Wikileaks vs Mastercard and the big banks… with panache
I blogged yesterday about activist organisation Get-up’s pastiche of retailer Harvey Norman’s TV commercial which it produced to raise awareness about the unsustainable uses of timber in the furniture industry.
But today I have come across a pastiche ad done with so much more panache, that for me at least, it is more effective and more persuasive by a long way.
Great work, that Julian sure knows how to get up noses! And with good cause. According to Wikileaks, for six months now, five major US financial institutions, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and the Bank of America have tried to economically strangle WikiLeaks as a result of political pressure from Washington. The attack has blocked over 90% of the non-profit organization’s donations, costing some $15M in lost revenue. The attack is entirely outside of any due process or rule of law. In fact, in the only formal review to occur, the US Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy C. Geithner found, on January 12, that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a financial blockade. As the Huffington Post put it “I can use Visa and Mastercard to pay for porn and support anti-abortion fanatics, Prop 8 homophobic bigots, and the Ku Klux Klan. But I can’t use (see bbc) them or PayPal to support Wikileaks, transparency, the First Amendment, and true government reform.” Iceland, bless ’em, is thinking of banning Mastercard and Visa over the issue.
The New York Times, following reports that Wikileaks was considering publishing information in its possession concerning corruption in the financial industry, editorialised: “What would happen if a clutch of big banks decided that a particularly irksome blogger or other organization was “too risky”? What if they decided — one by one — to shut down financial access to a newspaper that was about to reveal irksome truths about their operations?”
Who says corporations have too much power? Will this be resolved in Assange’s favour? Is Wikileaks to be denied the same justice shared by the rest of us? Is such justice an illusion allowed only until we threaten the invested powers?
ps..yes I know, pastiche with panache sounds like a french bakery! I could have gone with parody but it’s just not as..mouthwatering is it?
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- WikiLeaks sues Visa, Mastercard over ‘financial blockade’ (go.theregister.com)