What It’s Like To Be The Target Of Character Assassination

| Resist!

Note: Suzie Dawson is a long time political activist who deserves our support. She is currently leading efforts to defend Julian Assange for his work as publisher of Wikileaks. See Unity4J at https://twitter.com/Unity4J and join the weekly Friday night web vigils.  In the article below she describes the character assassination attacks against her.

Dawson is a New Zealand journalist who is seeking temporary asylum in Russia. After reporting on the Occupy movement, WikiLeaks, the FBI and Kim Dotcom saga, Suzie Dawson was targeted by New Zealand and American intelligence agencies. New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) who effectively outsourced spying to the National Security Agency (NSA) according to Ed Snowden documents, were very likely monitoring her. Being targeted by the government led to serious threats against and endangerment of her life and those of her children.

Dawson is in need of solidarity, international legal assistance, and financial support. Well-wishers can donate or reach out through her website https://Suzi3D.com.

Dawson has made a video, Diary of a Person of Interest, that describes her situation in more detail. 

Please donate to her support fund here.  KZ

Smearing Is Easy – Solidarity is Hard

It is a bizarre experience becoming the focus of a complete stranger’s conspiracy theorising, and watching how easily otherwise-intelligent people can be influenced by it, though I’ve increasingly had to build up an immunity to this over the years and I’ve too often seen the same done to other activists, journalists and whistleblowers, like clockwork.

The practice of digital-smearing takes aim at anyone that has ever done anything that was both a) even marginally controversial, and b) of any value to this planet.

This week, I initially took heed of a heads-up from people much smarter and more experienced than myself who warned that yet another smear of me was being circulated and not to waste time on it. But after hearing that it contained falsehoods which I have noticed being seeded across multiple quarters and injected into various communities and forums over the last six months or so, I’ve decided to correct the lies once and for all.

The many factual inaccuracies contained within the latest smear of myself, Unity4J, Kim Dotcom and Internet Party are listed and debunked below.

Smear #1: That there is “no evidence” I was targeted by the NZ government

This fundamental smear relies on the ignorance of the reader and serves to deter them from investigating further by implying that there would be nothing to find were they to do so. In reality, the targeting of me unfolded in real time and I documented it all in real time.

There are official government documents which are tied to my ongoing legal cases and will eventually be made public, the implications of which were discussed in my latest article.

Then there is the fact that the precise same companies and entities that I was publicly naming throughout the period 2012-2018 have now been found by an official State Services Commision (and other) inquiries to indeed have been involved with targeting activists, dissidents, movements and political parties (including those I was involved with), vindicating me. This has culminated in a massive scandal in New Zealand, about which there is myriad mainstream media reporting.

On top of that there are literally volumes of date-and-timestamped tweets, facebook posts, photographs (including of my car engine post-fire, tampered-with mail and more), videos, call logs, witness statements, FOIA requests, interviews and other types of material, dating back to late 2011/early 2012. There are also the accounts of others around me who also experienced targeting, and of unrelated persons who have subsequently reported experiencing exactly the same types of targeting I did, but experienced it years after me or in geographical locations that were completely removed from mine.

This has been comprehensively documented in a significant number of the articles and journalism I have produced across the period – articles which have been repeatedly endorsed, shared and promoted by many high profile figures including those both directly and tangentially involved, as well as by onlookers.

So not only is it factually incorrect that there is “no” evidence I was targeted, there is literally volumes of evidence I was targeted.

The conspiracy theory that I was not targeted is now harder to justify than ever before, desperate as some may be to do so.

Smear #2: That the government forced me to sell my house to stop Occupy Auckland

The more recent smear of me states “in an effort to break up the Occupy movement, the government forced her to sell her New Zealand home”

The above claim is incorrect and appears to have been invented out of whole cloth.

The Occupy Auckland encampments were raided and destroyed in New Zealand on January 23rd and January 26th, 2012. (Kim Dotcom’s home was raided immediately prior on Friday January 20th, 2012.)

I sold my home under my own steam in 2015, more than 3 years later, having been involved in multiple other movements in between times.

Smear #3: That the government poked holes in my ceiling

Smear merchants are never particular about their sourcing and seldom do their homework. They just look to support their dominant narratives.

The most prominent use of the above smear was an infamous pro-National government outlet known as Kiwiblog run by David Farrar. Farrar was a key honcho/personal friend of the notoriously corrupt ex-New Zealand Prime Minister John Key who was in vehement opposition to every movement I ever worked with and frequently scrutinised in my long-form and video-journalism.

So when independent international press began covering my asylum application, highly-connected pro-government media responded with a simple yet effective tactic: taking tiny slivers of something I’d said in one interview, then using it to try to paint me as batshit crazy, while ignoring the mountains of supporting evidence and basis for my actual claims.

A clever person would look at that and think “now why are pro-government blogs smearing Suzie?”

A really clever person would have noticed that the author of the Kiwiblog 2017 hit pieces on me was implicated by name, along with his relationship to the then-Prime Minister, in my 2014 work “The Two Poles of Kiwi Journalism And A New Vanguard”. An article that was circulated by WikiLeaks – a fact that I can assure you did not escape the attention of NZ media, including those named in it.

This particular “holes in the ceiling” smear of me is usually coupled with claiming that I’m a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Early on I fell victim to what I call the 9/11 question quagmire, another favourite of smear merchants. It is a perennial tactic that has also been used on Julian and countless other high profile activists and journalists to discredit them.

They jack up a situation where they can ask the target whether they think 9/11 was an inside job. If the target says “yes”, then that is forever cited to brand them a conspiracy theorist. If they say “no”, then the 9/11 truth movement is told “look – this person believes the official 9/11 story! They are an establishment shill!” and the truth movement is then encouraged to ridicule, attack and shame that person forevermore.

It is a Divine-and-Conquer tactic. No matter which way you answer, it will be used to smear you and to divorce you from a key segment of your peers or potential support base. Much as the attacks on and smears of me now, seek to do.

Smear #4: That I pretend PRISM was used on me

Thanks to his lawsuits against the New Zealand government and the GCSB, as well as subsequent reporting on the Snowden documents, we know that Kim Dotcom did have PRISM used on him, as did other New Zealand targets. This is simply beyond argument.

Thanks to ex-NSA Technical Director William (Bill) Binney we know that spying expands to include two degrees of separation of the target. Not only was I two degrees of separation away from Kim, I was one. I was investigating the FBI’s illegal activities in New Zealand. My media team pieced together that they had been responsible for both the raid of Kim’s mansion and the raids on Occupy Auckland, and threw our full weight behind supporting Kim and exposing our corrupt police agencies and spies. We got footage of ‘police officers’ with fake badges, who may have been FBI, and broke the story. I was also one degree of separation from other known targets of US government investigations as well as the New Zealand arm of them. Just as one example in 2011 I was in DM communications about this targeting with Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, when her communications were under subpoena by the US Department of Justice. I was also one degree of separation from other known targets of US government investigations as well as the New Zealand arm of them.

There is every indication that I am one of the 88 New Zealand citizens proven to have been originally targeted by the GCSB (NZ’s NSA) and referred to the NSA in Hawaii but, even if my name is not on that list, the above targeting-by-proximity would still have come into play.

References to PRISM used in isolation and detrimentally to smear me, ignores the myriad of public reporting and evidence about the targeting of New Zealand citizens by the NSA at the behest of the GCSB.

Smear #5: That I arbitrarily denied being the leader of Internet Party

An erroneous reference to a tweet I sent to a media outlet correcting my status with Internet Party has been used to imply that I “denied” being the Leader of the Internet Party and then to apply nefarious suppositions about my reasons for stepping down.

As usual, the claim is false and based in ignorance. As I have publicly stated, I stepped down from the leadership in 2018 because I self-identified that my time outside of New Zealand had exceeded the three year limit that under NZ Electoral Law applies to candidacy for election, thus making me ineligible for the leadership going forward.

My abdication – which I proffered – was simply a compliance issue.

(I was subsequently elected to Party President which doesn’t require the ability to stand as an electoral candidate.)

Smear #6: That a key WL supporter doesn’t trust/like me

A well known WikiLeaks supporter GreekEmmy is cited in the recent smear piece of me, to reinforce the suggestion that I am not to be trusted. I don’t wish to speak for her so have reached out to ask her what she thinks of what was written. She has supplied the following message for publication:

“I was very surprised to recently read that words I used in a group chat I participated in in 2016 regarding the #JA4Me WikiLeaks support initiative have been used to cast doubt as to the efforts of Suzie Dawson who started the #Unity4J hashtag and movement in 2018. Let me make clear that I view Suzie’s 2018 efforts as a brilliant example of creativity within WikiLeaks support at a time most difficult for Julian Assange. That movement and everyone who participated may have in fact saved him from expulsion. I also commend her for enabling what she started to evolve to continue even after personal circumstances prevented her from continuing to lead it and forced her to step down. I am grateful for her resilience and all that she has offered to the cause and supporters and wish her the very best!” – @GreekEmmy

Smear #7: That I am a “power-hungry, attention-seeking narcissist”

A salient observer looking back at my work over the years will discover:

a) From 2011-2014 I filmed over 50 live action events (and published nearly 100 videos) without ever once putting myself in the frame of the camera
b) I filmed dozens of interviews with prominent activists and politicians where all you can hear is my voice asking the questions, because I was far more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it 
c) I was well known on my media team for refusing to be the subject of interviews or media attention – I did something like 2 interviews in 3 years and my media co-ordinator has reminisced about this publicly
d) I performed my activism and journalism from behind a pseudonym for more than 3 years, never revealing my name or any details about me
e) It was 5 years into my activism and journalism before I ever put myself on film and only then to try to educate other activists and targets about what was happening and warn/alert others as to what had occurred. (If you watch ‘Diary of a Person of Interest‘ and pay close attention, you’ll notice that I’m visibly petrified of being on camera and it takes some time into the documentary before I finally relaxed and forgot it was there)
f) Since having a public profile as Internet Party leader, I have released one press photo. Even when standing for election I stayed true to my personal beliefs (hello – I’m a privacy activist) refusing to stage photo-ops, kiss babies, or pimp my family, friends, network or personal life out on the internet
g) There is something like 4 published selfies of me in the last 7 years. 1 with my press pass before the 2014 SwimWithKim event, 1 from the night I finally unmasked myself after the 2014 re-election of the bad guys, 2 from when I was in Kazakhstan in 2016, and I think that’s about it. Anything else is stills captured from video footage
h) I always put updating my personal website last on my to-do list. It is usually 3-6 months out of date, sometimes more. Even my Jimmy Dore appearances weren’t posted there for months. This is standard for me, because pursuing my personal “brand” and promoting myself has always been my last priority. I’ve always put my work above my personal needs, even when there has inevitably been a price to pay for that.

If the above is a Guidebook For Narcissism, by all means call me narcissist.

Smear #8: That I was given access to Julian Assange’s/WikiLeaks/Christine Assange’s Twitter account

The smear article uses poor journalistic practices, conflating the clumsily written headline of an RT article to claim that the Unity4J campaign took over the @JulianAssange Twitter account.

This is completely and utterly false. At no time has that account been run by anyone in Unity4J or Internet Party, myself included.

WikiLeaks made very clear that the legal campaign was running the Julian Assange account. 

The smear later suggests I have had access to other prominent accounts. This is equally false. 

I do not and have never had access to or in any way utilised the Twitter accounts of:

a) Christine Assange
b) Julian Assange
c) WikiLeaks
d) Any official WikiLeaks-related accounts such as @CommunityWL / @WLTaskForce @WLArtForce etc

Nor have I ever tried to, wanted to, asked to or been offered to. My only accounts are @endarken (dormant) and @Suzi3D. I do not even tweet from @Unity4J – that is and always has been run by the Unity4J social media team.

Anyone suggesting anything to the contrary is a fantasist or worse.

Smear #9: That I “deliberately left out Julian Assange’s name” from Unity4J & JA4Me

More nonsense. I was a live tweeter for movements for years. We learned that catchy hashtags which were as short as possible in order to fit into the original character limit for Twitter without consuming too much space, and were super easy to remember, worked the most effectively. Past examples of my campaign work demonstrate the methodology – #TPPANoWay, #GCSB, #NZ4Gaza, #JA4Me. There was no plot to leave Julian’s name out, to the contrary we were trying to come up with something that people would easily remember and I’m not aware of anyone having any issue remembering “Unity4J”! Simply clicking on the hashtag inundates the viewer with content about Julian and makes it clear the ‘J’ stands for ‘Julian’ so I don’t buy the argument that it was necessary to have his full name in it in order to be effective.

Smear #10: That I both do and don’t “distinguish” who is supporting Julian Assange

The most recent smear claims that JA4Me having a gallery for public supporters of Julian to display photos of themselves is “dodgy as fuck”. 

But if you click the smear author’s own source, you’ll discover the words “If you are comfortable to do so” in the material about the gallery. Further examination would have showed we allowed people to use pseudonyms and anonymising images.

After having claimed that me distinguishing WL supporters via the above is deeply problematic, the smear later claims that I don’t do enough to highlight other WL supporters (despite my constant efforts to minimise my own participation and maximise others). 

Cake, anyone?

Smear #11: The Unity4J vigils were “averaging approximately 500 views per video”

Unity4J vigils were/are broadcast to:
1. My personal You Tube account (which hosted the initial events) and later to a new Unity4J account that was set up (on which the smear author solely relies for the stats)
2. Internet Party Facebook page and later a new Unity4J Facebook page
3. Unity4J Periscope Account
4. Consortium News accounts and website

I am probably forgetting a few other platforms & places. I think it also went out on Bitchute, possibly DTube and god only knows where else the tech team has set it up to multi-stream. Our attitude has always been the more simulcast platforms, the better. Even if that distributes the viewing numbers rather than condensing them at a single source.

The idea that the vigils were under-watched or utilised is nonsense – no matter what the stats of one newish You Tube account in isolation do or don’t say. The Periscope channel alone clocked more than 250,000 views in a two month window. The total number of live viewers has been increasing month by month. Those wishing to depict a movement that clocked 300 million social media impressions by November as lacking in impact are either incompetent at estimating reach or have an agenda.

Smear #12: That my “background story is nothing but a LIE!”

The above is a direct quote from the most recent smear but it’s something I’ve been hearing for some time now – last year multiple good people had been told that I have no history of activism or journalism in New Zealand, had come out of nowhere and that no one had ever heard of me. This smear was also propagated during Internet Party’s 2017 campaign, despite how ridiculous it was as I had scooped NZ MSM at multiple major political events in 2014 including #SwimWithKim, the 2014 Mana AGM and #MoT (Moment of Truth event). The media knew full well who I was and what I did, even though their jobs depended on them not acknowledging my work.

Between 2011-2015 I interviewed a who’s-who of the NZ political and activism sphere, my Twitter account was the #1 influencer on some of the most famous activism hashtags in NZ history (hashtags I co-founded), and yet people who don’t even know me now claim I did nothing. Even though my entire body of work is online for everyone to see – videos, audio, blogposts, published articles, social media accounts.

Everything I have said is the truth – it’s a hard truth, an uncomfortable and scary truth, and for me a costly truth in countless and deeply personal ways. But it is the truth.

Smear #13: That there is something sketchy about my asylum process and/or I am working for the Russian government

There is a long internet-sleuthing diatribe in the most recent smear of me full of supposition about my asylum process. It is based on the rules and processes around refugee claims in Russia. It tries to suppose that the entire course of my legal cases should have been all neatly done and dusted and tied in a bundle within 3 months of me applying, but it is unsurprisingly based on the completely false premise that I am a refugee and that Russia is subject to the refugee provisions/international laws/UN mandates surrounding asylum for refugees.

This is completely incorrect. As I have stated on public record I am not a refugee and have not got refugee status as I was refused refugee processing by a WikiLeaks-hating very-senior human rights official in Moscow called Svetlana Gannushkina who implicitly stated to my lawyer and I that she doesn’t like Julian Assange because he published details of her meetings with the US Ambassador in CableGate (references to her also appear in other WikiLeaks publications).

Unfortunately for me she is the top dog in refugee processing in Moscow – working for agencies that are very, very pro-US and very very anti-WikiLeaks. (Yes, the idea that being affiliated with WikiLeaks will automatically win you favours in Moscow and friends in high places is in fact a total myth. In my case, I was discriminated against by Gannushkina for my work being associated with WikiLeaks.) I absolutely needed and need to have refugee status (which is why I had dutifully tried to get it) prior to applying for asylum, but because I couldn’t tick that box (there is literally a box on the asylum form which asks if you have been given refugee status) I had to proceed in the absence of it. This and other factors have greatly complicated my situation, and meant that I have had to turn to international lawyers in order to seek that remedy outside of Russia as ultimately we have to petition the UN itself, for any redress.

There are myriad other factors involved in my legal situation that for obvious reasons I won’t be addressing here as they relate to other ongoing legal actions and processes in which I am still currently engaged. As each process is completed I may choose to make public the outcomes. As things stand, I have been completely transparent about what has occurred.

So no, Russia didn’t green light me. Nor do I work for and nor have I had any contact or outreach from the Russian government, or from any others including the NZ government. In my experience the Russian government is equally sticklers for process, law, and paperwork as many of their Western European counterparts. I have had no deals, offers of assistance or approaches from any officials. Everything that has been done to date has been via lawyers I have had to hire and pay, standing in queues at government departments just like everyone else has to, and all of my expenses have been covered by myself, my family, friends and supporters. Any claims to the contrary are abjectly false.

Also misleading, is that the smears post an image of my initial asylum processing certificate dated September 2016 and then posture it as if the discovery of it is a revelation or a scoop. In reality the photo of this certificate has been pinned to the top of the @HelpSuzi3D account timeline for more than two years. I released the photo myself as part of my original 2016 statement about having applied for asylum. I also openly discussed the issue of being denied refugee status and the implications of that here, here, here and here.

Smear #14: That it is shocking for me to “ridiculously claim [I] was forced to hire “full time childcare/domestic help”

I led a political campaign for a registered party in a parliamentary election, then spent four months researching and writing ‘Being Julian Assange‘, then immediately launched into ReconnectJulian/Unity4J. 

Needing childcare when working long hours on major projects isn’t abnormal, it’s normal.

Smear #15: That Unity4J is a haven for pro-Trump/alt-right/far-right figures

Claims that Unity4J has been taken over by the alt-right have been resoundingly debunked by the National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia, James Cogan. He writes:

“It is false to claim, as @ClassConscious1 does, that #Unity4J vigils have been a vehicle for far-right demagogy, let alone support for Trump. Many people, of differing political persuasions, have used them to oppose persecution of Assange.” – James Cogan

If you would like to read his full statement, which includes quite apt commentary about those who have been utilising unsolicited bulk emails and mass-tagging campaigns on social media to ensure everyone who has ever been exposed to or involved with the Unity4J campaign gets to see their smears of it, you can read it in full here.

The Unity4J website lists 64 high profile participants. With recent additions to the vigils it’s probably well over 80. The idea that the 4 or 5 names targeted in the recent smear are somehow so nefarious as to subvert the entire movement (clue: they aren’t) is laughably ridiculous. It would be far more viable for Conservatives to claim that the movement had been taken over by rabid socialists than it is for self-identifying socialists to claim it is being taken over by Conservatives.

In the meantime, I am thankful for the majority of supporters who are mature people willing to set politics aside and focus on freeing Julian.

Smear #16: That I am pro-Trump/far-right

This never ceases to amuse me, whether it comes from pro-Trump people who follow me and then have the shock horror discovery that I’m not a Trump supporter or whether it comes from so-called socialists trying to divorce me and my work from the Left.

A basic review of:

a) everything I’ve ever written about Trump
b) all the movements I’ve ever been involved in, tellingly listed on my personal website Suzi3D.com under the menu heading “Solidarity” 
c) everything I’ve ever said in interviews or on vigils

…shows this smear up for what it is pretty quickly.

Smear #17: I’m not legit or else why hasn’t “anyone else besides Dawson’s Unity4J sycophants reported on the danger she’s faced for seven years?”

Step one for believing this smear is that you have to ignore all reports about me and my situation prior to 2018. Step two is feigning ignorance of any reason that the mainstream might have for wanting to suppress it.

This may come as a shock (sarcasm) but the fact that a New Zealander is seeking asylum in Russia is not a story the corporate media wanted to promote immediately after the 2016 US election. Nor do Western-backed NGOs want to support me. The only way they would is if media pressure forced them to, which in the current climate is virtually impossible to achieve. In the absence of such pressure, I will be left to carry the can for what has been done to me and to pursue legal remedy under my own wit/steam, as I have been to date.

Of course, if I was a Russian journalist seeking asylum in a Western country, NGOs and media would be scrambling to highlight my case. Such is their hypocrisy. But as a Western dissident the powers that be have been running and will continue to run their containment strategies on my situation and my significance until the last possible moment. 

The most recent smear of me claims WikiLeaks should have supported me. In fact Julian and others close to him have done plenty to raise my profile and show solidarity. Beyond that, they have been a little bit busy with being the #1 intelligence agency target on the planet. People really need to stop coming from a perspective of “why hasn’t _____ done something about this?” and if they genuinely give a shit, act to do something about it themselves.

Me included – I’ve been so focused trying to save other people that I haven’t had time or inclination to try to save myself. That will change this year as my legal processes advance and as medical issues mean I am forced to work less and pay more attention to my health and wellbeing. But I don’t begrudge anyone other than the perpetrators – let alone an organisation as noble and under threat as WikiLeaks – for my situation. It is simply reflective of the state of the world and of politics at present, and I am far from being the only target of state power, or the only exile.

Smear #18: That The Scaffolding/Attempted Break-in At The Embassy Was Merely “Dawson’s Hysteria”

The smear piece tries to delegitimise the source of my reporting of an attempted break-in at the embassyand of scaffolding that had been put up around the embassy – a story that was picked up by Consortium News.

In doing so, it makes a convenient material omission: in my reporting, I had published a screenshot of the exact statement I had received from the Assange legal team. I did so to ensure maximum clarity, by enabling readers to absorb the facts word for word.

That statement itself raised concerns about the scaffolding – concerns that were later ratified by other visitors to the embassy.

Reading between the extremely convoluted lines of the smear, this particular falsehood may be contrived from the earlier false assumption that I somehow had access to the legal team account that supplied the statement – I did not.

As for how I got the statement? I asked them what had happened. (That’s what journalists do. This entire post would be unnecessary had the smear authors simply asked me their questions instead of running with false assumptions.)

Other questions and concerns aimed at Julian’s legal team by the smear merchants are outside my purview. Obviously, only JA’s legal team are ultimately best placed to decide what constitutes a risk to him. They are (in my opinion) the best asylum lawyers in the world and will have very good reasons behind anything they choose to put in a statement (or not) or whether they answer particular questions about his living conditions and welfare. It’s the height of arrogance to presume to demand answers from them in Julian’s tenuous and life-threatening circumstances.

Smear #19: That Kim Dotcom should have released his info about Seth Rich/is hurting Seth Rich’s family

Anyone who reads this article of mine (as many people did) will know that it was Seth Rich’s family who asked Kim not to release his evidence.

He agreed and didn’t.

(You will also learn that Seth Rich’s family were massively lied to about Kim to try to stop them having anything to do with him.)

So now Kim gets smeared for not releasing the info, as well as being smeared as “hurting Seth Rich’s family”, when the reason he didn’t release it was out of respect for Seth Rich’s family.

This is the stupidity of smears. They debunk themselves, if you have access to the necessary knowledge.

Those constructing the smears count on you not having that. They play on your ignorance and then turn it to meet their own ends. To deprive their targets of your support.

Smear #20: That Kim Dotcom didn’t pay his workers

This is yet another tactic of the agencies – they inflict a situation upon you, then have media highlight the inevitable byproducts, and blame you for it rather than the blame going to where it belongs: with the architects of it.

Classic example: Kim couldn’t pay his staff because the US Government had all his funds frozen and belongings seized in multiple jurisdictions even though he’d never stepped foot on US soil.

Just one portion of the seized funds was $80 million and the total is much greater. He is currently suing the NZ government for some $8 billion in damages after they destroyed his businesses to boot.

If they gave him access to his own funds, he would have been able to pay people. Instead, they hold his funds and scream: “he’s not paying his workers! What an asshole!”

Victim blaming, pure and simple.

Skepticism vs Solidarity

Routinely, fears are fed with skepticism; pre-existing fissures are exploited.

Skepticism is cheap and not difficult to come by. For some people it’s become more than a life skill – it’s a full-time hobby – even an industry.

While the learned form of skepticism – discernment – is an extremely positive thing (and a honed talent: the net sum of wisdom and experience) unfortunately skepticism can be super nasty when weaponised.

When wielded in the disservice of another human being skepticism alleviates the bearer of any feelings of responsibility to act in a positive way towards them.

It’s simple math – game theory. If you’re a person of conscience and a great injustice has occurred, you naturally feel obliged to help. But if by contrast, you don’t believe an injustice has occurred (or are led to believe that it hasn’t), then voila – you don’t need to be supportive anymore, or invest any other effort. Doing nothing (or acting detrimentally) is, to some, a far more attractive option than extending someone the benefit of the doubt.

For some people, skepticism is all too easy. Solidarity requires both respect and personal investment, and is therefore hard.

Genuine and right-motivated support that is also resilient is the rarest of all to find – people who have some concept of what they don’t know more so than what they think they do know, or who are able to set aside personal judgements and preconceived notions, are invaluable. Foundations of compassion. Empathy. Coming at something from a position of “What more is there to learn?” and “What could this person teach me?” instead of soaking up whatever ready-to-wear tabloid crap is being spewed about them.

The smears are like TV dinners – all too easy to consume but of zero nutritional value. The tonics, the antidotes to implanted or weaponised skepticism: tolerance, patience, commitment to gaining a holistic understanding rather than grasping at just one side of a diametric position. Thoroughly investigating, doing your homework, rather than defaulting to dismay, ridicule or condemnation.

Those willing to do that, to open their mind, find out what they don’t know, make a leap of faith and discover what lays beyond.

To give of their time even if it may be uncomfortable, or a perceived risk. Without asking for or expecting anything back in return.

Who put in the effort. With no strings attached.

Who are prepared to sacrifice for truth, and to do so with loving kindness.

Those people are one in a million. Those people are priceless.

Those people are worth fighting for.

  • Pat moore

    Our heroes: Snowden, Assange, Dawson, and all who work for transparency and
    Human rights

  • D Turgeon

    Brilliant article! Clear, cogent and articulate, this is journalism at its best.