The price some pay for the freedom of speech

By Camilo Echeverri Bernal
[email protected]

Our revolutionary tools are the press and our freedom of speech. We like being heard. Loud and clear. We like being heard, because we feel our words are often times silenced, censored, and blocked by the governments and by the media outlets that are subservient and blindly loyal to the potentates of our world.

The Libyan police have shot journalists. Authorities in Japan have incarcerated reporters. Presidents have shut off websites and censored them, for they are the voice of the people. Despots like Muammar Gaddafi take no hostages. They seek to terminate, annihilate, cut off and sever any and all visible threats to their power.

Like in the Church of old, there are no alternatives, only dissenters and heretics to be immolated and burnt. How do they get away with it? Fear tactics. Fear is the greatest tool and weapon these absolutists have against the vox populi. Fear and manpower. Fear and guns, torture, extradition and death.

Yet what do the rulers of the world do in the face of such atrocities? Do they charge against these corrupt men? Do they seek to remove the crowns off the heads of these cunning monsters? No. They let others do that. The people have to take justice into their own hands. Like in Egypt with Mubarak or Gaddafi.

Fellow oppressors revel in the fact that these leaders can exert such levels of dominion over their countrymen. We do not tolerate the killing of one nation by another. But when it comes to a people killing their fellows, we almost applaud. It is too much to process, and we avert our eyes, plug our ears and play dumb.

In light of recent events and also past ones, WikiLeaks has shown to be the epitome of freedom of speech. For those involved in the project, the only way of liberating the people is by showing them what their governments dare not. By uncovering the programs, genocide.

The writers of WikiLeaks open the windows and let the pestilence out, for everyone to breathe and wake in. They have leaked cables from Egypt, Russia, the U.S., the crimes our military committed against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst others that are too foul to even mention.

Many heads of state as well as their citizens would have the Chief Editor of WikiLeaks, the Australian journalist Julian Assange, tried for high treason and espionage, brought to the U.S. and put on death row.

Another victim is Private Bradley Manning, who has been in jail since last year and has been humiliated daily by being forced to strip down and sleep without any clothes on for allegedly leaking military documents to WikiLeaks. For a country that holds up the constitutional values presented in the First Amendment, we are very quick to put an end to rumours and ‘threats.’

As we observe banks rise up and second chances being given to Wall Street, the middle class struggles with mortgage, finding jobs, keeping unions, as was proven in Wisconsin. We have but to wonder where the interests of our senators and elected officials lie.

Why are they not being interrogated by reporters, why are they not being put under the spotlight? We elect them, yet, do they represent our best interests? The interests of the citizenry, of Florida and elsewhere? Or do they represent the interests of corporations and lobbyists? Of the Federal Reserve?

When will this deceit end on both sides?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. “- First Amendment of the Constitution.