Speech by Natalie Pa’apa’a given at Justice for Julian Assange Rally, July 2012. Melbourne.


Firstly I’d like to acknowledge country, the traditional owners of this land, the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung of the Kulin Nations and pay my respect to their elders past and present. I acknowledge the ancient and powerful connection that indigenous people have to the land on which they live, where they keep and practice culture and build their dreams and hopes for future generations.

I’d also like to acknowledge and recognize the organizers of this rally, the hard working legal team behind Wikileaks and Julian for their commitment to the bigger picture of freedom of speech and freedom of information for all of us.

The truth is why I came here today. The Truth is why we are all gathered here today, and we should let our understanding of that and our hunger for it…expand and intensify. Watching events unfold in concern to Julian and Bradley Manning is a clear signal to me that we do need to be adamant about our right to know what our governments are doing when they think no one is watching.

Every day that their system perpetrates against the very spirit of Truth, is another day we must get a little more extreme in our activism and in our actions but also more creative and inclusive in sharing those experiences and making them appealing to those members of our community who struggle to see the true nature of their governments … Obviously we all depend on the Truth to tell the stories of our past and to light the way forward to our future.

Our capacity to act and exist in a way that enables the truth to prosper is vital in these shifting times… our capacity to be resilient and unrelenting in supporting and standing by those who have come under fire for doing what’s right, is what will tell if we can really move these nations and humanity as a whole forward.

We must stand up and show our youngest generations that tolerance, compassion and Truth are the fundamental requirements for a mentally, physically and spiritually healthy population and planet. One thing we know in our time on Earth, is that injustice is everywhere, it’s woven into the very fabric of the system that we live in, it is in fact , sad but true, one of the vital pillars for the continuation of capitalist and neoliberally run societies… aka ‘The West’

However, every now and then, we see a shooting light that has managed to carved out a tiny hole in their blanket of disparity, it shines through showing and reminding us that in order to unravel this intricately woven cover that tries to suppress unity, we must daily, be active participants in our democracies…and anything less is unfortunately detrimental to the root of a thriving and progressing society.

Wikileaks, is one such light that has broken through, it continues to shine as a critical reminder that the truth is powerful and knowing our true history and what our governments do in our name, is paramount to making the right choices toward the future we hope to create. In my eyes, Wikileaks, whistleblowers and Julian Assange are simply upholding their responsibilities as citizens of the world. Albert Einstien reminds us that: “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds.” this to me pretty much sums up the mainstream talk show discourse in America around Wikileaks. It does take great spirit to stand up against this system built on centuries of deceit.

That great spirit I have seen in the eyes and actions of all kinds of people from all corners of the earth… That Great spirit lives and breathes in all of us… and it is that same spirit that we see in Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and each and all of the freedom fighters and international community who are connected enuff to understand that the political reaction against Wikileaks is a sad symptom of a very sick and hostile ideology, and that, if we’re going to survive as a race, as a representation of ‘intelligent’ life, then a great shift must come… it will continue to be an uphill battle and a massive amount of hard unrelenting work, but the good news is, that shift, in our consciousness, in what we will and wont stand for, has already begun….

We just have to keep that spirit at the forefront of our actions and continue the fight for the globalization of justice. It’s ironic that the most powerful countries in the world, the ones committing some of the worst human rights abuses, are the same countries that trumpet their love and allegiance to democracy and liberty, but behind closed doors, are guilty of murder, torture and the mass dismemberment of the very democratic and liberal values they pretend to enshrine, while their right wing media advocate the superiority of ‘the West’ and simply regurgitate what they’ve been told instead of taking the initiative to broaden their perception and think for themselves…. they seem to think their patriotism gives them the right to slander, to incite violence, and even death toward anyone who steps on the toes of their nations pride. Well in this day and age, loyalty to one nation, to me, seems regressive… if you’re going to be patriotic about anywhere, it should be for Planet Earth… and if you’re going to stand up for the security and well being of any people, it should be for all people.

I confess that as a musician in the process of writing for an album, I find it hard to write about anything but the struggle…no love songs, I know they’re important and love makes the world go round etc, but I just cant depart from the fact that our people around the world are doing amazing things right now… they’re starting revolutions, toppling brutal regimes, standing up for those who cant, exposing truths and lies that affect us all and being a voice for the voiceless… This is what inspires me both as a songwriter and a human being.

I can only hope that the stories I tell in my songs are able to pass on that inspiration and help it to find it’s way into the parts of our community who are yet to feel it…. because I’ve realized that, as long as we’re living in a capitalist society, we will always have to fight for the truth to be told, and we will always have to be the ones to keep our governments in check… a burden we must willingly accept.

Administrations like the United States and the ideology that governs them have long since had a strong hold on the way our societies operate, forever leaning in the favour of the wealthy with the policies, laws and rules they’ve made around the globe that serve the minority…And It is with the justice seekers rising up and deciding that they won’t live and die by this system, people in Egypt, Tunisia, Montreal, Libya, Spain, anti-­‐ nuclear protesters in Japan,The Americas, people in all nations, people like the Wikileaks crew and Julian Assange…… it is because of people like us that the strong hold they have on our lives gets a little looser everyday… because we have already taken a step back, to open our eyes and our hearts to look around into our global community and see we are one in the same, we see each other in ourselves….with the technology at our fingertips we are connecting like never before and are proving that we are a formidable opponent to even the biggest ‘super power’ nations.

We are this world, we are the future, so we should be making sure that, today, people like Julian Assange aren’t locked away for sharing the true nature of our current world systems. I believe that from now on, because of the simple necessity of it, there will inevitably be more Julian Assanges and there will be a growing majority of the public that aren’t afraid of standing up for what they believe in…. so any Government body surely sees that, even if they did stop Julian Assange , they’ll never stop humankinds instinctual urge to seek truth… in fact stopping organizations like Julian Assange and Wikileaks could only make that urge stronger… lastly, as I’ve said before, we have to remember that we are all a part of a global family, and we have the responsibility to look out for one another, to make sure our brothers and sisters from all nations, are safe and free from abuse and distortion of their human rights…and when we fight for the rights and freedom of all people, we are elevating our collective spirit of human dignity and showing humanity that there is another world possible, a world where we no longer are victim to perpetual abuse and humiliation, a world where you aren’t called a terrorist just for sharing the truth. so keep fighting and keep that great spirit in you strong and active in the this movement and in your community, I’m with you!

© Natalie Pa’apa’a July 2012


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