I’ll Be Addressing the European Union about Government Repression in the U.S.

by Will

I’m honored to announce that I will be delivering a keynote address at a meeting co-hosted by the European Union and Council of Europe, speaking about the rise of authoritarianism in the United States, and the threat it poses for civil liberties and democracy.

I leave for Paris shortly, where I will be speaking before a meeting of Supreme Court judges and prosecutors from throughout Europe. The event is an examination of “The Judicial Responseto Terrorism and the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights of the European Union.”

Specifically, I will be speaking about my work exposing the persecution of protest as “terrorism,” the rise of experimental prison units for domestic terrorists, and the Trump administration’s assault on core civil liberties and press freedoms.

It’s an incredible honor to be speaking about my work at a meeting like this, particularly at such an urgent time. The last few months have felt surreal, and even more so as I have been preparing for this lecture as I am watching the rapid deterioration of the political climate here.

I have spent the last 20 years documenting the erosion of civil liberties, from ambitious prosecutions against environmentalists to new terrorism laws that criminalize non-violent protest.

What we are witnessing in the United States right now is a radical expansion of that trend. It’s up to all of us to learn from the mistakes of the past, and speak out, forcefully and urgently, against the mainstreaming of groups and individuals that can only be described as white supremacist, authoritarian, and fascist.

 

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

N. P. Harris June 13, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Will,
Please keep up the great work you are doing. I could not agree with your premise more than I do and I believe there need to be changes, in this country, toward a more democratic process. It seems the rich, elite in this country want to just take it over for their own dominion. This country is getting to be where it’s run by crooked politicians on the pay off. I always look forward to your email updates on whatever you were involved in and the progress that follows as a result of your efforts.

Best wishes,

N. P. Harris

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Thank you so much, N.P.

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Catherine Rodgers June 13, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Thank you….for all you do.

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Jacobs Richard O. June 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Thanks for your good work. I think it’s time to update your book!

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Thank you! And yes, sadly, it might be time!

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Phil Wollen June 13, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Brilliant, Will…I hope you will be sending us a transcript of your speech?

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Thank you, Hélène. And yes you are absolutely right about how this is spreading globally.

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Thank you so much for your support, Phil. It means the world to me. And yes, I will sharing my remarks, and a portion of my talk we were able to film, shortly!

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Hélène June 13, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Hi Will!

This is very good news to us in France, as our governments (the former one and the brand new one) are walking exactly through the same path as the US authorities: since the terrorist attacks in 2015, a “state of emergency” has been imposed which has been mostly used to repress environmental activists and the social movement to preserve our labour laws and civil liberties (the governments are trying to adopt labour laws that comply with the crazy capitalistic European Union agenda). The new government intends to integrate the state of emergency laws into the normal law, whereas the legal arsenal against terrorism is already enormous. We are gently going to a police state. So thank you for bringing this subject to them, before Europe is governed by Trump’s avatars.

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Nancy Faust June 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm

You nailed it and hold the views of most Americans. We are confident that you can convey this in Paris. Thank you Will.
Nancy Faust. Chicago

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Thank you so much, Nancy!

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Kim June 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I hope we can read your speech.
And I wish I could be there to hear you speak!

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Thanks, Kim!

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Jo Ardell June 13, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Will there be a copy of your speech either on You Tube, or a ‘paper text’ to read?

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:14 pm

I will be sharing a portion of my speech that we were able to record, along with my remarks. Just got home, though, so it might be a couple days. Thanks!

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Jac Dittmar June 13, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Thank you. May your hard work and dedication be fruitful, for society’s sake.

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Thank you, Jac.

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jane katan June 13, 2017 at 11:09 pm

Your insights and bravery are an inspiration.

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jane katan June 13, 2017 at 11:11 pm

Your insights and courage are an inspiration.

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Thanks very much, Jane.

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Rael Nidess, M.D. June 13, 2017 at 11:33 pm

I hope it’ll be recorded and made available for viewing…

Good luck.

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Will June 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Thank you Rael!

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Caleb A Brown June 28, 2017 at 11:59 am

I am a coward, no longer.

Despite being labeled as bright, I have yet to venture past the precipice into the darkness outside. Afraid that what little tendrils of flame I have, t’would be ousted by rain. I’m autistic, and for a while there, I was agoraphobic as well. I spent so long looking out the window into that hellscape, that I had barely noticed my flame was nothing but cinder, and ash.

So long had I gazed into that oblivion, so captivated by fear was I, that I had let the darkness creep into my sanctuary. The paranoid part of me, fears you’re an Orwellian trap, a ruse to oust the brave few. Cowards live long lives after all. Maybe I should stay away, maybe I should remain in my dark little house and wait for the lights to go out. Maybe I’ll go for a walk.

I’m tired of being hungry will, I’m tired of being afraid.
I’m tired of not being able to see where the symbolism ends and the reality begins.
I was born cursed, a well-spoken man, with the inability to understand the words of others. I speak only in metaphor but cannot for the life of me understand the subtlety of others. I write several paragraphs to express the simplest of sentiments, but can only comprehend the simplest of que.

Im autistic, it is my nature to be afraid. I was born terrified, into a world that frightens me relentlessly. I pride myself on my ability to run so fast I can outpace my own shoes, like a cartoon character. I will never escape my fear, it is literally impossible. Long ago, I came to grasps and realised I can either run, or I can hide. For a long time I chose to run, recently I have hidden. Today you made me realize something, and while yes those truly are my only two options, you made me think.

I see your fear Will
you, like myself, appear to have only the two options when confronted by monsters in the dark. I see your feet in full sprint, and it inspires me, for you are not running away. I see a terrified man, tears on his cheek, sweat on his brow, running through the darkness, SCREAMING at the top of his Lungs. You Bellow not of fear, but of Compassion, You Scream to alert the group, to be aware of the danger, and you Run Toward the Source of your very fears.

The only difference between bravery and cowardice is what direction you run when frightened.

If you need anything, Let me Know.

Sincerely,
Caleb Brown

(p.s This is a comment, not a letter, How embarrassing)

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Will June 29, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Thank you for this, Caleb. That was beautifully said, and I could not agree more that “The only difference between bravery and cowardice is what direction you run when frightened.” Keep fighting. Will

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Eduardo Bartolome July 23, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Hi Will,

Thank you very much for your work. It is obvious to me that terrorism (and other tricks) are being used by sectors of our and other governments to bend the Constitution and cut on civil liberties. Exposing the problem is a key piece and we need many more journalists like you. The issue is that I am not sure of the reasons for this happening. For instance, I don’t see this as a left or right issue and those who present it like that fall on one of those traps placed by the folks behind this. Examples can be found in both sides as I am sure you know. Voting one or the other doesn’t seem to help. Beyond the reasons, the answer I am looking for is “What tool can be put in place to curve these attempts?”. With the little I know, I would think that the Supreme Court would be one of those tools but it is just so hard to reach. Maybe increasing the number of “Supreme Courts”? Sorry, just brainstorming. Do you have ideas and if so, how would we push them forward? So far, I am pretty pessimistic but appreciate anybody out there standing behind fairness.

Thank you again.

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