Courage our network

December newsletter: celebrities stand with Courage, Citizenfour and more

Enter your email at right to subscribe to Courage’s monthly newsletter, for updates on our work, our Advisory Board and what’s coming next.

Make a holiday donation in support of Courage

This holiday season, donate to Edward Snowden, Jeremy Hammond, and the only organisation fighting on the frontlines of whistleblower defense. Courage, already with two beneficiaries and the launch of our alleged sources under investigation protection fund: “Known Unknowns Fund”, we have more plans in store for 2015 for projects to provide even greater comprehensive protections for sources at greatest risk, but they require your help.

Please give what you can this year.

Celebrities stand with Edward Snowden and Courage

An international coalition of more than fifty actors, musicians and intellectuals have out their names to a statement affirming their support for Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks, whistleblowers and publishers. Publications including Rolling Stone, Liberation and the Guardian have printed the statement and the calls of Vivienne Westwood, Viggo Mortensen and others to support whistleblowers by donating to Courage.

Read the statement, along with a full list of signatories.

Courage at CIJ’s inaugural Logan symposium

This weekend, the Centre for Investigative Journalism’ s first annual Logan symposium – titled “Building an alliance against Secrecy, Surveillance and Censorship” – took place in London. Topics ranged from whistleblowing practices, to working with Snowden’s documents, to anonymous and secure journalism. Courage Acting Director Sarah Harrison, Courage Trustees Julian Assange and Gavin MacFadyen, Advisory Board members Daniel Ellsberg, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Annie Machon, Citizenfour director Laura Poitras, and many more gave presentations. Thousands worldwide watched the event livestream on couragefound.org, where we’ll be publishing video recordings of each speaker, as soon as they’re made available.

Sarah Harrison’s Logan symposium talk liveblogged by the Guardian here.

CitizenFour released to widespread acclaim

Laura Poitras’ documentary Citizenfour, which is structured around powerful footage of Edward Snowden’s first meetings with journalists in Hong Kong, has been short-listed for an Academy Award. We think it’s a film that everyone interested in Edward Snowden and his revelations should see.

To coincide with the film’s US release, Edward Snowden gave a few high-profile interviews, including a Q&A with Larry Lessig at Harvard University, which we livestreamed.

Citizenfour highlights the dire need for better source protection — before truthtellers are under investigation. Courage hosts the Known Unknowns Fund, the only fund designed to help alleged journalistic sources before the government comes knocking on their door. Support these sources here.

  • Here’s our Citizenfour review
  • Citizenfour reviewed by Courage Advisory Board member Ray McGovern
  • Another Citizenfour review from Courage Trustee Gavin MacFadyen
  • Information on screenings worldwide is available on the film website
  • Our report on Edward Snowden’s appearance at Harvard University

Jeremy Hammond in solitary for two weeks, in prison for a thousand days

Courage beneficiary Jeremy Hammond, who recently passed the 1000 days in prison mark, was placed in solitary confinement for a fortnight in the middle of October. The prison claimed this was punishment for stealing clothes from the laundry room, where Jeremy works. Solitary confinement is widely condemned as psychological and physical torture, with the CCR writing, “prolonged solitary confinement causes prisoners significant mental harm and places them at grave risk of even more devastating future psychological harm.”

Jeremy needs funds in these types of situations to maintain his commissary, which he uses to purchase items in prison. In solitary, inmates are afforded no possessions, and just one book at a time.

Read more here.

“Monument to courage” being crowdfunded

Courage advisory board member Vaughan Smith has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a public artwork which will travel the world highlighting the importance of truthtellers. Italian sculptor Davide Dormino’s work Anything To Say? will feature life-size bronze statues of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange standing on chairs, with an empty chair next to them, so that members of the public can interact with the artwork. The project is close to 20% funded with 23 days to go.

Contribute to the campaign here.

Courage in the news

Courage is excited to welcome Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, members of the Russian punk rock collective Pussy Riot, who made international news when they were jailed for two years for an anti-Putin protest ahead of Russian presidential elections. Speaking to the Guardian about joining Courage, Nadezhda and Maria said they had many things in common with Courage trustee Julian Assange, namely interest in Chelsea Manning, which they called “one of the most important cases in today’s world.”

The release of CitizenFour has helped put the focus on Berlin as a centre for anti-surveillance activism. Courage was mentioned in a special edition of Berlin magazine the ExBerliner and in an Observer feature by Carole Cadwalladr.

Advisory Board member Eben Moglen condemns new GCHQ head Robert Hannigan’s “assault on privacy” in a new piece for the Guardian. Hannigan, Moglen writes, is “deploying the most inflammatory and misleading language available, to publicly blackmail companies into abandoning the rule of law, to bludgeon them into providing assistance for the illegal surveillance of their customers.”

Read the full article here.

How you can help Courage

Donate

Donating is the easiest, fastest and most tangible way you can support Courage now. We’re establishing a defence fund that will serve long-term as a safety net for whistleblowers in peril, present and future. We need to finance legal teams, as persecuted sources often can’t afford to pay their own court costs and legal defence against state prosecutions can amount to many hundreds of thousands of dollars. We also need resources to provide websites and campaign teams to campaign publicly for the protection of our beneficiaries, publicise the issues whistleblowers have disclosed, advocating across global media and building support networks around the world.

  • Donate to Courage generally, to sustain our work defending these whistleblowers and fighting for your right to know
  • Donate specifically to Edward Snowden’s defence fund
  • Donate specifically to Jeremy Hammond’s defence fund
  • Donate specifically to the Known Unknowns Fund, which helps truthtellers at risk, before the investigation stage
  • You can also contribute by purchasing merchandise at the Courage shop

Volunteer

We’re always looking for volunteers to help us reach as wide an audience as possible. Translating our websites is an important ongoing task and new designs for our shop would be very welcome.
To get in touch please email: courage.contact@couragefound.org