sweden: still without charge, Julian Assange would be held incommunicado and placed under solitary confinement. Pre-trial detention would last for an indefinite period. Trial in Sweden would be held in secret. [Source: Fair Trial for Julian Assange?]

14) The Swedish legal system features lay judges who are appointed because of their political affiliations. They have no formal legal training. [Source: Lay Judges]

15) Sweden has the highest per capita rate of cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights relating to article 6.1 (right to a fair trial). [Source: Fair Trial for Julian Assange?

Conclusion and References

Julian Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning. According to the law, Julian is not required to be present in the country for the interview to take place. It could instead be conducted using alternative methods, such as a simple phonecall.

On the 13th July 2011, during an extradition appeal hearing, Judges on the case asked why this did not happen:

”Why go through all of this if Mr. Assange offered to be interviewed?”

”Why does judicial corporation not entail… sensible steps to get on with it?”

[Source: 2011-07-13 WikiLeaks Notes]

Prosecution, however, continuously refuses to interview Julian in the UK, insisting he must be extradited to Sweden for interrogation. For this purpose an European Arrest Warrant was issued by Sweden, in disregard for one of its basic restrictions: an EAW is for prosecution purposes only.

The extradition to Sweden insisted upon by prosecution would facilitate subsequent extradition to the US, as Sweden never once denied a US extradition request since 2000. Therefore, the Swedish case against Julian Assange cannot be dissociated from the ongoing US Grand Jury investigation on WikiLeaks. As such, it is extremely important any opinion formed on this specific subject be based on facts.

This list of 15 facts is mostly based on information originally put together by Christine Assange (twitter account: @AssangeC), and it covers crucial aspects about irregularities and political interest in Sweden’s extradition case against Julian Assange. These important details are often ignored or misrepresented by the media.

Another reference document you might wish to read is the briefing note written by WikiLeaks’ legal advisor Jennifer Robinson, a detailed overview of Human Rights concerns regarding Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden: http://wlcentral.org/node/1418

And over at Justice4Assange.com you will find a lot more information on this case.

Visit the Action page to know what you can do to support Julian Assange:


To make a donation to the Julian Assange Defence Fund:


Please take the time to read and share.

When possible, demand any misleading information in the press be corrected.

And as for me, other than teaching WordPress for Activists at WordCamp Victoria,

My friend @raincoaster speaking on Activism through WordPress #yyjWordCamp #wcv12

getting my ass rescued by @hotel_goddess again, announcing a new workshop with productivity expert Mike Vardy, and hitting Clive’s TWICE, and having a brief bomb scare on the ferry,  it was pretty uneventful.

Insanity Wolf can't stand hipsters either

Insanity Wolf can't stand hipsters either

You know: for me.

One thought on “Weekend Roundup: SOPA, Harper, Hipsters, Canuckistan, and Wikileaks

  1. Pingback: Afternoon Links: Miley Cyrus to Appear in Playboy?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.