An Open Letter to Russell Brand
Dear Brother Russell,
As you are already no doubt aware, the Trump Administration last year bribed Ecuador $4.2 Billion to have Julian Assange stripped of his citizenship and thrown in Belmarsh prison specifically for exercising his journalistic duties in publishing the war crimes of the Bush Administration exposed by Chelsea Manning.
Julian’s rendition hearing resumes in less than two weeks. The state of our corporate media apparatus is so infernal that no one will speak up for Julian because they are afraid that in doing so they might be construed as being a supporter of the man whose administration is most singularly responsible for his imprisonment without formal arrest, his torture and his immanent death.
To date, Julian’s highest profile celebrity supporter is M.I.A., who is – from the point of view of general pop culture, missing in action. You have demonstrated on so many occasions your ability to speak truth to power truthfully, in a world where speaking truth to power halfheartedly is a state-sanctioned fashion trend.
You have a unique and important voice.
I remember vividly that summer of 2012 that Julian took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. I was learning about Advaita Vedanta and beginning my metaphysical practices under the tutelage of a noble and erudite Sufi lineage. I spent every night in prayer and meditation and every day alternating between coverage of Julian’s story and watching episodes of Brand X. I don’t know how I stumbled across it. I had only known you then from some movies you were in which I didn’t love. Brand X blew me away.
I saw you were a fellow seeker, that your humor was uniquely capable of evoking the most lofty metaphysical insights into the lowest gutter and therefore bringing them to absolutely everyone. You and Julian were part of the same emancipatory moment, that explosive and magical unity that came out of Occupy Wall Street that meant everything and went No Where. I write this letter because I know my sense of kinship with each of you is no accident.
Please consider raising your voice to raise immediate awareness and help direct public attention to the grave injustice of Julian’s situation.
Written interview from earlier this year with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, a valuable read when the discussing the matter today: “A murderous system is being created before our very eyes” – Republik
Please see also Action 4 Assange, an impressive group of independent journalists featuring a brilliant man I think you would like named Steve Poikonen, providing some of the best regular coverage and analysis of Julian’s situation. They continue to be serious about stopping Julian’s extradition by instigating public pressure. They regularly interview very brilliant and sometimes high-profile people like former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, and anyone else whose voice can add substance to the present conversation.
I implore from the bottom of my heart, please take a stand for Julian Assange. Without the immediate normalization of public pressure today, there will be no real anti-war journalism left in the world tomorrow.