Defend Assange Campaign @DefendAssange 1st of March 2019
STRATEGY NOTE: Dealing with hypocritical organizations and politicians in lobbying to #FreeAssange and to defend WikiLeaks.
All the big hitters (UN, Inter American Court of Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty, ACLU, New York Times legal office, etc.), back Assange. WikiLeaks has never lost a legal case in any jurisdiction and Assange has won every single legal case at the international level. Hence, it can be very frustrating to his supporters to see some lesser organizations, or individuals who proclaim to exist to defend human rights, or freedom of speech or of the press, failing to act to defend his freedom.
Do these organizations primarily exist to ensure staff perks and to increase institutional power? Are they unprincipled? Do they work to increase the social status of their boards, staff and to massage the geopolitical and other interests of their funders and to avoid flak? Are they terribly conformist, fearful, not that bright, and scared of their prospects should they fall into the unemployment market – for exactly this reason? Of course!
The battle for power is a battle for narrative. Narrative paints the landscape of risks and opportunities which everyone, but especially those lacking boldness or with decreased perceptive abilities, then use to make their way in the world.
Some supporters, in their frustration, point to these unprincipled groups in disgust, or, as a general critique of the human rights industry, or politics, or, in some instances, it must be said, as a way to advertise the scarcity value of their own vigour and principle. This is a counter-productive approach. The narrative battle surrounding the movement to #FreeAssange is the same as all other narrative battles: The battle to convince individuals and groups that it is in their self-interest to act for one side or another.
The way to deal with conformists, whether they be politicians or organizations, is to grit one’s teeth and use their weakness as your strength. All the big guns support Assange. Conformists conform to what they perceive as present and future power in their realm. Hence, it must be made clear to them that the most credible & powerful authorities take his side, that this is only increasing & that those who oppose his freedom are ever more isolated, disreputable, out of date, uncool, self-marginalizing & not part of the main current of history.
In strategic terms, weak neutrals should be made to realize the breadth, depth and inevitability of support to #FreeAssange and its solid grounding foundations, and be converted into supporters. After weak neutrals are converted, convert weak opponents, then strong neutrals and then, finally, strong opponents. In this way, ever larger pincer-attack formations can be constructed, to isolate and convert ever larger groupings of neutrals and opponents, until victory.
Decisions to support, become neutral, or to flip allegiance, are made not based on reality, but on its perception. That is why there is an intense information war on the reality of the breadth, depth and authority of support for him and his principles.
The power position of his opponents is weak and, if neutrals and weak opponents correctly perceive the strength, breadth, authority and inevitability of his support, they will also move to support, or cease to oppose, at which point his opponents will be overwhelmed. Hence the enormous efforts put into pumping out narratives to interfere with correctly perceiving the power position.
It is the task of his team and supporters to counter this information war on his freedom and to understand that the efforts put into it by his seemingly titanic opponents signal their weakness and his proximity to victory – their position is so weak they have to care about what people think.
You can find the original tweets archived here: http://archive.is/u6sQ4 and https://web.archive.org/web/20190301215349/https:/twitter.com/DefendAssange/status/1101564727140990976