2013-05-10 Assange Speech for Global Exchange Human Rights Award

Thank you for this honor.

I am very happy to be sharing it with Noam Chomsky whose generosity and strength of character I have felt personally. Noam, you are the sea--relentless and enduring. You have crashed wave after wave of understanding into towering cliffs of lies, eroding them at their base. If the rotten foreshore of empire collapses it will be for this reason. You have inspired and continue to inspire many, including me.

Thank you to the people in this room for supporting this award. I'm going to thank you and Dan in the best way I know. By keeping this speech short. Then you can go and do the important thing. Make alliances to fight for WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning and me. Don't think you can escape just because I am not there. We have a lot more spies in this room than the FBI.

San Francisco and the Bay Area is important to us. We fought our first big court case in the San Francisco federal courts in 2008; That was no-coincidence. If we were going to have a fight, anywhere in the world, then I wanted it to be in San Francisco. I structured WikiLeaks to encourage attacks on us to be drawn to San Francisco (sorry about that). The EFF, FPF and many of our other defenders are based here. If any state of the Union is going to save the United States from itself, it will be California. Washington sees that too--that's why we're being prosecuted in Virginia and Maryland.

Noam's presence in this room --useful, even though he's from Massachusetts-- reflects something very special. Cross generational solidarity. From Dan and Noam to Michael Ratner, from Kiki to me, from Jacob to Bradley Manning. The issues of each demi-generation are being understood as a continuation into the present. My fight is right now. But so is Bradley Manning's. So is Jacob's. I want Dan, Noam and Jacob--all of you here--together with me in this fight because I know you understand. Our conflict tests every aspect of character, but it has also shon it in many and I am proud of them.

Remember that Bradley Manning's trial starts on June 3. It is scheduled to run for 12 to 16 weeks. The prosecution is bringing 141 witnesses. That is a show trial. A 12 week off-Broadway extravaganza being performed at Fort Mead. Its legal and political result will directly feed into the larger prosecution of WikiLeaks.

What is to be done? The answer is easy. It has always been easy. Stop saying "not in my name" and start saying "over my dead body". That's what we did. It works. Do it.

This speech by Julian Assange was to be read by Daniel Ellsberg. Noam Chomsky and Jacob Appelbaum were also present.

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