“Long live WikiLeaks.” “Down with censorship.” “Free Bradley Manning.”
In Montreal this past weekend, a group of demonstrators took to the streets in support of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and against the imprisonment of Manning, the U.S. soldier charged with providing WikiLeaks with sensitive and classified documents.
Nadim Kobeissi, a third year computer science student at Concordia University, staged the Saturday protests. He also created a mirror WikiLeaks website — adding to the 2,000 others surfacing on the web today.
The Facebook event “MONTREAL: WikiLeaks anticensorship rally — Manifestation contre la censure” rallied support for the demonstration, which was recorded and uploaded to YouTube.
Kobeissi, self-proclaimed free speech advocate, believes: “Attempts to censor are wrong…” He said he and his supporters assembled because: “In the past couple weeks we have seen a fully fledged information war on the internet…” Kobeissi continues, recognizing the positive impacts a free and open internet can have on a global society: “The internet has an unprecedented potential to be a place where censorship is impossible, where freedom of speech is an imperative.”
In his rally speech, Kobeissi questions: “Who will give us a free voice, if not the free press?”
The small but powerful group of protesters in Montreal exemplifies what Margaret Meade once said: “Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”